Post # 1
I need help decoding the dress codes!! On my website, right now it states “Formal Attire”. What I mean by that is ladies can wear any length eveningwear dress and men can wear a nice dark suit.
But my girlfriend at dinner the other night asked if her husband should wear a tux. I was like, “Of course not, only the Groomsmen and fathers will be in Tuxes!” Her husband had seen ‘formal attire’ and interpreted that to mean black or white tie.
So I googled it and can’t really find any clear cut descriptions. I don’t want our invitations to say Formal if men will take that to mean Tux.
Can anyone decode Formal, Cocktail, etc.? What should I write if I want men in nice dark suits (i.e. a step up from cocktail) and women in nice dresses (any length)??
Post # 3
Tux = black tie.. seems pretty clear, no? Your description of formal is what i’d think, too.
Post # 4
I think you’re looking for semi-formal attire.
Post # 5
I think you should say semi-formal or cocktail attire.
Post # 6
@MelissaBegins, I’ve actually seen that Formal is code for Black Tie. Don’t remember the source, but one of the places I consulted, maybe Emily Post?
Post # 8
You could also go with “black tie optional.” That will encourage everyone to dress up, and men will know that tuxes aren’t required.
Post # 9
Semi-formal is usually used to indicate suits.
Post # 10
I like the sound of black tie optional, personally, more so than semi-formal. To me, semi-formal doesn’t necessarily mean suits. It could mean a shirt, pants and tie, but no jacket. I also think “formal attire” is fine; would you be bothered if some guests did wear tuxes? I doubt all the men would, but if some did and it wouldn’t bother you, you might as wlel just keep it, and if anyone has any questions about it, they can ask, as your friend did. I think if it says formal attire, people won’t necessarily think they have to go out and buy a tux if they don’t have one, whereas “black tie” would mean tux is necessary.
Post # 11
I think you are all onto something with Semi-Formal! Thank you!!
Post # 12
Oh boy, “semi-formal” takes me back to high school dances, haha!
I’m sticking with “cocktail” or “black tie invited.”
Post # 13
From my understanding “Formal” meant nice dark suits and “Black Tie” meant tuxes. Maybe stick with “Formal” and then clarify on your wedding site if you have one? “Semi-Formal” to me means slacks and coats but tie optional….
Post # 14
I think formal is fine. If you have a website you could put a clarification just about the tuxes part on there. I also think black tie optional is okay too but it might make people think more towards wearing a tux. You could also just say evening wear??