(Closed) annoyed by black tie…

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 48
161 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I think you are being unreasonable. It’s her wedding and this is her dream wedding just as you said you are planning your dream wedding. There is always going to be someone who isn’t happy with what the bride and groom choose but it’s their day so you either suck it up and do what the bride & groom are asking, in this case formal attire, or politely decline without mentioning why ( saying hey I’m not coming to your wedding because I’m to cheap/ poor to rent/buy a suit/dress is just tacky & rude not to mention hurt/piss off the bride IMO). 

Post # 50
2152 posts
Buzzing bee

I think it very much depends on your social level and status.  If you are from a group where “good jeans” and cowboy hats are the norm for social events, then it can be pretentious to have a legitimate black tie event.

Hosts should endevor to host and event at which guests will be comfortable.  And sometimes something too far out of your comfort zone can be impolite.

It would also be odd to envite Queen Elizabeth to a wedding with a cash bar.  She wouldn’t be comfortable.

But the hosts do get to set the tone for their event.  But that doesn’t mean you are obligated to go.  You are free to decline for any reason you see fit.


Post # 51
974 posts
Busy bee

Because I believe that Martha Stewart is a demi-god (at the very least) – I am going to quote her on this:

Black Tie
A black tuxedo or evening jacket and matching trousers are standard for men at a black-tie event, but leave the white tie at home. Gentlemen should wear a black tie, black vest or cummerbund, and suspenders. During the summer, a white dinner jacket and black tuxedo trousers are also acceptable according to Emily Post. (Other experts will accept a conservative black suit as a substitute for the tux.)

Martha also said a few words about Black Tie Optional and if she deigns to refer to it as such, so will I! 🙂

Black Tie Optional
For a black tie optional event, guests can always wear the same attire as for a black tie event. For guests who want to go a bit more casual, gentleman can wear a dark suit with a white shirt and conservative tie. (Note: Not every etiquette expert thinks the “optional” phraseology is necessary, but it does serve to emphasize that a tux is not required.) Women can feel free to wear dressy separates if they choose.


Post # 52
1136 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

@futuremrsfitz18:  I agree.

I guess my first reaction of likely being annoyed comes from the fact that I would doubt the events black tie “worthiness”. It would be unheard of to have the type of event  @futuremrsfitz18 described in my area, so any request for “black tie only” would likely be about the bride just wanting to “dress up” the occassion. I don’t like this because I feel like you shouldn’t require your guests to adhere to black tie standards if you’re not. However, if the event truly was black tie in the way she described, I wouldn’t mind the additional cost at all. 

Post # 53
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@futuremrsfitz18:  @mspoodles:

So, so with you both on this. I feel like a lot of people request black tie without understanding the full implications of what a black tie event is. They’d be very uncommon where I grew up, too, so if I got that invitation, I’d wonder if the bride and groom were kind of unaware, and I’d be hesitant to buy the dress and rent the tux that we may only wear once. I’d probably politely decline unless I were very close to the couple. :/

Post # 54
1029 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@bride8675:  Hi, My initial thought when reading your post was that you are being kind of picky. If it is a formal event then it calls for formal attire…and if you don’t love your friend enough to want to rent a tux for her awesome event then you are free to decline! What’s the big deal!


Reading your update, I can understand where you are coming from. Your friend probably doesn’t know what she’s talking about, which would bug me too…


Post # 55
2637 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I don’t know if anyone has said this already, but can you just go and have him wear a suit with a black tie? I highly doubt he will be turned away at  the door. (And/or, investigate the venue, maybe online, to determine if it really does classify as “black tie, like poster #42 described. B/c, if it really will be that fancy, then perhaps it would be awkward to show up in just a suit.) BUT if they are just asking people to show up in tuxes to make their wedding look “nicer,” but haven’t spent the money on all the other things that would make it “black tie,” then I wouldn’t think twice about just wearing a suit. Just don’t tell anyone beforehand.

Post # 56
1113 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

@HelpfulMarriedGirl:  Exactly what I was thinking. 

Women’s dresses cannot be “dressed up” to be black tie. Well, some can. But cocktail dresses at a black tie event is an absolutely not.

Post # 57
1875 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I can understand being a bit annoyed with a black tie wedding if it’s not something commonly done in your social circle.  The bride and groom are obviously within their rights to have the kind of wedding they want and guests are free to decline.  However, I could easily see a situation where guests  really want to come but cannot afford the $300-$400 it would cost to buy or rent the appropriate attire.

Post # 58
1221 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I just don’t understand why people want to add obstacles for their guests, and I think that’s what this falls under. I would be annoyed, too. 

I’m thrilled to celebrate with the people I’ve invited to my wedding. If they want to wear camouflage cargo shorts and bring their babies, that’s fine – it really doesn’t affect the fact that the wedding is a ceremony for and celebration of our marriage.

Post # 59
2315 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I 100% get that it’s the couple’s day and they can do what they want and in some circles formal attire is the norm, and I do respect it. They are hosting the party after all, it’s their call and if it was a Halloween party that required costumes I’d be cool with it.

But even though I try to talk myself out of it I do get annoyed when it’s black tie (versus optional). I have the attire, so does Fiance but I can’t shake the irritation.

Post # 60
8462 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Black tie events are pretty rare in my area too, so I’d probably be a bit annoyed if it happened to us. Honestly unless it was someone really close to us I would probably decline. I just think requiring your guests to buy an outfit on top of travel costs, gifts, hotel, etc is a bit unnecessary. I can barely remember what the bride was wearing at the last wedding I went to, let alone the guests!

Post # 61
515 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Fortunately Seattle is a full of hipsters/crunchy/nature-loving people. Not very many people here are into black tie events. If Fiance and I were invited to one, we’d have to decline. No way could we afford to rent a tux and get a gift.I’d hate to have to shell out $150 for one time use on a tux. If it was black tie optional, Fiance has some nice suits that he could use.

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