25 Black-Tie Wedding Guest Dresses That Exude Elegance

Your search for the finest formal gowns ends here.
collage of three formal black-tie bridesmaid dresses
Monica Mercuri - The Knot Assistant Fashion Commerce Editor
Monica Mercuri
Monica Mercuri - The Knot Assistant Fashion Commerce Editor
Monica Mercuri
Assistant Fashion Commerce Editor
  • Monica writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, specializing in fashion commerce content
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Monica was an assistant style and market editor at House Beautiful
  • Monica holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication from George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs
Updated Aug 28, 2023
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If you've RSVP'd to a black-tie wedding, get ready to dress to the nines. Black-tie attire is one of the most formal wedding dress codes (with only white tie beating it for the top spot). Finding a glitzy and fancy ensemble can feel like an intimidating task, but we're here to make securing a black-tie wedding guest dress super easy. That way, you can keep your focus on the fun part—getting all dolled up for your big night out.

Below, we've rounded up the most elegant dresses for black-tie weddings in every style and silhouette, from sophisticated maxi gowns to festive embellished frocks. All of our options are black-tie appropriate, celebratory and party-ready, so let's dive into our top picks.

1. Shoshanna Vivine Tossed Rose Gown in Black

one-shoulder floral black-tie wedding guest dress with maxi skirt

Slip into this refined floral gown with a chic one-shoulder neckline for an outdoor black-tie wedding in the spring or summer. The dark hue keeps it formal enough for black-tie attire, while the pretty pink floral details add a whimsical element.

2. Sachin & Babi Aubrey Gown in Washed Indigo

one-shoulder bow-topped dress for black-tie wedding guests

From the collapsible bow detail on the one-shoulder neckline to the flared maxi skirt, there's a lot to love about this luxurious dress for black-tie weddings. We also have to call out the captivating Washed Indigo hue, which is appropriate for the most formal of events all year round.

3. Mac Duggal Short-Sleeve Floral Chiffon Ruffled Gown

We can't help but picture this romantic floral gown in a lush garden setting straight out of Bridgerton. The high neckline, ruffled maxi skirt and picturesque blooms make it an eye-catching style that'll earn tons of compliments from fellow guests.

4. Nookie Bailey Gown in Muscat

This maxi slip dress—with adjustable straps and a plunging low back—comes in three fabulous shades. But we're particularly fond of the rich red hue (muscat), which can be accessorized for black-tie attire with gold accessories and a bedazzled clutch.

5. Needle & Thread Rose Bluebell Esme Gown in Pink

daytime black-tie wedding guest dress in a whimsical pink floral print

Those who love a vintage look will adore this tulle gown printed with soft roses inspired by 1800s floral artwork. And thanks to the voluminous skirt and tulle frill details, you're sure to be the best-dressed guest in this ethereal frock. Better yet, the soft Pink hue would work beautifully for a daytime spring or summer black-tie soirée.

6. Reformation Andee Dress in Danube

formal black-tie wedding guest dress with halter neckline

Crafted from lightweight georgette fabric, this formal dress for black-tie weddings has a sleek halter neckline, an open back and a floor-skimming maxi skirt with a side slit. It's offered in a few shades and prints, but we're loving the dark blue hue for black-tie nuptials for any season.

7. BHLDN Leila Satin Charmeuse Dress in Dark Emerald

emerald satin charmeuse dress for black-tie winter weddings

Available in plus and standard sizes, this emerald satin charmeuse dress would look dreamy for a black-tie winter wedding. Other notable features include the plunge V-neckline, draped bodice and long maxi skirt. Consider styling it with gold or silver statement earrings and heeled sandals to complete your sophisticated wedding guest outfit.

8. Floral Sequin Print Plus-Size Mermaid Tulle Evening Dress

Get ready to make a statement in this short-sleeve black-tie wedding guest gown covered in shimmering vines. The floor-sweeping tulle skirt is pure elegance—and we love it in gold for spring and summer functions.

9. Marchesa Embroidered Floral V-Neck Gown

With short illusion sleeves, this dreamy gown with a romantic floral print will work for both the warmer and cooler months. Our favorite details on this dress are the v-neckline and elegant tulle details, making the gown refined and modern at the same time.

10. Badgley Mischka Strapless Bow Gown in Black

velvet black-tie gown for wedding guests topped with oversized bow

You'll turn heads in this strapless gown topped with an oversized bow on the neckline. The ultra-soft velvet material was made for fall and winter affairs, while the mermaid skirt adds a fun flair to the sophisticated silhouette. Bonus: First-time RTR users, use the code KNOTRENTAL to receive 25% off your first rental of $75 or more.

11. Kiyonna Screen Siren Lace Evening Gown in Nocturnal Navy

navy plus-size lace gown for black-tie weddings

Exquisite lace and scalloped detailing come together to create this unique and refined plus-size gown for black-tie weddings. Best of all, the dark navy hue goes just as well with silver accessories as it will with gold.

12. Show Me Your Mumu Tuscany Maxi Slip Dress in Black

elegant floor-length dress for black-tie wedding guests

You can't go wrong with a floor-length dress for black-tie wedding guests. This elegant style boasts a cowl neckline with a built-in shelf bra lining and adjustable criss-cross straps at the back. Another plus? The style can easily be worn again to other events—or be used as a bridesmaid dress if you're in the market.

13. Lulus Eternal Bond Blush Satin Ruffled Flutter Sleeve Maxi Dress

If you're headed to a sunny wedding destination with a black-tie dress code, take a look at this soft pink gown. The ruffled floor-sweeping style, elegant slit, v-neckline, and flowing short sleeves make it ideal for an oceanfront ceremony and dancing under the palm trees.

14. BHLDN Ruby Satin Charmeuse Dress in Black

black satin charmeuse maxi dress for black-tie weddings

Available in sizes 0 to 26W, this satin charmeuse maxi dress is a stunning choice for a black-tie wedding in any season. The timeless dress features a graceful high neckline, an open back and a long maxi skirt, and comes in a selection of formal colors that'll make a big statement.

15. One33 Social Zebra Jacquard Gown in Green

long-sleeve black-tie wedding guest dress in green jacquard fabric

This long-sleeve black-tie wedding guest dress is the epitome of elegance, thanks to the elevated jacquard fabric. Better yet, the balloon sleeves and long maxi skirt will create beautiful movement as you make your way effortlessly through the ceremony and reception.

16. City Chic Forbidden Love Off the Shoulder Dress

Looking for spring or summer black-tie wedding guest dresses? This eye-catching gown comes in two stunning shades, pink and black, for daytime formal functions. Let's not forget to talk about that off-the-shoulder neckline—great for showing off your new gold necklace or chandelier earrings.

17. Lulus Everything I Do Velvet Cowl Neck Mermaid Maxi Dress in Wine

velvet black-tie wedding guest dress with cowl neckline

You'll want to dance all night long in this velvet wedding guest dress for black-tie attire. The form-fitting maxi dress boasts a cowl neckline, a princess-seamed bodice and a body-hugging mermaid silhouette. Choose from three beautiful color options for winter or fall functions: Wine, Navy or Rust Brown.

18. Reformation Evelyn Dress in Orchids

formal one-shoulder black-tie dress for weddings in dark floral print

This botanical-covered black-tie dress for weddings is a stunning option for all seasons, from winter to summer. From the chic one-shoulder neckline to the tasteful side slit in the maxi skirt, you'll want to get tons of pictures in this blooming beauty.

19. Betsy & Adam Women's Sleeveless Ruffle-Detail Gown

You'll get lost in the beautiful details of this black-tie wedding guest dress. It starts with a round neckline and then flows with a ruffled skirt. Oh, and we have to call out that sneaky slit below.

20. NBD Cecelia Gown in Black

shimmering black-tie dress for weddings with sheer gloves

You'll bring all the glitz and glam in this shimmering black-tie dress for weddings. This piece features a turtleneck, sheer sleeves with shoulder cutouts and a sophisticated long skirt. To finish your ensemble, add pearl earrings and a bedazzled clutch.

21. Ivy City Co. Whimsical Dress in Emerald

eEmerald black-tie wedding guest dress with sheer sleeves and ruffled skirt

There are so many lovable features on this Emerald black-tie wedding guest dress, from the dreamy flutter sleeves and ruffled bodice to the layered tulle skirt. And it comes in a range of pretty hues for every wedding guest style, so choose the shade that makes you feel your best. (Psst: you can't go wrong with darker hues for black-tie weddings).

22. Mac Duggal Embellished Flutter-Sleeve Tea-Length Dress in Midnight

formal tea-length black-tie dress with sparkly embellishments

This tea-length dress is a lovely choice if you're looking for a shorter hemline for a black-tie event. The polished style has semi-sheer flutter sleeves and is embellished with sparkly beads throughout the silhouette. Swoon.

23. Boohoo Petite Bandeau Scuba Train Maxi Dress in Black

petite black-tie dress for weddings with strapless neckline

You're guaranteed to turn heads (in a good way) in this petite black-tie dress for weddings, thanks to the graceful strapless neckline and sophisticated maxi skirt. Designed for women 5'3 and under, this lightweight jersey gown was meant to dance all night in.

24. Sachin & Babi Gabby Gown in Magenta

magenta black-tie wedding guest dress with billow sleeves and plunge neckline

If you haven't heard, the new Barbiecore fashion trend is all about embracing the color pink (and Magenta also happens to be Pantone's 2023 color of the year). Here's a black-tie gown that embodies the popular aesthetic of Barbie while still remaining elegant. We're partially taken with the billowing sleeves, embellished V-neckline and center slit.

25. Birdy Grey Ash Dress Curve in Black

size-inclusive black-tie wedding guest dress with long skirt and side slit

This affordable wedding guest dress under $100 is a gorgeous black-tie option that proves that less is more. It comes in sizes XS to 3X, as well as a rainbow of hues, including Olive, Emerald and Cabernet—but you can't go wrong with Black for upscale weddings.

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