What to Wear to a Black Tie Winter Wedding


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One of my best friends had a winter black-tie wedding. It was at the Read House in Chattanooga, TN and the wedding was absolutely beautiful!

I had never been to a black-tie wedding, so wasn’t sure what to expect. Fortunately, I had three dresses to choose from, and the perfect heals and jewelry to match.

Not sure what to wear to a winter black-tie wedding?

This guide is all about what to wear to a winter black tie wedding.

The tips below will help you look sexy at your winter wedding.

You'll want to wear a great dress, a pretty coat, and the perfect shoes. 

What to Wear to a Winter Black Tie Wedding

Check out the wedding guest dresses below if you need a winter black-tie wedding guest dress!

1. Velvet Dresses

Velvet dresses are perfect for wearing to a winter black-tie wedding! The velvet material will keep you warm too!

winter black tie wedding guest dress
Image via Lulus

View Wedding Guest Dress on Lulus

2. Full-length Gowns in a Holiday Color

For formal weddings, you'll definitely want to wear a full-length dress (most of the time. If the wedding is in December, going with a formal gown in a holiday color, like red or green, would be perfect!

This off-the-shoulder wedding guest dress on Amazon is affordable, flattering, and perfect for wearing to a black tie wedding! 

red formal black tie wedding guest dress with high slit
YDMUCH Off Shoulder Dress

View Wedding Guest Dress on Amazon

3. V-Neck Dresses with a Side Slit

There's just something about formal dresses with a slide slit that is both classy and sexy! This v-neck dress on Amazon is perfect for wearing to a winter formal wedding!

WOOSEA v neck formal wedding guest red dress
WOOSEA V Neck Evening Dress

View Wedding Guest Dress on Amazon

This winter wedding guest dress fits like a glove and is stretchy too!

burgundy winter black tie wedding guest dress
So Pretty!

View Wedding Guest Dress on Amazon

4. High Neck Formal Dresses

When it's cold outside, you may want to dress a little bit more modestly to stay warm! High neck dresses are perfect for wearing to a winter wedding.

WOOSEA high neck formal wedding guest navy blue dress
WOOSEA High Neck Long Dress

View wedding Guest Dress on Amazon

5. Long Sleeve Dresses

Long sleeve dresses are perfect for wearing to a winter formal wedding. Look for dresses with a plunging neckline and/or an open back to ensure the dress doesn't look too boring!

winter black tie wedding guest dress with sleeves
Image via Lulus

View Wedding Guest Dress on Lulus

The Best Style of Dresses to Wear to a Winter Black Tie Wedding

It’s essential to know that a black tie wedding = a long dress.

If you aren't sure what to wear to a winter black tie wedding, stick to dark blue, dark purple, or red dresses. Black is fabulous too, but not as much fun.

Here’s what a group of classy, UGA women wore at my friend’s black-tie wedding. They all looked great!

Women in black tie wedding dresses for January wedding in the South
Friends of the bride in formal dresses

Need more inspiration for what to wear to a formal winter black tie wedding? See below for more ideas.

Women in long, black tie wedding dresses for expensive, Southern wedding in the December
UGA women at a Southern black tie wedding

I opted for an extra small dress by BCBGMAXAZRIA.

Dark purple dress by BCBGMAZARIA for winter black tie wedding

I’d recommend sticking to dresses with stretchy material (they are more forgiving!) and staying away from strapless dresses when deciding what to wear to a black tie winter wedding.

Not sure where to shop? Check out Dillard’s, Macy’s, and Bloomingdales. If you know your size, check out Poshmark for dresses. A bridesmaid ordered her dress in four sizes too big from Poshmark, and had it tailored to fit. So smart! And much cheaper.

Best Color Dresses to Wear to a Winter Black Tie Wedding

Not sure what color dress to wear to a winter black tie wedding?

Most women opt for bright red, burgundy, deep purple, navy blue, black, or teal/tortoise dresses for a winter black tie wedding.

The Best Shoes to Wear to a Winter Black Tie Wedding

Shoes are relatively simple. Wear heals when deciding what to wear to a winter black tie wedding!

You can wear sparkly gold or silver heals, but most women at a winter wedding opt for simple, black heals.

Unlike spring or summer weddings, winter weddings call for long dresses, which means no one can see your shoes anyway.

1. Heels by Aerosoles

I wore a simple pair of black heals by Aerosoles that I’ve owned since my high school prom (really!).

Black heals to wear to a winter, formal, black-tie wedding by Aerosoles
Black heals = key for black tie winter wedding!

To ensure you can dance all night, I’d recommend a thicker heal and straps that tie over the ankle.

2. Heels by Lifestride

LifeStride is known for making REALLY comfortable heels, and these are a great price on Amazon!

LifeStride Sanya Pump formal black closed toe heels
LifeStride Women's Sanya Pump

View Heels on Amazon

Accessories to Wear to a Winter Black Tie Wedding

Accessories are a quick, easy way to jazz up a dress. One beautiful statement piece will do the trick!

Purple necklace to wear to a black tie, winter wedding
Statement necklace for black tie affair

You definitely need to wear earrings if you have pierced ears, and then add a ring, bracelet, and/or necklace depending on the dress.

Purses to Wear to a Formal Black Tie Formal Wedding

No women will be carrying a large or even medium-sized purse to a wedding, so don’t let that be you!

Buy a small clutch that fits your driver’s license, credit card, and phone. That’s all you need. I brought my coach clutch and used that.

Coach clutch to bring to a black tie wedding
The perfect clutch fits a phone and lipstick

Brands with great, small clutches include Coach, Kate Spade, and Michael Kors. If you want to save money, go to TJ Maxx. They have tons of small purses to choose from.

Need to carry a phone charger, makeup, and more stuff? Pack a larger bag, and check it at the front desk of the venue. Or, do what I did. Hide it! I had a large bag with a change of clothes (for my two-hour drive home), and asked the bartender for a place to store it. He recommended hiding it under a table. Keep your valuables with you, and stash your large bag elsewhere. Not kosher, but it works.

The Best Coat for a Formal Black Tie Winter Wedding

I expected the winter wedding to be warm inside, but it was cold! All of us had our jackets on during the ceremony. The best-dressed women wore faux fur jackets or long, formal dress coats at the black-tie wedding.

I’d recommend bringing both your warm, winter jacket and a faux fur coat.

winter wedding guest faux fur coat jacket
So Pretty!

View Faux Fur Coat on Amazon

Wear your super warm, casual coat when walking to the venue, and then check it at the coat check. Then, keep your faux fur coat on for the ceremony and reception if you are cold.

Many faux fur jackets look cheap (in my opinion), so if you don’t have one – that’s okay! A simple shrug or black sweater with no buttons will work just as well.

Undergarments to Wear to a Black Tie Winter Wedding

I don’t expect any of you to forget to wear a seamless bra or underwear, but don’t forget the importance of trying on your underwear with your dress and outfit BEFORE the wedding.

Make sure your seamless panties are truly seamless and make sure the bra is comfortable and works with your dress. If you wear Spanx, try them on under your dress.

Many women, even thin women, will see how much better Spanx can make a dress look. You can also find less expensive versions of Spanx to wear under a dress at Macy’s or TJ Maxx.

I’d also recommend wearing tights if it is wintertime. If it’s really cold, you can wear warm, black tights. No one will see them! Or wear nude tights.

Essentials to Bring to a Winter Black Tie Wedding

Once you have the outfit down, there are a few other items to bring with you.

Don’t leave these wedding essentials at home!

  • Your ID and credit card
  • Your cell phone (and a charger, if it dies easily)
  • Cash to tip the bartender
  • Tights to change into (if it’s cold!)
  • Lipstick to re-apply throughout the night as needed

One Final Tip on What to Wear to a Winter Black Tie Wedding

Lastly, remember to put on your best smile and be happy for the newlywed couple!

More Wedding Guest Dress Guides

You may also want to check out these winter wedding guest dresses and these formal black tie dresses for women.

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Formal Dresses that Hide Belly Bulge

Best Black Jumpsuits for Wedding Guests

See All Wedding Guest Dress Guides

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