The Best 50 Formal Wedding Guest Dresses For A Black-Tie Wedding of 2020

Dial up the glitz and glamour

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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.

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. 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. For subdued tastes, you can’t go wrong with a gorgeous black gown whether that means a one-shoulder silhouette, plunging V-neck, or asymmetrical shape.

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.

Here, the best black tie wedding guest dresses.

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Try Velvet: BHLDN Edison Velvet Dress

Velvet dress

  Courtesy of BHLDN

Have a black-tie wedding in the fall or winter? Enter the velvet dress. It's chic, it's warm, it's exactly what you need.

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Try Sparkle: Sabina Musayev Ray Dress

Sparkle Dress

 Courtesy of Sabina Musayev

A wedding around the holidays calls for a festive dress. Bring on the sparkle and bring on the bows. Keep accessories simple, this dress does all the talking!

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Try Ethereal: Maria Lucia Hohan "Tarika" Matte Dress

Pastel Dress

 Courtesy of Shopbop

Aptly named "Marzipan" this dress is as sweet as sweet can be. Crinkled chiffon and delicate lace are just some of the details that make this frock so pretty.

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Try a Slip Dress: Fame and Partners The Zurich Dress

Green Dress

 Courtesy of Fame & Partners

The not-so-simple slip dress has made a major comeback. A structured slip like this one will flatter you in all the right places. This style is available in petite to plus size.

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Try Bold Color: Orange Off Shoulder Pleated Chiffon Dress

Yellow Dress

 Courtesy of Self-Portrait

This bright and flowy dress will get you straight out on the dance floor! A cheery color like orange is perfect for a summer or spring black-tie wedding.

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Try Fashion Forward: MM6 Maison Margiela Draped Satin Maxi Dress

Grey silk dress

  Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

Perfect for attending your impossibly chic friend's city wedding. This cool mint hue can be worn in summer or winter and can actually be worn multiple ways- talk about versatile!

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Try Conservative Meets Sexy: Katie May "Madison" Dress

Black tie dress

 Courtesy of Katie May

Chic coverage in the front and sexy in the back, this dress is sleek and curve-hugging. This style is offered in plus size and in 5 equally gorgeous colors.

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For the Beach Wedding: Mestiza "Brianna" Dress

Ruffle Dress

  Courtesy of BHLDN 

Wondering what to wear to a black-tie wedding on or by the beach? Consider a light but elevated material and a cut-out like this Mestiza dress. Think beach dress but in a more formal fabric/pattern.

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Try Classic Meets Modern: Brixen Dress

Brixen Dress

 Courtesy of BHLDN

This one-shoulder dress is divinely chic and for the guest who wants an updated classic.

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Try Inexpensive: Voluminous Organza Sleeves Dress

Organza Dress

  Courtesy of Zara

A black-tie dress code doesn't always mean expensive. Look like a million dollars in this sheath dress with organza sleeves. Add your go-to fancy earrings or your favorite statement shoes to kick it up a notch.

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Try Sexy: ASOS DESIGN Maxi Dress with Thigh Split

Thigh Split dress

  Courtesy of ASOS

We will never be over Angelina's iconic leg work at the Oscars and this dress is totally channeling her. The twist at the split is fun and unique and wait until you see the back...

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Try Gold: Yaura Bardot Maxi Dress

Off Shoulder dress

  Courtesy of ASOS

If you're attending a December wedding or a New Years Eve wedding, go festive and go for gold!

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Try Classic with a Twist: Truly Zac Posen Strapless Mikado High-Low Ball Gown

High low gown

Courtesy of Truly Zac Posen

Black-tie attire always welcomes a classic silhouette. This high-low dress is great for showing off that new pair of shoes!

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Try Textured Fabrics: Self-Portrait Metallic Flocked Chiffon Midi Dress

Midi Dress

  Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

Shimmering subtle leopard spots make this dress fun but elevated.

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Try Jewel Tones: ASOS DESIGN Tall Cami Wrap Maxi Dress

Wrap Dress

  Courtesy of ASOS

For the guest who is classic but likes a sexy twist. This deep green is flattering on everyone and is a great fall color.

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Plus Size Perfection: Prabal Gurung Long Sleeve Wrap Front Combo Dress

Prabal wrap dress

 Courtesy of 11 Honore

A contrast of bronze sequins and black jersey make this dress flattering and fun. The faux wrap draws in the waist and the high slit adds sexy glamour.

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Try Timeless: Adrianna Papell Asymmetric Shirred Gown

Asymmetrical dress

  Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

Attending weddings is an investment so invest in a dress that you will wear again and again, either to another black-tie wedding or to your anniversary dinner!

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Try a High-Neck: Jay Godfrey Brisco Gown

High neck dress

 Courtesy of Jay Godfrey

If you're looking to show off those shoulders and arms, go with a halter-neck dress. Wear your hair up to showcase the bow at the back.

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Try an Off-the-Shoulder: Yaura Frill Off Shoulder Fishtail Maxi Dress

off the shoulder dress

 Courtesy of Yaura

Off-the-shoulder is oh-so-popular but stand out with a body-skimming silhouette and a frill trim.

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Show Some Skin: Jill Jill Stuart Plunge-Neck Gown

Plunge dress

 Courtesy of Jill Jill Stuart

Who says you can't rock a deep plunge and a high slit? Show off your assets with this number.

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Try a Romantic Sleeve: "Lawrence" Dress

One sleeve dress

  Courtesy of Reformation

A puff sleeve is ultra feminine but also modern. Pair this dress with a lady-like kitten heel and modern jewelry.

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Try an Open Back: Rachel Zoe Angie Open-Back Embroidered Lace Gown

Open back dress

 Courtesy of Rachel Zoe

All over lace is a beautiful and classic choice for a fall black-tie wedding. Go for an open back dress for an incredibly elegant look.

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For the Pregnant Guest: ASOS DESIGN Maternity tie Waist Maxi Dress

Maternity black tie dress

   Courtesy of ASOS

Pregnant guests deserve to shine too! Flatter and dress up your bump with this glitzy sequin dress.

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Try a Floor-Length Gown: Maria Lucia Hohan "Luciana" Gown

Floor length dress

  Courtesy of Shopbop

This is a true gown fit for the red carpet. Swiss dot tulle, boning at the bodice and a lace up-back are details that will make heads turn.

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Try Red: Solace London Ziva Crepe Maxi Dress

Red crepe dress

  Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

Go bold with a red formfitting dress and experiment with accessories like statement earrings or a statement bag to round out the look.

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For the Mom-to-Be: ASOS DESIGN Maternity Flutter Sleeve Maxi Dress

Maternity maxi dress

Courtesy of ASOS

This sparkly flutter sleeve dress is not only fun and feminine, it's also flowly and forgiving- perfect for the pregnant guest.

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Try a Silky Slip Dress: Tall Khaki Slip Maxi Dress

Slip Maxi

  Courtesy of Topshop

A stylish slip should always be the right length. This style is exclusively for the tall and elegant.

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Try Total Sparkle: Needle & Thread Sequin Maxi Dress

Sparkle dress

  Courtesy of ASOS

If you're going to wear something sparkly, then fully embrace it and go for a head to toe sequin dress. Sparkle looks amazing in photos but remember to keep the accessories minimal.

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

Lace gown

 Courtesy of Nightway

A beautiful scalloped lace neckline, combined with expertly placed ruching, makes this plus size black-tie dress instantly flattering.

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Try an Elevated Maxi: C/Meo Collective Provided Maxi Gown

Orange gown

  Courtesy of ASOS

This sophisticated shade of rose is excellent for a spring wedding. Think black-tie wedding in a gorgeous garden.

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Try Sequins: Jenny Yoo "Halsey" Dress

Sequin gown

 Courtesy of BHLDN

Deep-v bodice meets deep-v back meets sequins- it doesn't get more Hollywood Glam than this!

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Try a High-Neck and Deep Slit: Montreal Dress

Black high neck gown

 Courtesy of BHLDN

Show off your shoulders and your legs in this slinky number. The brand notes that you will channel Meghan Markle and we would have to agree!

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Try Art-Deco: Marina Deco Beaded Mesh A-Line Gown with Godet Skirt

A Line gown

  Courtesy of David's Bridal

This vintage-inspired dress is elegant, sophisticated and perfect for gracing the ballroom.

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Try Red Lace: Vone Dashing Lace Midi Dress

REd midi

 Courtesy of Anthropologie

This red dress can be worn during the spring or the fall. Try a floral sandal for spring like the model in the image or try a velvet mule for the fall.

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Try a Faux Wrap: Sachin & Babi Ruby Dress

Blue faux wrap

 Courtesy of 11 Honore

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.

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Try Texture: Lace Evening Dress with Pleated Skirt

Lace dress

  Courtesy of Eloquii

A gorgeous contrast of a lace bodice and a pleated skirt make this dress flouncy and flirty. The sheer, long sleeves are great for cooler weather. Available in sizes 14 to 28.

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Try Sultry: Gauche Dress

Backless gown

 Courtesy of Reformation

With a plunging neckline and a plunging back, this dress will turn heads and stop traffic!

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Try 3D Florals: Eliza J Off the Shoulder 3D Floral Sleeve Scuba Crepe Evening Dress

Off the shoulder dress

 Courtesy of Nordstrom

These 3D floral sleeves make this dress super unique. So unique that we bet that you won't risk "twinning" with anyone at the wedding.

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Try a Midi Dress: Bronx and Banco Saba Maroon Midi Dress

Red midi

 Courtesy of Revolve

What says fall wedding like elegant leaf motifs? The details on this midi dress are stunning and maroon will always be a staple fall color.

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Try Tier Ruffles: Fame and Partners Dahlia Floral Plunge Dress

Floral plunge gown

 Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

Super plunge neckline plus florals plus tier ruffles equals drama!

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Try a Bright Color: Saloni Alena Silk Midi Dress

Bright silk dress

Courtesy of Nordstrom

This dress is bold and romantic with a vintage flare and for the guest who likes a fashion statement.

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Try Navy: Aqua V-Neck Side Illusion Gown

Illusion dress

  Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

While many gravitate towards black for a black-tie wedding (with good reason!), try going the navy route. It is just as sophisticated and classy and it can be worn all throughout the seasons.

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Try a Floral Pattern: Loire Dress

Floral dress

  Courtesy of Reformation

While this dress might seem simple at first glance, it is actually very sophisticated. The wrap bodice is super flattering but also completely elevates the vibe of the dress. The floral pattern is sweet but subtle.

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Try Pastels: Bluson Pleated Dress

Pastel Blue dress

  Courtesy of Fame and Partners

A soft blue dress with a loosely draped bodice and flowly skirt is positively dreamy.

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Try All Over Lace: Green Eyelash Lace Bardot Midi Dress

Lace bardot dress

  Courtesy of Missguided

Dark green is a great color for fall and winter. Compliment sweet eyelash lace with delicate personal jewelry.

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Try Soft and Romantic: Adrianna Papell One Shoulder Beaded Dress

One shoulder beaded dress

  Courtesy of Amazon

A soft and ethereal dress with delicate beading calls for a loose and romantic updo.

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Try Tropical Pink: Marchesa Notte Velvet-Trimmed Dress

Magenta Dress

  Courtesy of The Outnet

While hot pink might not be your first thought when you think black-tie, it's a great and fun option, especially if you're lucky enough to attend a tropical destination wedding.

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Try Tired Floral Ruffles: Tiered Ruffle Dress

Tiered dress

 Courtesy of Fame and Partners

For the fall wedding guest who loves wildflowers and whimsy.

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Try Monochromatic: Rat & Boa Florentina Cowl-Neck Floral-Jacquard Maxi Dress

Silk red gown

  Courtesy of Matches Fashion

Did we mention that we really love red for a black-tie wedding? We are even loving this monochromatic look with a matching red bag.

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Try Warm Weather Chic: Tulum Draped Mesh Slit Dress

Mesh slit dress

Courtesy of Tadashi Shoji

A print of florals and vines is always a great choice for a destination wedding. An off-the-shoulder look and high slit are perfect for warm weather.

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