(Closed) How do I let people know?

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1218 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Put either Black Tie or Black Tie Optional. I think that is pretty standard. We put Black Tie Optional on our invites and everyone showed up dressed appropriately.

Post # 4
3138 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2010 - Savannah, GA

I don’t see any reason why you can’t put “black tie optional.”  After all, they put a dress code on the royal invitations…if it’s good enough for the royals, I say it’s good enough to you too! 

Just be aware that there will be some people who will still come dressed casually. We put a dress code on our invitations, and we had some people show up in jean shorts!!!  

Post # 5
9168 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

How formal are you talking? If you want most people to show up in tuxes, put Black Tie or Black Tie Requested or Black Tie Optional.  If you want them to come in suits, I’d say Formal Attire Requested although I know this isn’t “typical” dress code invitation etiquette.  I would stay away from Black Tie language if the event doesn’t call for tuxedos.

Post # 6
1875 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Unless it’s black or white tie, dress code doesn’t go on the invites.  I’m not even sure black-tie optional goes on.  I’d put something on a website it you have it or just spread the info by word of mouth.

ETA: Don’t put black tie unless you are actually going to have a black tie event.  I’d be pissed if we rented Fiance a tux and I bought a new gown and it wasn’t a black tie event.

Post # 7
6458 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

If you write optional, doesn’t it make it optional?

Post # 8
4913 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Black Tie Optional means you can wear tuxes and long gowns or you can wear suits and cocktail dresses, but nothing less fancier than that, from what I understand. 

I’ve never seen an invite WITHOUT a dress code on it! 

Post # 9
2200 posts
Buzzing bee

@futuremrsk18:  My invite does not have a dress code. Never knew you had to tell folks how to dress.

Post # 10
8373 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

There are several bees whose social circles result in their regularly being invited to numerous black tie events, and they have much more experience with this than I do.  They likely will weigh in to say that unless a wedding meets certain, very strict definitions of a true, black tie affair (and there is a list that they will provide to explain this), then you should not make reference to black tie on the invitation, and you should not make any reference at all regarding a dress code.

However, the etiquette books and the two etiquette experts with whom I personally met when planning my own wedding indicated that “Black Tie Optional” should be used for formal events where black tie attire is preferred but is not required. (These same sources said that the phrase “Black Tie Invited” indicates that black tie is required.) We included the phrase Black Tie Optional on our reception cards.

Post # 11
3389 posts
Sugar bee

Doesn’t the word “optional” mean “you don’t have to if you don’t want to”?

So wouldn’t the wording… Black Tie Optional mean, you don’t have to dress up? That’s what it means to me. The guy doesn’t have to wear a suit and tie, so can come in jeans and shirt and the girl can wear slacks…

Post # 12
1258 posts
Bumble bee

I’ve been to southern weddings that put “Black Tie Optional” on the invitation. Black Tie is pretty rare. I’ve also seen “Formal Recption to Follow,” which lets people know level of formality without indicating a dress code.

But you’ll still get people dress however they please. It’s probably going to be most effective to spread the word though family and friends. 


Post # 13
5229 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

@happyface:  No, that’s not what it means. Black tie optional means the tux is optional, but not the formal attire. It’s its own dresscode. It’s not like saying semi-formal optional.

OP, I’d put “Black Tie Optional” on the bottom corner of your invitation in a plain, unassuming font.

Post # 14
1953 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I would put Black Tie, adding optional gives too much leeway for people to focus on the optional part. All the venues we are looking at for our Reception have strict dress codes, so to make sure no one shows up in jeans we are going with Formal on our invites, and getting out by word of mouth the strict dress code at the venue.

ETA: I realize black tie optional means people should dress more towards semi-formal to formal, that being said too many people these days don’t know proper ettiquette or wording, I think your safest bet is not to put the word optional anywhere in there. If you want full out black tie put that, if you just don’t want jeans state semi-formal, it will prevent any confusion to your guests.

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