Invitation Wording – Casual Attire Requested


My fiance and I are going to be married next spring in Las Vegas. When we come home we are hosting a “Wedding Reception BBQ” at a local hall. Although it is a BBQ, we’re having it catered with fine china and linen. We’re both in our early 40’s, it’s my second marriage and his first. We didn’t want to go with a very traditional reception so we hired a band, great food and photographer and just plan to have a great time.

My question is, although we want our guests comfortable (no suits and ties), we don’t want jeans and t-shirts. I am afraid that if I put “Casual Attire Requested” that is exactly what most of the guests will wear.

Any suggestions?

Thank you,

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Dear Casual,

You could note your attire expectations on an enclosure. This way there will be no confusion.

Best wishes,


Thank you Rebecca, yes I thought I would use the invitation itself as more of the announcement and use the reception card to indicate the attire but my question is exactly how would you suggest I word it. I am afraid if I say “casual attire” on the reception/respond card they will show up in jeans and t-shirts. I’ve heard of “classy casual” and “party casual” but I don’t know how that would be understood.

Any help on wording would be greatly appreciated!

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Actually noting attire expectations on the response card is not the best. Even with a casual wedding there is etiquette involved. So, it would be better to note this on a separate piece of paper. Dressy casual is best. You could define it for your guests because so many do not know what dress codes mean. Note exactly what you expect, plus the request for no jeans.

Typically we do not mention attire unless the attire expectations are for formal, black tie, or if there is a specific dress code due to the location, such as a country club reception. Because this is not typical, we would use a completely different enclosure just as we do with maps.