Tips for Hosting a Black Tie Wedding

Black tie weddings are a classic for a reason. Who doesn’t love getting fancy? Unfortunately, if you don’t take a few things into consideration, the choice to go dressy can be uncomfortable for you and your guests. We give you our best tips for hosting a black tie wedding and point out the mistakes you definitely don’t want to make.



Be Clear about the Dress Code.

Set the stage for your black tie affair from the very start by including your preferred attire on your invitation suite. Don’t assume that everyone will follow suit, especially if your request is worded black tie optional. In addition to indicating the dress code, remember that the invite is the first glimpse into your wedding style that your friends and family get, so be sure to choose paper with style.

Tell Your Wedding Party to Suit Up. 

The bride and groom are the stars of the wedding day and your wedding party is your squad. For black ties weddings, groomsmen (and groom) wear a tuxedo and bridesmaids traditionally wear long dresses or gowns. With many gorgeous options for tux rentals and bridesmaid dresses, there are tons of fashionable choices. If you prefer to go cocktail length with those bridesmaid dresses, opt for a darker color and a richer fabric such as silk shantung.  Don’t forget parents, grandparents, and little ones (flower girls and ring bearers). They should don their best as well. There’s something about a little boy in a bowtie.

Choose the Appropriate Season, Location & Venue. 

As we dished to when they asked us to divulge the biggest black tie wedding mistakes brides make, seasonality and location play an important role in deciding dress code for weddings. Sometimes brides want a black tie wedding for the formality and fanciness, but don’t consider the time of year or venue of their event. Gowns and tuxes on a sandy beach in the summer can be quite uncomfortable for guests for example, so it’s important to think through your dress code plans. However, a venue overlooking the beach with an air-conditioned or breezy indoor reception as opposed to tables right in the sand could be a great compromise for a beach-loving bride who has her heart set on black tie.

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Continue the Vibe.

We encourage and assist our clients in planning cohesive events, not only in aesthetics, but in logistics and style. Bottom line: elevate the rest of your wedding details to the level of your formal dress code. Opt for a seated plated dinner as opposed to a more casual buffet. Provide comfortable transportation or valet for your guests instead of asking them to walk long distances in their best outfits. Focus on impactful details like signage, paper goods, centerpieces, linens, and lounge. Lastly, make your guests feel like the rich and famous by including personalized treats — welcome boxes, restroom accoutrements, fanciful favors and decadent desserts.

[ LOOKING FOR INSPIRATION? Check out our Black Tie Weddings board on Pinterest. ]

Budget Accordingly.

A myth debunked: you don’t have to have a celebrity budget to pull off a black tie affair. Though these events are usually more opulent and typically cost more than the average wedding, we suggest choosing the parts of your day that are most important to you and allocating your budget accordingly. Keep in mind, however, that the little touches mentioned above do tend to add up, so do your research early on to decide if black tie is the right direction to go in.