Wedding Style

15 New Ideas for a Black-tie Wedding

Here's proof that formal doesn't have to be fussy.

1. Move over, pastel tiers. A white cake piped in a black henna-inspired design with gum-paste anemones is graphic and chic ($15 per slice, Carlo’s Bakery;

2. Can’t swing a limo? A black car and a driver in “uniform” will do the trick (try for $14.50 chauffeur hats).

3. First impressions matter; snag a red carpet at (from $7.50 per foot).

4. Bow tie pasta with squid ink is a yummy, tongue-in-cheek appetizer.

5. Direct your DJ to Red Hot + Blue: A Tribute to Cole Porter, with covers by Tom Waits, U2, and Debbie Harry.

6. Unless you have a massive guest list, ask your florist about doing simple boutonnieres for all the guys (in bulk, less than $3 each). Or outfit the men with white pocket squares.

7. A little pretentious, perhaps, but tables numbers in Latin (unus, duo, tres, quattuor) set a certain tone.

8. Grouping pillar candles on a silver tray creates a formal look on a budget; try (pillars from $2.67 each!).

9. Origami bow ties (choose papers in gilded hues or black and white prints) are a winsome way to dress up place settings; check out for a video demo.

10. Rent a black and white checkered dance floor, the Fred and Ginger classic (

11. They’ll talk about the damask toilet paper (gold, silver, or black and white) for months; $8.99 a roll from

12. Top cupcakes with edible sugar diamonds (facets mean sparkle!) from For safety’s sake, keep away from the kiddies.

13. Skip the after-party and put the money toward better champagne.

14. Seated dinners demand place cards; fleur-de-lis holders are French and fun. From $3.96 for four;

15. A black and white bouquet makes a strong statement: white sweet peas with a big black bow; white garden roses with chocolate cosmos; or a combo of deep plum (nearly black) and white calla lilies.

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