London Wedding Invitations: Luxurious & Decadent Black Tie

If you’re a London based bride planning your wedding and you’re searching for some London wedding invitations options, then you have come to right place! Prepare to be pretty inspired!

 

London Black Tie Wedding Invitations: Luxurious & Decadent

 

As weddings adapt to more modern, stylish trends, so do the traditions that we have associated with them for so long. Many couples are opting to host Black tie celebrations, to add that element of formality and elegance to their party, and in doing so are exploring new ways of defining luxury. Today’s article is all about the history of Black tie and the appropriate stationery etiquette, and will also give you an overview of my most timeless and dynamic London wedding invitations for Black tie themed weddings.

 

 

London Wedding Invitations black wedding invite with gold calligraphy
Visit the above Black Tie Collection here.

 

 

These are the topics we’ll be exploring:

 

  • About me & my design journey
  • What is the origin of Black tie, and what does it mean today?
  • Examples of Black tie wedding invitations
  • Black tie wedding invitation wording
  • Getting in touch

 

Before we dive in, I’d love to introduce myself.

 

About me & my design journey

 

I’m Rubana Gaspar, a dynamic, boutique wedding invitation designer, specialising in stand out, hand painted, lavishly designed wedding stationery.  I’m a British designer and artist, born and raised in the heart of the West Midlands. I’m passionate about all things creative, and adore intricate, classical, and opulent European design. I travel as much as I can with my Portuguese- Parisienne husband, and fuel my imagination with inspiration from art, architecture, cultural diversity, and history. I believe luxury is in the detail, and I absolutely adore creating suites that are unique, highly refined, stylish, and completely bespoke to you.

 

London Wedding Invitations showing how I as the artist develop my artwork to create black tie wedding stationery

 

 

YES THAT’S RIGHT, I DO QUITE LITERALLY HAND PAINT MANY OF MY INVITATIONS!

 

 

I began my creative journey three years ago. When I first started to design, a mass of colourful madness came flowing out through my collections but thankfully over these three years, I have worked hard to hone my skills as wedding stationer. The more I designed and pushed myself ahead (mostly through creative collaborations) the more I realised that I had a tendency to constantly go back to a darker, moodier style. Black and gold has certainly become my signature look. I’m not sure what it is about dark wedding stationery, whether it’s the contrast between black and gold, or whether I’m excited because I have never seen any black tie wedding stationery that has such a stylish edge, or whether its is just the artist in me that gets to play.
Black tie wedding invitations don’t have to be drone, overly conservative or without character.

 

London Wedding Invitations showing gold painted details for black tie wedding invitations

 

 

If you’re on the hunt for London Wedding Invitations, then perhaps I can inspire you by showing you my very favourite designs, from my Black Tie collection so far!

What is the origin of Black tie, and what does it mean today?

 

Although it may seem counterintuitive, Black tie actually originated around 1885 as a result of the well-to-do looking for more comfortable, informal alternatives to the day and evening tails that were de rigueur at the time – particularly as outdoor activities increased in popularity among the middle and upper class. Famously, Edward VII swapped his tailcoat for a blue silk smoking jacket with matching trousers, and so this new look started making waves through Europe and then America. Terms like dinner jacket, tuxedo, “smoking”, and cravate noire soon became staples of menswear in the Victoria Era.

 

London Wedding Invitations ceiling detail from inside a palace in Portugal
Photography by Passionate Wedding

 

Originally worn only for events after 6 p.m., Black tie is one of the few remaining traditional dress codes, and is all about detail, respect, and uniformity. Though officially only a semi-formal dress code, it is now widely used to indicate that wedding guests should go all in when it comes to their choice of outfit. The strict definition of the dress code has relaxed over time, but men should generally be seen in matching midnight blue or black dinner jacket and trousers a third piece such as a waistcoat or cummerbund, coordinated metals (watch, cufflinks, wedding band…), and a self-tie bow tie.

 

London Wedding Invitations Black Tie Formal Menswear example
Photography by Passionate Wedding

 

The jacket should feature contrast lapels, while the trousers should have a ribbon weaving down the leg, all the way down to a sleek shoe. The shape of lapel, the fabric (silk, wool, velvet, and so on), and the combination of elements is up to you, but should be balanced – the key is for the cut and fit to be seamless, and for everything to feel understatedly luxurious. For women, this dress code has fewer rules attached – but will usually translate to a formal evening gown, ballgown, or cocktail dress, accessorised with a wrap or stole, gloves, a small purse, and some statement shoes.

 

London Wedding Invitations with bride in a black tie wedding gown
Photography by Auras Studio for a style shoot, A Lady in a Long Black Dress. See it here.

 

When it comes to décor, Black tie weddings will be glamorous, stylish, and luxurious down to the most minute detail.

 

 

There are no set rules of course, and you can choose the colour palette, type of venue, and styling details that most resonate with you and your values – but do think about keeping it consistent, immersive, and experiential for your guests.

 

London Wedding Invitations showing how to weave black tie ideas through the table setting

 

London Wedding Invitations how to use black tie accents throughout the wedding day decor

 

London Wedding Invitations which chairs to use to compliment a black tie wedding

 

London Wedding Invitations using red and pink flower displays for a black tie wedding

 

London Wedding Invitations which flowers to use for your black tie wedding

 

If you’re planning on hosting a sophisticated evening soiree with this calibre of dress code, then it’s important to tell that story from the very beginning. From the moment your guests open your Black tie wedding invitation, they should be daydreaming of looking their best in that outfit they save for only the most lavish of life’s celebrations, no corners cut or expenses spared. Your save the dates and invitations should be unforgettable, and set the tone for your event by shooting for the stars – just as you wish your guests to.

 

 

 

Examples of Black Tie Wedding Invitation Suites

 

Receiving invitations to a Black tie wedding is an experience, an unexpected delight, and the suite itself is an heirloom to treasure and display. They are themselves a luxury, art on paper, enjoyed equally by the discerning couple and their awed guests, who, in that moment, are connoisseurs of the finer things in life. Your Black tie wedding invitations should speak volumes, demand your guests attention at first glance, capture their imagination, and leave them reeling for more.

 

I have had the pleasure of creating a number of bespoke London wedding invitation suites that would seamlessly complement a Black tie event, and am delighted to share some examples of these with you today.

 

 

  1. Let’s dive in with the first collection,  that you have seen a close up of above, my Black Tie Invitations – Sumptuous Luxury Redefined. It’s a very classical fine art wedding invitation suite, featuring only gold calligraphy and a beautifully hand painted gold floral wreath.

 

London Wedding Invitations save the date card with gold leaves

 

London Wedding Invitations rsvp card with gold calligraphy and reply date styled

 

London Wedding Invitations bride in a gold dress holding a long black invite with gold calligraphy

 

London Wedding Invitations Black Tie wedding stationery suite with gold calligraphy and floral wreath

The above collection is the glorious result of a wonderful editorial that I collaborated on with some creative professionals from Portugal.

You can find them here on instagram:

Photography @aurasstudio  Video @ninhofilms   Model @dsrodriguescatarina   Stylist @cristinfrancis_aqueduto   Hair @thestoryimage   Candles @silkandwillow   Dresses and Accessories @Vabelaegostosa   @nxt.management    Silk Ribbon, napkins @seidenband

 

 

2) Secondly I’d like to share the black tie invitations, called Black Aubergine Equinox that I created for a wonderful Dark Fire Editorial. It features a rather innovative envelope covered with hand cut black leaves and a large hand painted backdrop. Yes I do think that I rather got carried away with the backdrop a little, but I’m sure you will enjoy the rest!

  • If your Black tie wedding is a sumptuous, moody affair, then this suite may be your perfect companion. The Black Aubergine Equinox collection boasts layers of texture, deep rich colours, and vivid, hand-painted floral brushstrokes – for those of us that want to combine sophistication with romanticism, and offer guests a feast for all senses. This palette blends deep tones of black, pale dusky pink-aubergine with accents of gold, white, and copper, all framed by a striking black envelope with hand cut black leaves. Artful and exquisite, this suite would be a heavenly embellishment for your Black tie wedding at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

 

London Wedding Invitations showing a flatlay with the entire suite of rsvp, hand painted vellum and long invitation card

 

London Wedding Invitations with details of painted brushstrokes

 

 

London Wedding Invitations_black wedding invitationswith a hand painted invitation box

 

 

London Wedding Invitations with vow book wedding menu and large black wedding invite

 

My absolute favourite item from this whole suite the the sumptuously hand painted wedding menu. Yes I literally hand painted it with acrylic paint, then added the hand cut leaves. It is so worth it in the end!

 

London Wedding Invitations with black wedding menu with gold calligraphy and dark pink flower cover with flowers from the table scape

 

London Wedding Invitations cake displayed infront of a black backdrop with hand painted backdrop behind

Images above via Collaborative style shoot:
CARLOS HERNANDEZ PHOTOGRAPHYKAMEA EVENTS|     CRIMSON LETTERS  MOLLY RYAN FLORAL|     THE LIGHT ROOM PDX|     CLAIRE LA FAYECASSANDRA KENNEDY BEAUTY|    NATALIE DEHAVEN CAKESBELLA BELLE SHOESPOINT NO POINT STUDIOBBJ LINEN|LACE BYRD|  REACTION MODELS & TALENT

 

 

3. Next, I’d like to show you another favourite of mine, the French Wedding Invitations – Chateau D’iter in the south of France. Again if you’re on the hunt for London wedding invitations, these black tie wedding invitations coming next exhibit how to weave black into your wedding stationery without it being too over powering. In this collection you will see, paler shades of gold, creams, blues and a very special hand painted deep blue and gold wedding menu that you will not want to miss!

  • These luxurious wedding invitations were inspired by the Chateau Diter in France, with its ornate, renaissance and southern French charm. I wanted this design to conjure images of refined elegance and times gone by, where honour, refined manners, and good breeding were of prime importance. Lavishly painted and yet delicately subtle, these illustrations and flourishes of calligraphy decorate the most splendid hand-painted wedding invitations. Your guests will run their fingers over the brushstrokes and find themselves holding more than paper – these are heirlooms, and pieces of art. Nothing less will do for your Black tie celebrations amidst European masterpieces!

 

London Wedding Invitations - black invitation card foil embossed

 

 

London Wedding Invitations with hand made and hand painted blue envelope and gold wax seal.

 

 

London Wedding Invitations with a save the date card with gold antique French bee design

 

London Wedding Invitations featuring a wedding menu with gold calligraphy and a French bee design displayed on a table

Images From a Style Shoot, Credits Here,
Via Instagram:  Planner & Stylist – @savethedate.ae  Photographer – @purpletreephotography  Floral Designer- @tulipano_decor  
Wedding Invitation Designer- @crimson_letters  Wedding Dress – @houseofmoiraibridal  Jewellery Designer – @inga.alexandrova  
Table Runner & Silk Ribbons – @tulipano_decor  Tableware rental @partysocialuae

 

 

 

4)   Black Tie Party Invitations – ‘Evocative Luxury’. This collection was created by drawing inspiration from The Legend of Briar Rose and Burne Jones, a series of paintings by Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne Jones, dating back to 1885. The series depicts the encounter between a knight and a group of sleeping soldiers, entwined with thorns and flowers. Using rich hues, oranges, aubergines, and touches of gold, I designed a suite that would suit the most luxurious of events – while still being enchanting and magical, like a Black tie wedding at the Café Royal or One Great George Street.

 

London Wedding Invitations featuring heavily hand painted gold baroque detail on black invitations

 

London Wedding Invitations with Black Tie Party Invitation invitation wrap to hold items loosely

 

 

All of these suites can be tailored to your style and colours, and enriched with details like hand painted envelopes, personalised wax seals, or initials embossed in our luxurious antique gold ink.

 

 

Black Tie Wedding Invitation Wording

 

When it comes to wording your Black tie wedding invitations, you will of course be looking for more classic alternatives – but formality doesn’t mean foregoing on the invites being modern and personal to you.

 

 

Here are some ideas on how you might word a formal invitation:

 

  • With the bride’s parents as hosts:

 

Doctor and Mrs. Edward Black
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Vivian White
to
Mr. Alexander Smith
Saturday, the twentieth of June
two thousand and nineteen
at half after three o’clock
Aynhoe Park
Reception to follow

 

  • Hosted by the bride’s parents, and personalised to each guest:

 

Mr. and Mrs. Edward Black
request the pleasure of
GUEST NAME
at the marriage of their daughter
Vivian White
to
Mr. Alexander Smith
Saturday, the twentieth of June
two thousand and nineteen
at half after three o’clock
Aynhoe Park
Reception to follow

 

 

  • Hosted by the couple and their parents:

 

Together with their families
Vivian White and Alexander Smith
request the honour of your presence at their marriage
Saturday, the eighth of June two thousand and nineteen at eleven o’clock in the morning
Aynhoe Park
Adult-only affair to follow

 

  • Hosted by the couple:

 

Vivian White and Alexander Smith
request the pleasure of your company
on their wedding day
Saturday, the eighth of June two thousand and nineteen
at eleven o’clock in the morning
Aynhoe Park
Reception to follow
Vivian White and Alexander Smith
invite you to join in the celebration
of their marriage
Saturday, the eighth of June two thousand and nineteen
at eleven o’clock in the morning
Aynhoe Park
Reception immediately following
Vivian White and Alexander Smith
cordially invite you to help celebrate their marriage
Saturday, the eighth of June two thousand and nineteen
at eleven o’clock in the morning
Aynhoe Park
Dinner and dancing to follow

 

 

  • An adult-only reception:

 

The pleasure of your company
is kindly requested at the marriage of
Vivian White and Alexander Smith
Saturday, the eighth of June two thousand and nineteen
at eleven o’clock in the morning
Aynhoe Park
Adult reception to follow

 

 

Do make sure you specify the dress code in your invitation if this is important to you, so that your guests know what to expect.

 

 

Don’t use anything too ambiguous (like “preferred” or “optional”). Traditionally the dress code wouldn’t be included on the main invite, but rather as a footnote in the lower right corner of the reception card. Wording for the dress code could be Dress code: Black tie (tuxedos and formal gowns).

 

 

I hope this overview of Black tie weddings and Black tie wedding invitations has been useful to you, and inspired you to host your own sophisticated celebration. If you would like to get in touch, please reach out here.

 

 

 

If there anything else that I can help you with, or you have any questions, do drop a comment below, I would love to hear from you!

 

You also might find these articles helpful if you are interested in learning more:

 

Here is how I work on Custom Hand Painted Wedding Stationery.

If you’d like to know more about me and read some testimonials, pop over to my About page.

If you’d like to learn more about wedding invitation terminology read this Glossary here.

If you’d like to discover or look through more design, visit my Portfolio page.

 

 

 

 

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