One of the most asked questions I receive has been and remains to be, “I’ve been invited to a wedding and the invitation says black tie, or black tie optional. What do I wear?” Well y’all there are a lot of different ways to answer that question, dependent a variety of factors, but today I’m sharing how I think you should dress for the formal affair. So let’s jump into it and answer it once and for all, what to wear to a black tie wedding.
Dress (also available in coral pink; short cocktail length available too) // Clutch // Heels (old Prada, similar and similar satin pair) // Earrings // Link bracelet c/o // Station bracelet // Sunglasses // Lipstick (shade: Funny Face)
Chances are, if you’ve been invited to a wedding that says ‘black tie’ or ‘black tie optional’, it’ll be a formal affair, in the evening.
Our wedding was black tie optional. The ceremony began at 7:30 and our reception began at 8:15pm. Rick and I both love dressing up, and we figured it’s our special day, if we want everyone else to dress up too, then so be it. So we opted for ‘black tie optional’ to give wiggle room for those who didn’t own tuxes or could buy out and run a long dress.
In my personal opinion, black tie optional means men can wear tuxedos and suits, women can wear long dresses and cocktail length. Whereas a black tie affair calls for men in tuxedos, or a very dressy suit option and women dressed up in long, floor-length or tea-length dresses. Again, this is all relative to the person, location and time, but more often than not, you’ll find people dressed to the nines for a black tie or black tie optional affair. I know I was pleasantly surprised to see more men wearing tuxes and gals wearing floor-length dresses at our wedding, than not!
I’ve always aired on the side of being overdressed versus under for occasions, so when I think of what to wear to a black tie wedding, I always lean towards a long black dress that’ll be comfortable for hours of wear, sitting and dancing. There’s no opposing color in my book, but a black dress is always a classic and chic option for any occasion – you can do no wrong in one!
Black tie wedding guest attire can be tricky, but not if you’re prepared. I always keep one long dress in my closet rotation. That way, in case we get invited to a last minute black tie affair or head to a wedding, I know I’ll have a dress that I feel comfortable in 24/7. That’s not to say I’ve borrowed dresses from friends or rented from Rent the Runway, but sometimes life gets in the way, and it’s just easier to always have a piece in your closet arsenal that can be a go-to time and time again, right?
Now it’s your turn, tell me what you think is appropriate to wear to black tie weddings. Do you opt for a long dress always or dependent on the location? Tell me in the comments below! P.S. don’t miss out on earlier posts from wedding week: 1-year anniversary photos and our wedding florist Q&A.