Black Tie Wedding Guest Style Guide

There are so many ways a couple can create their perfect summer black tie wedding. Each situation – all beautiful in their own right – means a certain sort of style, and not just for the wedding party! As a guest at a black tie wedding, there are certain expectations for what you should wear. Today, we’re partnering with our friends at The Black Tux to help you pick the perfect wedding guest style for that black tie wedding this summer!

A good indicator of what to wear comes from the wedding invitation itself. If nothing is specified on the invitation, wedding website, or communication with the bride and groom, take cues from the venue location, time of ceremony, and how formal the look of the invitation as you decide what to wear. The more formal the invitation, the more formal the dress code; with evening weddings beginning at 6pm or later, you should assume the event to be a formal affair.


Photo by Kat of Chaz Cruz.

For the woman attending a black tie or black tie optional wedding, we recommend going with a timeless look! A cocktail dress or floor length evening gown are perfect for the occasion. For a day wedding, consider a lighter color palette or subtle patterns for your cocktail dress. Most black tie weddings are evening events, though, and for those we recommend that you go with a neutral such as black, grey or navy and a longer length gown. If you don’t own a suitable gown for the event, consider renting one from a service like Rent The Runway or visit stores like Nordstrom and J.Crew to find your new favorite formal dress! Pair with a statement necklace, some embellished heels and a matching clutch for a gorgeously put-together look.


Photo by Nikki Santerre.

For the gentleman wanting to look dapper at a black tie or black tie optional event, we recommend classic formal attire. Your best fitted suit with a crisp tie is a great starting point; however for a black tie wedding, we suggest you to consider a tuxedo. We recommend one in classic black or a deep navy blue with a bow tie. If you don’t own a tuxedo of your own, renting one is a great option. The Black Tux offers everything you need to dress for the occasion – from suits and tuxedos to cufflinks, neckwear and shoes. You can even rent a complete outfit with everything you need from head to toe, curated by one of their stylists!

Looking for more tips on what to wear as a guest? The Wedding Guest Style Guide by The Black Tux is perfect “cheat sheet” to help you and the well groomed gentlemen in your life navigate what to wear in a variety of wedding situations. Enjoy!


What We’re Loving: Wearable Bridesmaid Gifts

We love when a black tie bride gifts her bridesmaids something she can wear on the wedding day! A piece of jewelry is a great option, allowing you to further express the wedding day style. We adore the idea of a classic necklace featuring pearls- one for each bridesmaid in the wedding party- from this bride’s chic wedding! It creates a timeless look and holds such a special meaning.

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Photo by Melissa Kruse Photography. See more of this chic Yale Club of New York wedding.

Iconic Historic Baltimore Wedding by Lauren Myers Photography

This iconic and historic Baltimore wedding by Lauren Myers Photography is sure to inspire! We can’t get enough of this couple’s timeless style and sophisticated tastes. The bride is stunning in a high neck bateau gown from Brides and Grooms, Inc.! We love the lace detailing on the bodice and the delicate pairing with a bridal veil and embellished sash. Her well groomed groom’s reaction to seeing her for the first time on the wedding day is priceless! We adore the love we see between the couple throughout their wedding day imagery. With the grand settings of both the ceremony at Corpus Christi Baltimore and the reception at The Grand Historic Venue, this wedding is full of iconic, timeless imagery. Enjoy!


Photographer: Lauren Myers Photography | Bridal Gown: Brides and Grooms, Inc. | Hair Stylist: Baltimore Bridal Beauty | Makeup Artist: MAC Cosmetics | Florist: Essex Florist | DJ/ Entertainment Services: Complete Weddings & Events | Ceremony Venue: Corpus Christi Baltimore | Reception Venue: The Grand Historic Venue | Catering: The Grand Historic Venue | Videographer: Complete Weddings and Events | Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Bride and Grooms, Inc. | Groom + Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Paper Suite: Designed by Groom | Photo Booth: The Entertainment Playground

What We’re Loving: Wedding Day Love Letters

Amidst all of the hustle and bustle of a wedding day, there are moments that allow the bride to pause in her preparations to be present in the moment. One of our favorite such moments is reading a wedding day love letter. Whether it’s accompanied by a gift from her well groomed groom or sent on its own as a written reminder of his love, we love this quiet moment where the words are read and the heart swells – readying the black tie bride to meet her groom for their I dos.


Photo by Hannah Leigh Photo.

Classic Superstition Mountain Wedding by Marisa Belle Photography

We’re swooning over this classic wedding at The Paseo, near the Superstition Mountains, from Marisa Belle Photography! It’s full of amazing details and romantic imagery. The bride’s style is so classic and romantic! We love the hint of glam in her sparkling silver shoes and the gorgeous hairpiece accenting her up-do. And that trumpet gown from Almond Tree Boutique has such an elegant look! We adore the v-neck and embellished sash, especially when paired with a veil. Her bouquet by J Barry Designs contrasts the Arizona desert with beautiful greens and classic white roses. The bridesmaids wear Ann Taylor neutral dresses that aid the romantic elements of the day, and we love the well groomed groom added a bit of personality to his dapper look with a patterned tie. With a stunning desert mountain backdrop, The Paseo was a perfect venue for this couple’s classic black tie wedding! Enjoy!
Venue: The Paseo | Florals: J Barry Designs | Dress: Almond Tree Boutique | Suits: Brother’s Tailors | Bridesmaids Dresses: Ann Taylor | DJ: Tugsten Entertainment | Caterer: Babbo’s Italian Eatery | Gelato: Frost Gelato | Photographer: Marisa Belle Photography