58 Formal Wedding Guest Dresses For A Black-Tie Wedding

Dial up the glitz and glamour

Updated 11/16/18

Courtesy of Fame & Partners

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 58 stunning options for every style and budget.

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Forever 21 Shirred Puff-Sleeve Gown

Courtesy of Forever 21

SHOP NOW: Forever 21, $42

02 of 58

Boohoo Boutique Crochet Midi Dress

Courtesy of Boohoo

SHOP NOW: Boohoo, was $70, now $35

03 of 58

Lulu's Pour The Champagne Emerald Green Ruffled Backless Maxi Dress

Courtesy of Lulu's

SHOP NOW: Lulu's, $74

04 of 58

Express Plunging Knot Front Maxi Dress

Courtesy of Express

SHOP NOW: Express, was $79.90, now $47.94

05 of 58

ASOS DESIGN Wrap Maxi Dress With Ruffles In Dark Floral Print

Courtesy of ASOS

SHOP NOW: ASOS, $87

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ASOS DESIGN Tall Premium Pleat Maxi Dress

Courtesy of ASOS

SHOP NOW: ASOS, $87

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Lulu's Glamour Galore Wine Red Button Back Maxi Dress

Courtesy of Lulu's

SHOP NOW: Lulu's, $96

08 of 58

Haute Nites Tie-Shoulder Mesh Sheath Gown

Courtesy of Haute Nites

SHOP NOW: David's Bridal, $99.95

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Mango Wrapped Satin Dress

Courtesy of Mango

SHOP NOW: Mango, $119.99

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Eliza J Asymmetrical Ruffle Crepe Gown

Courtesy of Eliza J

SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, was $208, now $124.80

11 of 58

Oasis Slinky Bow Maxi Dress

Courtesy of Oasis

SHOP NOW: Oasis, $135

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Little Mistress Petite Laced Tiered Maxi Dress

Courtesy of ASOS

SHOP NOW: ASOS, $146

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RM Richards Stretch Satin High-Low A-Line Dress with Sequins

Courtesy of RM Richards

SHOP NOW: David's Bridal, $169.95

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Yaura Frill Off Shoulder Fishtail Maxi Dress

Courtesy of Yaura

SHOP NOW: ASOS, $174

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Adrianna Papell One Shoulder Jersey Mermaid Gown with Slit

Courtesy of Adrianna Papell

SHOP NOW: Adrianna Papell, $179

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Jarlo Cami Strap Allover Lace Maxi Dress

Courtesy of Jarlo

SHOP NOW: ASOS, $182

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Guess One-Shoulder Silk Gown

Courtesy of Guess

SHOP NOW: Guess, was $228, now $189.99

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Norma Kamali Velvet Gown

Courtesy of Norma Kamali

SHOP NOW: My Theresa, $195

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Nightway V-Neck Ruched Lace Plus Size Gown with 3/4 Sleeves

Courtesy of Nightway

SHOP NOW: David's Bridal, $199.95

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Happily Grey x AQUA Embroidered Maxi Dress

Courtesy of Happily Grey x AQUA

SHOP NOW: Bloomingdale's, $198

21 of 58

Truly Zac Posen Strapless Mikado High-Low Ball Gown

Courtesy of Truly Zac Posen

SHOP NOW: David's Bridal, $199.95

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White by Vera Wang Charmeuse and Chiffon Bridesmaid Dress with Ruffle

Courtesy of White by Vera Wang

SHOP NOW: David's Bridal, was $199.95, now $169.95

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Yumi Kim Antoinette Lace Dress

Courtesy of Yumi Kim

SHOP NOW: Antoinette, was $215, now $129.95

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Morgan And Co Long Sleeve Allover Sequin Mermaid Gown

Courtesy of Morgan And Co

SHOP NOW: David's Bridal, $219.95

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BHLDN Edison Velvet Dress

Courtesy of BHLDN

SHOP NOW: BHLDN, $220

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Hutch Eliza Dress

Courtesy of Hutch

SHOP NOW: Hutch, $237

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Vince Camuto Laguna Crepe Gown

Courtesy of Vince Camuto

SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, $248

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Shona Joy Spaghetti Strap Evening Dress

Courtesy of Shona Joy

SHOP NOW: Farfetch, $280

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Katie May Madison Dress

Courtesy of Katie May

SHOP NOW: BHLDN, $280

30 of 58

Ralph Lauren Ruched Detail Gown

Courtesy of Ralph Lauren

SHOP NOW: Farfetch, $281

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Dress The Population Sandra Plunge Crepe Trumpet Gown

Courtesy of Dress The Population

SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, $288

32 of 58

Aidan Mattox Sancia Velvet Burnout Wrap Dress

Courtesy of Aidan Mattox

SHOP NOW: BHLDN, $295

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Parker Black Samira Stretch Velvet Off-The-Shoulder Gown

Courtesy of Parker Black

SHOP NOW: Saks Fifth Avenue, $298

34 of 58

Parker Lorelei Dress

Courtesy of 11 Honore

SHOP NOW: 11 Honore, $358

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Jay Godfrey Brisco Gown

Courtesy of Jay Godfrey

SHOP NOW: Revolve, $386

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byTiMo Floral Cotton-Blend Voile Gown

Courtesy of byTiMo

SHOP NOW: Barneys, $395

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Jill Jill Stuart Plunge-Neck Gown

Courtesy of Jill Jill Stuart

SHOP NOW: Bloomingdale's, $398

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LIKELY Aurora Mermaid Gown

Courtesy of LIKELY

SHOP NOW: Bloomingdale's, $398

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Carmen Marc Valvo Infusion 3D Novelty Gown

Courtesy of Carmen Marc Valvo

SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, $398

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BCBGMAXAZRIA Striped Floral Lace Gown

Courtesy of BCBGMAXAZRIA

SHOP NOW: BCBGMAXAZARIA, was $398, now $299

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Sabina Musayev Ray Dress

Courtesy of Sabina Musayev

SHOP NOW: Revolve, $411

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Nicole Miller Felicity Jersey Gown

Courtesy of Nicole Miller

SHOP NOW: Nicole Miller, $420

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Reformation Artemis Dress

Courtesy of Reformation

SHOP NOW: Reformation, $428

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Maria Lucia Hohan Assia Dress

Courtesy of Maria Lucia Hohan

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, was $435, now $304.50

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Alice McCall Caralisa Dress

Courtesy of Alice McCall

SHOP NOW: BHLDN, $450

46 of 58

Three Floor Riverside Dress

Courtesy of Three Floor

SHOP NOW: Three Floor, $464.08

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Tadashi Shoji Alberti Sequin Slit Gown

Courtesy of Tadashi Shoji

SHOP NOW: Tadashi Shoji, $468

48 of 58

Jason Wu Grey Slip Dress

Courtesy of Jason Wu Grey

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, was $495, now $346.50

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Nomia Velvet Bias-Cut Gown

Courtesy of Nomia

SHOP NOW: Barneys, $495

50 of 58

Allen Schwartz Ryann Ankle-Length Dress

Courtesy of Allen Schwartz

SHOP NOW: Allen Schwartz, $500

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Self-Portrait Embellished Evening Dress

Courtesy of Self-Portrait

SHOP NOW: My Theresa, $520

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Diane von Furstenberg Satin Wrap Maxi Dress

Courtesy of Diane von Furstenberg

SHOP NOW: My Theresa, $523

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Rachel Zoe Angie Open-Back Embroidered Lace Gown

Courtesy of Rachel Zoe

SHOP NOW: Rachel Zoe, $525

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Shoshanna Off-The-Shoulder Midi Dress

Courtesy of Shoshanna

SHOP NOW: Anthropologie, $530

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Stine Goya Liv Dress

Courtesy of Stine

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $540

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Fame & Partners The Zurich Dress

Courtesy of Fame & Partners

SHOP NOW: Fame & Partners, $549

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ML Monique Lhuillier Arvada Dress

Courtesy of ML Monique Lhuillier

SHOP NOW: BHLDN, $695

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AMUR Londyn Pleated Gown

Courtesy of AMUR

SHOP NOW: Saks Fifth Avenue, $798

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