12 Dresses to Wear to a Black Tie Wedding

12 Dresses to Wear to a Black Tie Wedding

December 23, 2022
By Katerina Katakalides

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We all know the feeling when you figure out an upcoming wedding is a black tie event. An elegant envelope arrives at your door with an intricate wedding invitation. After scanning through calligraphy to read all the details, you see it there at the bottom: Black Tie Required.

While some might be excited to glam themselves up for the night, others might get a sinking feeling in their stomach and think “do I have anything to wear?” Black tie events can be intimidating and that’s understandable! Unless you had an over-the-top prom or competed in pageants, a black tie wedding could be the most formal event you’ll attend. Here are a few black tie rules to keep you on track while shopping for your dress!

Black tie always implies one main thing: floor-length gowns. Wedding dress codes are typically categorized by formality and you’ll usually see options such as “cocktail attire,” “semi-formal,” and “black tie.” Black tie is considered to be one of the most formal dress codes, so you’ll want to make sure you’re dressed as elegantly as possible. This means you should stay away from any dresses that show your ankles, including high-low and tea-length styles. Although these are both super cute styles, they’re a bit too informal for a black tie wedding.

A big misconception when attending a black tie wedding is that all guests are required to wear black. Unless this is specifically requested on the invitation, black tie simply states the expected formality. If you’ve ever wondered where this comes from, the phrase “black tie” actually refers to menswear and is a signal for men to wear a formal suit and tie to the event. This means there’s no need to worry about finding the perfect black gown, you definitely get some wiggle room!

Although you aren’t limited to black dresses, you’ll still want to consider the color when choosing your wedding guest attire. Weddings should always be about the newly married couple, so you never want to distract other guests by wearing an over-the-top evening gown. Steer clear of electric, neon colors, and of course, white! Deep shades, such as navy and burgundy, pastel colors, and jewel tones, like emerald and royal blue, are ideal color options for a black tie wedding.

If you aren’t sure what to wear to a black tie wedding or if you’re looking to debut a new look, your search can stop here! We found 12 of the trendiest black tie styles on Queenly for you to shop through.

Red Gown with Lace Capped Sleeves
This red evening gown is perfect for a wedding guest who wants to give off that “effortlessly elegant” vibe all night long. While red is traditionally associated with boldness, the lace-capped sleeves add an air of sophistication to this overall look.

Emerald Green Off the Shoulder Mermaid Dress
Emerald green is an eye-catching jewel tone that looks stunning on so many complexions! Its versatility isn’t just limited to complementing many skin tones, but this shade can also be worn during any season, from autumn all the way through the summer. The off-shoulder sleeves, mermaid silhouette, and center slit make this gown a glamorously sexy option for your next black tie wedding.

Black Long Sleeve Mermaid Dress
This timeless style just screams “black tie wedding!” Mermaid silhouettes are one of the most elegant styles you can choose. These figure-hugging skirts billow out below the knee, which adds layers of dimension and structure to this silhouette. The long sleeves on this particular evening gown make it even more elegant than other mermaid-style dresses, making it the perfect option for a classy wedding guest.

Blue Mermaid Dress with Rhinestone Bodice
This navy blue mermaid dress is one of the most elegant options we’ve seen! The cap sleeves, delicate v-shaped neckline, rhinestone bodice, and beaded belt all add elements of elegance to this gown that make it stand out from the rest. Mermaid silhouettes have always been considered chic, but this design has so much glamor to give!

Black Lace Mermaid Dress
Black lace is an elegant option for any event, but it’s especially perfect for a black tie wedding! Lace is commonly incorporated into wedding decor, so including it in your wedding guest dress will give you an eye-catching, yet cohesive look. Off-the-shoulder sleeves always add an extra element of elegance to any dress, so combining this with black lace makes this the perfect option for a wedding guest gown.

Burgundy Cold Shoulder Mermaid Dress
Cold-shoulder styles are a popular choice for wintertime weddings and this dress is no exception! The plunging neckline and subtle mermaid silhouette make this figure-hugging gown a sexy, yet elegant option for your next black tie wedding.

Navy Blue Gown with Embellished Bodice
Common black tie misconception: your wedding guest dress has to break the bank! While black tie weddings are elegant events, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on your gown. This navy blue a-line gown features a completely embellished bodice and deep-v neckline, making it an eye-catching option. The best part? You can get this dress for less than $50 on Queenly!

Black Asymmetrical Mermaid Dress
Stay classy and do it in style! This asymmetrical black mermaid dress features a rhinestone belt and ruffled details that cascade down one side of the skirt. The high, scoop neckline is an elegant feature of this dress that isn’t common on many gowns, so you’ll be sure to stand out in this black-tie dress.

Purple Gown with Deep V Neckline
This purple Mac Duggal dress is the perfect option for a wedding guest who wants to stand out among a sea of gowns. The deep-v neckline, ruching around the waist, and mermaid silhouette give this gown a sexy, structured look. It’ll be hard not to feel like royalty in this purple gown, so get ready to fall in love with the way you look!

Navy Blue Sequined Mermaid Dress
It’s time to bring some sparkle to your next black tie event! This navy blue sequined mermaid dress is completely covered in rhinestones, making it shine from head to toe. You’ll be sure to turn heads while hitting the dance floor in this embellished dress, so get ready to party the night away!

Dusty Mint Mermaid Dress
Stand out among a sea of wedding guests in a unique shade of green that is sure to turn heads. “Dusty Mint” is a soft shade that has a subtle neutral tone to it. Rather than be as bright as seafoam or as neon as lime green, dusty mint is uniquely easy on the eyes. The deep-v neckline, mermaid silhouette, and ruching at the waist make this a sexy, yet elegant look that is perfect for a spring or summer wedding reception.

Black Gown with Ruffle Details
It’s all about the details with this black wedding guest dress! The spaghetti straps and straight silhouette make this gown seem deceivingly simple. Once you take in the whole look, you’ll see eye-catching ruffles down the skirt and around the back. These playful ruffles will add so much fun movement as you dance the night away during the wedding. What more can you ask for?

Finding the perfect dress for your next black tie wedding doesn’t have to be a fiasco! Save your energy for the big day by narrowing down some styles and silhouettes that you absolutely love. These twelve options are perfect additions to your wedding guest closet, so it’s time to shop!

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