I find it interesting that everybody on this board finds this so rude and forbidden, yet nearly everyone on the NJ board sees no problem with it. So does that mean ALL of the NJ girls are completely lacking manners and etiquette?In any case, I have seen "black tie optional" a couple times on an invite and never found it rude whatsoever. I wouldn't take it as the bride "telling me what to wear". I would take it as a clear indication that it was going to be a more formal wedding. I would understand it to mean "no jeans, khakis, and if I wanted to wear a floor length gown, or a guy wanted to wear a tuxedo, he wouldn't be out of place". In fact, if I received an invitation that didn't say "black tie optional" and wanted to wear a floor length gown, that's when I would be worried I'd be the only one. In my area at least, it is customary to wear a cocktail dress to a wedding, whether it is on a Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday afternoon or whatever. I have attended weddings in other states and areas where people dressed drastically more casual (wearing jeans, sneakers, etc). So there is definitely a clear difference in how people typically dress for a wedding. @Kalpi108 - you said "that includes a fully stocked bar all night, a seated 3 or 4 course meal with tableside service, and a live band. If you want your guests to go all out with their clothing, the hosts have to go all out for the event". I don't know specifically about OP's wedding, but at least in my experience, MOST weddings in NJ include all of items that you specified. So therefore, we "go all out for the event", so our guests should be dressed appropriately. If a wedding included all of those things, and someone showed up wearing jeans, wouldn't THAT be rude to the bride and groom? Are they going to kick them out or say something to them? No, they're not. But it is still rude. Also, some PPs said that is is extremely rude to say "black tie optional" because you are telling your guests how to dress, then others said "black tie" is ok, because it is either one or the other. So which is it? Is one rude but the other isn't? Just out of curiosity, what does etiquette say, since this is the E-board? The common theme on this board seems to be about what is rude/isn't rude. So why is it that most people who ask one of those questions are given such rude responses?
If you want to stress the importance of the style of dress -- black tie, for instance, or casual attire -- place that information in the lower right corner, or on the reception card.
The only thing that should not be included anywhere on your invitation -- not even as an insert -- is your registry information."Also, from Martha Stewart (Clicky)"For a black tie optional event, guests can always wear the same attire as for a black tie event. For guests who want to go a bit more casual, gentleman can wear a dark suit with a white shirt and conservative tie. (Note: Not every etiquette expert thinks the "optional" phraseology is necessary, but it does serve to emphasize that a tux is not required.) Women can feel free to wear dressy separates if they choose."ETA: I apologize, my links above aren't working correcty.Here are the links:Invites - http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/228634/wedding-invitation-wording/@center/272440/wedding-etiquette-adviser#/148046Attire - http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/228438/wedding-guest-attire/@center/272440/wedding-etiquette-adviser#/144361
Planning Bio Married 9/15/11
From what I remember Emily Post thought black tie optional was rude. But since her children (I think?) took over I don't know if that info is on the website anymore. Does anyone have an Emily Post book handy? (I'm at work)