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Guest Attire Options

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FacetFire

Brilliant_Rock
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Hi, everyone. I was working on our wedding website, and there is a place to put the requested attire for guests. We are going for a formal feel...FI will wear a tux, though our fathers may do tuxes or just do suits (haven't decided). I'm definitely going to be very formal. We want a formal wedding...but, we are going bowling afterwards. I don't want this to take away from the formality of the event though. I really want everyone to bowl in their best. :) It's kinda part of our "uniqueness"...haha. Okay, we're weird, but I think it will make for a fun, unique, event with GREAT pics. I want men in suits and the women in nice dresses, full-lenth or knee-length, their choice of course.

Anyway, the choices I am deciding between are "cocktail attire," "formal," and "black-tie optional." I'm not really sure which one to choose, or exactly what they mean. I figure "cocktail attire" means suits and short dresses, and "black-tie optional" means suits or tuxes and short or long dresses. Am I right? What about "formal?" I guess I don't understand the difference between "black-tie optional" and "formal." There is also an option for "black-tie," which we aren't going to choose, so I guess that's different from "formal," right? Help me! This is confusing! :) Thanks!
 

fatafelice

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Okay, here''s what my Emily Post has to say:

Black Tie Optional = Men in tuxes or dark suits w/white shirt and conservative tie; Women in formal evening dress, dressy cocktail dress, or dressy separates

She doesn''t have a category for "formal" or "cocktail," but from reading the others, I think cocktail is actually "semiformal." Formal, to me, means "black tie."

So, I think that "black tie optional" is your best bet. Then men can still wear dark suits if they would prefer, and the women will be more likely to wear long gowns. It should suit your needs...As long as you don''t think that any of the women will show up in crazy prom dresses!
 

FacetFire

Brilliant_Rock
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Thanks!!! THat sounds good! I mean, I don''t think anyone would show up in a tux, anyway, but I don''t want to make anyone feel like they should. I''m just trying to get some of this stuff figured out before I start my new job in two weeks. The wedding is still so far off, but I figure I should take advantage of what free time I have. It takes a really long time to make one of these websites, and we haven''t even done a registry or anything like that yet...

Thank you again for your help!
 

indecisive

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Dec 9, 2005
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I think Black Tie Optional would be best too.... BUT I think you really really need to make it clear to your guests they are expected to bowl in whatever they wear. I honestly would NOT want to bowl in an evening gown and I know my fiance wouldn''t be the happiest bowling in his nicest suit. There is also the sock issue. Thin men''s dress socks and hose or barefoot for the ladies doesn''t really go with rented bowling shoes. I personally would have the dress be a little more casual so the guests would be more comfortable in, lets face it, a very casual environment.
 

FacetFire

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Date: 2/5/2007 8:00:52 PM
Author: indecisive
I think Black Tie Optional would be best too.... BUT I think you really really need to make it clear to your guests they are expected to bowl in whatever they wear. I honestly would NOT want to bowl in an evening gown and I know my fiance wouldn''t be the happiest bowling in his nicest suit. There is also the sock issue. Thin men''s dress socks and hose or barefoot for the ladies doesn''t really go with rented bowling shoes. I personally would have the dress be a little more casual so the guests would be more comfortable in, lets face it, a very casual environment.
No worries, I am going to include a card that dicusses the bowling part of the evening. I was thinking that the men could ditch their jackets, and I was going to provide new socks...hey, maybe that could even be our "gift"...socks embroidered with the wedding names and date...haha.
 

fatafelice

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Well, Indecisive makes a good point, and if you do not care if an of the men wear tuxes or not, then perhaps "semiformal" would be better. That still implies a dark suit/conservative tie for the men and either long or short "dressy" attire for the women. Perhaps more women would be comfortable wearing something shorter if they are going to be bowling in it.

Re: the sock issue...Perhaps you could purchase and provide some cheap socks in different sizes so guests would feel less squemish?

ETA: Great minds think alike when it comes to socks!
 

Kit

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 7, 2005
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Well, technically black tie (tuxes) aren''t supposed to be worn until after 6:00 pm. That said, really the tone of your invitation should cue guests in to the appropriate attire for your wedding. I am personally kind of turned off by requests for me to wear this kind of attire, or that kind of attire...I guess I just feel like, hey I know how to dress appropriately for a wedding if you let me know through the style of your invite how formal your event is, and what time of day it is occuring.

Also, I am not sure that I would appreciate getting all dolled up in formalwear and then going bowling. Depending on what kind of dress I had on and what kind of undergarments, etc...strapless, tight fitted skirt, slit, etc. Perhaps it would be best to just leave out anything about what you think your guests shoudl wear and just let them decide? Ultimately you do want them to feel comfortable.

That being said, there were a few yahoos that showed up to my sister''s semi-formal wedding in jeans
. So if you know your crowd and you know they need guidance in this department, by all means disregard what I''ve said above.
 

FacetFire

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
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1,879
I think if I say semi-formal, and then include the card with details about bowling, guests will be able to balance. Also, since the wedding is going to be small, and I only expect maybe 30 to go bowling afterwards, I think people will feel free to talk with me about any dressing issues. It might also be fun to have custom bowling shirts made or something...I still have to think about this one...

Thanks for the input! I love being able to bounce ideas of of you all...and get your honest input!
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 3, 2006
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I''m putting ''Morning Dress will be worn'' on mine.

That''s tail coats, striped trousers and top hats in the UK - either black or charcoal grey.

I really understand you wanting a formal look from everyone. My cousin''s wedding every man there was in Morning Dress not just the bridal party and all the women in smart suits/dresses and big formal hats - it looked amazing. My sister''s, her husband refused, half his friends turned up in jeans just to make a political point and my side of the family were all pissed off because they wanted to dress up and couldn''t. I''ve told FI it''s non-negotiable.

All of my female friends and relatives automatically wear smart suits/dresses and mega-hats to weddings so I''m not worried about any of them, but the last wedding I went to FI''s ex-flat mate turned up without a tie as did FI''s brother. I had a real go at him about it - he said he hadn''t thought he needed to!
Anyway, when we got to the reception, no-one without a tie was allowed in - rule of the venue. They had to go off and buy one and missed half the drinks reception.
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
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11,016
These days, women wear all different things for black tie/cocktail. I think it might be tough for a woman to bowl in long, without tripping, but I am not sure you can specifiy short dresses. Optional means suit or tux is fine, most men would then wear a dark dressy suit if not a tux. The difference between formal and black tie is probably neglible.
 

Independent Gal

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
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5,471
Perhaps you could make it optional to change before the bowling? In addition to the comfort / tripping issue, my formal dresses and gowns - even the short ones are pricey / delicate and I''d feel nervous about doing anything strenuous in them that might result in a tear or damage to the embroidery, lace, or beadwork. But maybe I''m being stuffy! Or worse!

Bowling in formal wear actually sounds like fun.

And I LOVE the idea of giving people bowling-friendly socks with the wedding date as a favor! I bet people would actually use those. I sure would.
 
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