Response: Hello Pipper, I tend to agree with your son. Saying 'black tie' or 'black tie optional' can be intimidating to some people and they wont attend, particularly younger people close to the bride and grooms age. Your son and his bride know their guest list and they should have an idea of how their guests would respond to such a suggestion.
The couple will want to find out if the country club has a dress code - most do. If so, they can include a note in the invitations indicating there is a dress code and say something like 'cocktail attire prefered.' That way, guests dont feel constrained to tuxedos and gowns, but shouldnt show up in Levis either.
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