What Makes a Wedding Semi Formal or Informal?

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Here are the traditional guidelines for what defines a semiformal and an informal wedding. As with the term “formal,” knowing the guidelines can help you when making other planning decisions.

Traditional Guidelines for a Semi-Formal Wedding

  • The ceremony is held in a church, synagogue, private home or outdoors
  • The reception is held at the ceremony location, or a club, garden, restaurant, hotel or home
  • There are fewer than 100 guests
  • Invitations are printed with traditional or personalized wording
  • The bride will wear a floor-length or cocktail-length gown with a veil or hat
  • The groom will wear a tuxedo or suit and tie, and his attendants will match
  • Bride and groom each have between one and three attendants
  • Bridesmaids wear matching gowns the same length as the bride
  • Guests wear evening or business dress
  • Reception meal can be anything from a sit-down dinner to buffet or light refreshments
  • Live music or disc jockey
  • Modest or scaled- down floral arrangements and event design

Traditional Guidelines for an Informal Wedding

  • Daytime ceremonies are held at a home, community center, hotel or in judge’s chambers
  • Fewer than 50 guests
  • Printed or hand-written invitations with personalized wording
  • The bride wears a simple gown, suit or cocktail-length dress with no veil or train
  • The groom wears a dark business suit and tie
  • Bride and groom each have one attendant
  • Maid of honor wears a street-length dress and best man wears a suit and tie
  • Reception is held at a home, ceremony site, or a restaurant
  • A simple meal or light refreshments are served
  • Floral designs are simple and understated
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Keep in mind that it is perfectly acceptable to combine these guidelines. Create an event that is unique to you by picking and choosing from the different levels of formality to create a wedding that truly reflects you.

Photo credit: Zac Fisher Photography

Hearts, Joy, Love!

Do you have questions or are looking for unique ideas for your wedding? Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

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