8 Beautiful Dresses You Can Wear To Your Next Black-Tie Wedding

And GORGEOUS pant options too!

Galas or black-tie weddings and events are my favorite occasions to shop for. And, also the most difficult. Why? It seems like SUCH a commitment to buy a gown or formal attire. You know it’s going to be hanging in your closet for a decade and there’s a pretty good chance you’ll only wear it once. First, you really have to consider the type of event. Guests are expected to wear floor-length gowns at a more traditional, black-tie wedding. But there are other acceptable options for contemporary, black-tie nuptials. There are lots of possibilities to consider like sequins, cutouts, plunging necklines, dramatic sleeves…how do you choose? And you don’t want to look like the mother of the bride or a bridesmaid! Is it OK to wear pants or a mini or midi dress? There are more options than you might think!

For more wedding guest dress options, be sure to check out this post!

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Black-Tie Wedding Attire

I purchased this dress while in Spain primary because it made me happy. The blush pink and feminine tulle layers…I loved all of it. I wore it out for a special night at the opera with my daughter, Elizabeth. Unfortunately, I can’t link the exact dress, but I did link some similar options above. Hands down when I wore this dress, I felt special. When choosing a dress for any special event, that’s truly the biggest hurdle. How does it make you feel? Does it fit and flatter your body? Do you exude confidence when you walk into a room? Keep scrolling for some gorgeous special event and black-tie wedding guest dresses (and pantsuits) that have just the right wow factor!

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Don’t forget you can always rent a dress for a wedding or special event. Rent The Runway has some amazing options.

For a formal affair, are you more likely to wear black or do you gravitate toward color? I’m more the latter, but I do love both.
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Take the Plunge

The plunging neckline is definitely the star of the show here so I appreciate the long sleeves and longer hemline. The strategic ruching and sash offer a little forgiveness in the tummy area.

Metallic Beauty

This lilac gown would be gorgeous for a spring, black-tie wedding. This dress will definitely accentuate a small waist! The small, side cutouts are tasteful and on-trend.

IT Factor

This is an elegant dress with that pop of drama I love. It's very sophisticated with an undeniable wow factor!

Tulle Gown

There is a subtle shimmer to the fabric on this tulle gown. The waist hits just under the bust, highlighting one of the smallest parts of a woman's body. The skirt is A-line (also flattering!) and very feminine without being overly voluminous.

Wild Card

This dress is a bit of a wild card on every level. First, it's short - so, there is no rule that says you can't wear a short dress to a black-tie wedding but if you do, it needs to be sophisticated. The cape sleeves are a gorgeous and elegant design detail that elevates the dress. Secondly, the bright color packs a punch. You'll definitely get noticed in this dress! Linked another pretty floral mini too...

Pretty in Pink

I love the gathered waist and cascading side ruffle on this gown! It's so feminine with the rose gold, satiny fabric, and flattering silhouette.

Elegant One-Shoulder

Green is a pretty universally flattering color on most skin tones and this floor-length Halston dress is a show-stopper. The ruched bodice has a drawstring-cinched cutout on one side that you could adjust for your comfort level.

Satin Midi

I wanted to share another shorter dress option. This Milly satin dress is midi length and offers more coverage. The draping of the pleats adds such a special touch.

Metallic Jumpsuit

Yep, you can wear pants to a black-tie long as they are elevated and special. This metallic jumpsuit is understated in terms of its cut and coverage, but the fabric is what makes it shine...literally! I also linked a shimmery Norma Kamali jumpsuit that is more affordable.


You can't really have a black-tie roundup without throwing in some sequins! This black jumpsuit is elegant yet edgy. When you wear sequins from head to toe, I recommend keeping your jewelry, shoes, and handbag simple. Toooo much glam can be no bueno.

Formal Suiting

An elegant suit can also be an unexpected and beautiful choice. I would look for some unique design details to make the suit look more elevated and special for a black-tie wedding. This suit by Alice & Olivia has a tuxedo vibe to it. The blazer is longline and fitted and you could wear a lace or silk cami underneath for more coverage at the bust.

Feminine Tux

Speaking of tuxedos, this wide-leg, tuxedo-inspired jumpsuit would also be a beautiful choice. The rhinestone buttons are a simple but elegant touch.
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