What Makes a Wedding Semi Formal? Informal?

These are the traditional guidelines for a semiformal wedding.  As with the term formal, knowing the guidelines helps to influence all other planning decisions.  But know also, that many brides combine these guidelines and some use the “menu” approach and take one from column A and one from column B.  Today’s couples are truly more focused on how they want their wedding to look and be remembered.

With that in mind, understand that today’s couples are also focused on creating an event that is unique to them and as such may pick and choose from the traditional guidelines.


If you are planning a semi formal wedding, you will likely follow these guidelines.

  • The ceremony will be held in a church, synagogue, private home or outdoors.
  • The reception will be held at a ceremony location, a club, garden, restaurant, hotel or home.
  • There will be fewer than 100 guests
  • Invitations may be 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.  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.

If you are planning an informal wedding, the following guidelines will be helpful.

  • Daytime ceremonies 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 will wear a simple gown, suit or cocktail-length dress with no veil or train.
  • The groom will wear 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 usually held at a home, ceremony site, or a restaurant.
  • A simple meal or light refreshments are served.
  • Floral designs are simple and understated.

Call us at 307-200-9886 or email info@celebratejh.com to discuss ideas.

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