What does “black tie” mean to you?

posted 1 year ago in Guests
Post # 2
1807 posts
Buzzing bee

What does “black tie” mean to me? suits and cocktail dresses, satin and sparkles like Alexis Carrington on ‘Dynasty’, something worthy of the red carpet because there’s going to be fancy French food and I need to look rich eating it!

Post # 4
1578 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

The proper definition of a black tie wedding is “dress like you are going to the Oscars” – cocktail dresses are fine, but daring. Floor-length evening gowns are the standard fare.

EDIT: Oh, I see what you mean. The black tie feel. Basically, host the Oscars XD Have the chocolate fountain, the late time in the day, the ice sculpture, the ballroom, the lighting. It’s a Hollywood affair. 

Post # 5
6061 posts
Bee Keeper

Black tie certainly does not mean cocktail dress. 

Tux or gown. Live music. Plated dinner. Passed apps. Drink service. Valet. 

Honestly most people have not been a true black tie event. They just say black tie so people dont wear jeans.

Post # 6
1737 posts
Bumble bee

Everything you mentioned in your post is what I’d expect at a black tie wedding. And I’d expect the guests in tuxes and gowns.

Post # 7
1245 posts
Bumble bee

People definitely did not read the actual message.

I don’t mind a DJ, but if I show up in an evening gown then the food should be fancy and served to the table. There should be several courses and waiters making sure my glass is full. Also decorations should be classy. This sounds stupid but I’m a hillbilly and when I walk in I would think “wow, this is gorgeous. This must have been expensive”.

Post # 9
4756 posts
Honey bee

Black tie is evening gown and tuxes. I don’t think a DJ should be excluded from a black tie event but it indicates an evening event and a very formal fancy event. Definitely plated. 

Black Tie Optional makes no sense to me because either it’s black tie or it’s not. 

Post # 10
228 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

Evening wedding, valet service, plated dinner, live band and top shelf open bar.  Tuxedos and floor length gowns.  If I see “Black tie” I see it as a reference to a level of hosting that will be provided and you dress to match that formality.  

Post # 11
162 posts
Blushing bee

In the UK, black tie would be cocktail dresses not full length gowns and a dinner jacket for gents. White tie is the step above (and I’m not sure whether it exists in the US) and means a floor length gown, shoulders covered and very possibly long gloves if you’re going the whole hog. For gents, it means white bow tie and tails. I have only ever been to one white tie event (not a wedding, the Trinity May Ball). It was fabulous!

Post # 12
65 posts
Worker bee

When I attend a black tie wedding I expect long gowns and tuxedos, passed appetizers or stations for seafood during cocktail hour, live music, evening time period, seated dinner, high end open bar and a lovely venue. I also think about huge centerpieces and heavy uplighting.

Post # 13
423 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2019 - City, State

AnonBee2019 :  cocktail attire, dress and suit. I’m having a black tie affair theme, but specify cocktail attire. In other words, no jeans or casual wear. 

Post # 14
3595 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

AnonBee2019 :  well there’s “what black tie means” (which is not open for interpretation) and there’s “what i expect when i see an invitation that says black tie” (which is often that i give it a sidde eye and highly doubt that it’s actually black tie).

a black tie event should be after 6pm, passed apps, formal plated, multi-course dinner, white glove service with waitstaff in tuxes, live band, premium open bar, letter pressed invites, and guests in tuxedos and formal gowns (if it’s black tie option, the level of formality of the EVENT doesn’t change, but it simplly opens the dress code up to a ddark suit for men or a dressy cocktail dress for women).

what i actually expect when i receive a black-tie wedding invite: a lot of overdressed guests for no reason. ime, 100% of the “black tie” weddings i’ve been invited to have not been black tie.

ETA: i’m speaking from a US perspective.

Post # 15
702 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2020

I’ve always wanted to go to a black tie affair! But alas, I’ve yet to be so lucky.

I think everyone has summed up a black tie wedding nicely. Essentially I would expect something truly elegant and regal.

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