Is a Black-Tie Dress Code a Big Turn-Off for Wedding Guests?

Etiquette
Formal Black-Tie Wedding in Georgia

Photo: Patricia Lyons

A formal wedding often entails a black-tie dress code. Although tuxedos and gowns are the height of wedding fashion, it can be a commitment for guests. Does a black-tie celebration deter people from RSVPing "yes"? Our wedding etiquette experts are here to answer your wedding dress code questions in our daily post.

I really want my wedding to be a dressy affair. But I'm afraid if I insist on black-tie, some people won't come.

If you've got your heart set on a celebration that resembles Oscar night, go for it. Most guests will be happy to dress the part. Just keep in mind that for men who will need to rent tuxes, this can mean an additional cost of $39.95 or more. For the ladies, a formal wedding may mean that they have to pony up for an appropriate dress. If you add these expenses to the cost of a present and travel arrangements, seeing you tie-the-knot could get pricey. However, no one on your guest list is being forced to wear a tux—men can wear dark suits instead when black-tie is called for. If you're afraid your guests won't understand this option, you can always put black-tie optional on the invitation. Although some guests will bow out of the tux option, plenty of people will still participate in your Academy Award-style fantasy.

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