This week, we’re clarifying wedding dress codes that can be a little more nerve wracking: Black Tie & Cocktail Attire. If your host has specified one of these dress codes on the invite or wedding website, you’ll definitely want to take care when planning your wardrobe so you don’t look or feel underdressed.

A Black Tie Wedding is an event to bring your sartorial “game,” so to speak. A long formal gown is not only appropriate, but often required! Avoid summer-esque maxi-dresses made of jersey or cotton, and instead gravitate towards more luxe materials and fits. Add interest with your accessories (think evening glamour!!) and for makeup- dark and dramatic will compliment the overall style quite nicely. While modern-day rules do allow for elegant, short dresses at black tie affairs… there aren’t often occasions to dress up anymore and if a longer gown is appropriate, we say go for it!!

A Cocktail Wedding is slightly more casual, but that doesn’t mean you should skimp out on the elegance! We suggest a short, classy dress (nothing too revealing!) and a hefty dose of sparkle. The dress doesn’t have to be a dark hue, but we personally love the idea of instead adding color through your accessories. Bright heels, jewel encrusted necklaces, and a fabulous hairpiece to finish the look.

While these events are typically more formal and generally take place in the evening, they can still bring an air of confusion. If you’re uncertain on specifics, there is no shame in checking with the host of a member of the bridal party beforehand- and you can use our guides above as a resource too!

Shop Rue: Black Tie Wedding: 1. Lipstick // 2. Eyeliner // 3. Dress // 4. Earrings // 5. Bracelet  // 6. Clutch // 7. Pumps // Cocktail Wedding: 1. iPhone Case // 2. Lip Pencil // 3. Dress // 4. Necklace // 5. Hairpiece // 6. Clutch // 7. Rings // 8. Pumps