Post # 1
Just reading some older threads on wording the black tie or black tie optional thing…
I’m a fairly well traveled person who’s been to my fair share of nice events – though I was not raised in a particularly high-class wealthy community…and I had no idea what Black tie optional meant. I knew black tie… I knew formal…and semi-formal from school dances… but if you had asked me what “black tie optional” meant, I might have interpreted it as a suggestion that tuxes were acceptable, but not that anything else in particular wasn’t. (I.E. wear whatever you want – a tux is also okay)
I know differently now because I’m researching for my own wedding, and anyway I’m somewhat of a consciencous Googler – but I know alot of people aren’t. They’re either not so computer savvy or they don’t really look things up when they have questions – they will just ask the nearest person or make a decision and go with it. Nowadays this sort of information doesn’t really come up if you aren’t seeking it out – especially for us “millenials” as Fiance says..
Has anyone had trouble with the wording of “Black tie optional” – in terms of guests not realizing this IS a formal dress code?
Post # 3
Black tie optional *to me* means a suit is acceptable. Women can also wear cocktail dresses, instead of floor length gowns.
Post # 4
Black tie optional to me means semi-formal at the very, very least.
Post # 5
To me it means that a suit or cocktail dress is acceptable but a tux/long gown is preferred.
Post # 6
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
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 # 8
I’m inclined to think most people here know what it means… but what about the guests? People who are not yet married and haven’t done wedding research… older folks that don’t use computers… men, in general… ? Does the word “optional” confuse people?
Post # 9
- 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
@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
@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
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
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 # 14
@Meowkers: Good to know I can count on LA 🙂 Our wedding will be my side from the east coast, and his side from the west coast. I know Californian’s have the reputation for being notoriously casual about things …dinner, nightclubs, etc. I was very surprised when I moved here at the prevalence of denim for all occasions and shorts at dinner (though don’t get me wrong, I love CA – been here 10 yrs now). I do think most of my friends in CA will have a clue at least… since we’ve all been hired musicians and/or cater waters at some point, haha
Post # 15
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
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…Darling Husband 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.