You've always been game for your friends' famous theme parties. So why, when it comes to weddings, does the dress code always trip us up? "White tie," "festive," "fancy ranch" (yes, all real) — sadly, these aren't as easy as "ugly holiday sweater." Still it's important to respect our friends' wishes when it come to celebrating their relationships. Which means we may need a whole different dictionary to figure out what to wear.
Instead of stressing over the vocabulary — or worse, confusing "casual" attire for sweatpants — we asked an expert to decipher the dress codes. Annie Lee, founder of Daughter of Design, is not only a pro at creating dream weddings, she also works with couples personally on their big day — and offers up some much-needed insight on what they really expect with that RSVP.
For instance, Lee tells us that when it says "preferred" on the dress code (such as Black Tie Preferred), it means, "I really, really want you to dress this way." That's much different than "optional," which means, "Some people, including the bride and groom, are going to dress like this but you don't have to." Finally, our expert tells us, "'suggested' is a polite way of saying 'You should wear it.'" For all other hints on what to wear according to the couple's dress code, click on for Lee's advice and outfits to inspire your look.