When you receive a wedding invitation for a black-tie wedding, you likely fall into one two categories: thrilled beyond belief or filled with dread. While dress codes have eased up more and more over the years, certain brides and grooms are all about hosting a fancy fête, which means their black-tie invitation equates to you wearing your swankiest attire. Sure, formal wear can be tricky, but a black tie wedding it’s typically a rare occasion, so why not have fun and see it as an opportunity to have your own red carpet moment? Besides, everyone looks super sharp when they’re dressed to the nines!
For fall and winter weddings, formal attire feels all the more appropriate—especially for nuptials timed to the holidays or New Year’s Eve. Full-length gowns are perfect for such occasions whether you’re into a seasonal long-sleeve style, textured velvet number, or sparkling sequins. When it comes to color palette, rich jewel tones are stunning from emerald-green to burgundy and plum. If you’re unabashed by bolder shades, go for something in siren red, magenta, or Kelly green. For print lovers, a moody floral is gorgeous whether you choose a silhouette cut in silk chiffon or burnout velvet while lace-adorned dresses are classic and elegant if you’re craving more texture. If you’re one to follow trends, consider the season’s ‘80s resurgence and go for a gleaming style with strong shoulders and in a notice-me shade—we’re especially partial to this look for New Year’s Eve nuptials. For subdues tastes, you can’t go wrong with a gorgeous black gown whether that means a one-shoulder silhouette, plunging V-neck, or asymmetrical shape. Pastel gowns are beautiful for a winter wonderland-themed wedding—we’re all about ice blue or soft pink to tie into the theme.
Another important thing to remember is that black tie doesn’t have to mean a full-length gown. Don’t be afraid to explore midi silhouettes in gorgeous colors and textures—especially if you’re petite and afraid of being swallowed by too much fabric. With the right accessories, you’ll appear just as glamorous and undoubtedly be able to get a little more use out of this style of dress.
Ready to shop for a black tie wedding guest dress? Ahead, scroll through 59 stunning options for every style and budget.