(Closed) black tie optional vs formal

posted 8 years ago in Dress
Post # 3
459 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I would honestly read those as essentially the same thing.  Seems like nice cocktail dresses or LBD for the ladies and a nice suit for the guys.

Post # 4
3564 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

We’re having a black tie optional wedding and what I am telling people is if they guys have tuxes, they should wear them–they will not be out of place, as all the groomsmen and the dads will be in tuxes. If they don’t have them and want to rent them, great! If they don’t have them and don’t want to rent them, then wear a black suit. For ladies, it’s honestly their preference–either a long gown or a very dressy cocktail length dress.

I wouldn’t necessarily know what “formal attire means” but I would assume dark suits for men and cocktail dresses for women, just as @SouthernTulip said

Post # 5
708 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

We put formal attire on our invites. What I meant by it is: Fancy cocktail dresses/ dark suits. I honestly put it on there only because I was nervous about some of Fiance family. Wanted to ensure that no one showed up in jeans. We shall see…

I think black tie optional means you can wear a tux or ball gown if you like, other wise wear a fancy cocktail dress or dark suit.

Post # 6
916 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Black tie required = men in tuxes, women in long dresses

Black tie optional = men may wear tuxes, women may wear long dresses, otherwise wear suits/cocktail dresses

Formal = men in suits, women in cocktail dresses

Post # 7
2237 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I would interpret them to mean the same thing.

Post # 8
1184 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

black tie optional means that men outside of the wedding party should feel free to wear a tux, for formal attire they should just wear a suit unless they are part of the wedding party. for women it doesn’t really make much difference, although technically a long dress would be more appropriate for black tie optional than formal (but acceptable at both).

Post # 9
13096 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I’d say for “formal” no guests should be wearing a tux but for “black tie optional” they should feel free to do so.  As a woman though, they pretty much mean the same thing although I’d probably wear a bit fancier of a dress to “black tie optional” and just “formal”.

Post # 10
4 posts
  • Wedding: November 2010

I think they pretty much mean the same thing. I put ‘formal attire’ on my invitation. my Future Mother-In-Law and mother wanted ‘black tie optional’, but i’m not really a black tie kind of person (too stuffy) – i felt that formal tells people to dress to impress but doesnt necessarly mean at tux.

Post # 11
875 posts
Busy bee

I think that they basically have about the same meaning.  I would take it to mean a fancy formal dress occasion…. suits or tuxes are appropriate at both.  (With the wording of “formal”  some people may take it to be tuxes required…)  I think the word optional… gives you the option of wearing things within your closet… the famous little black cocktail dress and suit!

Post # 12
1001 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I would love to go to a black tie wedding.  I’ve only ever gotten to wear a gown as a bride or bridesmaid.

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