I spent the weekend at a gorgeous wedding at the Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida. The American bride blissfully wed an English gentleman which created a very formal dynamic.  I would definitely classify the wedding as a Black Tie occasion.  The bride’s stunning Marchesa gown and the groom’s regal tails let everyone know they were at a formal event.  The room was elegant enough to match the newlyweds as were the guests. That being said, most of the traditional “Black Tie” rules did not apply here.  My my, what would Emily Post say about the modern etiquette of the Black Tie Gala?!

The first obvious departure from the “old school” way of Black Tie were short dresses. Most women attending the wedding did have on a short dress.  Many were stunning, but they were certainly not full length gowns.  I believe that this has become acceptable because it is much more convenient for women.  A short dress that is elegant can now be worn to a wide range of events from cocktail to the most formal occasion.  It is easier to purchase an expensive dress when it can be worn more than once. Short dresses do not always need alterations which makes it much more simple to pass along to friends and family.  Many women also did not get their hair done. I should correct myself, most women did not APPEAR to have had their hair done!  The modern look seems to favor hair down or in a messy knot.  No matter how hard we try or how many hours we spend in front of the mirror or at a salon, the goal is to look like we spent no time at all these days. Hey, It takes a lot to look this natural!

Men departed from the Black Tie norm a little less.  Ties may have filled in for our friend “The Bow Tie” But that was about it.  I would love to tell you that I spent the night surrounded by young men in high end tuxedos, but I would be lying!  The truth is my father was the best dressed man at the party! He wore a classic tux with a perfectly mismatched light cashmere dinner jacket. The jacket was defined by a check pattern which delicately combined midnight and black.  The icing on this wedding cake was of course the incredible diamond cufflinks.  Who said men cannot wear fine jewelry? Certainly not me!  However, the apple does not usually fall far from the tree..

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