(Closed) Invite wording for Black Tie Affair & NOT inviting Children?! Confused =(

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1946 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@SunshineLovin:  “It is considered socially incorrect to write, “no children please” on the invitation or any part of the wedding ensemble. “Black tie” does not traditionally appear on the invitation. If the event takes place after six o’clock, your guests should assume that it is a formal event. If you are concerned, however, you may write “Black tie” as a right footnote on your reception card. Note: the “B” in “Black tie” is capitalized, but not the ‘t’.”


Here you go!

Before you consider putting “black tie” on anything, make sure your wedding is, in fact, black tie.  That means every man in a tuxedo and every woman in a floor length gown.  It also has to do with the actual features of your wedding.  You would have engraved invitations, more than 100 people in attendance, a live band, top-shelf liquor, a multiple-course plated dinner, white glove service, passed hors d’oeuvres, etc.

In other words, “black-tie” describes the entire event, and suggests that people dress appropriately.

Post # 4
30393 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Dress code is not normally mentioned on the invitation.

If you are not, in fact, expecting the men to wear tuxes, you can indicate Formal Reception on the reception card.

To address the child issue:
– address the invitations to the names of the people invited

-on the rsvp card indicate we have reserved ____ seats  ( and write in the number- 1 or 2)

– at the bottom left of the invitation ” Adult reception to follow”

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

You put Black Tie in the lower right hand corner of the invitation. 

You do not put NO CHILDREN anywher eon the invitation. You simply address the invitation to those who are invited. For example Mr. and Mrs. John Smith means those 2 are invited, Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Family implies their children are invited. 

Post # 6
19 posts
  • Wedding: July 2013

One way to invite adults only is to only address the invitation for the people invited, ie Mr. & Mrs. John Smith vs The Smith Family. A co-worker of mine had in her invitation “Adult Only reception to follow.” It was not offensive but it probably wasn’t formal. You might also consider being very specific with your RSVP cards, for example:


Unable to attend___

Mr. Smith’s Meal: Chicken___ Beef___

Mrs. Smith’s meal: Chicken___ Beef___

As far as appropriate attire, I also do not want anyone showing up to my wedding in something casual. I mentioned it on our wedding website, but that is as far as I’ll go. I wouldn’t write it anywhere in the invite I’m just hoping people use manners/common sense.

Post # 8
1875 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

It is acceptable to put “Black tie” on your wedding invites (it’s the only dress code that is – well maybe white tie, but I don’t know for sure).  But as one PP said, if you indicate black tie, you should be having an actual black tie event.


ETA: Just saw your update OP, and even with the DJ, it sounds like a black tie event to me. 

Post # 10
249 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

A friend of mine wrote adult reception!

Post # 11
5229 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

If you want to include the dress code info, you can because it’s black tie, which is critical information since many guests will need to rent tuxedos and purchase dresses. A lot fo people do not keep true black tie attire in their closets, so they do need to be informed. The correct way to do this is to put in a very unassuming font in one of the lower corners of the invitation the phrase “Black Tie”.

As for “no children,” follow addressing etiquette precisely. For me, that was enough. Not a single guest tried to being a child that was not listed on the envelope. If you are worried, though, you can say “Adult Reception to Follow.” 

Post # 12
1946 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@SunshineLovin:  No, the link was just the source for the quote above it.  I’m not sure about your affair being black-tie actually – it’s a pretty strict definition and I’m sure I didn’t cover everything that it means.

Post # 13
2059 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

we put “adult reception” on our reception card.

i know it’s bad etiquette to do that, but it was necessary with my crowd. it was mentioned 4 times between the reception card, the rsvp card, our save the date, and our wedding website. and some people still asked if (or assumed) they could bring their kids. i had one person write on the rsvp card, “i’m going to need 5 seats, instead of 3, so i can bring my kids.”

and as others have already said, you can mention the requested attire on the bottom of your rsvp card. that’s what we did too 🙂

Post # 14
547 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

@SunshineLovin:  I’m sorry but the type of liquor you’re drinking or number of courses you have does not indicate Black tie or not.  My wedding had all of these things and more, and was not considered Black tie. 

Be very careful about using that wording.  It means that many of your guests will have to go rent Tuxes and purchase gowns. 

My guess is that it won’t help the situation with the clueless family members.  If they wear kakhis to weddings, they just don’t get it.  Adding “Black tie” to a wedding invite probably won’t help matters.  YOu may end up with 50% of your guests in real Black tie, and the other 50% in kakhis…which will really piss off the first 50% who went and spent money on tux rentals. 

Post # 15
3 posts
  • Wedding: January 2017

@oneofthesethings:  we are also considering a black tie wedding and have in the past attended several black tie functions (not just weddings) and I have never heard of any of these rules that you listed – black tie refers to the dress code only (tuxes for men and long evening gowns for women – the only qualification we have ever seen for black tie is that it should only be worn at events starting after 6pm or sundown in winter months – and it should indeed be included on the invitation (per Emily post anyway) – I agree that the tone of the wedding should fit a black tie request (no backyard bbqs or rustic barn weddings) 🙂 but there is no specific size that it must be – I’m sure the OP would have the best idea whether or not her wedding fits the overall idea of a black tie occasion  


i do agree with some of the other posters though that if your family is more of a khakis type then maybe expecting them to rent tuxes and buy evening gowns is just asking to be disappointed – in addition if half of your guests show up appropriately attired while the other half does not you may have some upset guests when they realize they didn’t need to spend the extra money on tux rental and gonn purchases – it’s one of the things we are worried about with our wedding so just throwing it out there – whatever you decide good luck 🙂 

Post # 16
88 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

I would hate to have to make it so obvious, but sadly, I think my guest wouldn’t get it otherwise.

Any suggestions on how to write the RSVP such that it is clear to the invitees that they and not their children are invited other than asking them to make a meal selection?

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