(Closed) someone define “black tie optional” for me

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
7173 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I take it the same as: black tie welcomed.  It means, they’d love for you to do black tie, but aren’t requiring it.  I don’t take it to be passive aggressive in the least.  I take it to be considerate for their guests who either don’t have or can’t afford to go the black tie route.

And, yes, it applies to men and women.  For women – I’d think floor length gown (vs. knee length cocktail dress).

But, if you don’t have anything and don’t want to buy anything, since it’s optional, it really is OK.  Just know a lot of women will be in floor length gowns.  Don’t sweat it! 🙂  

Post # 4
Member
4567 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

You can always find floor length dresses on sale at Macy’s or TJMaxx or Marshall’s! Or online! If you don’t feel like spending money, a cocktail dress with some rockin’ shoes is fine too! Since your Fiance is in the bridal party, I would go towards the more formal side and have fun with it, but if you don’t want to, that’s fine too. It’s definintely not passive aggressive, just a way to let their guests know what to wear so there aren’t any questions! Don’t worry and have fun!

Post # 6
Member
4385 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

i don’t think that floor length would be required. i think that a dressy cocktail dress would work just fine. i see it as meaning, please no sundresses!! but i could be wrong, i’ve never been to anything that was black tie or black tie optional…

Post # 7
Member
48 posts
Newbee

You definitely do not need to wear a floor length dress. I’ve been to many black tie weddings and usually most women wear knee length cocktail dresses. A short, dressy cocktail dress, in satin or some other dressy material would be totally fine. BCBG, nicole miller, etc are good places to find this type of dress. My guess is hardly any young women will be wearing floor length dresses to a black tie optional wedding. Good luck!

Post # 9
Member
14186 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

If she’s going to judge so much, she should have put “black tie” on it, not “optional”. I think if you wear a NICE cocktail dress (i have a few in my closet that would work and a few that definitely would not) and some nice jewelry you’re fine.

Try looking on ebay for a dress. If you take it in to get it shortened, it’s usually only about $15. I’ve had some longish dresses shortened to my knees and it never costs more than that.

I always thought black tie optional meant that long dresses were welcome, but extra dressy short ones are cool too.

I think i’d have waved my big bleeding hunk of cow meat in her face and told her to mind her own =]

Post # 10
Member
88 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

I think for black tie optional you could get away with wearing a shorter dress, though since your fi is in the wedding party and will presumably be wearing a tux you’ll want to wear the dressiest you can…if it’s a nice formal fabric(silk, etc) it will up the formality a bit which will help.  It would probably also help to dress it up with some formal accesories(ie nice jewelry, maybe consider putting your hair up, etc).

Post # 12
Member
2207 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Id truthfully go floor length.  We went to 3 black tie optional weddings this summer.  2 put “optional” because they wanted black tie, but the family felt that “Black Tie Preferred” or “black tie” was too demanding.  They were upset when people didnt show up in tuxes and floor length (and those people were in teh minority.)  The other couple put optional because they were considerate toward finances, etc.  Typically, it means the bride and groom prefer guests in black tie attire.  Id look for a sale or something.  I live here and have a ton, too bad you cant borrow something!  Im 5’6” though, you said you are kind of short.

Post # 14
Member
2207 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

hahah!  Love the FIs response and I LOVE the cheesburgers idea!  No offense to those that dont eat meat, but a meat-free wedding is torture to those of us that do!  And now I totally want a Mcdonald’s cheesburger….mmmmmm….

Well, if you run into a huge issue and cant find ANYTHING, I have a few that might work with some heels or safety pins!  Like I said, Im 5’6” and size 4.  Check BCBG and Bebe, they tend to have great sales on their stuff (like 50-70% off sales) and there are always tons of gown in there. 

Post # 15
Member
4385 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

lol!! what a cute comment from your FI!!

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