Chic Summer Cocktail Dresses for Weddings and Other Special Events

Whether you are attending a July/August wedding, a special birthday party, or heading to Vegas, the occasion calls for a summery party dress.  Here are 6 chic summer cocktail dresses for weddings and other special events.

Summer Cocktail Dresses for Weddings

A wedding is pretty,  romantic, and ultra-feminine, too, so choose a summer cocktail dress to match the mood. This pretty blue lace sheath with sequins and shine has a wedding guest written all over it!

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Gorgeous Ideas for What to Wear To a Garden Wedding

Many couples are opting to be married outdoors, and the pandemic has increased those numbers even more. This may leave you wondering about what is appropriate outdoor wedding guest attire?

In past posts, I have talked about what to wear to a beach wedding and what to wear to a vineyard wedding. How about what to wear to a garden wedding? Here are a few ideas.

Floral Pleated Cocktail Dress

1.  Floral Prints are a Natural Choice

Garden weddings range from low-key affairs at home in the backyard, to elaborate spreads in large parks surrounded by lush gardens and fountains. They are pretty, romantic, and usually very traditional.

Naturally, the easiest way to fit in with the botanical theme is to wear feminine, floral wedding guest attire.  This pretty pleated floral dress is a great example.

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How to Dress For A Vineyard Wedding

Wineries are becoming popular places to get married these days, but if you’ve never attended a vineyard wedding, you may be at a loss for what to wear. Here are a few ideas for what to wear to a vineyard wedding to look beautiful and feel confident.Vineyard wedding attire for guests - Purple Velvet

Let the Winery Setting Inspire You

A vineyard wedding is one of the prettiest weddings you will ever attend. It often takes place in summer or early fall amidst rolling hills of greenery, gardens, flowers and rustic stone walkways. The reception is usually held under a beautiful, grapevine-canopied pergola.

Whether it’s at Napa Valley, Martha’s Vineyard or Niagara on the Lake, a wine country wedding is a relaxed but elegant affair.  You’ll want to dress classy and a little romantic in keeping with the spirit of vineyard chic.

Vineyard Wedding Guest Dress- Orange and Purple



Florals or a Pretty Print Look Lovely

A pretty floral is a beautiful choice for any type of vineyard wedding guest attire, be it a skirt, top or dress.  Pastel florals and prints are popular for summer, or you can go with something more sophisticated for fall like this gold and purple floral dress.  It’s lovely for an afternoon wedding, and the shape is very feminine and flattering.  A blush clutch amps thing up, and gorgeous pumps top off this very feminine look.

I suggest you do a little checking around online beforehand to get a preview of the venue. Many of these places understand that ladies love their heels and have appropriate walkways, but if you are attending a wedding at a more rustic vineyard, you may want to wear some sleek wedges or block heels instead. Also, don’t forget a wrap for your shoulders, as it can get chilly under the stars at night in wine country.

What to Wear to a Winery Wedding | Blue Lace Sheath Dress, clutch, nude heels


A Lace Cocktail Dress is Romantic 

I mentioned the romantic vibe of a vineyard wedding. One way to inject some of that romance is with a dress made of lace. This is such a pretty one ( above), and the gorgeous shade purple and blue is as delicious as the wine itself.  A beautiful vineyard wedding guest dress like this would work well in the summer for a late afternoon ( 5:00) wedding, but it is also perfect for a September/ October vineyard wedding.

In the fall, wedding receptions often move indoors to a wine cellar where you dine seated by wine barrels. If you have been pondering what to wear to Vineyard wedding like this, then this dress would look stunning! More lace wedding guest dresses here!

Vineyard Wedding Guest Dress - Plum One shoulder


A Cold Shoulder Dress is Right on Trend

Many Vineyard weddings are elegant affairs that call for something with an air of sophistication. This gorgeous plum sheath dress fits the bill. The one shoulder detail is very elegant and feminine, and the stunning turn down satin neckline adds just the right amount of drama. This is a dress with a high presence, but it doesn’t overwhelm. Perfect for a wedding with a unique vineyard atmosphere.

Finally, a reminder, if you are going to a wedding at a Winery, now is the time to shop for vineyard wedding guest dresses. If you leave it to just before the wedding, I guarantee you will be tearing your hair out. It’s too stressful to leave such an important thing to the last minute!

Enjoy the wedding. Have a lovely time!


What to Wear to an Evening Wedding

Candles, moonlight, stars… An evening wedding is the ultimate in romance and feels like something straight out of a fairytale. Since it usually takes place after 5 p.m., it’s more formal than a daytime wedding, which may leave you wondering how to dress if you’re a guest.

Here’s a rundown of the various dress codes, from semi-formal to formal for an evening wedding, and what you should wear for each. I’m including both men and women to help you visualize because what the woman wears needs to be in sync with the formality of what the man is wearing.

What to wear to an evening wedding party
What to wear to an evening wedding party


Evening Semi-Formal

How you should look: Dressy, Party, but still classy.

Gentlemen: Dark suit

Ladies: Black or colorful cocktail dress to the knee, or just above the knee in chiffon, silk, taffeta with minimal or no beading. Your other choice –  wear dressy separates like a dressy taffeta skirt and blouse or a flowy chiffon pantsuit.

If your wedding invitation does not specify one of these codes, then err on the side of being overdressed, or call the bride and ask to clarify. It’s important that you feel comfortable and confident so you can enjoy yourself at the wedding.

What to wear to an evening wedding reception - Black off the shoulder
What to wear to an evening wedding reception – Black off the shoulder

Black Tie Optional -Formal

How you should look: Dressy, Sophisticated, Chic, and a little more festive than a formal black tie. Most weddings are like this.

Gentlemen: Tux or Dark suit ( I find most men wear dark suits)

Ladies: You have two choices. You can wear a long floor-length dress that is more formal than a cocktail dress but not as structured or fancy as a ballgown. Any color is acceptable.

Or, you can wear a cocktail dress with luxurious detail like sequins, beading, or some texture. It can be a little black dress or a colored dress. Make sure the black dress is not somber-looking. Add some bold or colorful jewelry and heels.

Black Sheer Sleeve Gown on what to wear to an evening wedding party
Black Sheer Sleeve Gown on what to wear to an evening wedding party


Black Tie – Very Formal

How You should look: Formal, Upscale and Luxurious like you are a famous person or socialite going to a fancy charity ball or special ceremony. Black Tie is usually the most formal we get in North America.

Gentlemen: Tux with Black Bow Tie

Ladies: Long floor-length gown in a dark color such as black, navy, or brown, and a luxe fabric that is formal enough to complement a tuxedo. Or a formal cocktail dress that is dark and luxurious. It should be exquisite, meaning it doesn’t reveal too much skin and is no shorter than just above the knee. Think Classic Beauty, not Sexy Siren.

White Tie – Extremely Formal

How you should look: Picture the Royal family in their finest clothes, or Hollywood Stars on the red carpet at the Oscars, or even a visit to a Grand Ball at Downton Abbey, and you’ll understand that White tie is the ultimate in dressing up! White tie Dressing is Rare. If you are lucky enough to be invited to a White tie wedding, it is a grand affair you will never forget, so be sure to look dazzling!

Gentlemen: Tux with Tails, white bow tie, vest, white gloves

Ladies: Full Length, structured ballgown ( not just a dress)  with sparkle or jewels and glamorous hair and make-up. Most women wear bare arms and long gloves. Sometimes Tiaras are worn!

Finally, when in doubt what the dress code is, ask! There’s no point fretting your head off, wondering if you will be over or undressed for such a special and joyful occasion. Confidence is key to feeling beautiful and having a good time.


What to Wear To A Winter Wedding? Oufits for Women Over 40, 50

Spring and Summer are the most popular times of year to tie the knot, but there’s something magical about a winter wedding.

What do you wear when you are invited to a wedding that takes place at the coldest time of the year, and there might even be snow? Here are a few cozy, elegant ideas for winter wedding guest attire.

winter wedding - green velvet midi


1. Wear Deep, Rich Colors

Pink, peach, and light blue are natural choices in spring/summer, but dark, rich hues are more appropriate during the winter months. Jewel tones like ruby red, emerald green, royal purple, sapphire blue, and Fuschia look fabulous in the winter, especially leading up to Christmas.

Wedding Guest Dress - Navy Lace Sleeve


Navy is also a trendy choice and is the perfect transitional color when the wedding is at the very start of winter or the very end of it leading into spring.

Prints are popular for weddings too. If you want to wear a floral in winter, choose a dress with florals set against a dark background such as black or navy, purple or burgundy. Keep your accessories dark to ground your dress and make the pattern pop.winter wedding guest dress - black one shoulder

An all-black dress is acceptable for semi-formal and formal weddings, so long as it does not look funereal. Add a dash of color or gold or silver accents and some jewelry, so your black dress looks celebratory. Think elegant. Winter Wedding Guest Attire- BLue Ruched Velvet Dress


2. Wear Rich, Heavier Fabrics

It’s winter, after all, so go ahead and dive into some sumptuous fabrics. Velvets look wonderful when temperatures drop.  Jacquards are lovely, so are heavy brocades and satin. Lace is perfect, too, for a winter wedding guest attire (so long as it isn’t white).

As for sparkle and shine, some is fine during this festive season, particularly around Christmas time. Just be sure to keep it subtle so you don’t detract from the bride.

3.  Sleeves are a Good Idea

When it’s cold outside, a sleeveless dress can leave you feeling chilly all night. Long, opaque sleeves can look heavy, so other options include long, sheer sleeves, 3/4 length sleeves, or short sleeves. Of course, a pretty wrap with a sleeveless dress can also be elegant too.

4. Pay Attention to your Shoes

Strappy Sandals are totally acceptable year-round,  although they’re not the best shoe to wear up North in January and February.  Closed-toe pumps or peep-toe pumps are the more logical choice. Even a pair of fine, elegant evening booties can work in some cases.

5. Don’t Forget A Dressy Coat

Here’s something that can get you in trouble if you don’t plan it out ahead of time. What do you wear over your dress on the way to the church and later when you step into the reception hall? If you think you can get away with your everyday puffy parka or casual car coat, think again. A cocktail dress calls for a classy coat, a cape, or at least some kind of elegant winter wrap.


Wondering what to wear to a spring or summer wedding? Here are some ideas.