Black Tie Wedding Etiquette Questions and Tips

black tie wedding etiquette

Questions and Tips About Black Tie Wedding Etiquette

Receiving a wedding invitation to a black tie wedding can be a bit intimidating and confusing. Standard black tie wedding etiquette will state “Black Tie” with no “optional” added. black tie wedding etiquette questionsThis means that it is strictly black tie for the men, with no suits or sport coats. Women may wear formal dress in anything from a long dress to a cocktail dress. Casual dress is frowned upon at this type of wedding, since it is a very dressy affair.

Can You Wear A Suit To A Black Tie Wedding?

Standards dictate that a tuxedo with black tie should be worn to a black tie wedding. Sometimes rules are meant to be broken and in that case contact a member of the bridal party or family to see what they expect. After all, these are the wishes of the bride and groom for their wedding.

What Dress Style Is Appropriate for A Black Tie Wedding?

There are many choices of dresses for ladies to wear that fit into black tie wedding etiquette. Keep in mind, that even though there are several different styles that can be worn, they must be formal. Long gowns, knee length gowns and cocktail dresses are all great choices for a black tie wedding attire for women.

 Adrianna Papell Women’s 3/4 Sleeve Gown with Lace Bodice and Jersey Draped Skirt, Ink, 12 Adrianna Papell Women’s Short Sleeve Diamond Pattern Beaded Overlay Gown with Scoop Neck, Navy/Silver, 8 Alex Evenings Women’s Plus Size Mock Dress with Sequin-Lace Bodice, Deep Plum, 20W MACloth Women Cap Sleeve Mother of the Bride Dress Lace Short Formal Party Gown (14, Wisteria)

Suppose The Wedding Invitation Does Say “Black Tie Optional”?

If you follow the rules of black tie wedding etiquette and the invitation does state “black tie optional”, these are all acceptable:

  • Tuxedo with black tie
  • Black suit with a dark tie
  • Tuxedo with dark tie
  • Black suit with bow tie

Black Tie Wedding Do’s

  • Ladies choose dark colors, black, navy blue and dark greys are best.

  • Men buff up those leather shoes and make sure they are comfortable.

  • Ladies wear a shoe that is dressy and ready for dancing

  • Photos will be taken, so freshen up with hair cuts, nails etc;

  • Dress conservatively to not outshine the bride and groom.

  • Plan your attire ahead to avoid last minute changes.

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About Mary 51 Articles
Hi, I am Mary and I enjoy reviewing the best gifts for all of your wedding favorite traditions., I keep quite busy blogging and spending time with family and friends. In my spare time I enjoy gardening, cooking, puzzles and music.


  1. Some very interesting advice. I didn’t know all of these. Usually, we don’t have themes for weddings here. Well, not unless you are super rich. But good to know something about different cultures.

  2. I dont attend many of the formal occasion and glad to learn about some information do and donts for Black tie wedding. At least now I know what color of dresses I should choose – dark color and yes, I have few of them in dark color.

  3. Dress conservatively to not outshine the bride and groom- I guess this really has to be put out there. 🙂 It’s one way of showing respect to the hosts.

  4. I have never been to a black tie wedding before, so I didn’t know any of these etiquette rules. Thank you for the tips, especially for the acceptable dress colors.

  5. This post is so helpful! I was always confused by the wording on wedding invitations, these really helps clear my confusion up!

  6. I didn’t know a lot of this. It makes me glad that we had a small wedding. My husband rarely wears suits since he’s in the military. He shows up to formal events in uniform!

  7. Great post, very informative, wedding etiquette are really important to learn otherwise one may look different from all others and thus sometimes end up takig all the attention.

  8. I am always wondering what the difference is! Thanks for the great tips– I loved those dresses you suggested. It’s so hard to find something elegant yet cute. Bookmarked 😉

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