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Wedding Dress Code Guide For A Black Tie Wedding

by | Bride


We’re diving into everything black tie wedding on The Black Tie Issue and today, we want to explore that rather tricky subject for the guests – what exactly does one even wear to a black tie wedding?

Black tie dress code can be so very intimidating – but it doesn’t have to be! The basic guideline is all about dressing up and adding plenty of formality to your look. That means ditching the sneakers, drop the hemlines, and add plenty of sparkling gorgeous accessories.

Today, we’re sharing four dress code guides (and one for the guys!) that take completely different pieces and style them up for a black-tie celebration.

Keepsake Hide & Seek Gown from BNKR Mimco Nouveau Drop Earrings via David Jones Sergio Rossi Godiva Sling Pumps from Shopbop CLARE V. Bow-embellished glittered suede clutch from Net A Porter


First up, the classic black tie wedding style. Think of this one as a foundational look that ticks all the boxes. A long beautiful evening-length gown from a stunning fabric, evening-ready earrings and elegant heels.  This is a combination where you can’t go wrong!

Copper Street CS CURVY Drape Dress from The Iconic. Jessica Knot Tassel Earrings from Forever New,
Lipsy Rosegold Metallic Clutch from ASOS Livina Heels From Tony Bianco


Let the record show, the cocktail length dresses are completely okay for a black tie wedding! A big question, especially if you feel like a floor length gown is never going to be worn again. The trick is to choose a gown made from a more evening ready fabric, like silk or crepe, in a darker tone (black, navy, metallics and jewel tones) with a length below the knee, and dressy accessories (think large jewels, metallic clutches and sparkling wraps)

Dressing up your makeup and hairstyle can also help make your cocktail gown a little more black-tie appropriate.

Jarlo Oversize ERuffle Front Maxi Dress from Asos, MNG Buffalo Earrings from The Iconic, Black Pouch from The Daily Edited, Carey Shoes in Black from Tony Bianco,

Think black tie is all about dark tones? While some couples opt for a darker colour palette, beautiful colour can look amazing at a black tie wedding!

Think stunning mustard, elegant emerald and in this example – tangerine! When colour is this bold, it’s fun to go for a floor-length hemline to keep the look formal and consider metallic accessories (or bold black) for a little-added drama.

CEM Jumpsuit from Free People ,Elizabeth Cole Odessia Earrings from Shopbop,  Olga Berg Askos Crystal Tassle Pod from The Iconic,  Leah heel Sandal from Saba

Dresses not your thing? Never fear – pants are completely appropriate for a black tie wedding! As is the general theme for any black tie look, just make sure it’s dressed up! Think evening fabrics in beautiful cuts – a stunning jumpsuit, a beautiful pantsuit. Again, formal accessories with bold, metallic details and evening makeup can really transform the look to black tie wedding ready.

Midnight Navy Velvet Jacket from Oscar Hunt, Royale Black Tuxedo jacket from MJ Bale, Rystar Dinner Jacket from Wolf Kanat, Windslow Dinner Suit from Institchu 

In case you thought we forgot the males (check out Polka Dot Groom for plenty more)

While the general thought can dictate that a tuxedo with silk or stain lapel is the only appropriate attire for a black tie wedding, the truth is, plenty of couples are understanding that not everyone is willing to go to this length – so based on your knowledge and understanding of how strict the couple is with their dress code, a tailored black dinner suit with bow tie, and white shirt can also make the grade.

If you want to opt out of colour, then consider a rich fabric, like velvet for a decadent touch.

Visit Ms Polka Dot's Directory

Beautiful Black Tie Wedding Colour Palettes

by | Bride, Wedding Inspiration


When it comes to a black tie wedding, the formality lifts everything up a level. The formality itself can be quite heavy, so using deep dark colours with touches of metallics can play up to the glamour of the occasion. The tones can help “ground” the floor-length gowns and inky tuxedos, and give the whole occasion its own sense of elegance.

Think soft greys with glimmering gold accents, rich marsala paired with softer tones like blush pink, or bold black with sparkling metallics.

We’re sharing some of our favourite combinations today to inspire your own creative colour palette!

Grey & Gold

Photo by Helen Warner Photography via Natural Organic Wedding Inspiration

Taupe Black & Gold

Photo by Shoshana Kruger Photography via Modern Warehouse Engagement Party with Moody Florals

Peach, Eggplant & Gold

Photo by Susie Yang Photography via  Art De Vivre Botanical Art Wedding Inspiration

Grey, Black & Green

Photo by Rick Liston  via  Intimate Snow-Filled Wedding Editorial On Lake Mountain

Marsala & Gold

Cake by Miss Ladybird Cakes  Photo by Samara Clifford Via Decadent Lush Wedding Cakes From Miss Ladybird Cakes

Black & Gold


Photo by Jessie Dains via Modern Industrial Wedding Inspiration In A Motorcycle Workshop

Silver & White

Photo by Andrea & Federica via  Kit & Richard’s Indian Destination Wedding In An Italian Villa

Blush, Marsala & Gold

Floral by Touched By Angels  Photo by Bianca Kate Photography via Joanne & Matthew’s Classically Glamorous Perth Weddiing

Glam Black Tie Wedding Inspiration At Taronga Zoo

by | Australia - New South Wales, Bride, Inspiration Shoot, Wedding Inspiration,


What do you get when you take the glam of a black tie dress code and throw a zoo into the mix? Something completely wonderful as evidenced by today’s glam black tie wedding inspiration at Taronga Zoo!

With a backdrop of Sydney Harbour and the majestic creatures that are giraffes, today’s dream team took to this amazing venue to create plenty of wedding inspiration to inspire your own formal celebration at a venue, you may not have considered.

Set at the beautiful Taronga Centre, photographer Kiri Shay Photography teamed up with cinematographer Vast Digital Media, stylist and plannerNPM Events  (who led the team), second shooter Captured by Kirri, stylist Final Touches Event Styling, stylist & floral designer House of Bouquet, and wedding planner For Thy Sweet Love  to pull together an editorial that shines with elegance.

Our brides (Olivia Lucia and Maddy Holyoake) were dressed to the nines in beautiful gowns from Bizzaro Bridal Couture accessories with pieces from ChrysaliniBillini and The White Collection,  while our groom (Adrian Braun) was dressed in smart black tie from Meijo Menswear and Joe Black.

Makeup artist  MBK Makeup and hairstylist Gloria Ferraro created formal looks on our newlyweds that complemented not only the beautiful gowns but the beautiful setting.

Against the backdrop of giraffes, our styling team created an amazing arbour of greenery and fresh flowers which set the scene for the “ceremonies,” officiated by Lillian Lyon as our couples pledged their vows.

Inside, our table was set with linens from  CC&C, stationery pieces from The Invitation Studio and furniture from SP Events, the cut crystal, and neutral colour palette inspiring your own black tie grand celebration.

Photographer Kiri noting “The main inspiration for the photo shoot was simply to produce something beautiful, elegant and a little bit different! All the vendors worked so well together, each adding their own personal style and touch to the shoot. I think the animals at the zoo also added a really fun and unusual aspect and something you don’t often get to see. When you have such a large collaboration, with people being involved at all different stages, I think it’s fairly difficult to just stick to one particular style, but I believe the end result is something really gorgeous, and the weather, the venue and the cityscape in the background really just added that extra bit of magic to the day.”

Photographer: Kiri Shay Photography / Second Photographer: Captured by Kirri / Cinematographer: Vast Digital Media / Styling: NPM Events / Styling: Final Touches Event Styling / Flowers & Decor: NPM Events / Flowers: House of Bouquets / Venue: Taronga Centre / Wedding Planner: For Thy Sweet Love / Rental Furniture: SP Events / Linens: CC&C / Invitations & Stationery: The Invitation Studio / Ceremony Officiant: Lillian Lyon / Bride's Dress: Bizzaro Bridal Couture / Bride's Jewellery: Chrysalini / Groom's Attire: Meijo Menswear / Groom's Attire: Joe Black / Bride's Shoes: Billini / Bride's Shoes: The White Collection / Hairstylist: Gloria Ferraro / Makeup Artist: MBK Makeup / Model: Olivia Lucia / Model: Maddy Holyoake / Model: Adrian Braun

Emma & Steven’s Classic & Elegant City Wedding

by | Australia - Western Australia, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


Emma & Steven

Emma and Steven’s classic and elegant city wedding is simply beautiful! We adore the gown with its split and pockets, we are crushing hard on the gorgeous white long stem rose bouquet, and we are head over heels for the modern styling at the inner city venue. The day was captured beautifully by Merge Photography.

Meeting 5 years ago at Perth hotspot Hip-E Club, Emma tells of how they hit it off. She shares, ”We met after a mutual friend introduced us and we spent the rest of the night by each other’s side. After exchanging numbers on the night, it took a little bit of persistence but I eventually granted Steve a first date, and the rest was history.” Steven proposed after organising a lunch at the couple’s favourite Cottesloe restaurant, with a ring he had chosen himself.

Love at first sight was on the cards for Emma when she went wedding dress shopping. She tells, ”I went into the dress experience with an open mind, but after following Karen Willis Holmes on Instagram I had a feeling that I might end up with one of her dresses. It was the second bridal store I visited with my mum and I fell in love with the dress immediately. I went to a few more bridal stores but nothing compared to this dress. I loved the simplicity of it and the modern twists – the split in the skirt, the pockets, the neckline.” Emma had her sister, Amy, as her maid of honour, plus three close friends, two of whom she spent time with whilst living in London. They wore Sass and Bide and carried bouquets of mixed roses and hydrangea by Rose and Bud.

The groom and the groomsmen kept it simple with navy suits from MJ Bale and white shirts from Gibson. Emma shares, ”It took me weeks to search for peach coloured ties to match the bridesmaid dresses. After almost giving up I stumbled across the OTAA website where I found the perfect tie and pocket square. Steven wore his Grandfather’s watch who passed away in 2010.” The groom chose three close friends in Daniel, James and Ian to be in the bridal party, one of whom introduced the couple! A stunning ceremony venue was fortunately close by, with Emma telling,”The church is about a five minute drive from my childhood home. I have driven past this church at least once a week for the past ten years and love the street it is located on. The Sacred Heart Church, Highgate has a beautiful courtyard out the front where we had family photos after the ceremony.”

The bride and groom chose to add no decoration to the already beautiful church. Emma shares, ”As Steve is not Catholic we chose to not go with a full mass. The church is beautiful as is, so we had no florals or other decorations. We had three readings read by two close friends and my Uncle/Godfather. The priest who married us has been known to my family for many years. He married my parents and he baptised me. The bridesmaids and myself walked down the aisle to ‘I Won’t Give Up’ by Jason Mraz. We had a live acoustic music performed by Adrian Wilson, and my father walked me down the aisle.”

Loving all of their chosen vendors, Emma and Steven were thrilled with Jodie from Merge PhotographyEmma tells, ”We first saw Jodie when she was the photographer for a friend’s wedding. We loved how she was almost invisible throughout the day. We didn’t want a team of photographers in our face all day. Jodie was such a pleasure on the day.” The bride and groom brought the wedding together as a team, and thoroughly enjoyed the process! Emma tells, ”I had a lot of fun planning the wedding. Steve was very involved in the planning which I loved. Making the decisions together made the day even more enjoyable and seeing all the planning come together was a great feeling.”

With decor perfect for this classic and elegant wedding, The Flour Factory was an instant hit! Emma shares, ”We looked at a few venues around Perth but we absolutely loved The Flour Factory. We loved the exposed beams, the wooden floorboards, the little courtyard.” In choosing flowers, Emma kept to theme, saying, ”I’m not a big flower person but I love roses. I chose classic long stem white roses for my bouquet, and the bridesmaids and groomsmen also had roses. At the reception, the tables were decorated with lush greenery down the centre with hints of blooms and scattered candles. Our seating chart had corner floral pieces framing the chart. The cheese wheel cake from Little Sister Delicatessen had small scattered blooms and greenery. Rose and Bud nailed my theme – white roses, soft pinks and latte pops. Soft and romantic feel with wild dark green foliage.”

Arriving at the reception, the newly married couple chose to have their first dance straight away. The bride shares, ”We chose ‘With or Without You’ by U2 for our first dance. We did our first dance as soon as we walked into the reception and were introduced as husband and wife. We didn’t have any dance lessons or choreograph a dance but it was romantic just staring into each other’s eyes and enjoying the moment together.”

With one of Emma’s favourite items at the wedding listed as being soda water, we now know why! She tells, ”At the reception I suffered a slight wardrobe issue courtesy of what Steve describes as an exploding arancini ball. I bit into the ball and it exploded onto my dress! It happened just as we were about to sit down for dinner. Steve went to our seats and couldn’t find me until he saw Mum and I at the bar. He wandered over and said, ‘Enough you two, there’s champagne on the table’, only to find Mum feverishly scrubbing my dress. Luckily, thanks to soda water, you could barely notice the orange stain.”

Congratulations to our gorgeous bride and groom on your wedding, and thank you for sharing it with us! Thank you also to Merge Photography for your magnificent photographs!

Photographer: Merge Photography / Bride's Dress: Karen Willis Holmes / Bride's Jewellery: Witchery / Bridesmaid Dresses: Sass and Bide / Makeup Artist: Kristen Ashton / Hairstylist: Jessica Twamley / Groom & Groomsmen Attire: MJ Bale / Groom & Groomsmen Attire: OTAA / Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Gibson / Groom's Hair: His Lid / Flowers: Rose and Bud / Invitations & Stationery: Felicitations / Ceremony Venue: Sacred Heart Church, Highgate / Ceremony Musicians: Adrian Wilson / Reception Venue: The Flour Factory / Wedding Cake: Little Sister Delicatessen / DJ: DJ Vibez / Lighting: Festoon Lighting Perth / Rental Furniture: Heart Strings Hire + Style / Linens: Event Artillery