(Closed) How to stress to guests the black-tie attire requirement?

posted 5 years ago in African-American
Post # 2
10395 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

 You put  “black tie” on the invitation to indicate formality.  Designations such  “black tie preferred” or “black tie optional” are never necessary or even traditionally considered correct since a dark suit, white shirt is  an acceptable stand-in, anyway.  So you may come a closer to getting  your wish by the use of the traditional form rather than the more liberal  “black tie optional” language. 

However, it’s also wrong to put yourself in the position of being “etiquette police”   on the day or by heavy handed instructions to people on the website.  Your guests are adults and you just have to trust them to be able to dress themselves.  You should welcome your guests warmly no matter what they wear. 

Post # 3
354 posts
Helper bee

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Post # 4
354 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

NICE Barely_Blush!


Black Tie Optional isn’t a thing. Black Tie is a thing, but it sounds like your wedding isn’t black tie. Therefore you let the venue and invitations and timing indicate the formality. You do not mention a dress code. If someone asks what to wear, you can suggest a cocktail dress or suit. Adults can dress themselves and if their Sunday church clothes are the nicest thing they own, then you should feel honored they wore their best outfit for you.

Post # 5
3688 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Black tie isn’t just having the guys show up in tuxes, it’s a whole style of doing things.

  • ceremony starts at 6pm or later
  • top-shelf open bar
  • plated multicourse dinner, white glove service
  • live band
  • valet parking
  • etc, etc, etc

If you’re having a black tie wedding, you can list “black tie” on the invitation, but depending on your social circle, be prepared for a lot of the guests to not know what that means and show up without a tux/long, formal ballgown. Your wedding day will go so fast that you really won’t notice what people are wearing unless someone shows up in something totally ridiculous.

Post # 6
8730 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

MrsHistory-Bee:  everyone has given you great advice so far but I just have to ask……..how many people are you concerned about? Becuase you say family and friends and then go onto say that you don’t want to discourage guests that may not be able to afford it but you don’t want them showing up in the best attire that they own. 

I may be wrong but I kind of get the feeling from your post that you care more about your theme (black tie) than you do about the comfort and finances of your friends and family. If you are so concerned that guests won’t get black tie that you need to find ways to communicate it to them and are afraid of discouraging them, then maybe you have chosen the wrong kind of wedding theme for your audience. If I was concerned that my enforced dress requirements were going to discourage guests including family to come to my wedding then I would either scrap the idea or just let them wear whatever they were comfortable with. Guests attending tops dress requirements in my world. 

Post # 7
7385 posts
Busy Beekeeper

j_jaye:  I was concerned that my enforced dress requirements were going to discourage guests including family to come to my wedding then I would either scrap the idea or just let them wear whatever they were comfortable with. Guests attending tops dress requirements in my world.


Word! I always shake my head in amazement at people who pick themes that aren’t the “norm” within their social or family circles. You end up stressed out and stressing your guests — in the end for what? A look…Not worth it my humble opinion. 

Post # 11
1229 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I can totally understand you wanting your guests to dress up, but not requiring it.  I think “Black Tie Optional” is going to cause some stress to certain guests.  If you want people to dress fancy, send out super fancy invitations and host it at a very fancy venue.  Those with formal clothes can take the hint, and other people can just wear their best because you haven’t specified a dress code.       

Post # 12
378 posts
Helper bee

Correct me if I’m wrong, but your wedding is not actually a Black Tie event, but you want your guests to wear Black Tie attire?    


I don’t think anyone will wear ‘club attire’ to your wedding! I’ve been to many weddings, and no one ever showed up wearing club attire. And I think “church best” sounds really nice. Ya know? I agree with the PP who mentioned keeping your wedding theme within the social norms of your family and friends. You want everybody to have fun and be comfortable, and you don’t want to come across as inauthentic.

Post # 13
9548 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

If you’re having a black tie wedding then I think it is fine to put “Black tie” on the invitation. But I would also just get used to the fact that there will probably be people there wearing things you don’t like. It’s really not worth stressing about. If you have “Black tie” on the invite then it’s on them if they show up in an orange suit or a mini-skirt. All you can do is provide guidelines and answer questions. Your guests need to dress themselves.

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