Excited about going to a wedding this summer, but finding it challenging to know what to wear? Unsure about what color of dress to get, what style will flatter your figure, or whether you should go long or short?
Before you even start to think about all this, you need to consider the style of the wedding you’ll be attending. Will it be casual or dressy, does it have a special theme or definite feel and where will it be held? With weddings held in all sorts of unique locations these days, demystifying the dress code is tougher than ever.
Here’s Stylist Morgan Mullin with 3 popular wedding settings, and the summer wedding guest dresses that will look the best with each.
What to Wear to a Summer Beach Wedding
More and more couples are skipping the church and opting for a seaside ceremony. This means any summer wedding guest attire needs to be more casual.
Maxi dresses are a fantastic option. They’re relaxed, yet still glamorous, and a bit boho. Pair a pretty lilac maxi like this one above with delicate silver sandal so you can manoeuvre the sandy ground but keep an ethereal look. Ocean-themed accessories (like pearls or a shell-shaped clutch) are perfect outfit makers, but more hippie-chic pieces work, too. Don’t forget a shawl to wrap your shoulders in for when the sun sets!
Style Tip: Keep your maxi fancy enough for a wedding by choosing one in a luxe fabric (think jersey, lined chiffon, basically anything but basic stretch cotton).
What to Wear to a Casual Summer Wedding in the Countryside
“Rustic Chic” is the theme du jour for many summer weddings, meaning more couples are tying the knot in barns, fields, orchards and vineyards. If you are invited to one of these events play into the southern belle theme by choosing a sweet dress.
A length that hits the knee or just above is perfect, but feel free to try the popular “midi” length, which hits mid-calf, too. A floral print matches the homespun vibe, but if that’s not your thing any other classic print from stripes to polka dots would work too.
Instead of heels, which will sink into the grass, opt for a pair of chic wedges. Round out your look with some modern jewelry. If the ceremony is on a hot, sunny day adding a wide-brimmed hat will give you the perfect finishing touch.
Style Tip: Even though this is a more casual wedding, a simple cotton sundress won’t cut it unless the event is extremely casual. To ensure you’re formal enough yet not overdressed, pick a dress you could wear to a cocktail party. To make it work for the wedding, choose a sunny, solid color for the dress or a classic print (as I mentioned above).
What Dress to Wear to a Summer Wedding in the City?
If the wedding is in a restaurant, club, or any other classy urban venue, you’ll want a modern yet polished look. An elegant shift dress with minimal detail will do the trick. Choose a vivid summer hue or a cool, abstract print. A bold necklace or pair of statement earrings and sleek heels will finish your look. As for your bag? Choose a sleek clutch to tote the essentials and be ready to dance until dawn!
Other things to remember about How to Dress for a Summer Wedding
- Keep it classy. A wedding isn’t the time for looking sexy! Your body should be 2/3 covered to make sure you’re appropriate. Not sure how much skin is too much? Err on the side of caution with more conservative necklines and hems that hit just above the knee or longer.
- Any wedding that has a portion of it taking place inside a church or temple means you should pack a light cardigan to cover your shoulders as a sign of respect. Not familiar with the religion of the ceremony? Ask a fellow guest if other forms of modesty, such as head coverings, are required.
- Also, the earlier the wedding, the more casual it tends to be. This isn’t giving denim a green light, but it does mean that a lower heel and more casual dress might be a better fit.
- If you’re completely unsure how fancy the wedding will be, look at the invitation: Kraft paper invitations mean a more laid-back wedding, while lots of Calligraphy means it might be time to think evening gowns.
- The golden rule of being a wedding guest? Look pulled-together without standing out (after all, the bride is the one who’s supposed to stand out today!)
With these tips in mind you’ll be sure to be the best-dressed guest at any summer wedding! Now if only knowing what gift to bring was as easy.