Post # 1
I will be having an evening wedding at a historic ballroom on the lake. I would really like guests to dress formally (suits or jackets for men, formal short or long gowns for women), rather than khakis/button down shirts and sundresses.
I feel a little weird dictating what people wear and I certainly don’t want to put anyone in a position where they feel compelled to purchase a new outfit or feel uncomfortable if they’re not wearing a tuxedo or something like that–I just would like to encourage people to wear their nicest, dressiest clothing. What is the best way to word this clearly on the invitation without seeming demanding or rude?
“Black Tie Optional” implies to me that you can be formal if you want to, but it really doesn’t matter if you’re not.
“Black Tie Invited” sounds sort of weird to me…?
“Black Tie Preferred/Recommended” seems a little hoity-toity.
“Black Tie Encouraged” and “Black Tie Welcomed” seem the most okay…
Opinions or suggestions for other ways to word this? Is there something besides “Black Tie” that I could say?
Post # 3
What about “Black Tie Optional”
ETA: saw that you don’t love this one.
If I saw “black tie optional” I’d know that at the very least I’d have to wear cocktail attire because people will come in gowns and tuxes if you say “black tie optional”.
Post # 4
There is no polite way to dictate dress code. If your venue requires it for guests to be admitted, then word of mouth is your option. It’s rude to say anything in the invite.
Post # 5
- Wedding: October 2011 - Tre Bella, Mesa, AZ
Usually the style of the invite dictates the formality of the event, so as long as your invitation is formal, it should be fine. You can be more specific (Black Tie perferred or whatever) on your website.
Post # 6
I have this issue too. A couple I know got married a few weeks ago and people were showing up in torn up jeans and stuff at a fancy ball room? We are getting married at a golf and country club and they have a dress code, so if anyone shows up in jeans they probably wont be let in and I don’t want my guest to have to go through that, but I’m not sure what to say to everyone.
Post # 7
I didn’t realize it was bad etiquette to put a dress code on the invitation! I have seen this done many times, and actually really appreciated knowing how formal I was expected to be (especially when the people getting married were acquaintances or friends of my fiance and there wasn’t an easy way to find out about dress code through word of mouth).
The invitation style will reflect the formality of the event, but I’m not sure that’s a clear enough message. I would CERTAINLY not be offended if someone showed up casually dressed, but I would be concerned that he/she felt out of place (I know I would).
It is terrible to put something in small letters on the invitation?
Post # 8
you can put it on there, on the lower right corner or the reception card. I’ve seen it done many times as well.
The strangest one I’ve ever seen was one that stated ‘Elegant Attire Requested’
Post # 9
If you don’t care if it’s actually black tie (e.g. tuxes and gowns) but just want it to be more dressy, I would go with “cocktail attire”.
Post # 10
You might have an easy way to deal with this, since the dress code comes from the country club and not from you! I would say in this case, it is definitely not rude to mention dress code–if you don’t, a guest may not be admitted, which would be very embarrassing!
You could write: Per [Venue Name] dress code, black tie attire is required. (Or whatever level attire it is.)
Post # 11
I like “Black Tie Encouraged”. From your original post, I think that would best convey what you mean.
Post # 12
I didnt know it was bad etiquette to put it on the invite either! Oops. I put Formal Attire Requested on the bottom of our invites. It was very important to us that people came dress nicely. Most women came in summer dresses and men in pants and button ups. These days I think people, epecialy younger people, dont get the hint that is implied by the formality of the invites so I didnt take any chances.
Post # 13
We have a section in our wedding website that addresses attire that we would prefer at the wedding.
Post # 14
Were getting married in a historic church.. and my family is pretty traditional.. so on our website I put semi-formal/ church attire requested and asked my guests to keep in mind that the ceremony will be taking place in a church and modesty should be taken into consideration..
Post # 15
I don’t think that letting people know of proper attire is a bad idea especially if you live in an area that is more casual. I have been at weddings in which people have showed up in jean shorts or decided to change after the wedding into “playclothes” (and these were adult guests who ended up going from ultra formal to Wal-mart ready. YUCK! I know that some people don’t know that an ultra formal invitation is recognized by the style of the invite, the location, and the time of the reception.
Post # 16
On the bottom of the invite we put in small print “Semi-Formal Attire Requested” but you can put Formal or something like that. People seemed to listen to that because I’d like to avoid the “jorts” I saw at other weddings