ISaidHallYes
VIP November 2018

Black Tie Wedding

ISaidHallYes, on February 27, 2018 at 2:06 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 1 60
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Does anyone know what "exactly" defines an event as black tie wedding other than the dress code? I always assumed it was just a tuxedo dress code until I started looking at some past posts where people mentioned there are requirements. I believe I am having a very formal wedding that could be considered black tie if I choose to request the dress requirement. But I really couldn't find an article or solid information on what the host has to provide to it to work!


I know the one requirement was the invites being black and white with no florals... The ones I designed now have some roses on them so I guess I am out on that one! Also, I personally won't make it a black tie affair even if it did fit because that would be hard on guests and I do not want them to spend money renting a tuxedo.


Anyone have legitimate info?


60 Comments

Latest activity by MrMonkey, on May 13, 2018 at 2:25 PM
  • Sarah
    Master June 2016
    Sarah ·
    • Flag
    I’m not sure of all the requirements but here are the ones I do know:
    -Top shelf open bar
    -Live band
    -Plated multi-course meal
    -White glove service
    • Reply
  • MOB So Cal
    January 2019
    MOB So Cal ·
    • Flag

    Adding to Sarah: valet parking, long very formal gowns for women, tux for men, etc. The social expectation for a "black tie" event is that everything is at the highest, most formal level.

    • Reply
  • Lauren
    Beginner September 2018
    Lauren ·
    • Flag

    I wouldn't worry about the roses on the invites, but do they convey black tie otherwise? Are they letterpress? Also, your wedding shouldn't start before 5PM.

    If you end up doing black tie make sure the groom and groomsmen are in tuxes. We went to a black tie optional wedding (not a thing) where my FH was the only one wearing a tux besides the grooms father. Yikes. He still talks about that to this day.

    • Reply
  • Mrs. Sponge
    Master April 2018
    Mrs. Sponge ·
    • Flag

    I didn't know that about invitations. Here are some of the requirements I do know of:

    Must begin after 6 pm

    Top Shelf Open Bar

    Live Band (I think it has to be at least 10 pieces)

    White Glove Service, Table Side Ordering with Multi-course Meal

    Valet Parking

    Upscale Venue

    • Reply
  • Daria
    VIP January 2019
    Daria ·
    • Flag

    ^ all of this, plus a Saturday evening event, not to start before 6pm. Hand-passed h'or deourves (which I know I can't even spell), 5 star venue, elaborate flowers and decor.

    Basically you are going all out with the hosting. It's VERY expensive to host this kind of event.

    • Reply
  • muriel
    Champion June 2018
    muriel ·
    • Flag

    Appropriate invitations

    evening event starting no earlier than 6 pm

    coat check

    Live band

    upscale decor, flowers, lighting

    whiite glove service with passed hors d'oevres

    valet parking

    top shelf liquor with open bar throughout the event

    premium food (preferably tableside ordering)


    • Reply
  • C
    Master July 2018
    Cuoghi ·
    • Flag
    Time of day also matters. Shouldn't start before 6. You could do black tie optional if you don't want people to have to rent tuxes. But this still requires some what of the formality as above mentioned posters.
    I would say black tie implies a black tie locale, like not a barn.
    • Reply
  • ISaidHallYes
    VIP November 2018
    ISaidHallYes ·
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    Thanks! Yes everyone in the wedding party will be wearing tuxedos as well as the parents. We know a few other guests have already enquired if it is ok to wear one.

    Here are the invites. It doesn't have the final details this was just a mocked up proof of what I am looking to get. Then I photo shopped it into the gold laser cut pocket folders to get an idea. Does this give off a formal vibe?

    Idea of what I want for invites!Black Tie Wedding 1


    • Reply
  • ISaidHallYes
    VIP November 2018
    ISaidHallYes ·
    • Flag

    Thanks guys! I am not going to have a black tie request. Even if I did meet all the requirements! I know some of my guest list wouldn't be able to swing it and I would rather have them there.


    I do have:

    +Open Bar (5 hours)

    +White Glove service

    +Seated formal multi course dinner

    +Live music for ceremony/cocktail/dinner (grand piano and violin)

    +Hosted after party with a EDM dj /open bar / Chef stations etc.

    +Valet Parking

    +Coat Check

    +Upscale Ballroom


    What I don't have:

    +Black and White invites

    +Band during dancing (we preferred a DJ due to variety of music)


    Is it appropriate to list somewhere about formal attire on the website? Is that appropriate? It is a very fancy venue and not sure how to give that heads up or if my invitation would be enough. I know not everyone would be familiar with the venue or take the time to look it up.

    • Reply
  • Happy Hedgie
    VIP September 2018
    Happy Hedgie ·
    • Flag

    From what I've read it requires a very high level of hosting including but, not limited to the following:

    Formal Invites printed on heavy cardstock sent in hand calligraphed envelopes

    Complimentary Valet Service

    Does not start before 6 p.m.

    Upscale Venue

    Premium Top Shelf Open Bar (available from the time guests arrive until the end of the event)

    Champagne toast (and available throughout the event)

    Multicourse sitdown meal (preferably with table side ordering)

    White Glove Service

    A selection of hot and cold butler passed hors d'ouvres during cocktail hour

    Live band

    Upscale decor including real flower centerpieces

    Coat check

    Bathroom Attendants

    Wedding Favors (must be high-end without the couples date or name on it)

    Wedding Party must be in tuxedo with tails (men) and long formal gowns (women)


    • Reply
  • Lauren
    Beginner September 2018
    Lauren ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I think it looks formal! Not black tie, though.

    Personally, I think it's fine to add formal attire to the website, though folks might disagree. I like knowing how to dress instead of having to bother the bride/gross with questions! Helps me plan my outfit beforehand.

    • Reply
  • Mrsbdg
    Champion August 2017
    Mrsbdg ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    I put the dress code under details
    • Reply
  • ISaidHallYes
    VIP November 2018
    ISaidHallYes ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    Thanks! Yeah I don't need it to be straight up black tie but definitely going for very formal. I just am not a fan of plainer invitations. Is that bad? lol

    • Reply
  • Powers2
    Master April 2018
    Powers2 ·
    • Flag

    OP your invitations are formal enough to convey that it will be an upscale party and that your guests should wear formal wear.

    I am not sure if I'd classify the invites themselves as black tie appropriate. A black tie invitation is typically white/ ivory/ ecru heavy card stock with dark engraved/ raised font and are more on the simple/ elegant side.


    • Reply
  • MelisM
    Expert January 2019
    MelisM ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    I have everything on this list minus the band (doing a DJ plus 3 live singers, sax player, and piano player) and the wedding favors (edible - donuts). Our GM and parents will all be wearing tuxes. I have been contacted by a few guests and they have also asked to wear tuxes as well.

    We were thinking about putting black tie optional but now I'm second guessing it due to this post.

    ISaidHallYes - I think your invitations have a formal vibe to them, but not black tie. My invites are very plain. They are black and white with a gold trim.

    • Reply
  • ISaidHallYes
    VIP November 2018
    ISaidHallYes ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    I have about 90 percent of these!! I am not doing the whole black tie thing even if I did have every single detail. Too much of an expense for some guests who wouldn't already have that attire.


    Just curious if you know where you can find any of this information? I have been googling but everything keeps coming up about attire.

    • Reply
  • Daria
    VIP January 2019
    Daria ·
    • Flag

    Don't put Black Tie Optional. That's not a thing. Based those invites, and that I would know about the valet, dinner, venue, etc. I feel like I would know that I should dress up.

    • Reply
  • ISaidHallYes
    VIP November 2018
    ISaidHallYes ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Same! I thought black tie optional would be nice to let those who want to wear them know it was ok. But I have been reading some very negative posts about it.


    My two are Dj - violin and piano and then an after hours electronic dj that will be live mixing music. We are huge edm fans and wanted to throw a crazy after party with lasers, music, more drinks, food, glow wands, tons of glowing props etc!


    Flowers- I did not want real flowers so we opted for big gold manzanita trees with hanging candles and crystals. I feel like that is still very formal though.


    Thanks- I will probably mess with them more and see how I can make them look a bit more formal before we actually get them.


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  • ISaidHallYes
    VIP November 2018
    ISaidHallYes ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    BTW I saw you post your venue in the other post. It is gorgeous!

    Do you guys think having a picture of the hotel lobby on the information page on our website would help convey it is formal too?

    lobbyBlack Tie Wedding 2


    • Reply
  • Xandria
    VIP December 2018
    Xandria ·
    • Flag

    Please don't do black tie optional, it gets confusing. Do black tie, or do formal. If you're not to concerned about people actually dressing black tie then don't put it, even if everything else about your event matches.

    Personally, if I were having the sort of event you're describing, I would put black tie, and then not turn people away for not dressing to the nines. I've seen A LOT of black tie events where people have no idea how to dress, and still show up looking formal.

    (I've also seen people show up to Black Tie events in jeans and t-shirts, and peasant skirts, and with hiking backpacks instead of purses. I've seen it all, but I live in a very casual city. Seattle does not black tie well...)

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