Wedding Guest Series: What to Wear to a "Black Tie" Wedding

We're back! During the month of May, I have been writing a "Wedding Wednesday" post dedicated to wedding guests called the "Wedding Guest Series." This series was inspired by and will be in collaboration with The New York School of Etiquette and Protocol. #DaphneSays we should take our garments into consideration when attending a wedding and left it to me to break it down so here goes.

Dressing up for black tie affairs can feel a bit intimidating. Everyone is expected to be in their fanciest duds, looking like a million bucks. The average wedding guest is not trying to be seen twice on Facebook with the same attire so they're not trying to spend a million on a one night outfit but there's nothing wrong with going all out if you really want to. Whatever you choose, here are my guidelines to black tie wedding attire along with some examples you can shop from.


Think long. An evening gown is the perfect fit for this occasion. Despite the name black-tie, you do not need to wear a black dress. I'd recommend shying away from every day materials so that it doesn't seem like you're wearing a summer maxi. Think red carpet but not too eclectic that you're the conversation piece of the night. Most black tie weddings are in the evening so if you wanted to keep a night feel without wearing black, go for a deep blue. Weather you choose a form fitting pieces or a-line ball gown, you might also want to consider a 2 piece like the navy sequin top and full skirt set below. 

With accessories, black tie calls for more bling so explore more gem stone earrings, necklaces, bracelets and even cocktail rings, purses and shoes. You might also consider a textured satin, lace or subtle feather bag of you're bold. Have fun with your overall look and remember to keep it elegant.


You already know what time it is, tuxedo time! Yes, almost every man wants to look like James Bond but stay true to your size and fit. Trust me, you might look even better than him. A classic tux (black or navy blue) with a white button down and a silk or satin black bow tie does the trick.  Leave the white to the groom. You might think to wear a cummerbund or waist coat but a vest is more common in today's fashion. If you can't do a tuxedo, a dark 3 piece, double breasted suit or trousers with a luxe dinner jacket.  

To accessorize, a silk or satin pocket square (preferably black) is appropriate. You can do cuff links and other subtle pieces. Flashy items might cheapen your look or make your seem like you're trying too hard. Keep your shoes simple and sleek.