Sunday, February 13, 2011

What Not to Wear -- Wedding Edition

I’m hoping to have a fun, elegant, whimsical affair. It’s a Friday evening and since I’m getting dressed up I’d like my guests to get dressed up too.

This is good.

This? Not so much. Nothing like this. Nope. Nope. Nope.


So what’s the best way to get the word out? And how should that “word” be phrased?

At some point wedding attire guidelines (hmmm…does that sound harsh?) will be posted on the wedding website. 

I know I want formal but should I say black tie or black tie optional? What’s the difference anyway? My thought is if people aim for black tie then they should at least hit formal. Right?

I’ve heard that you put this kind of thing on the invitation. But where?  I can’t seem to find any examples. Can I put it on the RSVP card? In all honesty, I just hope it spreads via word of mouth and the website.

::crosses fingers::


  1. Oh I found a post on weddingbee that I LOVE! I plan on doing something similar on our wedding website.. let me see if I can find the link.


  2. I think it is an etiquette no-no to post it on the invite. I think a formal looking invite gets the point across, but just in case I posted about attire in the FAQs section of my wedding website. You can also make sure to include the word formal every time you mention your wedding and make sure the parents do the same.

    I think black tie means wear your tux...?

  3. @Danielle: That's pretty cool. I might consider doing that.

    @Genevieve: I knew there was something missing from my wedding website. I need a FAQ section!. Thanks for reminding me.

  4. That's a great referral Danielle! I love that idea.
    I also like the FAQ page on the website. Now I really want to add one to our site :-)

  5. The majority of invites I get actually have the attire request on the invite itself.. personally I don't see anything wrong with this, but everyone's version of etiquette is different.

    My initial reaction would be to put "Black Tie Optional".. people think black tie, and know that they should dress up, even if it's not a tux or cocktail dress but something equally as nice.

  6. Oh goodness, I've gotten 5-7 phone calls in the past week from GROWN ADULTS asking if they should wear a jacket, a tie, a tie with no jacket, a jacket with no tie, etc. to our wedding this weekend. Um, you're an adult and you know it's not a black tie wedding. FIGURE IT OUT YOURSELF!

    Obviously this is something that's been driving me insane :)

  7. @steph c: I think I'm leaning towards black tie optional.

    @Laura: You'd think grown-ups could figure this out but noooooo. I'm bracing for the inevitable phone calls and emails.

  8. The devil is in the LACK of details, as they don't say...and unless you want someone arriving in "costume" (as in, that's how hideous their sense of style is), I would make certain that attire guidelines are printed somewhere on the invites. Pippa's Tip: Don't rely on word of mouth or website browsing alone. As to the former, have you ever played that age-old game of Telephone with the average moron? And as to the latter, I am assuming your wedding site will be full of pretty graphics, photos, etc; said average morons may not read the fine print. The Defense rests.

  9. It all depends on how you want your wedding to look. If you would like a truly formal affair then you should specify black-tie on the invitation. It leaves no room for discussion and makes it easy for your guests. Modern times have seen the evolution of the tuxedo and you will not have everyone looking like a rook of emperor penguins floating in Antartica. If you want some people to be in tuxedos and some in suits then put black-tie optional on your invitation. People will all look lovely for your event as they know it is a big deal for you. It all depends on the look you trying to achieve.

    However, since I know that few are as well mannered and traveled as I, should you put no direction on the invitation you run the risk of people attending in a menagerie of outfits. Animals belong in a zoo, not a wedding.


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