Wedding Invitations & Paper
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The guests dress attire.

How do I let my guests know that my wedding is semi formal?

Re: The guests dress attire.

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    What @doeydo said.  No mention of dress code should go on the invitations.  That implies your guests are stupid and don't know how to dress appropriately.
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    Use heavyweight white or ecru invitations with raised printing.  That is the most formal kind of invitation.  See Crane's.  If those are too expensive, look at Invitations by Dawn.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
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    What PPs said. If your event is more on the formal side, do not send out invitations with whimsical designs or colors. Use formal wording and make sure you are using proper names and titles when you address them. Do not mention dress code on the invitations - that is reserved for if your wedding is truly black tie.
    ~*~*~*~*~

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    Ditto PPs. I wanted to add that I loathe that dress code based on my experience with it. I've attended semiformal events where the women dressed up in short cocktail attire and others where the women were in summer floral dresses.

    The most recent wedding I attended requested semiformal attire but the reception venue was more semi casual. I would have preferred no attire note at all (what they should have done anyway) and then I wouldn't have felt duped.
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    I agree with Banana. I feel like people who put "semi-formal" on things are just looking for a way to say, "We prefer you dress in nice clothes as opposed to jeans and t-shirts" but aren't really having a "formal" event by definition. 


    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    We are afraid that our guest will think that it's okay to wear jeans because even though it's an outdoor evening wedding, the venue has the word ranch in it's name even though it isn't a ranch at all. We want all out guest dressed up and not in jeans or shorts, but ties are optional.
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    We are afraid that our guest will think that it's okay to wear jeans because even though it's an outdoor evening wedding, the venue has the word ranch in it's name even though it isn't a ranch at all. We want all out guest dressed up and not in jeans or shorts, but ties are optional.
    First, please change your font color and the italics. 

    Second, people who are going to wear jeans are going to wear them no matter what. Even if you put something on your invitations about it being "semi-formal", people who wear jeans to weddings are going to ignore that. 

    If I receive an invitation, I look up the venue online, and from there I can tell what level of fancy it is. 

    If someone does wear jeans, I promise you, it will not affect you or your wedding at all. Just move on. 


    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
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    We are afraid that our guest will think that it's okay to wear jeans because even though it's an outdoor evening wedding, the venue has the word ranch in it's name even though it isn't a ranch at all. We want all out guest dressed up and not in jeans or shorts, but ties are optional.
    Doesn't matter.  My DH and I would NEVER wear jeans or shorts to a wedding, no matter how casual it looked or sounded to be.  We would definitely look up the venue online to get a feel for the atmosphere if we didn't know already. 

    Quite frankly, if someone was going to wear jeans or shorts to a wedding, they will do it whether or not you specify a dress code.  Don't insult the others who know how to dress appropriately.


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    We are afraid that our guest will think that it's okay to wear jeans because even though it's an outdoor evening wedding, the venue has the word ranch in it's name even though it isn't a ranch at all. We want all out guest dressed up and not in jeans or shorts, but ties are optional.
    You can want til the cows come home, but you still can't tell people what to wear or what not to wear.



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    One of our guests wore jeans.  H and I are still married and had a fucking blast at our wedding.  Your guests attire will not ruin your wedding.  So stop worrying about something that you cannot control. It is a waste of your time.

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    Can I ask an honest question? As a bride is walking down the aisle, are they really paying attention to what their guests are wearing? Or at the reception? To me as our guest, if you're there, we wanted you there, you made the effort to be there and I don't care if you're wearing a potato sack.

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    My uncle and cousin wore jeans. I couldn't have cared less. I was just glad they were there!
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    I had an evening wedding that happened to be at an aquarium.  I could see that being a venue where someone might think it acceptable to wear jeans, even for a wedding.  Did anyone wear jeans?  I have no friggin clue!  I was too busy focusing on getting married and having an awesome night!
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    My uncle came in jeans to my first marriage 10 years ago. The only one who cared was his mother (my great-aunt).  I didn't even notice it.  This time we told him (and anyone else who asked) that they could wear nice jeans this time as it's an afternoon ceremony outside in the pasture near the pond. :)
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    Unless your wedding is true black tie, (and if it's at a ranch, it's not), you shouldn't be telling people what to wear.

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    ctr24ctr24 member
    5 Love Its First Anniversary First Comment Name Dropper
    For my wedding the groomsmen and family will be in tuxes. Is it appropriate to write black tie optional on the invitation or should people get the vibe from the formality of the invitation? What I'd like to get across is - if you own a tux and want to wear it, go for it, otherwise usual wedding attire works. 
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    ctr24 said:
    For my wedding the groomsmen and family will be in tuxes. Is it appropriate to write black tie optional on the invitation or should people get the vibe from the formality of the invitation? What I'd like to get across is - if you own a tux and want to wear it, go for it, otherwise usual wedding attire works. 
    I agree with Schatzi, but also... what does "usual wedding attire" mean? At my mom's wedding, most people wore jeans and button-up shirts. At my best friend's wedding, everyone was in sundresses or nice pants and blouses/button-ups but no ties or jackets. At another friend's wedding, the guys all wore jackets and the ladies all wore cocktail attire.

    Every wedding is different. Your venue, time of day, and invitations will convey what guests should wear. Some will not understand appropriate dress if you bop them on the head with a Gucci handbag. At the end of the day, what your guests wear will not ruin your photos or your wedding.
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    ctr24 said:
    For my wedding the groomsmen and family will be in tuxes. Is it appropriate to write black tie optional on the invitation or should people get the vibe from the formality of the invitation? What I'd like to get across is - if you own a tux and want to wear it, go for it, otherwise usual wedding attire works. 
    I'm obviously in the minority on these threads, but we used "black tie optional" on our wedding invites. We chose to do it this way because my fiance and I are having a Saturday evening wedding and reception in an old musical theatre, and we designed our invites to look like an old playbill/poster to fit in with our theme and our quirkiness. Invites went out 2 weeks ago, and we've gotten a lot of compliments on them, though, obviously, I can't tell you how well the attire note worked out yet. I have had a few (about 10 so far) people confirm with me: "So, evening gown, then?" which is kind of the vibe I wanted people to get. And when I confirmed with those people, all of them seemed excited for the chance to dress to the nines, so I'm happy that I put "black tie optional" on the invite.  I won't be upset if people don't wear full length gowns, because I do agree that I'll be married, and happy either way.  We were looking for the same message "if you own a tux, we'd love for you to wear it", but wanted to stick with our vision for the invites. 

    My other take on this is to acknowledge that the term "black tie optional" is a more recent term. And most of the die hard etiquette people on here don't seem to like it that much. But, I think that using it helped get the point across to my guests that even though we didn't opt for a black calligraphy felt white paper invite, we are still hosting a formal evening event.
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    mysticlmysticl member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    banana468 said:
    Ditto PPs. I wanted to add that I loathe that dress code based on my experience with it. I've attended semiformal events where the women dressed up in short cocktail attire and others where the women were in summer floral dresses. The most recent wedding I attended requested semiformal attire but the reception venue was more semi casual. I would have preferred no attire note at all (what they should have done anyway) and then I wouldn't have felt duped.
    I don't think a casual venue always means it's a casual wedding.  I grew up in an area that just didn't have a lot of event spaces.  The ones we did have were fire halls and places like the Elk's or the Lion's Club.  None of these were super fancy or really even fancy at all.  Just because people had their wedding there didn't mean it was a super casual event.  
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