Why Black Tie Will Never Die

5 Myths About Formal Weddings—Debunked

Dressing up does not make the party stiff! Liven up your wedding party in classic black tie attire.
Craig & Eva Sanders Photography

Wedding vendors across the country say now more than ever brides-to-be are requesting classic weddings. And since there’s no style more traditional than the black tie wedding, we debunk five myths that may be standing in your way of going formal for your fete.

In an era when a reality show like Extreme Couponing is a hit and gas prices are through the roof, it can be tempting to scoff at the notion of having a black tie wedding, the ultimate in formal elegance for your Big Day. Why host such a fancy affair and ask your guests to don tuxes and gowns when austerity is all the rage?

As fashion guru and etiquette expert Glenn O’Brien, author of How To Be A Man: A Guide to Style and Behavior for the Modern Gentleman aptly sums it up: “Every man should have a tuxedo. It is the sartorial expression of elegance, even hope.” So get those men in tuxes, brides!

The Myth: Black Tie is Just Another Theme

Hardly. Asking guests to wear their formal best tips them off to a cascade of information about your wedding. For one, it will not be a casual, DIY affair.  Second, since one must not wear black tie garb before 6 p.m., your wedding will be an evening event.

Other details about your wedding that fall under black tie customs include: your wedding will take place in either an elegant hotel or other establishment, it will include a sit-down dinner and there will be more than 100 guests. Your attendants will also wear more formal bridesmaids’ dresses and your ceremony take place in a house of worship or in a more ornate setting.

The Myth: Why the Fuss over A Tux?

O’Brien once said he loved tuxes because, “They showed off the girls’ dresses.” When you think about it, having a room full of men dressed in the same black-and-white garb can really make a bride stand out from the crowd.

The Myth: Dress-up Makes The Party Stiff

On the contrary. Back in the 19th century, when the tuxedo was first introduced, it was actually the more casual response to the formal tailcoat that was worn during the evening. One newspaper at the time even cattily called the heir to the tobacco fortune who first stepped out in it as “looking for all the world like a royal footman.”

These days, black tie evening gear is reserved for formal affairs. There is something undoubtedly electrifying to guests when they have to dress up for a special night like your wedding.

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