What should a wedding guest wear to a black-tie wedding?

Written by Noodz Boutique


Posted on October 18 2023

Both white and black tie wedding themes are one of the most formal dress codes to exist. A white theme is the most formal but rare. If you have found yourself invited to a black tie wedding, you're at the right place here at Noodz Boutique. A black tie wedding is usually linked to the dresses for wedding guests, but it also means that the bride and groom have decided on hosting a formal wedding ceremony and reception.

Keep reading to find out about everything related to Black ties, the do's and don'ts, and what to wear to a black tie wedding.

What Does A Black Tie Theme Mean?

Associated with awards ceremonies, galas and grand weddings, a black tie theme refers to a dress code that's formal and is worn to these special events. When it comes to a black tie dress code for women, it will usually involve floor-length evening gowns. On the other hand, men will be expected to wear a tuxedo accompanied by a black bowtie.

The black-tie attires, for both men and women, are a great choice for these formal occasions as they tend to exude elegance and sophistication, adding a refined touch to the already charming event. When the bride and groom set their wedding theme as Black Tie, they've given the atmosphere a formal vibe. Therefore, it's your responsibility to respect their request and turn up in your best dress, keeping up with the standards set by the hosts.

Black Tie Preferred

At times, the bride and groom won't set a black tie vibe for their special evening. What they might do is go for Black Tie Preferred or Optional. As the name suggests, the theme is slightly informal, keeping a flexible code for the wedding guests' dresses.

However, it should be noted that the ideal dresses for wedding guests are still leaning toward formal attire, which allows for variation here and there. As a woman who has received an invitation to a wedding with a Black Tie Preferred theme, she not only has the option to go for formal black tie long gowns, but she can also opt for a stylish alternative like our semi-formal and cocktail dresses.


The black-tie preferred is perfect for the bride and groom who are looking forward to having an elegant wedding without seeming overly strict in the formality section. And then there's the advantage for the wedding guests as they have a large pool of dress designs to choose from.


What to Wear to A Black Tie Wedding as a Wedding Guest?

When it comes to choosing a formal wedding guest dress, the final dress decision should always lean towards sophistication. Following are the guidelines to follow to ensure you're dressed appropriately for the occasion:

Floor-length Gowns

These gowns are the safest option for a formal wedding evening. A mini or above the knee length dresses should be avoided unless they are elegant and not too short or too revealing.


Satin and Shimmering Fabrics

Satin, sequins and embellished dresses are often seen at a black tie event. These material options will help you stand out and add a luxurious feel to your overall look. 

The Venue

Keeping your dress in line with the venue is the oldest trick in the book which many forget. If the wedding is part of an extravagant ballroom affair, it's smart to go with a traditional floor-length gown.



On the contrary, if the theme is black tie preferred, there's no harm in choosing a dress with a less formal touch such as a cocktail dress, which allows you to have a laid-back evening, bringing light to your best features and doing a great job of keeping the look semi-formal.


Ask The Bride

If you're still unsure about black tie-appropriate dresses, there's no harm in hitting up the bride and asking her for clarification. The bride and groom can provide you with insight and clarification, and even tell you if the chosen black tie dress is appropriate.

What Not to Wear to A Black Tie Wedding?

Now that we've discussed the do's, let us take a look at the don'ts when it comes to choosing a black tie wedding dress. Here's what not to wear:


White or similar colours: It's strictly prohibited to wear white to a wedding, whether it's a black tie or not. The exception to this rule is when the bride or groom themselves state that they want the guests to wear white. Until and unless not stated by the hosts themselves, steer away from white, ivory, cream or any other shade that resembles the bride's dress.

Colours matching the bridal party: Another important aspect to keep in mind is that wedding guest dresses should not be too similar to those of the bridesmaids or groomsmen. This is to make sure there's no confusion on the big day. It's best to look for those floor-length evening dresses that differentiate you from the bride and the bridal party.


Noodz Boutique has a large collection of stunning Black Tie dresses, ranging from formal evening gowns to maxi dresses that will do a great job of making you stand out. Browse through our collection online now and find yourself a sheath and many more silhouettes made just for you!



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