If you’re a wedding couple that has chosen semi-formal attire for your wedding, I can almost guarantee that you have (or will) receive questions like: 

“Semi-formal? What’s that?!” 

“So, what should I wear to your wedding???” 

“Can you just send me a picture of what you want me to wear?” 

To be fair, semi-formal attire is not the most well-defined dress code out there. 

It leaves a lot of room for interpretation and for your guests to show their personality while maintaining a fancy look. 

If you’re okay with giving them lots of freedom to choose, semi-formal attire may be the right choice for you! 

To make it easier on them (and on you!!), we have compiled an overview of what semi-formal attire means for women, men, girls, and boys! 

Pro tip: Link this post to the FAQ section of your wedding website where you discuss your guests’ outfits and send it to anyone who is unsure of what to wear! It’ll save you a lot of explaining.

And/Or, you can link this Pinterest board to inspire your guests.

What is Semi-Formal attire for a wedding?

Semi-formal attire for a wedding includes dress codes like cocktail attire and garden party attire. 

On a scale from formal to casual attire, it is somewhere in the middle with lots of room for interpretation. 

Generally, since weddings are events that call for a certain level of formality, you will want to err on the side of more fancy. 

Suits for the gents, a dress or dressy shirt and skirt for the ladies. 

Choose darker colors for weddings in the evening or fall/winter, and lighter hues for earlier ceremony times and seasons.

Keep your accessories minimal and classy while still expressing your individuality. 

What is Semi-Formal attire for women?

For women, semi-formal attire consists of a knee-length dress or a skirt and dressy shirt. 

You will want to stay away from uber-formal floor-length gowns and extremely formal fabrics like satin or velvet.

On the other hand, you still want to look fancy, so don’t overcorrect and end up too casual. 

The colors you choose should match the time of the wedding and the season – darker for evening, fall, and winter and lighter for day-time, spring, and summer. 

Choose strappy heels or pumps for shoewear and stay away from flats and wedges.

Keep your accessories classy but fun enough to show your individuality. 





  • Knee-length dress or dressy shirt and skirt
    • Colors should be darker for evening/fall/winter weddings and lighter for day-time/spring/summer weddings


  • Minimal but enough to express your individuality
  • Few, classy pieces of jewelry
  • Handbag 

What is Semi-Formal attire for men?

Semi-formal attire for men consists of a well-fitted suit, solid-colored dress-shirt, and clean, laced shoes. 

The color of the suit should coordinate with the time and season of the wedding – darker for evening, fall, and winter and lighter for day-time, spring, and summer. 

Stay away from tuxes to avoid being overdressed, but add a tie or bow-tie to your outfit if you think it needs the extra spiff. 





  • Suit 
    • Colors should be darker for evening/fall/winter weddings and lighter for day-time/spring/summer weddings
  • Dress-shirt 
  • Clean lace-up shoes 


  • (Optional) Tie or Bow-tie 

What is Semi-Formal attire for a girl?

Little girls, if in attendance, should wear a pretty dress that’s a definite step up from a sundress they would wear to a playdate. 

Choose tulle or lace for a fancy feel and metallics for accents. 

The color choice of the dress is not as important, but it should look classy, so stay away from patterns that are too busy. 

A pretty updo, curls, or a headpiece instantly adds formality to the outfit. 





  • Dress 
  • Any color is okay, stay away from busy patterns


  • Updo or curled hair
  • Headband
  • Sparkly shoes

What is Semi-Formal attire for a boy?

Dress pants and a dressy shirt are a must for a little boy’s semi-formal wedding attire. 

If at all possible, choose dress shoes as well and stay away from sneakers. 

Since it is not very practical for most little boys to wear suit jackets or sport coats, they can wear suspenders, a tie or bow-tie to add formality to their look. 

Stick with classy, mute colors and stay away from busy patterns. 





  • Dress shirt 
  • Dress pants 
  • (Optional) Suit jacket 
  • Formal shoes


  • (Optional) Suspenders
  • (Optional) Tie or Bow-tie

Now you’re a total expert when it comes to Semi-Formal attire for a wedding!!

Remember to share this post and Pinterest board with all of your wedding guests to give them an idea of what to wear on your special day! 

Did we answer your wedding day dress code questions? Let us know in the comments!

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