Incorporate Fun Elements — Pick a black dress with some personality. Prints, mesh overlays, fun embroidery, and whimsical detailing all contribute to a frock that's fun, not formal. Colorful shoes and a quirky clutch help bring that message of frivolity home.
Sandro Rubis Star Embroidered Dress, $375, available at Sandro; Maison Martin Margiela Clutch, $735, available at La Garçonne; Dannijo Star Earrings, $233, available at Matches; nOir Jewelry Barbados Cocktail Ring, $77, available at Shopbop; Zara High Heel Sandal, $49.90, available at Zara.
Up The Sex Factor — It's easy for a long-sleeved dress to look matronly, but when it's as body-hugging and slinky as this one from Carven, you'll never get mistaken for a Debbie Downer. Since the wedding is still a family affair, dress it down a bit with sturdy leather sandals, bold sunglasses, and colorful accessories.
GUESS By Marciano Box Chain Necklace, $68, available at Guess; Loeffler Randall Evie Stacked Sandal, $375, available at Loeffler Randall; Carven Stretch-Jersey Dress, $420, available at Net-A-Porter; Super Basic Wayfarer, $147, available at Need Supply; Modcloth Woven Clutch, $32.99, available at ModCloth.
Going Long? Then Get Graphic — A long, black gown can look real witchy, real fast, and the best way to combat it is by choosing a dress with graphic design elements and a simple cut, and to pair it with other printed accessories that carry the theme. In this case, we've chosen a dress with faux hourglass paneling, and matched it with black-and-white printed shoes and a clutch.
Sergio Rossi Pop Chain Sandal, $1,195, available at Sergio Rossi; Lulu Frost Absinthe Bracelet, $265, available at Lulu Frost; Dorothy Perkins Black Maxi Illusion Dress, $44, available at Dorothy Perkins; Rebecca Minkoff Vincent Minaudiere, $250, available at Rebecca Minkoff; Becca Ultimate Matte LIp Color, $24, available at Sephora.