"Black Tie Optional" Wedding Guest Attire – how formal do most people go?

posted 2 years ago in Guests
Post # 16
324 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I’d go cocktail if it was a winery – most people will probably end up wearing cocktail dresses since most people don’t have a ton of long dresses lying around. Or you can do a high-low dress. I’m going to a black tie optional wedding this weekend and I rented this dress.

Post # 17
62 posts
Worker bee

I think cocktail would be fine however make sure it’s a bit on the fancier side and dress it up with nice accessories. My wedding was black tie required and I still got a few ladies in cocktail dresses. Looking back it didn’t really matter, as long as they were comfortable and looked nice =)

Post # 19
2169 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception/The Gallery

Our wedding was black tie optional. Most men wore suits, though nearly all the male family on both sides wore tuxedos. For the women, it was a mix of long and cocktail. I’d say most of the younger women wore cocktail, though certainly not exclusively.

I always think it’s fun to have a reason to dress up–go with what appeals to you!


Post # 20
2600 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - Valleybrook Country Club

I usually wear long dresses to black tie optional although it’s not required. I think a fancy cocktail dress works well too for the occassion. Since it is at a winery, maybe take into account whether or not it will be outdoors and the time of year.

Post # 21
1360 posts
Bumble bee

anothernewbee16 :  The red dress you posted is a knock out. Would look amazing with a statement necklace.

Post # 22
3068 posts
Sugar bee

I think a wedding in a winery is the perfect venue for a fun, yet stylish look. Since you seem to want something a bit more interesting than what you posted,  I suggest something along these lines:

Sheer dress over a slip dress:

with any of these:

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