The dreaded moment when you receive a wedding invitation and scan your eyes down and see “Black tie.” Or worst yet, “black tie optional.” Seeing those words on a wedding invitation can bring anxiety to the most zen of wedding guests. What do you wear to a black tie wedding? Well, decoding the wedding dress code is actually not rocket science. For men it’s really clear cut: black tie, literally means black suit, with a black tie. For women, the rules are a little murkier. Dressing for a black tie wedding really means kicking the formality up a notch. If the invite calls for black tie dress, it’s time to don your fanciest (or fancy-looking) floor-length gown. You could even argue that a short formal dress is appropriate—you know the hosts best, what does formal mean for them? Lucky for you, it’s wedding season, so formal gowns are all over stores.
In an effort to keep your wedding season as easy as possible (just like you we have a wedding every Saturday from now until September) we’ve rounded up black tie wedding guest dresses that are straight up red carpet-worthy. Keep scrolling to shop 21 wedding guest dresses for a black tie wedding in every budget.