I am a true hopeless romantic.  I always root for love and happily ever after.  Lately, my heart has been filled with so much joy because of all the love around me.  My best friends are all getting married with Micro Weddings ceremoney at beach and many other awesome destinations, engaged, and having beautiful little babies.  It’s an overwhelmingly happy time and I’m so happy to be a part of their bliss.  That said… I’ve got a lot of weddings coming up!  What’s a girl to wear?

Wedding invitation dress codes can often be tricky.  What’s the difference between black tie and black tie optional?  What colors are okay to wear?  And is this hem too high?  Here are three of the most common types of wedding dress codes and what to wear to each.

Black Tie: This is the most formal of dress codes.  Typically, this would require a long formal gown.  Most of us probably have a black gown tucked away in our closets in case of such events, but I love adding some color to the mix.  Besides, you will be one of fifty wearing black if you just go with old faithful.  Don’t go overboard and cover yourself in sequins and sparkles (this is not your senior prom or the Grammy’s).

Top (L to R): Aidan Mattox Chiffon Halter Gown with Beaded Waist, $440, Badgley Mischka Chiffon Tiered Halter Gown, $990, BCBG MAXAZRIA Strapless Silk Chiffon Gown, $348 Bottom (L to R): Issa Silk Jersey Gown, $885, Lanvin Asymmetric Washed Satin Gown, $3,480, Nicole Miller Water Washed Reverse Charmeuse Gown, $620

Cocktail/Black Tie Optional: Black tie optional is more often than not in reference to the men’s attire.  If your invitation reads “black tie optional” you are welcome to wear a dress much like the ones above in “black tie” or you could wear a formal cocktail dress.  Be sure that your cocktail attire isn’t too low cut or shorter than a tube top.  Have some respect for the bride.  There’s nothing wrong with looking fantastic, but you don’t want to draw eyes away from the bride for all the wrong reasons.  When in doubt, ask yourself, “Would I want some bitch at my wedding wearing this?” *Note: if this wedding is being held at the Playboy Mansion, all of these rules go out the window. Game on.

Top (L to R): Catherine Malandrino Silk Chiffon Dress, $495, Rachel Gilbert Sasha Embellished Silk Chiffon Dress, $1,160, Calvin Klein Ruffle Trim Chiffon Dress, $158 Bottom (L to R): Mark and James Tulle Ruffle Sequin Dress, $355, Kurt Thomas Silk Chiffon One Shoulder Dress, $400, Top Shop Chiffon A Line Dress by Rare, $78

Afternoon/Destination: The world’s love of “brunch” has spilled over into the wedding arena.  Many couples are opting for brunch or afternoon weddings.  For such occasions the dress code is much more relaxed.  A flowy maxi dress, or flirty chiffon frock paired with wedges is a perfect choice for such an event.  This is also a great option for destination weddings.  Be sure to wear a fabric that breaths if you’re heading to a steamy climate.  You may also want to factor in having to remove your heels for flats or bare feet on the beach, so make sure your hemline won’t trip you up.

Top (L to R): Gryphon Chain Link Maxi Dress, $390, Nanette Lepore Rain or Shine Floral Maxi Dress, $648, The Furies Hex Maxi Dress, $165 Bottom (L to R): Rozae R.N. Chiffon Colorblock Dress, $334, Tibi Racerback Maxi Paisley Dress, $583, Heritage 1981 Tribal One Shoulder Maxi Dress, $24.90

Can you hand me a hanky?