what does formal attire really mean?

10 years ago

I need help deciphering this wedding invitation. We're friends with the parents of the groom so I will ask them but I'm curious what your take is before that.

Wedding is on a Sunday, 5pm, downtown Chicago hotel, reception, cocktails dinner following. Insert card (not response card - that's a whole other issue) gives website info for RSVP and gift registry, and then says, Formal Attire Requested. What do you take that to mean? My girlfriend says it's not black tie or it would have said black tie, that a dark suit is appropriate. Most websites say formal does = black tie and long gown, however some sites say it means white tie and tails!!! I can't believe that's what is intended, though.

So what's your take on this? Black tie, dark suit, long gown, cocktail dress or ????

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