Wedding Etiquette Forum

Cocktail or Formal Attire Required

Is it ok to put on inivations that cocktail or formal attire is required?  My dad thinks its a slap in the face to guests to tell them what they can and can not wear whereas my FI and I feel that we can have that expectation and feel that we should be allowed to put that on the invitation.

Thanks ladies.  
Wedding Countdown Ticker

Re: Cocktail or Formal Attire Required

  • Your dad is right.
  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Unless your venue has a specific dress code (meaning they will not be allowed inside by the venue if they aren't dressed appropriately), then your dad is right.  As long as the important parts of the body are covered so they don't break any decency laws, they can wear whatever they want and you don't get to say a word.
  • If the wedding is truly black tie, the whole shebang, seated dinner, live band,  formal venue, tons of flowers,long gowns for the ladies etc, you may state "Black Tie" but only if you expect that actual attire.

    Otherwise, no mention of attire
  • You don't get to dictate your guests' attire, unless you are having a truly black tie affair, or if your venue has clothing restrictions. Your guests can dress themselves, and to state the requested attire on an invitation indicates they cannot.
    image
  • Sorry, your dad is right.  You cannot dictate to adults how to dress appropriately.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cocktail-or-formal-attire-required?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:cbc42b75-2f3f-4147-9227-ab613e660ce9Post:d5ee5e5e-c31a-4958-918f-d13173e2403b">Re: Cocktail or Formal Attire Required</a>:
    [QUOTE]Sorry, your dad is right.  You cannot dictate to adults how to dress appropriately.
    Posted by Loopyseven[/QUOTE]

    <div>This. </div>
  • Do you have a wedding website?  I've seen "dress suggestions" on wedding websites before (for outdoor weddings mostly), but maybe that would be more appropriate than on the invite?  Or is it possible to kinda get family to spread the word "I'm so excited to get to dress up in my formal/cocktail dress for mpaone24's wedding, I never get to dress up"?  LOL. Just a suggestion...
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cocktail-or-formal-attire-required?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:cbc42b75-2f3f-4147-9227-ab613e660ce9Post:ac072078-5cee-4e39-8138-1fdb1692694c">Re: Cocktail or Formal Attire Required</a>:
    [QUOTE]Do you have a wedding website?  I've seen "dress suggestions" on wedding websites before (for outdoor weddings mostly), but maybe that would be more appropriate than on the invite?  Or is it possible to kinda get family to spread the word "I'm so excited to get to dress up in my formal/cocktail dress for mpaone24's wedding, I never get to dress up"?  LOL. Just a suggestion...
    Posted by jesslynn1012[/QUOTE]

    <div>Really - telling an adult how to dress on a website, or through general conversation will probably annoy the people who know enough to dress up a bit for a wedding, and will not phase the ones who don't.  And the day of, you most likely won't care too much about what most people are wearing.  The ones who are woefully underdressed are the ones who look foolish, not the bride/groom unless they throw a fit about it.</div>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cocktail-or-formal-attire-required?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:cbc42b75-2f3f-4147-9227-ab613e660ce9Post:692832f7-d8da-4055-b229-94d0937e6551">Re: Cocktail or Formal Attire Required</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Cocktail or Formal Attire Required : Really - telling an adult how to dress on a website, or through general conversation will probably annoy the people who know enough to dress up a bit for a wedding, and will not phase the ones who don't.  And the day of, you most likely won't care too much about what most people are wearing.  The ones who are woefully underdressed are the ones who look foolish, not the bride/groom unless they throw a fit about it.
    Posted by Loopyseven[/QUOTE]

    I wouldn't need to do this, but if it's important to the OP, I was saying that listing it on a website would be more appropriate/acceptable.  But, I've known people to wear jeans to weddings I've been to, so it might have helped in those cases if someone asked them what they were wearing or made suggestions.  I don't think it's a big deal though, tbh, but it seems like it would be to the OP.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • bongebonge member
    100 Comments
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cocktail-or-formal-attire-required?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:cbc42b75-2f3f-4147-9227-ab613e660ce9Post:8c314e00-713f-4ad5-a08a-a43ec16864e0">Re: Cocktail or Formal Attire Required</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Cocktail or Formal Attire Required : I wouldn't need to do this, but if it's important to the OP, I was saying that listing it on a website would be more appropriate/acceptable.  <strong>But, I've known people to wear jeans to weddings I've been to</strong>, so it might have helped in those cases if someone asked them what they were wearing or made suggestions.  I don't think it's a big deal though, tbh, but it seems like it would be to the OP.
    Posted by jesslynn1012[/QUOTE]

    <div>So what? Why can't people wear jeans to a wedding. Some people are not comfortable outside their normal attire. Not everyone likes to dress up & that should be ok. Unless the venue has a strict dress code the bride shouldn't pay attention to what her guests wear unless they are in a bra & panties.</div><div>
    </div><div>I am pretty sure i won't notice anything petty like that, i will be too happy & excited to be married. </div>
    230 image Invited
    154 image Are ready to party
    56 image Missing out
    20 image Can't find the mailbox (tick tock)

    RSVP Date: 6/1/2012
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cocktail-or-formal-attire-required?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:cbc42b75-2f3f-4147-9227-ab613e660ce9Post:5d7b6a41-8bb8-4c35-a8fd-c2be8a67274a">Re: Cocktail or Formal Attire Required</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Cocktail or Formal Attire Required : <strong>So what? Why can't people wear jeans to a wedding.</strong> Some people are not comfortable outside their normal attire. Not everyone likes to dress up & that should be ok. Unless the venue has a strict dress code the bride shouldn't pay attention to what her guests wear unless they are in a bra & panties. <strong>I am pretty sure i won't notice anything petty like that, i will be too happy & excited to be married.</strong> 
    Posted by bonge[/QUOTE]

    <strong>So what? Why can't people wear jeans to a wedding.</strong>
    The OP stated in her post that she would like people to wear formal or cocktail attire.  Wth?  I don't care.  I was suggesting to the OP what she could do.

    <strong>I am pretty sure i won't notice anything petty like that, i will be too happy & excited to be married.</strong>
    Good for you.  I was trying to help the OP.  I would hope that everyone here is going to be happy and excited to be getting married. 
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • bongebonge member
    100 Comments
    You totally missed my point.

    My point is that it is just clothes.

    I am having a formal wedding, band etc etc (no plated dinner though) which of course a person wearing jeans may feel a bit under dressed but that will be on them, as a host it has no bearing on me. If the op really cares that much what people wear she can hire actors so she can have her pretty princess pictures.

    This is an etiqutte board, etiquette is white & black, which means you can't come & give crappy etiquette advice without flack & etiquette dictates unless full black tie only or dress code at said venue that you have no say in what your guests wear, nor should you. They are adults for pete's sake & know how to dress themselves even if not to her standards.
    230 image Invited
    154 image Are ready to party
    56 image Missing out
    20 image Can't find the mailbox (tick tock)

    RSVP Date: 6/1/2012
  • I thnk I put black-tie optional on my website (not on my invites) and had very simple, classic invitations and left it that. Most people came in nice cocktail attire.
    A couple of FI's cousins came dressed in jeans... but they were also making snide remarks at their table during the toasts about the toasters and got the DJ to play a song with the f-bomb in it instead of the song we'd agreed on for the last song.
    While I imagine a few people might have been thinking, "why on earth did the bride invite them?" I think for the most part it reflected on the cousins and not me.

    And to be kind of a downer... one of them died in a car accident five months later and I look back now at the wedding and think about him and laugh because he was certainly a character.

    So don't sweat the small stuff.
  • People will take their cue from the style of the invitations, the time of day the wedding is being held, and the venue.

    If your reception is at a nice hotel or country club, in the evening, and your invitations and simple (white with engraved black letters), then people will get the hint.   
    DSC_9275
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cocktail-or-formal-attire-required?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:cbc42b75-2f3f-4147-9227-ab613e660ce9Post:6752b33d-4d7e-4830-99bd-d21e87eb0a1b">Re: Cocktail or Formal Attire Required</a>:
    [QUOTE]I thnk I put black-tie optional on my website (not on my invites) and had very simple, classic invitations and left it that. Most people came in nice cocktail attire. A couple of FI's cousins came dressed in jeans... but they were also making snide remarks at their table during the toasts about the toasters and got the DJ to play a song with the f-bomb in it instead of the song we'd agreed on for the last song. While I imagine a few people might have been thinking, "why on earth did the bride invite them ?" I think for the most part it reflected on the cousins and not me. And to be kind of a downer... one of them died in a car accident five months later and I look back now at the wedding and think about him and laugh because he was certainly a character. So don't sweat the small stuff.
    Posted by aurianna[/QUOTE]

    <div>I would not have been pleased if I went out and got a gown for your "black tie optional" affair when you didn't opt to make it a black tie affair yourself.  Not sure what to make of your car accident comment.</div><div>
    </div><div>We had a live band, full open bar, and excellent food, but we wanted a buffet and a daytime wedding, and we hoped that guests would wear whatever they were comfortable wearing, so we were nowhere near black tie.  The only thing we mentioned was to one of DH's uncles (all of our uncles were ushers)--since we didn't think he'd wear a jacket, we told him that if he wanted to wear one, we'd have a boutonniere for him, just so he could decide with that info.</div>
  • Listen to your dad.

    The only thing I will say is that I agree with the person who said about using your wedding website. However, I only say this because our venues have a dress code (it's not too strict, but they want business casual). I didn't want to include that on the invitations, because I think most people, and I know the ones on my guest list, generally look nice for weddings. However, I did mention one line of it on my website on the reception tab. It just says, attire is business casual. All venues for wedding are fully air conditioned. Some churches in our area are not, especially the older Catholic ones. Thankfully, ours is, so I wanted to be sure people knew that. We're getting married in July. Last year on our wedding date it was 115 degrees.

    However, if our venues had no sort of dress code, I wouldn't have included anything other then the mention of the air conditioning. I was getting a lot of questions about that.
  • Thank you for posting this FI and I were just discussing this the other day.

    We are throwing an evening wedding at a castle, and will throw a mascarade ball reception. We were debating on if we were going to put "Black Tie Attire" on the invitations. I guess mascarade ball reception to follow immediatly after the wedding drives the point home on its own.
    DIStickers.com Ticker
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cocktail-or-formal-attire-required?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:cbc42b75-2f3f-4147-9227-ab613e660ce9Post:ac072078-5cee-4e39-8138-1fdb1692694c">Re: Cocktail or Formal Attire Required</a>:
    [QUOTE]Do you have a wedding website?  I've seen "dress suggestions" on wedding websites before (for outdoor weddings mostly), but maybe that would be more appropriate than on the invite?  Or is it possible to kinda get family to spread the word "I'm so excited to get to dress up in my formal/cocktail dress for mpaone24's wedding, I never get to dress up"?  LOL. Just a suggestion...
    Posted by jesslynn1012[/QUOTE]


    Be careful with this.  We did put some dress suggestions on our website, but that is because we have a lot of out of town guests, our wedding is under a tent and in VT the temperature drops dramatically after dark.  the only suggestions we made were asking people to consider the grass terrain under the tent when making footware selections and to besure to be prepaired for the temperature to drop after dark...no suggestions as to the formallity of the event, that should have been conveyed in the formality of the invitations, it would be insulting to our guests to tell them how to dress.  You can tell them what the WP is wearing if someone asks you what to wear. I've told several friends that the GMs are wearing tan suits and the BMs are wearing knee-length cocktail dresses when I was asked for some guidance on dress code, but you should only give this information out verbally when asked.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Dad is right. No dress comments anywhere unless the venue has its own dress code or it is TRULY black tie. I also don't understand all these people saying "black tie optional." It's either black tie or it isn't. If I got that as a guest, I'd feel pressure to buy a full-length gown and have H get a tux because that's what black tie is and I wouln't want to be underdressed. I'd be so pissed if we bought those things and then showed up to a truly NOT black tie affair with many people in khakis or jeans or otherwise dressed more casually. This is the predicament you put guests in when you say "black tie optional." Unless it's truly black tie, keep all attire suggestions off!

    And OP, if someone shows up very underdressed, that's on them. I know right now you feel like it will be horrible--trust me, you probably won't even notice on the actual day. We had one of H's whole families come in jeans or khaki shorts and t-shirts, which was very underdressed, and I didn't even really notice until I saw pictures. And yes, I did greet them and talk with them on the actual day--I was just caught up in it all so much it didn't phase me and I didn't even register it.


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Vacation
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cocktail-or-formal-attire-required?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:cbc42b75-2f3f-4147-9227-ab613e660ce9Post:121ce74a-1997-4d48-8a23-c88469c05c33">Re: Cocktail or Formal Attire Required</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Cocktail or Formal Attire Required : You might want to make sure you spell it "masquerade" on the invitations.  Which is tacky as balls, but so is requiring your guests to wear costumes. 
    Posted by EaglesBride2012[/QUOTE]

    *snort*

    Yeah, I really want to know how many people actually show up in masks. Or are you providing the masks and people just have to show up in regular clothes?
    Items for sale & Detroit vendor Reviews:
    www.detroitwedding.weebly.com
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • The thing about all of this is no dress code words ('business casual,' 'formal,' etc.) have any real definite meaning except Black Tie and White Tie. Black Tie is as much about the event as the clothing. It means top shelf open bar, band instead of a DJ, plated multi-course meal served by white-gloved waiters, the works. Unless you are having this type of affair, you really should not even say "Black Tie Optional."

    White Tie is even more formal and typically reserved for royal/presidential events that are extremely lavish.

    Bottom line, it is not appropriate to tell your guests what to wear unless you are hosting a legitimate black/white tie event.
    image
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cocktail-or-formal-attire-required?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:cbc42b75-2f3f-4147-9227-ab613e660ce9Post:df889c2d-4ab7-48e6-b106-dd2506478475">Re: Cocktail or Formal Attire Required</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Cocktail or Formal Attire Required : *snort* Yeah, I really want to know how many people actually show up in masks. Or are you providing the masks and people just have to show up in regular clothes?
    Posted by Meegles4[/QUOTE]

    We are getting married near halloween, and suprisingly most of our friends and family really love the idea.  Different strokes for different folks. We will likely have a table of masks but most people we've talked to about this are going to make or order masks.

    Just because its not your cup of tea doesnt make it wrong for someone else to do it. I find some of the masses in church weddings overbearing it doesnt make it wrong or incorrect its just not what I like.
    DIStickers.com Ticker
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_cocktail-or-formal-attire-required?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:cbc42b75-2f3f-4147-9227-ab613e660ce9Post:21843945-2af8-4432-a5e2-3fc7c370a341">Re: Cocktail or Formal Attire Required</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Cocktail or Formal Attire Required : How rude of the bride and groom to bore you with their religious ceremony, which probably has a great deal of spiritual significance to them and their families.  Definitely comparable to your dress up party.
    Posted by EaglesBride2012[/QUOTE]

    1. I never said it was not of significance.
    2. I never said I was against religious ceremonies I said its not my cup of tea to have a overly religious ceremony, and inturn its not what we want or what we are going to have. That was a mutual choice we made together because of our beliefs. Will the ceremony have religion and god yes, but will it take longer than 30 minutes NO! Its just my preference that religion is private in my life and I choose not to enforce my beliefs on people for 1-2 hours. He felt the same so we are going this route because its what we want.
    3. Oh no a party to commemorate two people deciding to spend their lives together. Oh double no a party that might actually be different! Our closest friends and family will tell you off the bat they expected no less from the two of us. We both walk to the beat of  a very different drummer. Together we chose that this is what we wanted because we are both a little odd and we're ok with that. There is nothing wrong with that.

    This is how we chose to celebrate our commitment to each other. This is our choice, not yours. Then again you'd probably be offended that he gave me a tape worm in a jar for our first christmas together which I loved. I'm not asking for you to approve of our choice. Dont however ridicule someone for being who they are if its not harming anyone else.

    I've gone to countless extremely religious ceremonies for friends of mine, and a few for family. They were beautiful and I congratulated them. It was what they wanted and I'm happy they had that day.

    Likewise they as friends and family respect and are happy that we're doing what we want with our day. Finding someone to spend your life with should be something to celebrate, many people dont get that chance. I cant wait to celebrate with him that we've made this choice. I look forward to growing with him, and having a life time of adventures together.
    DIStickers.com Ticker
  • OP, i would just heed your father's advice, unless your venue has a dress code.  if a guest inquires, though (which i always do), you can let them know your preference.
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards