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Hosting a Black Tie Evening at Home - Page 2

post #16 of 25
I do occasionally host semi-formal events in my home and when I do, I don't typically expect the guests to help themselves. If the event is one where guests help themselves, I'd suggest less formal attire ... perhaps informal (suits) or casual (coat and tie).

If you really want to host a black-tie affair, I suggest hiring at a minimum a waiter to serve drinks & hors d'oeuvres ... and dinner if served.
post #17 of 25

Dammit, I would go. I would even tend bar, and do a better job than anyone you've ever met.

 

~ H

post #18 of 25
I really appreciate a Black Tie event, and attend as many as possible.

However, I am always surprised at how few people actually own black tie attire. Perhaps I shouldn't be, considering how few events call for it these days.

Either way, best of luck!
post #19 of 25
Maybe you can have someone perform, to justify the black tie? Like a singer, pianist, violinist, etc. something along those lines. Just a thought.
post #20 of 25
I thought a proper dinner started at 8pm. But if you're going to host a formal evening, even if it's just cocktails, I reckon you'll want help because serving even canapes in black tie is not going to be fun.
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by curzon View Post

OP, how many of these guests presently own black tie attire? For those who haven't, how many are inclined to purchase (or rent) for this one occasion? Shall I assume women will be invited? Are they to wear appropriate gowns, shoes, etc.?

At least half of the men that I intend to invite own black tie attire. If pressed, I will say that it's a "black tie encouraged" event, so those who do not own black tie can turn up in a dark suit instead. Who knows, maybe an event like this will help inspire more of my friends - especially the fence-sitters - to pull the trigger and finally get black tie attire? We are all in our late 20s or early 30s and I'm thinking, if one does not get black tie and have fun with it now, when?
Quote:
Originally Posted by curzon View Post

Shall I assume women will be invited? Are they to wear appropriate gowns, shoes, etc.?

A lot of women I know often complain how they never have any opportunity to wear the nice frocks and dresses they own, and are more than excited about an intimate "formal" evening. Having said that, I do notice that a lot of women my generation tend to prefer cocktail dresses to ball gowns. I think the former is more than appropriate for a house party.
Quote:
Originally Posted by curzon View Post

If you want to host a successful event you need to ensure almost all those you invite shall attend. This means that all the invitees: 1) already own the clothing; 2) are invited two months (or more) prior; and 3) the occasion and locale is commensurate with their effort.

As mentioned above, to start the ball rolling, it's probably worth approaching things more flexibly at first. Since the party is taking place in November, I have more than enough time, especially to arrange some entertainment and program to make it a night to remember. A cellist friend has agreed to perform, but beyond that I have not decided what else I can arrange. I may actually do a wine/whiskey tasting as suggested by a previous poster. At the very least, it's going to be my birthday (an important milestone), and I hope they will find that to be a good occasion to justify the effort.
Quote:
Originally Posted by curzon View Post

OP, have you purchased a tuxedo and now have nowhere to wear it? If so, might I suggest you join a few charitable & cultural organizations and attend their balls. Or join the diplomatic corps.

I commissioned a dinner suit three years ago and I'm happy to say that I have had many opportunities to wear it (on average 5-7 times a year to date). However, I've mainly worn it to balls and fundraisers, or other similarly big parties, and am curious about the the potential of black tie events in more intimate settings. Since no one has invited me to a black tie reception in their home, I have decided to step up and take the initiative.
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwiffo View Post

I thought a proper dinner started at 8pm. But if you're going to host a formal evening, even if it's just cocktails, I reckon you'll want help because serving even canapes in black tie is not going to be fun.

Yes, agreed. I was thinking at first that given that it's a small party (20 people), hiring help may seem exaggerated. But on second thought and after reading feedback on this thread, I see now that hired help is the only sensible way to do this.
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by landshark View Post

Maybe you can have someone perform, to justify the black tie? Like a singer, pianist, violinist, etc. something along those lines. Just a thought.

Yes, I have duped a cellist friend to come and play a few fun pieces. I'm giving him 8 months' notice - can't see how I can do better than that!
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RSS View Post

I do occasionally host semi-formal events in my home and when I do, I don't typically expect the guests to help themselves. If the event is one where guests help themselves, I'd suggest less formal attire ... perhaps informal (suits) or casual (coat and tie).
If you really want to host a black-tie affair, I suggest hiring at a minimum a waiter to serve drinks & hors d'oeuvres ... and dinner if served.

Thanks, this is in line with many of what others have been saying on this thread.

As an aside: if only I live in an era where "casual" clearly means "coat and tie"...
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbowtie View Post

As an aside: if only I live in an era where "casual" clearly means "coat and tie"...
At sixty-something I can barely remember it. Dress codes changed drastically in the 1960s. During my first year of college, at the appointed hour, white-coated waiters arrived to serve coffee and tea. By the time I graduated, it was served by vending machines in the basement.
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