(Closed) Can I mention attire on invitations?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
4352 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I think opinions on this are going to vary a lot, but I’ve read if its black tie you can write it on the invitations. If you have a website and you think most of your guests will look at it, it might be better to just put it on there.

Post # 4
3267 posts
Sugar bee

Black tie is not just a manner of dress, but also a level of service that is provided.

-fully stocked bar with premium liquor

-gloved formal dinner service

-a live band


If you are having these things then mentioning black tie on the invites would be ok.

But if you as hosts are not adhering to black tie conventions then I don’t think you should mention it.

Dressing up is always ok at a wedding. I don’t think people need to be “reminded” of this on an invitation.

Post # 5
1571 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I agree with the above poster, though I can’t link her because iPads are stupid.

Post # 6
5660 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

You should be able to put black tie optional without being rude, it lets people know that it wouldn’t be ridiculous to wear something fancy. If you don’t say something it’s likely no one will go all out. Also your invitations say a lot about the wedding you are having so if you have fancy invitations that will indicate it’s a nice formal wedding.

I have a friend getting married on the 21st who said awhile back she was hoping people would wear floor length dresses and really get into dressing up and I said I would. But then her invitations arrived and they were very modern, and had no pizazz whatsoever, so I’m not wearing one now. It doesn’t seem formal at all based on that.

Post # 7
2716 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@andielovesj:  Exactly this. 

I’m not sure on the exact etiquette for black tie optional, I think it’s ok to put on the invites, but if you’re going to include it then you should be having at least a semi-black tie/very formal event if not an actual black tie.  If you just want people to dress up or want them to know it’s ok to dress up then I would just put it on the wedding website and spread the word via word of mouth.

Post # 8
1736 posts
Bumble bee

I am having a black tie optional wedding (with all the bells and whistles…can’t wait for the live band!). The formality of your invites is supposed to indicate the formality of dress but since many people don’t really think about that…I chose to include the dress code on my enclosure card and my wedding website.

Post # 10
3267 posts
Sugar bee

@SimplyMrsC:  Unfortunately, I do not think that this is black tie.  But that doesn’t mean it won’t be amazing! 

Gloved service means the wait staff are wearing white gloves, and using formal serving protocols.

But definitely spread the word to your guests verbally and via family, that you hope people dress up.

And people who you know own tuxes, tell them cannot wait to see them in their tuxedo.


Post # 11
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

I would probably put the dress code on the FAQ part of my wedding website, but stress that people are not required to dress that way… it would just be nice if they did. I would also put the link to my website/FAQ on the invitations.

Post # 12
214 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I don’t think you need to have the wait staff wearing white gloves to be able to have it black tie. I do not see anything wrong with putting black tie optional so guest know to dress up more. Some people dress very casual at weddings and letting them know on the invitation will help them to know it is not a casual wedding.

Post # 14
186 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@Julielynn83:  Agreed.

Every wedding invitation that i have ever received has been “black tie optional” and stated so on the invitation. I guess its a regional thing?

Black tie optional tells your guest that they should dress nicer than a pair of slacks and a polo – (more specifically it suggests that men wear a dark suit and that ladies wear cocktail dresses – or fancier).

There are so many different kinds of weddings now-a-days — I think guests appreciate having a small indicator of what kind of wedding you’re having. At least I do because I enjoy dressing up to go to a big fancy party! 

Post # 15
1269 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I’ve seen plenty of weddings on youtube where people show up in jeans and tee shirts and shorts, so it’s not obvious to dress nice for a wedding. I personally don’t want these clothing items. If I’m in a big dress, please at least wear slacks or a skirt, and no budweiser tees….

Post # 16
500 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I think you could definitely put black tie optional on those invitations with what you’ve described.  I went to a similar wedding which had black tie optional on the invitations.  I did have to look up what black tie optional meant, but I was excited to dress up and it was fun putting together my outfit!

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