Weddings by Mary- Essex wedding planner

Black Tie-Wedding Attire

More couples are inviting their wedding guests to dress to impress for the big day.

With a Black Tie dress code leading the way. You should ask yourself what is the black tie look you wish to create for your wedding? When your beautiful, elegant wedding invitation arrives on your family & friends doormat. Guests will know they’re in for a truly spectacular day. And what they wear will not only bring your vision to life. But give them the opportunity to dress to impress.  

Wedding guests will commonly opt for floor-length gowns & tuxedos when attending a black-tie wedding


Read my 3 tips to assist both you and your guests make the best choices:

1. What style dress should your guests wear?

Although evening gowns are standard attire for black-tie wedding. Guests can get away with a formal cocktail dress, of the longer variety, or even an elegant suit. With many styles to suit all shapes & sizes. You want your guests to feel comfortable yet glamorous and elegant. Whatever the style. It has to be one they can walk in. And most definitely dance in! And that goes for your wedding dress too. When wearing a floor-length dress, the hem should elegantly graze the ground.

2. What colours are appropriate for a Black-Tie Wedding?

Avoiding white, ivory or off-white is a given. Also drop into conversation the colour you’ve chosen for your bridesmaids.  Your guests won’t want to mirror or clash. Although black is often thought as a no no for weddings. A little black dress can be an elegant, classy option. And perfectly appropriate. Or if uncertain opt for classic navy. Your guests won’t want to upstage the happy couple. And it will be exciting for your family & friends to chat with you what they plan to wear for your big day. S&L asked their guests attending their summer wedding at London’s Kew Gardens to wear ‘pastel shades’ & avoid creams. When the bride entered wearing a spectacular Zuhair Murad wedding gown, in a fabulous cappuccino shade they understood why!

3. What’s is Black Tie?

While black-tie attire does not essentially require wearing a tuxedo, it’s usually the preferred option. Whilst many grooms opt for a cream jacket. With the rest of the groomsmen and guests donning a traditional silk-lapel dinner jacket. There are guests wishing to really go do town and opt for velvet jackets. Traditionally, trousers should match the dinner jacket unless intentionally opting for a contrasting smoking jacket. Only button the top button of a two-button suit jacket. A crisp, white dress shirt is also necessary. As for the actual Black Tie. That’s the traditional black bow tie. But no doubt there will be guests wishing to stand out and be a little more elaborate. K&J London winter wedding at The Langham opted for the wording ‘Red Carpet Glamour’ and their guests certainly didn’t disappoint.


The word “tuxedo” is an American term while “dinner jacket” is its equivalent here in the UK.

Both mean a black evening jacket is required.

However, the term “dinner jacket” in the United States means a white jacket rather than the black one.

So if you have guests travelling from overseas ensure they understand the correct terminology.

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I’ve spent most of my life in the wedding & events industry. Helping couples in love to celebrate in style is something I adore and am hugely proud of being able to do.

At the very heart of my job is a love of people. A chance to connect with couples is one of my favourite parts. Being a wedding planner means being able to balance the detail-focused organisation and expert problem solving with the chance to have a good chat and a laugh with couples over a cuppa or a glass of fizz.

Mary x