Gorgeous Ideas for What to Wear To a Garden Wedding

Many couples opt 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.


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


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2. Lace is Lovely

Lace is always a perfect choice for a wedding, and it’s particularly romantic for a garden wedding. This pretty powder blue fit and flare lace dress is so feminine.



3. Pastels & Cheery Brights are Garden-like

In terms of color, for an afternoon wedding, you could go a couple of different ways: pastels are always appropriate. Or,  you could wear brighter colors, so long as they didn’t look too wildly tropical. (Leave loud Hawaiian tropical prints for beach or destination weddings). This lace sleeve fit and flare midi dress is light and elegant but still very wedding guest appropriate.

Pastel or bright florals prints on navy, black or purple backgrounds can also be lovely. These would be considered more formal garden wedding attire since the flowers are on very dark backgrounds. If you choose to wear a dress like this, be careful that the overall look isn’t dark or moody. An outdoor wedding is a light, sunny, happy event, so nothing edgy or goth-like.


4. Ruffles are Romantic

Attending any wedding, particularly one in a garden setting, is a little like being part of a romance story, which is why a dress with feminine, romantic ruffles would fit right in.

Concerned about looking too girly? Look for a dress with an elegant vibe. Add a sophisticated clutch or a dressy bag with a chan strap, and heels to ground your outfit. If the nuptials take place on the grass and not a patio, then wedges, block heels, or a sturdier heel may be better than a thin pointy heel.


5. Maxi Dresses Work for Casual or Dressier Garden Weddings

A flowy, feminine maxi dress with a romantic feel is another good option for a garden wedding. This floral, ruffle high/low maxi dress works best for more casual garden weddings where the mood is natural, laid back and free-spirited. A chiffon maxi would be lovely for a more formal garden wedding. (See my post on guidelines for maxi dresses for an afternoon wedding.)


6. Dressy Jumpsuits have a Chic Vibe

A dressy jumpsuit is another option for a garden wedding, or you could go for something like this, which is a long gown that opens us to classy skinny dress pants. Make sure the look is soft and flowy, so you get an elegant, relaxed look. Wide leg pants are also sophisticated and stylish on a jumpsuit.



7. A Sundress is Fine for an Informal Wedding

Some couples get married in their backyard because they want the wedding to be small, low-key, and super casual. In this case, you would not need to wear a cocktail dress. Casual backyard wedding attire could include a pretty sundress, a skirt, a blouse, or a casual maxi dress like this chiffon sundress. Dress your outfit up with a bit of jewelry and some pretty accessories to make it more festive.

Do you have other ideas for backyard or garden guest wedding attire? Let me know. Or maybe you need ideas on what to wear other types of weddings. Here are some suggestions.

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15 thoughts on “Gorgeous Ideas for What to Wear To a Garden Wedding

  1. Hi! I love your posts, but what about a fall outdoor garden wedding in New England; i.e., colder temperatures? I’m stumped. I used Rent the Runway in the past but their listings are either too formal (sequins/ball gowns) or too short/cocktail/young style for a more, ahem, mature figure. And shoes! OMG, what shoes to wear in the fall, outside, on uneven terrain — matching said unknown dress? Help!

    1. Hi Heather, outside in the fall in New England?.. who knows because it can be really chilly and windy or it can be still and as hot as summer. The weather is so kooky. I’d probably wear something with sleeves long or short in a fall color. These are nice:https://rstyle.me/n/c7y2tib52f7 or https://rstyle.me/n/c7y2t5b52f7 or https://rstyle.me/n/c7y2xdb52f7 or https://rstyle.me/n/c7y2x7b52f7. Maybe this:https://rstyle.me/n/c7y2ytb52f7. You might also want to look into wraps! https://rstyle.me/n/c7y228b52f7 The fall cocktail dresses are just starting to arrive but in a couple of weeks there should be more so hopefully you will have some time to shop. Best wishes! Deb

  2. Hi Deborah, I have really enjoyed reading your advice. I am 61 years old and would appreciate you showing some 16W plus size clothing for an evening wedding and where to purchase it. I love all the dresses shown above. Thanks

  3. I was at a location today where a wedding was taking place. All of the women in the bridal party and all the female guests were wearing lace dresses of various colors. Either lace dresses are extremely popular wedding attire this year, or they planned it.

  4. Oh all of these outfits are stellar. I would wear any one of them to a wedding or any other summer special occasion. Dinner al fresco, for example. Beautiful choices!

    Grass and or gravel is killer with skinny heels. You WILL sink, and if they are fabric covered, possibly stain them. Flats, wedges, or wider chunkier heels are a much more stable choice.

  5. I love your posts usually Deborah, but on this occasion I couldn’t see myself wearing any of these outfits. I think, personally, that all those frills/ruches/lace would be too much for me aged 47! But I go by the maxim that if a woman feels confident and can carry it off, well, why not!

  6. Hi Elizabeth, between the time the style board was created and posted the toille dress sold out so I have substituted, but will keep looking to see if I can find another. Cheers, Deborah

  7. Lovely suggestions. Just thinking that if on grass the stilettos would sink in the ground. Maybe wedges or flats (I know they don’t look any where near as polished)

    1. Hi Carol,
      I mentioned in the post that a different type of shoe is more appropriate if the wedding is on the grass. It’s good if you can do a little research first. Some outdoor weddings, especially if they are at an outdoor venue, are on a patio, so you’d be o.k. It just depends. The main thing is you want to feel comfortable walking around. Cheers, Deborah

  8. I would recommend a wedge rather than a heel for outdoor celebrations. It’s much easy to walk on grass.

    1. What if I have my little white keds (new pair, of course) dyed to match a midcalf flowered dress. I’m 69 years old.

      1. Hi Karen, I think a pair of soft ballet flats would be much prettier and just as comfy. Keds just wouldn’t look right. They would definitely pull from the dress and look heavy.

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