Originally posted this Men's Clothing, but realized too late that this is probably a more appropriate forum. Inspired by a few (relatively) recent threads on black tie, and as part of my efforts to further integrate black tie/evening wear into my lifestyle, I'm thinking of hosting a black tie evening at home. All of the black tie/formal events I've attended have been big parties/balls involving at least a hundred people, and I'm thinking that a more intimate setting with fewer guests would be something worth pursuing. This being Style Forvm, I'm convinced that some of you must have done this and would have some tips to share. I'm thinking of having around 20 guests. Some questions that come to mind are: - could I do without a caterer/bartender? Am planning to have finger food and let the guests help themselves at the bar. Or is that just not acceptable if you expect people to dress up? - what is a good time for the party to start? I'm thinking after dinner i.e. 8:00 p.m. - what "format" should the party take? In other words, should it just be a "normal" party where people come, drink, eat and then leave, with the exception being that they are dressed up? Or should I plan a "program" involving some activities? If so, what could those be? - any thoughts on appropriate music apart from classical music? - how to pitch the invitation requesting/encouraging black tie without coming off as (too much of) a snob? More importantly, how to encourage people to comply as best as they can to the dress code, again without being too fussy? Any other thoughts would be appreciated.