What to Wear to a Summer Black Tie Wedding in Bermuda

So, what do you wear to a summer black tie wedding in Bermuda? This past weekend I was on this beautiful island in the middle of the Atlantic for my old roommate’s wedding. If ever there was a wedding weekend that was equal parts elegant and fun, this was it. We were in the most stunning setting, eating incredible food, and enjoying the company of the most fun group of people.

I’d never been to what we typically think of as a “destination” wedding, but now I’m definitely a believer that bringing your closest friends and family to a warm-weather locale for a weekend of celebrations is the way to go.


However, as with all weddings, there’s the issue of, “What do I wear?!” When I think destination wedding, I think flowy, beachy dresses and flip flops—but this wedding was black tie. When the bride told me she was planning a Bermuda wedding, my first thought was, “Okay, that’s going to be an amazing island wedding, but I can’t imagine one of my most glamorous friends doing anything but black-tie!” Well, she did both!

But, then the question was: What do I wear to a summer black tie wedding—in Bermuda?! It was going to be hot, really hot. And REALLY humid. Plus, while it was a formal wedding in a refined setting, it was on an island, so going the classic black gown route didn’t feel quite right.

So, I did as one does when faced with a wardrobe dilemma: I ordered about 25 dresses offline. I went with everything from formal and flowy to bright and tailored. I decided that the key to summer black-tie is a sophisticated shape with a major dose of color.

The winner in my book? This Eliza J. off-the-shoulder asymmetrical dress from Nordstrom. A silhouette that exudes old Hollywood glamour from its off the shoulder neckline to the dramatic drape across the front. A bold color that has just enough fun for an island setting, but that will totally work for city weddings, as well. This dress checked all the boxes. Note: I ordered a size up (4) to fit my butt/hips.

OUTFIT DETAILS: Eliza J. Off the Shoulder Asymmetrical Dress / J. Crew Earrings / Gold Heels {Kate Spade (for $30!) from a consignment store, Clothes Encounters, in Eastern Market, but similar here and here} / Clutch {$18 find from an antique store in Sonoma, CA}

Apologies for the iPhone photos! I rarely, if ever, post images on here from my phone, but such is life when you’re simply snapping photos while waiting for your ride.




Here’s a secret: I rarely buy new dresses for weddings. It’s legitimately been 3 years since I bought a brand new dress specifically for a wedding. And, no, I don’t do Rent the Runway either. I recycle the same dresses over and over because if I bought it, I probably love it, and I probably want to wear it more than just once. So, when I bought this dress, I wanted to make sure I could get good use out of it—as in, I’m already planning to wear it to another wedding in two months.

And, since I knew that I would be wearing this exact outfit more than once, I decided to splurge on new accessories to tie it all together. I found these gold strappy Kate Spade heels for just $30 at Clothes Encounters, a designer consignment store in my neighborhood, but these gold Jewel by Badgley Mischka heels are a similar look (plus, these are super similar to my wedding heels!).

Then, I added these fun baguette crystal sunburst earrings from J.Crew. Usually, I’d go for the crystal and gold version, but the multi-color was just too perfect with my dress. Not to mention, while I am 100% not someone who believes in getting approval from my husband on my outfit choices, I did think to myself, “Adam will definitely take notice of the kind of crazy, colorful earrings!”

Lastly, I added an ivory beaded clutch that I found for a song at an antique store in California last summer.

The entire look is so timeless—I can’t wait to wear it again.

If you have a less formal wedding to attend, here’s a post I did last year on what to wear to a summer cocktail wedding!


eliza j Shoulder Asymmetrical Cocktail Dress - eliza j cocktail dress - black tie summer wedding - black tie bermuda - royal blue black tie dress

eliza j Shoulder Asymmetrical Cocktail Dress - eliza j cocktail dress - black tie summer wedding - black tie bermuda - royal blue black tie dress





  1. July 31, 2019 / 8:58 am

    Beautiful pictures- I wouldn’t have known these were iphone! Totally agreed on buying formal dresses- I rarely buy them as well and also keep them for re-wearing! Sounds like a beautiful wedding, I went to Bermuda in high school and would love to go back.

    xoxo A

    • hmbien
      July 31, 2019 / 9:00 am

      Yes, you definitely should go back! I’m going to write a travel guide with my tips for a long weekend, but I’m already scheming for another trip back!

  2. July 31, 2019 / 8:35 pm

    You look gorgeous! I see what you mean about a tricky dresscode- black tie on the beach is hard!! But you killed it: Katie Actually

Leave a Reply