Talia
Super October 2020

Black Tie vs. Formal

Talia, on August 3, 2020 at 8:26 PM Posted in Wedding Attire 0 25
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On our invites we had written "formal attire". Our research was that formal attire meant suits and cocktail dresses. People are asking if people have to wear tuxedos and gowns. Were we wrong to put formal?

25 Comments

Latest activity by Kari, on August 6, 2020 at 11:28 AM
  • Jana
    Master October 2022
    Jana ·
    • Flag
    That info is better by word of mouth and usually only when the venue requires someone to dress up to be allowed entry. It's a little late now so answer their questions honestly and roll with it.
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  • mrswinteriscoming
    Rockstar December 2021
    mrswinteriscoming ·
    • Flag

    You were wrong to put 'formal' if that ISN'T what you want, but otherwise, I don't see the issue.

    Black tie means tuxedos and gowns, not formal. We put Black Tie Attire on our invites so that people come very nicely dressed. We aren't pushing for tuxedos and gowns but have included it so that the people who would ordinarily come under dressed are hopefully dressed formally Smiley tongue

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  • R
    Super September 2018
    Rachel ·
    • Flag
    Sounds like you were aiming for semi-formal or cocktail attire. Formal dress leans more toward dark suits and longer dresses / gowns. https://www.theknot.com/content/amphtml/wedding-guest-attire-cheat-sheet
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  • Jasmine
    Master August 2021
    Jasmine ·
    • Flag
    Two different meanings. Our event will be Creative Black Tie which is on our invite. It's more relaxed than the normal strict black tie event. We will have a Dress Code page on our website with photos and descriptions for anyone who is confused.
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  • A
    Super October 2021
    Ashley ·
    • Flag
    I would clarify it on your wedding website so that people will know. Attire requests should never go on the invitations, but can be suggested on the website. Formal means suits/tuxes and full length dresses which is a large ask. Cocktail attire is what you want.
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  • Melle
    Legend June 2019
    Melle ·
    • Flag
    I don’t really see an issue either if formal attire was what you intended
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  • Marcia
    Expert March 2021
    Marcia ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    Black tie means tuxes and gowns, and it is a big ask of guests. If you just want people to dress nicely, indicate that by the formality of the invitations and venue. Also, we just have to accept that some people will never get appropriate attire and move on
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  • Katie
    Expert January 2021
    Katie ·
    • Flag

    I find this confusing also as I interpret "formal" and "black tie" as very different things. I didn't list attire on my invites, however, my website does suggest formal attire. To me, this means a suit and tie for men and a long dress or fancy cocktail dress. I interpret black tie as a tuxedo and ballgown. Online it seems like a lot of people use these interchangeably - very confusing.

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  • Talia
    Super October 2020
    Talia ·
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    That's exactly how FH and I interpret formal as well. We don't have a wedding website so that is the only reason we had put the attire on the invite. Plus we know people would ask anyway. If you google black tie vs formal attire, what comes up is how me and you think of formal. That's what we went off of. Our wedding is at a really nice golf club so I didn't want people just showing up not dressed nicely.

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  • Lena
    Devoted May 2021
    Lena ·
    • Flag

    To have a black tie dress code you need to host a black tie event which a lot of people don't. We put formal attire on our wedding website. Smiley smile

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  • Sexypoodle
    Master October 2021
    Sexypoodle ·
    • Flag
    We’re listing “cocktail attire” because that’s pretty clear and cuts the confusion regarding “formal”, etc. I figured that if I want our guests to wear cocktail dresses/suit jackets then I may as well flat-out list that.
    • Reply
  • Meghan
    Master October 2019
    Meghan ·
    • Flag
    We didn’t list an attire on our invitation, but we put “cocktail attire” on our wedding website. I actually have never seen “formal” as a wedding attire classification before. Typically I see “cocktail attire” or “black tie”. As a guest, I would not take formal to mean black tie. I would take it to mean more of a cocktail attire.
    • Reply
  • Brittany
    Super October 2020
    Brittany ·
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    Jasmine, I didn't even think about putting it on the wedding website with photos and description of the attire!! That is an awesome idea and I am totally going to do it now!! LOL Thank you!!

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  • Jasmine
    Master August 2021
    Jasmine ·
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    No problem! 😁
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  • Brittany
    Super October 2020
    Brittany ·
    • Flag

    We are doing creative black tie which is not as strict as dark gowns and only tuxes. Formal is more suits and dresses. It does encompass black-tie too though! Like PP have said maybe putting it on the website to help clarify things to people may help with the confusion??

    See if this Pinterest chart might help??

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/47217496069290477/

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  • Yasmine
    Rockstar October 2020
    Yasmine ·
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    This is a great idea! I didn't think if doing this but I will now lol

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  • Katie
    VIP August 2021
    Katie ·
    • Flag
    If you want formal attire then you are not wrong for putting it. Some people just aren't sure what formal means and want to clarify it so they don't come under dressed or over dressed.
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  • Jasmine
    Master August 2021
    Jasmine ·
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    Very helpful in the hopes that not as many people, if any, will continuously bother you about what to wear lol
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  • Talia
    Super October 2020
    Talia ·
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    Yeah true. We don't have a wedding website only because everyone is local and we didn't think we needed information like that. We did our research on attire and thought that was the best fit.
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  • Yasmine
    Rockstar October 2020
    Yasmine ·
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    Yes thats such a good idea, thank you!

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