BLACK-TIE WEDDING DRESS CODE ETIQUETTE & ADVICE
Author: Maria Maroulidou
Have you ever received a wedding invite reading "Dress code: Black-tie"? Chances are this four-word phrase will leave you a little puzzled towards what to wear. Other than "white-tie" (which actually is much easier to nail), black-tie weddings are expected to have a lavish ambiance and many a luxurious detail, thus indicating the design of the reception, they do include the wish on behalf of the bride and groom-to-be that you appear dressed to the nines. To make it easier on you, we've rounded up the best tips for you to show up effortlessly glamorous without overshadowing the couple or look too much.
1. A BLACK-TIE WEDDING'S LOCATION SAYS A LOT ABOUT THE AMOUNT OF GLAM YOU ARE EXPECTED TO BEAR
Although there is a general note that a black-tie dressing code is all about a formal evening occasion, where ladies are expected to wear floor-length gowns and the gentlemen tuxedos, it is one thing to have a black-tie wedding at a resort, a castle, or a ballroom, and a completely different one on the Greek islands for instance. Traditionally speaking gents are expected to wear a tux, but a dinner jacket, a pochette and a polished set of shoes will do just perfect. In the same spirit, the ladies can go for uber-glamorous statement accessories, and dresses that may fail to sweep the floors (with pebbled streets and ocean-dew sprayed lawns this is actually not highly advised) but still retain the proper haute-cocktail charm and are not way revealing. That said, if you can get a heads up on the style and hues of the dresses the bridesmaids will be wearing, we highly advise you to avoid sporting anything similar.
2. READ BETWEEN THE INVITATION LINES
Some invites mention "Black-Tie dressing preferred" which ever-so-thankfully will loosen things up for you and your plus one. Donning a bright red cocktail dress, rather than a long gown, and a perfect pair of glamorous heels is definitely the right way to go, but you can also sport a lovely mid-length dress provided the lines are minimal and your décolletage not too low (slits to the thigh are a nay). Elegant suiting can also be acceptable. Your escort can easily go for a comfier dark formal suit and polished derby or oxford shoes and given again the location of your event an ascot scarf, or a conservative tie in lieu of a bow-tie. For summer weddings, a white dinner jacket and black tuxedo trousers are a great way to make an impression, as long as he does not overshadow the groom.
3. BLACK-TIE ATTIRE HUES DEPEND A LOT ON THE HOUR (AND SEASON) OF THE WEDDING
Evening weddings call for darker, more formal hues, while daytime affairs for lighter colors and fabrics. Some couples opt to have a Black-tie wedding during Christmas or right after the New Year's day so they might expect you to turn your black-tie game a little bit more festive. No time better to experiment with bolder hues and more playful accessorizing. A creative scarf or a jazzed-up tie for the gents is a great way to make an entrance, while the ladies may wish to wear dressier heels with a lot of sparkle, a floor-grazing red gown, or a jewel-tone cocktail dress, a taffeta skirt gown or head to toe slinky black. Now if a summer wedding invitation reads "White-tie" consider the same principles apply only you are requested to wear whites. At this point, consider: Is there a chance that what you are wearing may upstage the bride? If there's even a chance, wear something else.
Need some inspo? View this Black-Tie Athens Wedding on Island Art & Taste
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