Post # 1
We’re almost done with all the major plans and I’m wondering if I should go for black tie as the dress code (which is what I really, really want), but a technicality is giving me pause.
– Wedding is semi-destination oceanside at luxury resort (tent).
– Live music throughout (ceremony to party and late night)
– Dinner is 5 course, entree is surf and turf
– White gloved service
– Top-shelf open bar all night
BUT – Ceremony starts at 5, not 6 as noted in ettiquete books for formal event outlines. It is a Catholic ceremony, so I’m pretty happy I got a “late” mass as it is. Cocktail hour at 7 and Reception at 8.
To me, it is a formal event, but my mother pointed out the hour difference. What do you think?
Post # 3
I thought 6 was the early limit for the reception, not the ceremony. Basically any church wedding will start before that, including at formal events. So I don’t believe you even have a thing to worry about. Go for it!
Post # 4
Etiquette Snob here… lol
Altho the “traditional” stance is 6 PM for Formal Wear… you’ll find that practicality sometimes gives some leeway in this regard
I submit the following from The Black Tie Guide ( http://www.blacktieguide.com ) where it states:
As explained in Etiquette: Formal Tradition, black tie and white tie are categories of evening wear and evening wear is not meant to be worn before six o’clock or before dark, whichever comes first. Therefore, formal weddings that take place during the day traditionally require morning dress, the daytime equivalent of evening wear. Since this attire is virtually extinct in North America, dark suits are an acceptable substitute. Convention dictates that the daytime dress codes apply to any wedding that takes place prior to 6 or 7 o’clock even if it means that morning dress will be worn well into the evening at the reception. However, some contemporary American authorities recognize that the majority of U.S. weddings straddle the dividing line and allow for tuxedos for a 4 or 5 p.m. ceremony if the reception will end late at night.
So altho Mom is “technically” right in regards to the time of day, a lot of things have changed in the last 10+ years = http://www.blacktieguide.com/Supplemental/Weddings.htm
I wish you great success with your Wedding Plans, as a Formal Wedding is a real eye to behold and treat to host / enjoy
But that isn’t to say there are not challenges along the way (you can find many posts here on WBee)
Hope this helps,
Post # 5
EDIT TO ADD – Practicality
Mr TTR & I are frequent Cruisers. Our Itineraries always include Formal Nights onboard.
And altho Dinner starts at 6 PM, one can find many a man & woman dressed to the nines enjoying a Before Dinner Cocktail in a Ship Bar anywhere after 4 PM…
Lol, it does make us Late Dinner Goers (8:30 PM) feel a tad out of place in our shorts & flip flops as the ship’s dress code changes in the late afternoon … but so be it.
In reality, it is cool on occasion to get dressed up and enjoy the more “diginfied” things in life.
You just have to be able to “go with the flow” when necessary
Hope this helps,
Post # 6
@havfrue: At 5:00 you can do black tie. Can you bump it to 6? Anyway, for a wedding that will spaN he dividing line, and starting so close to 6, you can do black tie. Our ceremony was at 1 with refreshments after, and our reception at 7, so people changed, though only one non family member came in black tie anyway. People did still change into something different (in honour of our speakeasy theme, mostly) even if it wasn’t a tux.
For the ceremony, I wore morning dress, the fathers wore strollers, and dress code for guests was suits, which most people honoured. But ours was much much earlier in the day than your ceremony, so I think black tie should be just fine. But, guests do have an hour to change, if you want to indicate a change of clothes on the invitations, if, as you say, it isine I destination, and your guests will have rooms where they can change.
What time is Sunset on the day, at your location?
Post # 7
TO @Duncan: All your details sound wonderful (I had previously found the info about your Morning Dress via another link)… still looking forward to seeing pics if at all possible… (lol, pretty please)
My own First Wedding, which began at 4 PM (Photos at 3 PM) was similar in styling… Cocktails at 5 PM – Dinner at 6 PM – Dancing at 8 PM
As the Black Tie Guide says, one can usually do better in going in one direction than the other (Day / Morning Wear into Evening vs choosing Evening Wear for Daytime)
Post # 8
@havfrue: That technicality is, for me, more of a show-stopper than the other supposed “black tie” requirements. “Black tie” is just formal evening dress, and technically any gentleman may wear black tie to any formal evening event. In fact, if he owns his own evening dress and it is impeccably styled and he wears it with elan, other less appropriately dressed gentlemen will not be staring at him thinking “why is he the only guy here in a tux”, but rather thinking “Damn, Aloysius always looks so dignified: how does he pull that off?” And also, if a gentleman does not own black tie, standard etiquette allows him to wear a plain black business suit with white shirt and windsor tie, even to a black tie event. So the quibbles between a “black tie”event and just plain highly formal evening event are largely rules made up on wedding etiquette boards. Those rules about gloved service and live bands are useful to keep brides from trying to force their guests into fancy dress for a whim, but they should be treated more as guidelines than as black-and-white rules.
The rule about not wearing evening dress in the daytime has a better pedigree, however. There is a very handsome gentlemen’s dress for formal daytime events, called “morning dress”, which of course should not be worn in the evening. Folk who actually own morning dress as well as evening dress would typically wear their morning dress to a formal morning (or afternoon) wedding and any daytime reception following the wedding, and would then change into evening dress for the evening wedding-breakfast or dinner-dance. Traditional etiquette goes so far as to require hostesses to schedule their daytime entertainments to end by four o’clock, so that everyone has time to change for the evening — that’s for life in general, not just weddings.
So a five-oclock wedding is a very awkward start time. Your saving grace is that you are tentatively holding it at a resort. Etiquette allows relaxation of formal rules in relaxed environments like vacation resorts. Set your plans as you have them and if anyone asks about the timing (which they won’t unless they are sticklers like me and your mama — you must bring her over for tea, some time!) just say “oh, well, we are keeping early hours while we are here” and brush it off. Even if you end up foregoing the resort plan that’s your best bet: there’s no question that your reception itself is truly formal and truly an evening event. The very few of us who are uncomfortable wearing evening dress to a five-oclock ceremony will just wear elegant cocktail dress and suck it up — the reason cocktail dress was invented was to provide something appropriate for transitioning from daytime to evening events.