Wedding Style Guide: Evening Wedding

To continue this series of posts, I wanted to talk about evening weddings.  Black-tie optional is something you see on a TON of invitations.  This translates to cocktail-length evening wear.  Do not take “black-tie optional” to mean “floor length gown”.  Aside from the bride (and maybe the bridesmaids) you’ll end up being the only other person there in a floor length ensemble.  It’s a “don’t” for sure.

My guidelines for a black-tie optional evening wedding are simple, and here are a few inspirations to get you going!

Pretty in Pink:

Evening Wedding I

This look could possibly double as a late afternoon to evening wedding.  Even though its short, the color keeps the whole look sweet, so you’ll avoid looking like a tart.  A few rules – keep the footwear classic.  A t-strap shoe is perfect here – strappy or sparkly heels will put this over the top for sure.  Keep all the accessories in the same color family – golds, rose golds, cremes, and tonal pink is pretty together.  This look is for sipping bubbly under the stars, and dancing to a live band’s Frank Sinatra re-productions.

Red Hot Ruffles:

Evening Wedding III

This is DEFINITELY a dress to be worn strictly after dark.  A one shouldered, ruffly red number is in no way appropriate for a non-evening wedding.  Art deco jewlery, an embossed crocodile (or faux croc) clutch, and classic pumps accessorize the look.  Just be sure to bring a pashmina for your shoulders as you leave!  This look is perfect for a hotel wedding – picture a grand ballroom, chandeliers galore, and champagne towers.


**A note of caution: make sure the skirt falls just above your knees – any shorter and this is not a wedding look anymore!

Floaty Full Skirt:

Evening Wedding II

Oh the romance of a wedding… and what is more romantic than a full skirt and lace??  A soft dove color allows you to be more bold with bright accessories.  Nude pumps will elongate the legs, and a sweet embellished sweater will keep the chill off at night.  This look is perfect for sipping martinis at the country club’s bar, and twirling on the dance floor with your date.

Final words of advice??  Follow the cardinal rules and you will be fine!

  1. NO White.  If the pale pink is even close to white, wear something else!
  2. Nothing TOO short.  If you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see you in it, chances are your friend getting married doesn’t want her grandmother to see you in it either.
  3. Do not try to outshine the bride.

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