Rhode Island Wedding Guide

Wedding Planning

Decoding Your Invites

By Cyndi Swan, Lady Slipper Gardens

The Invitation that you've been waiting for has finally arrived. You excitedly open it and begin reading. As you scan down the card, the words "black tie" jump out at you and stop you in your tracks. It's amazing, you think, that these two simple words can cause such consternation when you're trying to decide what to wear to a party.

If you find yourself in this quandary from time to time, the following guide may help shed some light on your dressing dilemma:

Photo by Picture Perfect Photography

Black Tie
Men should wear a standard black tuxedo, complete with white shirt, tie and cummerbund or vest. Depending on the event, women should usually wear a sophisticated floor length dress or formal gown.

White Tie
The most formal of events, men should wear a black full dress tailcoat tuxedo with a white vest and pique tie. Women should dress accordingly, aiming for an understated sophisticated or glamorous look.

Black Tie Optional
Men may wear either a tuxedo or a dark dress suit (usually black or gray) and tie. Women should dress formally according to the occasion and to match their date.

Like a black tie affair, a formal event usually requires that men wear a tuxedo. Women should really dress it up, going for full glamour and glitz.

If they don't want to wear a tuxedo, men have the option to wear a dark colored dress suit and tie. Women should wear something that is dressy, though somewhat less formal than a full-length evening or ballgown.

Cocktail Attire
Depending on the occasion, men may wear a tuxedo, a dress suit or pants with a nice shirt and sports jacket. Women's dresses are usually ankle to ballerina length (mid-calf) and are sophisticated, though somewhat less formal.

Festive Wear
This type of invitation gives you some leeway to dress more creatively, though you'll want to do so within the context of the event. For example, jeans and a holiday theme sweater probably would not be the wisest choice for a cocktail party, but could be perfect for a potluck dinner with friends. When in doubt, you should err on the conservative side.

Still can't decide what you should wear? Then go straight to the source and give the host a call. With a few quick questions, you'll know just what to wear and will be on your way to having fun fashionably.

About the Author
Cyndi Swan, Rev., of Lady Slipper Gardens will help you Create the Occasion of your Dreams. She insures you that you are a client who is pampered, treasured and supported through the difficult process of event planning. You can reach her at 877-394-616. www.LadySlipperStationery.com.

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