When you want the epitome in class and style, only a black tie wedding will do. Traditional in every sense of the word, both the bridal party and the guests will dress to impress, enveloped in an upscale atmosphere that is typically only reserved for high-end weddings.
Strictly speaking, black tie is a dress code, not a wedding style. But if you request your guests to wear black tie, it will dictate the entire look and feel of the wedding. Traditionally, black tie means that men wear tuxedos and women wear long gowns. As times have changed and culture as a whole has become less formal, it’s become acceptable for men to wear black suits and women to wear formal cocktail gowns to black tie affairs.
If you have decided to have a black tie wedding, you should know that it will require more planning (and honestly a larger budget) than other wedding styles. There’s more to it than just a line on your invitation indicating how your guests should dress!
In this post, we’ll give you some tips and tricks for hosting a black tie wedding and highlight some of the reasons it continues to be one of the most popular wedding styles year after year.
For a black tie wedding, the attire of the bridal party should meet the traditional standards of the dress code. This means the bride or brides’ wedding gown(s) are very formal, and the groom or grooms are wearing black or white tuxedos. The bridesmaids and mothers of the bride and groom should be wearing formal floor-length gowns, and the groomsmen and fathers of the bride and groom should also be wearing tuxedos.
Since black-tie dress code requires tuxedos and floor-length gowns, it’s most common for these types of weddings to happen indoors where the venue can control the temperature. That means typically black-tie weddings happen in the fall and winter (though not always). Because of the seasonality, you’ll often find the bridesmaids in deeper gem tones, metallics or black gowns.
Obviously, this dress code applies to the guests as well. It is essential if you want a black tie wedding that you indicate it on the invitation so guests have time to purchase or rent appropriate dresses and suits.
With a black tie wedding, finding the ideal venue is crucial. As alluded to above, if you are asking your guests to dress in formal attire, you have to be respectful of temperature. No one wants to be outside in a tuxedo in 80- or 90-degree weather. This is why black tie weddings are most commonly held at country clubs or in ballrooms.
When searching for any wedding professional, it’s best to keep the style of your wedding in mind. For example, you wouldn’t select a live band that specializes in bluegrass music. Always explain up front that you will be having a black tie wedding, so that the vendor completely understands your expectations from the very beginning.
Photography and Videography – Photographers and videographers who specialize in black tie weddings will have experience shooting indoors because black tie weddings are typically not held outside. It’s crucial that when you choose your photographer and videographer, you identify them because they’ve shot at your venue or a similar venue. If all of their photos and videos are from outdoor barn weddings, they may not be comfortable shooting at your venue.
Use lovestoriestv.com to search your venue, and watch real wedding videos that have been held their to find and contact the videographers who shot that wedding.
Venue Decor and Flowers – Your best bet is always going to be to find vendors who have worked at your venue before, just as long as you like their work. Identify these decor and flower vendors by watching real wedding videos on lovestoriestv.com from your venue and checking the vendor credits. If they’ve worked in the space before and you appreciate their style, you have a head start when creating your own vision within the space.
Reception Entertainment – Deciding between a DJ and a live band can be a tough call, as that they both bring different strengths to an event. However, for a black tie wedding, it’s most appropriate to have a live band. Black tie weddings are formal affairs, and dancing is typically a key part of the event. Live bands feel more expensive and in line with the dress code and style. You can easily find bands who have worked at your venue before by searching the venue on lovestoriestv.com and checking the band credit on the videos from that particular venue.
Catering – If you are hosting a formal, black tie wedding, where you’ve asked guests to spend money on the appropriate apparel, it’s customary to have a seated dinner where the guests choose their meal ahead of time. Work with your stationary vendor to make sure you have the correct type of meal choice card in your invitation. While a buffet- or family-style serving is tempting because it’s a great way to save money, it’s not appropriate for a black tie wedding where you’ve requested that your guests wear formal gowns and tuxedos.
Transportation – A black limousine is still the customary day-of mode of transportation. Yet, a re-emerging trend is the use of vintage or high-end automobiles. Often, a limousine may take the bridal party to the venue, while the couple may leave after the reception is over in an old Model T. The ideas are endless!
Looking for vendors who have worked on black tie weddings at your venue? Search for your venue on lovestoriestv.com to watch real wedding videos from your venue and see which vendors have worked there in the past.
Sometimes, it is the little touches that create the biggest impact. Pay attention to the plate or drink garnishes, and speak to all of your vendors about their attire on the day of the wedding. You’ll also want to add floral arrangements to any bare areas, or light candles to bring warmth to empty spaces. Whatever you do, just always remember that it should add to the class and elegance of the event. When you ask guests to adhere to a formal dress code, you need to make the event feel like you’ve put in a matching amount of effort.
Unlike a casual event or a bohemian wedding, the black tie style is steeped in tradition, and it may incorporate many elements that even give a nod to a very upmarket vintage wedding. A black tie wedding is an excellent choice for any couple who desires an opulent, romantic expression of their love.