Dave and I recently attended a wedding and in the lower left corner the phrase “Black Tie” was printed, so he decided to rent a tuxedo.
A few weeks before the wedding Dave saw some of the other guests and somehow the wedding came up in conversation. He mentioned that he was going to rent a tuxedo to which one guy replied, “You don’t need to wear a tuxedo.” It turns out his girlfriend called the bride and asked if a tux was mandatory, and she was told (by the bride) that a black suit was fine. A tuxedo was not mandatory.
After hearing this, Dave’s friend said that they should have printed “Black Tie Optional” so guests knew that they could wear a suit instead of a tux. (I have to admit, I was impressed that he knew this bit of wedding info.)
My point: Before you print your wedding invitation really think about what type of attire you want your guests in: Tuxedos (Black Tie), tuxedos or suits (Black Tie Optional), suits (don’t print anything) and have the appropriate phrase printed, or left blank, on your wedding invitation.