(Closed) Has anyone ever interpreted “Black Tie Optional”, as just Optional formality?

posted 10 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
700 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Black tie optional *to me* means a suit is acceptable.  Women can also wear cocktail dresses, instead of floor length gowns.

Post # 4
Member
9968 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Black tie optional to me means semi-formal at the very, very least. 

Post # 5
Member
3358 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

To me it means that a suit or cocktail dress is acceptable but a tux/long gown is preferred. 

Post # 6
Member
380 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I think it means a dark suit & tie OR a tux for men, and a cocktail dress or long dress for women. I think it’s the best “dress code” because you don’t HAVE TO be in a tux and long dress if you don’t want to, but it is still formal.

Post # 7
Member
1367 posts
Bumble bee

Ladies, I actually asked my wedding planner this same question a while back, and this is what she said:

Black tie optional can be tricky! You have to understand that you might have guests show up in tuxedos and others in just slacks with shirt & tie. If you really want everyone to be more formal I would say just go black tie. If you want something formal but not too much you can always go casual black tie. Casual black tie gives your guests the option of full tux, suit, cocktail dress or full length.

Post # 9
Member
2639 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

What Meowkers said: To me it means that a suit or cocktail dress is acceptable but a tux/long gown is preferred. 

 

Post # 10
Member
1549 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@SoCalBelle:  I just asked my Fiance who is not up on wedding things. He said that he would interp. it to mean that he should wear a suit, but that he could wear a tux. As for ladies, he says “you have to wear fancy dresses and heels.”

Post # 11
Member
3358 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

@SoCalBelle:  Our invitation said black tie invited.  No one came inappropriately dressed.  For the ladies we had about 70% in long gowns and the rest in cocktail dresses and for men it was about 30% tuxes and the rest in dark suits and ties.  I think most people do know what it means or they research it or ask around.  

Post # 12
Member
1335 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

One wedding I went to a few years back was black tie optional.  My then boyfriend and I showed up in black tie attire, while there were other guests who were dressed downright casual.  The groom was dressed in white tie.  The only person I knew there was my boyfriend, but even I was disappointed in the other guests that didn’t heed the encouragement of wearing nicer clothes.

Post # 13
Member
4005 posts
Honey bee

@Meowkers: Agreed.

I’ve been to several weddings where the invitation said “Black Tie Optional” and no one came dressed inappropriately. I’ve never seen a guy show up in khakis, shirt and tie to a black tie optional wedding.

Post # 15
Member
1472 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I also agree with @Meowkers, that’s typically what I’ve seen at black tie optional weddings. I probably would not wear a floor length gown/DH would not rent a tux unless is was strictly black tie–“optional” to us means a dark suit and a cocktail dress.

Post # 16
Member
798 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I think that the people who care about dressing appropriately for events will do research/ask around if they don’t understand the terminology used.  The people who don’t, regardless of whether there’s lots of information available, will not avail themselves of it and will wear what they want.

I had people wear outfits from tuxes to a full denim/khaki suit (which was pretty inappropriate).  We had a cocktail party during the holiday season.  We put a note about attire on our website and lots of people asked what they should wear.  My side and our friends got it.  His side…not so much.  That honestly wasn’t surprising (to me, anyway…DH was kind of confused).  His side (as a group…I’m generalizing) just doesn’t care about clothes at all.  To them, it’s not important.  I had never seen someone come inappropriately dressed to a wedding until I started attending family weddings on my DH’s side.  It is very weird to me.

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