(Closed) Question: how do you tell guests the event is FORMAL, but not offend anyone ???

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
755 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I put it on my wedding website, and I’m putting it on the invitations something like “formal attire requested” or something like that.

Post # 4
3866 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

if you put the word “requested”, they might think it isn’t required! 

You could use the words “black tie” and that would get the message across. 

to be honest, you can dress up BLACK jeans really nicely (provided they aren’t faded or have holes in them) with a dress shirt or fancy blouse. 

Wish I had more suggestions, but I’ve never been once for “formal” and we’re actually requesting people NOT come in formal clothes and to come in costume….

good luck!  hope I helped a little!

Post # 5
52 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Formal Attire – Black Tie Welcome

Post # 8
264 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Simple put:  Formal Attire Required.

Post # 9
3564 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I would put it directly on the invitations: Black Tie, Formal Attire, etc. But be prepared for people to ignore it (I went to a black tie weddin over the summer and there were men there in linen shirts and casual pants).

Post # 10
1267 posts
Bumble bee

I think ‘black tie or formal attire required’ is best.  If you want to word it cutely like you’ve been posting here  how about:

Get out those suits and gowns and join us for a grand evening of  magnificent desserts, signature cocktails and splendid live music to dance to under the stars.

Post # 12
1124 posts
Bumble bee

I think your best bet is to be very direct. Formal Attire Required. If your guests are able to afford it, put Black Tie. Some guests may think “their best” is jeans.

I’m having a similar problem. Our wedding won’t be Black Tie and not casual. If I put Semi-Formal (jackets and long dresses) some people may assume I mean “wear jeans and a collared shirt!”.

Post # 13
1966 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@luckyprincess: i love the “get out your suits & gowns…”


I think im just putting “A Black Tie Affair” on ours.. or something to that effect

Post # 14
14494 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I usually don’t say this, but you might just put it on the invitation.  SuchandSuch Attire Requested

Black tie – A Black Tie invitation calls for formal attire. Men wear tuxedos, women wear cocktail, long dresses or dressy evening separates

Formal – Formal usually means the same as Black Tie, but in some trendier cities like New York or Los Angeles, it could mean a black shirt, no tie with a tux. Women wear cocktail, long dresses or dressy evening separates

Black Tie Optional – A Black Tie Optional or Black Tie Invited gives you the option of wearing a tuxedo or fromal dress, but it should clue you into the formality of the event, meaning a dark suit and tie would be your other option. Women wear cocktail, long dresses or dressy evening separates

Cocktail – Cocktail Attire means short, elegant dresses for her and dark suits for him.


Post # 16
1371 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I agree with putting it directly on the invitations.  Most people appreciate knowing what to wear, and you’ll probably STILL get some guests asking (we had tons ask us for our wedding).  I went to a wedding where they put “black tie optional” on the invitations and found it the easiest to decide what type of dress to wear.

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