Black tie weddings and galas require a certain level of etiquette, from the attire to navigating a table setting. If you’ve never attended a formal event, it can seem overwhelming at first, but once you’ve got have the basics down you’ll waltz through your night with ease!
Black Tie Attire
There are two types of black tie events, including “Black tie” and “Black tie optional”, which are very similar, but slightly different when it comes to dress code.
For black tie events, it is customary for women to wear floor-length gowns and men to wear tuxedos. If you love beaded gowns adorned with sequins and beading (like us!) this is the perfect time to rock it! We recommend dress #SK30166 or a Ball Gown style like dress #CB10411
Black Tie Optional means you have the choice between a floor length gown and cocktail dress. It does not mean you have the option to dress up or not. For a fun summer formal try dress #TT15138S and if you’re looking for something more simple try dress #RR3340! Whatever choice you make, you are sure to bring the “WOW” factor!
Tip: Plan for cold nights and blasting air conditioners by investing in a chic wrap or shawl. Be sure to steer clear of cardigans and denim jackets.
Another important element when it comes to attending any formal event is the dining experience. When you take a seat, you will see many various plates, silverware and glasses around you.
This infographic from Live Creatively Inspired illustrates the two types of place settings you may see at your event. Don’t be overwhelmed with all the plates in front of you as many of them are just there as beautiful place holders. The good news is that your server will take care of most of the plates for you! When navigating your place setting, the general rule is “outside in”. Start with your salad fork and soup spoon and continue inward from there, as each course is served.
Although we typically use our forks with or dominant hand, it is actually customary to cut your food with your dominant hand and eat with your non-dominant (not switching hands). Which is why your knife is placed to the right and not the left (for all you right-handers out there!)
Tip: The bread plate can be tricky! Always remember, it’s NEVER on the same side as the dinner knife.