What makes a wedding formal or informal?

I am wondering if my wedding would be considered formal or informal. I know it is not super formal but it is not super informal either. We will be married in a small yet very elegant chapel at 7:30 pm. My wedding dress is pretty formal, White, strapless, bead work, with a chapel length train. The reception is at the same location as the chapel. We will have hors d’oeuvres instead of a sit down meal and we will also have champagne punch, wine and beer. We are expecting around 100 guests.


Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Dear Haylotx,

Formality is based on a combination of the style of invitation, time of day, attire chosen, venue, and the type of ceremony (hope I’m not forgetting anything).

For example, recently I attended a fairly formal outdoor event that began at 3 pm. Every indication to me said informal–informal invitation, outdoor in a park, 3 pm, but I had no idea of the other elements. The bride wore a formal gown with beading, groom and groomsmen in tuxes, and the ceremony was elaborate. So, it can be confusing even for those of us who usually know the ropes, especially when the planning doesn’t follow the familiar ‘rules’.

Yours is formal because of the time and attire, especially if your groom is wearing a tux.

Best wishes,