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What Does it Mean to Have a Formal Wedding?

Formal weddings and black tie attire have a more relaxed tone than they used to. To begin looking at throwing a formal wedding the first thing to always keep in mind is consistency. The more consistent you are in explaining and expressing your theme the better!


Let's Get Fancy!


Image from Second City Stationary


1. It Begins with the Stationary

Remember the importance of consistency? This is the best place to start communication of your theme to guests. This will truthfully start with the engagement announcement and your save the date, because that is the first connection you have with your guests. Presenting a formal appearance helps to start you out on the right foot!


Next, when looking at your invitations make sure to look up the correct way to list the host of the wedding, names of the couple to be wed, and the information about ceremony.


When discussing the reception, mention you will be doing a formal plated meal and that will be another clue to your guests of the formal theme and therefore coordinating required attire.


Finally, do not be afraid to request formal attire and slightly explain your expectations to help you and the guests remove stress from dressing correctly to impress!


Image from Wedding Forward

2. Venue Choice


The venue you choose needs to have the look and feel of a formal event before you bring items in. It is a common mistake that you will be able to from the ground up be able to make something fancy. Typically that requires too much time, effort, and money for most to go through. Instead, look to pick a venue that has that feel already.


Specifically for people who look to get married in the summer months, you will want to look at indoor options. Not only will the groom and groomsmen be very uncomfortable in full tuxes, but so will all of your guests. Nonetheless, no matter what season you look to tie the knot, being indoors gives you much more control of formal little details, like perfectly placed rose petals to the left, that will make a huge difference.


3. Forgetting Florals


Florals are very important to making the event feel as formal as it should! Click on the arrows in the gallery to right to see some examples of how they could be incorporated into your ceremony and reception!


It is a mistake to think the florals need to stand 4-5ft tall on the table, they simply just need to be elegant. Using clear or sparkly jars to hold your florals is the best, especially when you surround them with the twinkle of candles throughout your venue. Simple and clean note colors are the best when picking out your specific buds and blossoms. Anything very vibrant will deter from the elegance of your setting.


Image captured from Style Me Pretty

4. Cocktail Hour


Alcohol is something typically associated with a black tie event. To fully encompass the formal theme you would serve a plated and seated multi course meal - we will discuss that later though.


Since guests will be confined to a smaller group of people and one table during dinner, hosting a cocktail hour allows them to sand a mingle with all of the guests before taking that seat.


The type of drinks served is important to stick on theme. You will want to stick to serving classic martinis and champagne over beer. You can still do modern twists on drinks to represent you as the couple, but try to stay in the confines of the formal feel with your served alcohol.




Image from Table and Thyme

5. Reception Do's & Don'ts


As stated earlier, a many course plated meal is what is most commonly associated with a black tie wedding. This is not only good for the continuation of your theme, but is also a way to thank your guests for attending your event and participating in the formal attire.


This type of dinner can help you and the cater in many ways. Everyone will be able to get their meal around the same time window and there will be an exact amount of plates or special dietary need meals. You also get a little more control of the flow of the reception, because you can take scheduled breaks in-between courses.


You could also have dessert included in this plated meal or you could do an elegant dessert table! This would be a way to include a personalized touch into the reception.


6. Gratitude and Grand Exits


It is vital to have your gratuity gift for bridesmaids, groomsmen, mothers, father, officiant, and anyone in the wedding to be attached to your formal theme. Since the big day is elegant and sophisticated so should their thank you gift. Take into account people's personalities still, but make it fancy!


As you leave this grand day, make a statement! Pick a fun car or carriage to ride away in as newlyweds .


Make sure to use this to leave the lasting impression from your big day!



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