* Yes, I know this is not the main ball. Can't find an invitation for that one.
You have to go back to the '50s to find an invite with no dress code.
Thank you for posting this. As a point in fact, the one invite quoted above is the only formal invitation that was provided and as is proper with formal invitations, it doesn't mention the dress code. There are two invitations above that appear to be formal, or give the appearance of being formal, that fail as truly formal invitations for one or more technical or formal reasons, i.e., they lack the proper form.
The rest of the examples appear largely to be tickets for admission and not invitations at all.
With informal invitations or tickets for admission, it is entirely proper to list the dress code if any or not, such as the very last one dated 1949.
The sad fact is that in order to expect proper attire from guests nowadays, one needs to find some way to communicate the dress code to them and the invite or attending documents such as RSVP cards are probably as good a place as any, formal invite or not.
I think eveyone here knows the times and occasions for appropriate formality, but this is SF. Out in the rest of the world I feel it is best to state requested attire on the invitation, because you cannot ASSUME your guests will know.
And we all know what happens when we assume, we make and ass out of you and me.
This is usually the recommended method suggested by etiquette experts as well.
A wedding tie is classic daywear and best in direct sunlight, but not the best choice for an evening wedding since it lacks proper contrast and doesn't look great in camera. I am sure you know this, but don't care.