“Black Tie” weddings

I have been invited to several black tie weddings including two that were outside. I have two this fall. I’m OK with this because I own a tuxedo (I bought it for a New Year’s Eve event we go to in some years but even there many men wear dark suits) and my adult son (now 31) has attended the weddings (and the NY Eve event) wearing a dark suit and many other people did as well. Not an issue for men. I think women need to wear fancier dresses, which may be an issue. Personally, I prefer shorts and sandals, but I haven’t been to a wedding where that was OK.

Weddings have become such a weird industry. ShawD was just asked to be the maid of honor at her HS best friend’s wedding (we are friends with the bride-to-be and her parents as we almost co-parented the two girls in HS). She got a pre-packaged gift pack with the invitation as did the other bridesmaids. The wedding websites now feature an obligatory photo of the groom on his knees proposing so you have to plan an event and hire a photographer and/or videographer for that. And on and on.

Black tie is much lower on the list of wedding silliness but there is no reason to go if you aren’t comfortable.

I haven’t been to a black tie wedding but have been to several where shorts and sandals were just fine.

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Obviously I get invited to the wrong weddings.

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Or, you don’t live on a beach :slight_smile:

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My last beach wedding–it was freezing cold and windy. We all wore trench coats to keep warm while the wedding party were dressed in traditional wedding attire and wore flip flops.
Memorable and very fun but we thought the bride would freeze!

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A black tie wedding wouldn’t affect my decision one way or the other. To be fair, though, my husband’s profession and mine require attendance at a number of gala events throughout a year so he owns a tuxedo and I have a number of long, formal gowns. The other reasons the OP mentioned would be factored into our attendance decision, however.

Our college reunions are black tie (that’s England for you). I still have my tux from college but the pants are now something of a tight squeeze. It’s definitely a social faux pas if you don’t wear a hand tied bow tie.

Our wedding was morning dress for the wedding party (Morning dress - Wikipedia), though not for the guests. I guess that’s not something Americans encounter very often.

I had a dress made for my son’s wedding. It was a silk tunic with lace and silk pants. I already wore it to one black tie affair and have another in 2 months.

My son had flown In for a Miami Beach wedding. I offered to iron his suit. It was so frayed @ the collar. Then one of his 2 HS friends showed up, all carpooling together, and his suit pants were staying up cuz of a belt. He had bought the suit at a good wills store. The parents of the groom, who became my friends cuz of our sons, many years ago, were simply ecstatic that the boys flew In From Portland, Palo alto, Boston. Truly, it is the thought that counts.

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When I saw “morning dress” my first thought was, “They wore pajamas?”

Which would be its own kind of awesome……

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I wonder if there is a way to check with someone connected to the wedding if black tie (for this particular event) really means tux and long (and/or sparkly) gown?

I was at a big, formal wedding recently - the invite said ‘black tie’ and there was one person in a tux (over 150 people there). I think bride & grown were just a young couple who really meant dress up a lot (directed to their college friends, etc.!).

So maybe a dark suit and nice dress might still be okay… (and less work)…?

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I appreciate the suggestion, but we have already made the decision that we aren’t going. Primarily because my dh is not comfortable flying right now. But, for other reasons as well.

I’m not sure who I’d ask?? We don’t know anyone other than the groom’s family. I’m not sure I could do that without being embarrassed. Perhaps that is wrong of me to feel that way. I truly feel this couple means, “black tie,” as I understand it: tuxedo/long gown.

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@Hoggirl - got it! Sounds like you made the best choice on multiple fronts. The situation I described (“black tie indicated - no one followed”) may have been an anomaly!!

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My daughter’s wedding next month is black tie “optional” (postponed from last year for obvious reasons). She really wanted to make sure that no one showed up in dress jeans :grinning: On her wedding website, she gives an explanation for the dress code. Dark suits are fine, gowns are optional.

We live in the south. A surprising number of men down here already have tuxes. College aged men often have to get them if they are in a fraternity and grown men apparently have them on hand for other reasons. Lots of comments like “Great, now I can dust off my tux!” They would never expect anyone to rent a tux unless they wanted to.

Hers is a essentially a destination wedding because it’s 2 hours from our house and probably 1/3 of the guests have to fly in from other states. Not many “no’s” from anyone whom she didn’t already anticipate (plus a few of the older folks who don’t want to travel, which she totally supports). 200 were invited, the final number will be 150 and everything is outside (we have an indoor back up for the ceremony and the reception is in a permanent all-weather tent at the venue). Looking forward to finally being able to celebrate :blush:

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I totally get that. I thought the fancy engraved invitation would be clue enough for my wedding. (Bridal party and my family wore tuxes, almost everyone else wore suits and ties which was fine.) But there was one guy who wore a polo shirt. I still feel irritated by him when I look at the photos! I know he was just clueless, but still!

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Then there was my D, who told people to wear whatever they want. Ranged from a few guys in shorts and short-sleeve button downs, to mostly suits or sports jackets, and dresses or nice pants outfits. SIL wore a tux and D wore a tea-length wedding gown. My H wore a suit but then changed into jeans an hour into the reception. Beach wedding, so it had a breezy vibe all around.

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My kids’ ceremony after the Covid elopement on the website says “casual attire” so now ds’s MIL thinks her dress is too over the top. It’s long and sparkly but a really classic cut so I guess it could be a little extra, but I think it would be fine. Makes me love my dress that much more – no bling and another classic cut, wraparound dress.

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