Etiquette

HELP! What is correct?

First off, this is my first post and can I just say that I have been reading some posts and you guys are amazing!.

Anyways, I'm getting married on spring next year and it will be a black tie, classic wedding. My problem?? I refuse.to have bridesmaids! Some people have told me that I HAVE to include bridesmaids if it is a classic wedding but that is my biggest nightmare.

What's the etiquette on that?

Re: HELP! What is correct?

  • I don't see how having BM relates to the style, formality, or theme/decor of a wedding.  Everyone has their own traditions and everyone's wedding is a little different.  I've been to many "classic black-tie weddings" that didn't involve the bride & groom showing up in a limo, the B&G doing first look photos, the B&G not having a head table, and the B&G not doing a receiving line.  None of that made it any less "classic black-tie".  KWIM?
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
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    you dont have to have BMs.






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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
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    No, you do not need bridesmaids no matter if you are having a backyard BBQ or a black tie affair.

    Since BMs are one of those things people typically see at weddings they then start to believe that they are actually a necessary aspect.  Not true.

  • You don't have to have bridesmaids.  My fiance and I aren't doing a "wedding party" either.  We're just each having our one, best friend stand up with us.  Don't let anyone make you feel guilty about it.  I always had the experience that bridal parties caused more trouble than they were worth.  If you have 6 bridesmaids, then friend #7 wonders why she was the one left off the list... or maybe you get pressured into having all of your cousins as bridesmaids... the possibilities are endless!  Just stick to your guns and do it the way you want.
  • Bridal parties are not in the slightest bit mandatory. 
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  • Simply FatedSimply Fated
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
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    edited January 2013
    In Response to HELP! What is correct?:
    First off, this is my first post and can I just say that I have been reading some posts and you guys are amazing!. Anyways, I'm getting married on spring next year and it will be a black tie, classic wedding. My problem?? I refuse.to have bridesmaids! Some people have told me that I HAVE to include bridesmaids if it is a classic wedding but that is my biggest nightmare. What's the etiquette on that?
    Posted by IsaPort
    Those people are wrong. Bridal parties are never mandatory, no matter the style or formality of your wedding.
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  • I agree with all of the above.

    I will caution you, though, (and there are a few ladies who know the actual definition of "black tie" much better than I do) black tie is VERY formal. It's an actual thing, and most brides don't really have those, they just think they are. All the specific things that a black tie affair must have are escaping me, but a band (not DJ) is one thing and a plated meal (not a buffet) is another. 

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  • In Response to Re: HELP! What is correct?:
    I agree with all of the above. I will caution you, though, (and there are a few ladies who know the actual definition of "black tie" much better than I do) black tie is VERY formal. It's an actual thing, and most brides don't really have those, they just think they are. All the specific things that a black tie affair must have are escaping me, but a band (not DJ) is one thing and a plated meal (not a buffet) is another. 
    Posted by Domino04
    Exactly. Also, top shelf open bar and generally no expense spared.
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  • Just to add to the black tie bit. OP I don't know where your from but from what I can tell people in my area (NY NE area) don't abide by traditional black tie rules. I can't tell you how surprised I was to find that I was the only girl under the age of 50 in a long dress to these events. Most other girls my age (mid 20-30s) showed up in cocktail attire. Clearly I was appalled but I just want you to be aware that even if you tell people black-tie they may not actually follow it.
  • In Response to Re:HELP! What is correct?:
    Yep, black tie means true gourmet food, gloved service, live band, full open bar of top shelf liquor and name brand champagne etc, all me in tuxedos and women in full length evening gowns. To give you an idea, most White House formal functions and fundraisers with 500 dollar tickets are black tie. Most "traditional" or "classic" weddings are NOT. Black tie is a step above formal.
    Posted by StageManager14

    You were who I was hoping would pop in and explain further, because I've seen you do this before. I think brides just think "black tie" sounds fancy, but it's a real specific THING. I mean, there are informal, formal, black tie, white tie. Maybe some in between, but those are pretty different categories.

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  • In Response to Re: HELP! What is correct?:
    Just to add to the black tie bit. OP I don't know where your from but from what I can tell people in my area (NY NE area) don't abide by traditional black tie rules. I can't tell you how surprised I was to find that I was the only girl under the age of 50 in a long dress to these events. Most other girls my age (mid 20-30s) showed up in cocktail attire. Clearly I was appalled but I just want you to be aware that even if you tell people black-tie they may not actually follow it.
    Posted by Jager1219

    That's why I kind of wanted to point it out to OP--some people may actually know what Black Tie means, and show up in a long gown and be ticked off because it's really not.

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  • For me black tie always meant tuxes for guys and long dresses for girls. If I went to a black-tie wedding and there was a DJ or not brand name champagne I wouldn't mind. What PO me was that guys didn't even pretend to follow black-tie by wearing a black suit and the girls wore short dresses when I KNEW they owned long dresses. And wore them to other non-black-tie events. What really killed me was one BT wedding where the BM were in short dresses. I mean really?!
  • I've never heard "black tie" requiring anything other than a specific dress code (tuxes and long dresses) and time of day (post 6pm).

    Where do all these other "requirements" come from?
  • In Response to Re: HELP! What is correct?:
    I've never heard "black tie" requiring anything other than a specific dress code (tuxes and long dresses) and time of day (post 6pm). Where do all these other "requirements" come from?
    Posted by STARMOON44
    I noticed that you're from NJ.  And I think what's happened in our area is that people started being more lax about the other requirements that make events black tie.  In our area, it's become acceptable for a black-tie event to not have all the other pieces (like a band over a DJ).  So our area adjusted first on those requirements.  Now, I think people in our area are adjusting their interpretation of black-tie attire.  I think that many people are starting to think if it's couture, then it's OK to wear to a black-tie event regardless of the length of the gown.  This is why I ended up at this wedding as the only guest under 50 in a floor length gown and everyone else was in short couture cocktail dresses.  I personally disagree with this interpretation of black-tie, but this has been my personal experience.
  • My wedding meets all of the definitions of a true "black tie" affair, according to the posters, but I still decided not to put it on the invitations, even though I would love if people were excited enough to go full out tux and ballgown. I left it off because I felt like, most people in our area (NY metro area) go to enough black tie events to know that it is not actually necessary to wear a tux or a ballgown to most. So I figured that most people wouldn't listen, but some would, and they might feel pushed to wear something or buy something they won't feel comfortable in.

    For example I have some uncles who will be like schit, black tie, I need to go run out and get a tux, even if they don't want to and would be uncomfortable in them. I decided that it made me feel bossy. I also know that our invitations and my gown indicate how formal the wedding is, and if people are smart, they will know how to dress appropriately and to their own comfort level, given what they know about the wedding.

    Other things can make your wedding have the level of formality you want without actually putting the mandate on the invitation. Just something to consider

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  • I got an invite once to a "black tie optional" wedding and was very confused, because to me it either is or isn't. I went with my gut and wore a knee length cocktail dress. I was right...even the BM's were in short dresses. They had a DJ, but they did have a top shelf open bar. 
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  • edited January 2013
    The wedding is a black tie affair... all above included and that is why I was asking whether I have to have bridesmaids. Plated three course dinner, open bar, live band... I am having the whole shebang but someone told me that I should always have BMs at a BT wedding
  • Honestly, this is totally optional! I've had friends decide on not having them otherwise, their entire guest list would be in the wedding because they had so many close friends, although there are risks associated with this decision. 1) If you want bridal events bach party, shower, bridal lunch etc., it puts more pressure on you to make it happen, or finding women who are willing to do it. I think bridesmaids and MOH are important for assisting in the wedding planning process, so without them, it may prove difficult. I have one BFF who got married and made the choice not to have bridesmaids, which we all told her was ok, it's her wedding so we'd be supportive no matter what. Well, with that she didn't have an organized set of people to contact for the events, and her bach party event ended up getting cancelled because of a few stupid girls who misunderstood the bride's wishes that even though she had stressed herself sick, she still wanted to do her girls events, and those 2 women took that away from her, because there was no designated Go To people. To prevent this disaster from happening to me, I'm going to tell everyone that unless they hear directly from my mouth, NOTHING GETS CANCELLED.
  • In Response to Re:HELP! What is correct?:
    The wedding is a black tie affair... all above included and that is why I was asking whether I have to have bridesmaids. Plated three course dinner, open bar, live band... I am having the whole shebang but someone told me that I should always have BMs at a BT wedding
    Posted by IsaPort
    I went to an incredibly nice black tie wedding at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills. The Bride and Groom did not have bridesmaids or groomsmen. It certainly did not take away from the formality of the event!
    "Always be kinder than you think is necessary, for you never know what personal battles people are fighting."
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