Black Tie Wedding Invitations

25 Black Tie Wedding Invitations

Discover the elegance and grandeur of black tie wedding invitations.

When it comes to wedding invitations, every detail matters. From the font to the color scheme, each element sets the tone for the celebration to come. After all, it is your guests' first glimpse at your wedding aesthetic. Which is one of the reasons we love Basic Invite, because not only do they have hundreds of template options, you can customize each one, changing the fonts and colors of any element of the design so that it aligns perfectly with your chosen branding.

The Tradition and Grandeur of Black Tie Weddings

A black tie wedding brings to mind images of refined elegance, artistic beauty, and old-world glamour. But where did this formal dress code originate? Black tie affairs first rose to prominence in the early 20th century among the upper echelons of society. Lavish galas and dinner parties thrown by the likes of the Astors, Vanderbilts, and Rockefellers established black tie as a status symbol of the cultural elite. Since then, it has graced some of the most iconic events to this day – from the Academy Awards to presidential inaugurations.

For the modern couple, choosing black tie sets the stage for an unforgettable wedding experience. It conveys the style and sophistication they want for their big day. Brides don enviable floor-length gowns with delicate embellishments. Grooms don tailored tuxedos for a quintessential James Bond vibe. And the style elevates beyond the attire. From dramatic floral arrangements to live jazz quartets, every visual and sensory detail nods to refinement. Even the event lighting takes on an aura of old Hollywood glamour.

The Unique Allure of Black Tie Wedding Invitations

The elegance of a black tie wedding begins with the invitation suite. Top stationers and designers concur – no other style translates old-world romance and artistic grandeur quite like black tie.

Couture invitations take inspiration from the event aesthetic. Regal colors like midnight black, ivory, and blush pink reinforce the sophisticated palette. Cotton paper with delicate parchment fibers or smooth, heavyweight cardstock convey luxury textures. Decorative envelope liners provide an additional touchpoint for branding.

Artistic techniques abound with black tie suites. Hot foil stamping in gleaming gold and copper add metallic shimmer. Letterpress printing creates deep embossed impressions. Monograms and crests designed with elaborate custom illustration and calligraphy convey pedigree and heritage.

The discriminating details don't end there. Custom belly bands and wrapping ribbons add another layer of refinement. Wax seals provide the crowning emblem of craftsmanship and elegance. And of course, exquisite calligraphed addressing and hand lettering for names and dates further exemplify the artistic beauty.

Setting the Tone with Wording and Etiquette

The wording must match the artistic aesthetics in refined simplicity. “Black tie” or “Formal attire” clearly convey the expected dress code. Phrases like “The honor of your presence is requested” and “Please join us” embody classic etiquette.

For out of town guests, black tie weddings require additional courtesies. Include accommodation details and maps with the invitation suite. Provide recommended transportation options to the venue. Share an detailed event schedule, so they can plan accordingly.

Responding to a black tie invitation also comes with obligation. Guests should reply promptly and let the couple know of any dietary restrictions or plus-ones. The style demands presence and participation to fully realize the couple's grand vision.

The Allure of Old-World Glamour and Romance

In the end, black tie weddings represent a lifestyle – one of culture, knowledge, and sophistication. The style hearkens back to iconic affairs of the past but also looks forward to the unique personality and vision of the couple. Like a lavish gala, it promises an unforgettable experience for everyone fortunate enough to attend. From the attire to the invitations, every detail works in concert to set the stage for a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of true grandeur.

Among the various invitation styles, none exudes refined sophistication quite like the black tie wedding invitation. Let us guide you through the intricacies of this timeless tradition, as we explore the world of elegance and grandeur, plus we're sharing some of our favorite black tie wedding invitations to get you started. 

Black Tie Wedding Invitation

WHAT DOES BLACK TIE MEAN ON A WEDDING INVITATION?

When “black tie” dress code is indicated on a wedding invitation, you know you're in for a fancy affair. This term signifies a formal dress code for the event and guests are expected to wear elegant attire, which typically translates to tuxedos or floor-length gowns. It is a way to ensure a stylish and glamorous atmosphere for the wedding.

Black Tie Wedding Invitation

WHAT KIND OF WORDING IS USED IN BLACK TIE WEDDING INVITATIONS?

When it comes to wording, black tie wedding invitations are all about precision. Polished and concise, they convey the dress code expectations and convey the formality of the event. Phrases like “Black Tie Attire Requested” or “Formal Dress Code” gracefully communicate the level of elegance you envision for your special day. Phrases like “the honor of your presence is requested” are common. Parents are often listed as hosts, and the couple's full names are used. For example: “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter, Jane Alexandra Smith, to Mr. Robert Charles Johnson.” Remember, a black tie wedding requires your guests to dress their best, ensuring a visual symphony of glamour and sophistication.

Black Tie Wedding Invitation

WHAT TYPE OF PAPER IS TYPICALLY USED FOR BLACK TIE WEDDING INVITATIONS?

Black tie wedding invitations are typically printed on high-quality, heavyweight card stock. Some popular options include linen finish, cotton fiber blends, or even parchment for a vintage feel. Embellishments like letterpress, engraving, or foil stamping are also common to enhance the overall look of the invitations.

Black Tie Wedding Invitation

WHAT SHOULD A BLACK TIE WEDDING INVITATION SPECIFY?

A black tie wedding invitation should clearly state the dress code as “Black Tie” usually at the bottom of the invitation. The formal language should match the event's tone, and the venue should also suggest formality. Invitations should include the wedding date, time, location, hosts, the couple's names, and RSVP information.

Black Tie Wedding Invitation

WHERE ON THE WEDDING INVITATION TO YOU ADD BLACK-TIE? 

You'll want to put the dress code (whether it's black tie or not), typically in the lower, center portion of the invite. 

Black Tie Wedding Invitation

HOW TO PERSONALIZE BLACK TIE WEDDING INVITATIONS

Beyond the grand aesthetics, black tie wedding invitations often include a subtle touch of personalization, which Basic Invite makes it very easy to do, allowing you to customize every element of the design to ensure it aligns with your event's color palette, fonts and overall branding. Incorporate your monogram into the design, or for an extra level of uniqueness, add belly bands, envelope liners, or wedding stickers to your invitation suite. And don't forget to match your save-the-dates to your black-tie aesthetic! These thoughtful details not only elevate the invitation but also create a sense of anticipation for the formal celebration that awaits.

Black Tie Wedding Invitation

WHAT ARE SOME KEY DESIGN ELEMENTS OF BLACK TIE WEDDING INVITATIONS?

Black tie invitations feature regal colors like black, ivory, and blush pink. They use high quality paper with a luxury texture. Decorative techniques include foil stamping, letterpress printing, custom monograms, and elaborate calligraphy. Other special touches are custom bands, ribbons, and wax seals.

Black Tie Wedding

IS IT APPROPRIATE TO USE DIGITAL INVITATIONS FOR A BLACK TIE WEDDING?

While traditional etiquette suggests printed invitations for a formal event like a black tie wedding, digital invitations are increasingly accepted. However, these should maintain the event's formality, including elegant design, formal language, and clear dress code specification.

Black Tie Wedding Invitation

WHEN DID BLACK TIE AFFAIRS FIRST BECOME POPULAR FOR WEDDINGS?

Black tie weddings first rose to prominence in the early 20th century among wealthy families like the Astors, Vanderbilts, and Rockefellers who threw lavish galas and dinner parties. This established black tie as a status symbol of the cultural elite.

Black Tie Wedding Invitation

HOW DOES CHOOSING A BLACK TIE DRESS CODE SET THE TONE FOR A WEDDING?

Choosing black tie conveys style, sophistication, and refinement. It elevates the attire with tailored tuxedos and floor-length gowns. It also elevates the event details like dramatic floral arrangements, live music, and old Hollywood lighting. Overall, it creates an aura of romance and grandeur.

Black Tie Wedding Invitation

HOW DOES THE WORDING HELP SET THE BLACK TIE TONE?

Phrases like “black tie,” “formal attire,” “the honor of your presence is requested,” and “please join us” convey the style and etiquette expected for guests. Clear dress code instructions are essential.

Black Tie Wedding Invitation

WHAT COLORS WORK WELL FOR BLACK TIE WEDDING INVITATIONS?

Black tie wedding invitations typically stick to a monochrome color scheme – black, white, and shades of grey. They may also include touches of metallic colors like gold or silver for a luxurious feel. However, there's no strict rule, and couples can personalize the color scheme to match their wedding theme.

Here are some color schemes that could work well:

  • Monochrome: This includes black, white, and shades of grey. This is a classic, sophisticated scheme that can be accented with metallic touches (like gold or silver foiling) for an extra hint of luxury.

  • Black and Gold: This color scheme screams luxury and sophistication. Black creates a strong impression, while gold adds a touch of opulence.

  • Navy and White: If black feels too intense, a deep navy blue paired with white can still convey a sense of formality. Consider using gold or silver accents to elevate the look.

  • Ivory and Cream: These colors give a softer and more romantic vibe but still maintain an elegant and sophisticated look.

  • Burgundy and Gold: This is a deep, rich color scheme that is perfect for a formal fall or winter wedding. The gold accents add a touch of class and elegance.

  • Emerald and Gold: This is a luxurious and sophisticated color combination that's great for a black tie wedding, especially in the cooler months.

Black Tie Wedding Invitation

WHAT FONTS STYLES ARE IDEAL FOR A BLACK TIE WEDDING INVITATION?

Black tie weddings typically represent a level of sophistication, elegance, and tradition. Therefore, the font style on the wedding invitations should reflect this. Here are some font styles that would work well:

Serif Fonts: Serif fonts are considered traditional and classic, and work well for black tie invitations. They often give a formal, timeless look. Examples include Times New Roman, Georgia, Baskerville, and Garamond.

Script Fonts: These are the fonts that mimic calligraphy or handwriting, which can bring a touch of elegance to your invitation. They're great for names or headers, but can be difficult to read if used excessively. Some examples include Edwardian Script, Bickham Script Pro, and Snell Roundhand.

Blackletter Fonts: These fonts can be a good choice if you want to go for a very traditional, formal look. They can be a bit hard to read, so they should be used sparingly, perhaps for the couple's initials or names. Examples include Old English Text MT or Fraktur.

Modern Serif Fonts: Modern serifs give your invitations a chic, sophisticated touch while maintaining the formality. These are characterized by a strong contrast in line thickness. Examples include Bodoni and Didot.

Remember to keep readability in mind when choosing your font styles. You don't want your guests struggling to read the details of your special day. Also, don't be afraid to mix fonts! A combination of script for the names and a simple serif for the rest of the text can look very elegant and formal.

Black Tie Wedding Invitation

CAN I USE COLORFUL FONTS IN MY BLACK TIE WEDDING INVITATION?

While a black tie wedding invitation generally adheres to a monochrome color scheme, some couples choose to incorporate their wedding colors into the font or accents of the invitation. However, it's important that any color added still preserves the overall formal and elegant feel of the invitation. 

Black Tie Wedding Invitation

WHAT ENCLOSURES ARE TYPICALLY INCLUDED WITH A BLACK TIE WEDDING INVITATION?

Black tie wedding invitations usually include several pieces to provide guests with all the necessary information about the event. These pieces are known as enclosures, and they typically include:

  • Invitation Card: The main invitation includes the names of the hosts and the couple getting married, the date, time, and location of the wedding, and the dress code (in this case, “Black Tie”).

  • RSVP Card: This card allows guests to respond to your invitation. It typically includes a space for the guest's name, a tick box or similar to indicate attendance, meal preference if applicable, and a date by which the RSVP should be returned. Often, this will come with a pre-addressed, stamped envelope for ease of return.

  • Reception Card: If the reception is at a different location than the ceremony, a separate reception card is often included. This will provide the location and time of the reception.

  • Directions/Map Card: This card provides directions or a map to the ceremony and reception venues. It can be particularly useful if the venues are difficult to find, or for out-of-town guests unfamiliar with the area.

  • Accommodations Card: For out-of-town guests, an accommodations card provides information about nearby hotels, typically ones where you've reserved a block of rooms. This card might also include any special booking codes or discounts.

  • Details Card: A details card could include a range of other information, such as parking information, details about pre- or post-wedding events, your wedding website URL, or other notes you'd like to include.

  • Inner and Outer Envelope: Traditionally, wedding invitations include an inner envelope that holds the invitation suite and an outer envelope for mailing. The outer envelope has the mailing address, return address, and postage, while the inner envelope has the names of the invited guests.

Remember, these are just suggestions, and your final invitation suite can be customized to suit the specifics of your event. It's also increasingly common to direct guests to a wedding website for additional details, rather than including a large number of enclosure cards.

Black Tie Wedding Invitation

WHAT ARE SOME UNIQUE BLACK TIE WEDDING INVITATION IDEAS?

Black tie weddings are typically very formal and elegant, but that doesn't mean your invitations can't have unique, personal touches. Here are some ideas:

  • Custom Monogram: Design a custom monogram using the couple's initials. This monogram can be used throughout the wedding stationary, providing a unique and personal touch that unifies all elements of the event.

  • Metallic Accents: Utilize gold, silver, or rose gold foiling for text or decorative elements. Metallic accents can make your invitations feel luxurious and special.

  • Laser Cut Designs: These intricate designs can be incredibly beautiful and eye-catching. They can range from floral patterns to architectural designs, or even a unique design that's meaningful to you as a couple.

  • Velvet Invitations: Use velvet material for your invitation card for an extra touch of elegance and sophistication. Velvet invitations offer a unique tactile experience that guests will not soon forget.

  • Seal with a Wax Stamp: This adds a vintage, formal touch to your invitation envelope. The wax can be in a color that matches your wedding color scheme, and the stamp can be a monogram or a design that matches the theme of your wedding.

  • Calligraphy: Handwritten calligraphy can make each invitation feel personal and special. Consider hiring a calligrapher to address each invitation.

  • Envelope Liners: These add an extra pop of color or pattern when your guests open their invitations. They can match or complement the design of your invitations.

  • Vellum Wraps or Belly Bands: A vellum wrap or a belly band (a band of paper) can be used to hold all the elements of your invitation suite together. These can be printed with additional design elements, if you wish.

  • Personal Illustrations: Personal illustrations or sketches such as a sketch of the venue, a portrait of the couple, or a symbol that represents the couple, can make the invitations unique and personal.

Remember, the most unique invitations are those that speak to who you are as a couple. Think about what elements, designs, or themes are most meaningful to you, and incorporate those into your invitations.

Black Tie Wedding Invitation

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “BLACK TIE” AND “BLACK TIE OPTIONAL”?

The terms “Black Tie” and “Black Tie Optional” are dress codes often seen on invitations to formal events such as weddings or galas. They provide guidance for guests on what they are expected to wear.

  • Black Tie: This is one of the most formal dress codes. For men, it typically means a tuxedo with a black bow tie, a white dress shirt, black patent leather shoes, and potentially a cummerbund or waistcoat. For women, it typically means a formal full-length evening gown, but a very dressy cocktail dress may also be acceptable.

  • Black Tie Optional: This dress code is slightly less formal and provides more flexibility for guests. Men have the option of wearing a tuxedo or a dark suit with a conservative tie. For women, a full-length gown, a cocktail dress, or a dressy suit are all appropriate.

The aim of “Black Tie Optional” is to give guests the option to dress very formally if they wish, without obliging those who may not have access to black tie attire to acquire it for the occasion. It's a way of maintaining a formal atmosphere while allowing for a broader range of attire. However, even though it's “optional”, it's still expected that guests dress formally to respect the nature of the event.

Black Tie Wedding Invitation
Black Tie Wedding Invitation
Black Tie Wedding Invitation
Black Tie Wedding Invitation
Black Tie Wedding Invitation
Black Tie Wedding Invitation
Black Tie Wedding Invitation
Black Tie Wedding Invitation

In the realm of wedding invitations, the black tie style reigns supreme, embodying timeless elegance and sophisticated charm. From the regal color palettes to the carefully chosen wording, every element of a black tie invitation speaks to the grandeur of the occasion. By choosing this style, you set the stage for an unforgettable event, leaving your guests excitedly awaiting a night of glamour and refined revelry. Let your wedding invitation be a harbinger of the luxurious celebration that awaits, as you embark on a journey to create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Other Options

There are plenty of options available for black tie wedding invitations, including customizable templates and handmade designs. Websites like Zazzle, Etsy, and Minted offer a wide selection of black tie wedding invitation templates and designs. Couples can choose from different styles, colors, and printing options to match their wedding theme and personal preferences. Some invitations may include foil-pressed details, letterpress printing, or custom monograms to enhance the luxurious feel.

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author avatar
Brittny Drye
As a lover of all things wedding and a fierce cheerleader for marriage equality, I decided to marry my two passions and create a resource where all couples can be equally represented. Armed with seven years in both print and online lifestyle journalism, I dove headfirst into this passion project in 2013 and Love Inc. was born. I’m inspired every day by the couples that grace our pages, from the can’t-live-without-you grasps to the gentle sweeping away of a happy tear, the love that they so clearly have for each other is intoxicating, and drives me to create the best product possible … while enjoying every second of it.