Post # 1
Can anyone explain the difference between formal attire and black tie optional? I’m finalizing my invitation wording and was planning to use “formal attire” until I received an invitation in the mail that said “black tie optional.” I didn’t even realize that was an option! I do not want to require tuxes of my guests, but I do want men in dark suits with ties and women in long or cocktail length dresses (MOB and MOG are wearing long dresses, bridesmaids are in cocktail length).
Post # 3
My understandins is that, “Black Tie Optional” means tuxes and ball gowns would be acceptable and not out of place. “Black Tie” means you would be out of place without a tux or gown. “Formal Attire” means suits and cocktail dresses/gowns.
If you want people to feel comfortable wearing tuxes or encourage them to wear them if they have them I would write “Black Tie Optional”, but if you just want to just make sure people were nice suits and formal dresses, “Formal Attire” should suffice.
Hope that helps.
Post # 4
I say you should say “black tie optional.” Formal attire means differnt things to different people… and it’s not always pretty. BTO will probably elicit a better response!
Post # 5
“Black Tie Optional” is exactly what you’re looking for. Men in suits (not khakis and a button down) and women in more formal wear.
Black Tie means men in tuxes and women in gowns. I’ve only been to 1 – Fiance had to rent a tux and I wore an old bridesmaid dress.
Formal attire doesn’t mean what it used to. I think people assume “semi-formal” nowadays when they see it. They’re wrong of course, but that’s still what happens – haha.
Post # 6
The purpose of stating what kind of attire is to put your guests at ease, knowing that they will not be out of place if they dress within the guidelines. The problem with “black tie optional” is that you really haven’t told them what to expect. If I wear a tux to a black tie optional event, I could end up being the only person there in a tux, which would be really uncomfortable. Better to say exactly what you mean.