The 19 Best Black-Tie Wedding Guest Dresses of 2023

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Brides / Chloe Jeong

Attending a black-tie wedding is a perfect opportunity to break out your glitz and glam. After all, a black-tie wedding is one of the fanciest occasions a couple can have, which begs the question, "what am I going to wear?" A black-tie dress code calls for swanky attire, from tuxedos to red carpet-worthy gowns. But fret not! With so many gorgeous formal outfits on offer, there's a black-tie ensemble out there to suit every style and budget.

What Is Black-Tie Attire?

A black-tie dress code is reserved for formal weddings and events. Guests typically wear floor-length gowns and tuxedos when attending a black-tie wedding.

Whatever your style preferences may be, there's a black-tie ensemble out there for you. To help narrow down your search, we've researched the best black-tie wedding dresses for every style, budget, and season.

Best Jewel Tone

Lulus Constantine Burgundy Satin Maxi Dress

Lulus Constantine Burgundy Satin Maxi Dress

Lulus

Size Range: XS-XL | Colors: 7 | Material: Polyester

Nothing exudes more effortless elegance than a flowing maxi dress. This satin style in a rich burgundy is as chic as ever for fall or winter nuptials. And at an affordable price, it makes for a budget-friendly option you can wear again for any other formal occasions to come.

Price at time of publish: $55

Best Little Black Dress

Amanda Uprichard Queen Gown

Amanda Uprichard Queen Gown

Revolve

Size Range: XS-XL | Colors: Black | Material: Polyester

No matter the occasion, you can never go wrong with a classic black dress. We love this one in particular for its body-hugging silhouette and sexy halter neckline. Wear with statement earrings to highlight the shoulder-baring neckline.

Price at time of publish: $260

Best Gold

Sabina Musayev Ray Dress

Sabina Musayev Ray Dress

Revolve

Size Range: XS-XL | Colors: Gold | Material: Polyester

A wedding around the holidays calls for a festive dress. So bring on the sparkle and bring on the bows. Keep accessories simple and let this stunning dress do all the talking!

Price at time of publish: $490

Best Budget

Lulus Outstanding Elegance Deep Rose Satin Surplice Maxi Dress

Lulus Outstanding Elegance Deep Rose Satin Surplice Maxi Dress

Lulus

Size Range: XS-XL | Colors: 5 | Material: Polyester, Spandex

Channel Old Hollywood glamour in this stunning, floor-sweeping gown. The thigh-high split not only adds an element of sexiness, but it's also elongating, to boot! With various color options to choose from, this dress is appropriate for a black-tie affair at any time of the year.

Price at time of publish: $84

Best Muted Florals

Reformation Frankie Silk Dress

Reformation Frankie Silk Dress

Reformation

Size Range: 0-24, petite available | Colors: 4 | Material: Silk

This silk slip dress is divinely chic for the guest who loves clean and classic silhouettes. Timeless and on-trend, this Reformation number features a classic floral print and a square neckline. We also love how it's available in both petite and extended sizes.

Price at time of publish: $298

Best for Fall

Hutch Bow Tie Dress

Hutch Bow Tie Dress

Anthropologie

Size Range: 00-26, petite available | Colors: Navy, Black | Material: Cotton, Spandex, Polyester

Equal parts eye-catching and sophisticated, this two-tone dress is a show-stopping option for a black-tie wedding. The combination of classic black and rich bronze is perfect for an autumn affair. Made from both cotton and spandex, it's breathable and stretchy.

Price at time of publish: $218

Best for a Destination Wedding

Reformation Andee Dress

Reformation Andee Dress

Reformation

Size Range: 0-12 | Colors: 7 | Material: Viscose

If you're headed to a destination or summer wedding, this Reformation dress is a no-brainer. Dressy enough to adhere to a black-tie dress code and playful enough to complement a destination wedding venue—this dress is the best of both worlds.

Price at time of publish: $378

Best Strapless

Michael Costello x REVOLVE Briggs Gown

Michael Costello x REVOLVE Briggs Gown

Revolve

Size Range: XXS-XL | Colors: Black, Peach | Material: Rayon, Nylon, Spandex

Attending a wedding is an investment, so invest in a dress that you'll wear again and again. This elegant strapless gown would make a timeless addition to any formal wardrobe. Coming from a designer that has dressed Beyonce, Cardi B, Kim Kardashian, and Lady Gaga, this gown will surely impress.

Price at time of publish: $298

Best Navy

Reformation Ingrid Dress

Reformation Ingrid Dress

Reformation

Size Range: 0-12 | Colors: 4 | Material: Viscose

While many gravitate toward black for a black-tie wedding (with good reason), try going the navy route. The deep blue hue is sophisticated, elegant, and appropriate for any season. This number from Reformation offers a slim-fitting bodice, removable straps, and a relaxed-fitting skirt to combine style with comfort.

Price at time of publish: $378

Best Jumpsuit

Lulus Thinking Out Loud Backless Jumpsuit

Lulus Thinking Out Loud Backless Jumpsuit

Lulus

Size Range: XXS-XL | Colors: 7 | Material: Polyester, Spandex

For those who prefer jumpsuits — they are easier to dance in — we recommend this number from Lulus. With a plunging neckline and criss-cross back, the style looks way more expensive than its true price. But hey, you're secret is safe with us.

Price at time of publish: $59

Best Pink

AIIFOS Isabelle Dress

AIIFOS Isabelle Dress

Revolve

Size Range: XS-L | Colors: Pink | Material: Silk

Pretty pink hues are always a good idea for spring and summer nuptials. We love this shimmering pink frock for the guest who is drawn to feminine silhouettes. The dreamy silk fabric and draping fit add a whimsical touch.

Price at time of publish: $750

Best Plus-Size

Eloquii Satin Maxi Dress

Eloquii Satin Maxi Dress

Eloquii

Size Range: 14-28 | Colors: 4 | Material: Polyester

There is nothing more flattering than a wrap dress. It cinches you at the smallest part of your waist and the best part about a "faux wrap" is that you don't have to bother with retying it or worry about anything falling out of place. Don't be intimated by the shoulder pads — they add just the right amount of definition to your silhouette.

Price at time of publish: $140

Best Simple

BHLDN Serephina Crepe Maxi Dress

BHLDN Serephina Crepe Maxi Dress

Anthropologie

Size Range: 0-26 | Colors: 4 | Material: Polyester

For the minimalist guest, this fitted slip is a supremely sophisticated and flattering choice. Complete the look with statement earrings and dewy makeup.

Price at time of publish: $108

Best Sparkle

Retrofête Marie Dress

Retrofête Marie Dress

Revolve

Size Range: XS/S, M/L, XL | Colors: Rose Gold, Lilac, Sage | Material: Viscose

Attending a wedding during the holidays? This captivating gown made from all-over sequin embellishments is a striking choice for any formal occasion that calls for festive attire.

Price at time of publish: $554

Best for Winter

Jenny Yoo Ryland Velvet Maxi Dress

Jenny Yoo Ryland Velvet Maxi Dress

Anthropologie

Size Range: 0-26 | Colors: 5 | Material: Polyester, Spandex

A long sleeved, velvet dress is the best option for a winter wedding, where you want to look sophisticated but still stay warm. This design has a striking plunge front and back, but rest assured that an illusion panel completes the bodice, and the back can be worn with or without a snap-on strap. Coming in a range of winter shades and plus sizes, it's a universal winner.

Price at time of publish: $295

Best for a Beach Wedding

Mac Duggal Indy A-Line Ruffled Back-Lace Chiffon Gown

Mac Duggal Indy A-Line Ruffled Back-Lace Chiffon Gown

Anthropologie

Size Range: 0-16 | Colors: 6 | Material: Polyester

Wondering what to wear to a black-tie wedding on or by the beach? Opt for this breezy floor-length gown with a show-stopping lace-up back. Wear yours with a pair of wedges and your hair in loose waves for the ultimate seaside look.

Price at time of publish: $598

Best Halter

Show Me Your Mumu Jasmine Halter Maxi Dress

Show Me Your Mumu Jasmine Halter Maxi Dress

Show Me Your Mumu

Size Range: XXS-XXL | Colors: 15 | Material: Polyester

If you're looking to show off those shoulders and arms, go with a halter-neck dress. Coming in 15 different shades, this satin style can suit a variety of settings and seasons. Do note that it runs large, so consider sizing down.

Price at time of publish: $198

Best One-Shoulder

Katie May Edgy Dress

Katie May Edgy Dress

Revolve

Size Range: XS-XXL | Colors: Black, Blush, Sage | Material: Polyester, Spandex

Perfect for those with broad shoulders, this asymmetrical design balances your top half while showing off your arms. It also features a back cutout for a classy sliver of skin. A touch of spandex adds just the right amount of stretch.

Price at time of publish: $295

Best Modest

Amsale Pryce Off-Shoulder Satin Column Gown

Size Range: 0-24 | Colors: Black, Green, Champagne | Material: Polyester

For those wanting a little more coverage, we love this elegant design from Amsale. There's no slit and the cowl neck modestly shows off your shoulder while providing coverage up to your elbow. The column skirt is slightly fitted at the waist and hips.

Price at time of publish: $495

What to Look For in Black-Tie Wedding Guest Outfits

Season

If you're not sure where to start, it's helpful to let the venue and season guide your decision-making process. For winter black-tie weddings, look for outfits crafted from warm and textured fabrics like lace and velvet. With long sleeves and a velvet makeup, Jenny Yoo Ryland Velvet Gown is ideal for a fall or winter wedding. For summer weddings or those set in tropical climates, you can't go wrong with chiffon and silk styles like Mac Duggal Indy A-Line Ruffled Back-Lace Chiffon Gown.

Colors

Soft pastels, as well as pretty floral prints, are perfect for spring and summer weddings, while jewel tones like emerald green, classic navy, and rich burgundy are always a fitting choice if attending winter or fall nuptials. And if you're looking for a foolproof black-tie outfit, you can never go wrong with a timeless black gown or jumpsuit, like Lulus Backless Jumpsuit.

Details

Certain details like dramatic skirts, classic necklines, and shimmering embellishments will instantly make a silhouette feel black-tie-worthy. Sparkling gold fabric turns the otherwise simple Sabina Musayev Dress into a formal frock.

FAQ
  • What is a black-tie dress code?

    A black-tie dress code is reserved for formal weddings and requires that you wear a formal outfit like a floor-length gown and tuxedo.

  • What should a wedding guest wear to a black-tie wedding?

    Guests attending a black-tie wedding typically wear floor-length evening gowns. Formal dresses in black and navy are also a popular choice for black-tie weddings as are gowns with allover embellishments.

  • Can I wear a short dress to a black-tie wedding?

    Short dresses are typically more appropriate for less formal weddings. If you’re not sure whether your dress fits the dress code, run your outfit by the couple or opt for a floor-length gown to err on the safe side.

  • Do I have to spend a lot of money on a black-tie dress?

    Not if you don't want to! As this list demonstrates, you can find black-tie options that are below $100, such as Lulus Constantine Satin Maxi Dress. More important than price tag, make sure your dress is the right length, color, and made from materials that look high quality and suit the season and venue.

Why Trust Brides

Contributing writer Sophie Moore is a former fashion editor at Brides and is an expert in all things bridal attire, from couture wedding gowns to the perfect "something blue" accessory. She researches and sources the best fashion items for brides, grooms, wedding guests, bridal parties, and more.

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