As we head into another summer (while it doesn’t feel like it, I know it’s around the corner!) that means WEDDING SEASON! Trying to figure out what to wear to a wedding is a topic that can stress a lot of people out. How do you know what’s appropriate? How do you accessorize? Where should you be looking for a dress?
Today, I’m here to do two things:
- Reassure and remind you that nobody is actually paying attention to what you’re wearing. They’re watching the bride and groom–so not that you needed permission, but I’m giving it to you to dust of that LBD in the back of your closet and call it a day. REALLY. You are allowed to wear the same dress over and over to various weddings and I bet you NOBODY will notice. Will I put myself out of a job someday shouting this from the rooftops? Maybe, but I can’t in good conscious convince you that you NEED to keep buying new dresses for weddings. That’s just not sustainable on any level! (You could also consider renting from Rent the Runway or Nuuly, both I’ve had great luck with! Highly recommend!) That being said…
- If you DO really want to buy something new, I can help you with that too. I’m rounding up lots of outfit options as well as some general tips below!
What to wear to a summer wedding: Dress code
What do you typically wear to Summer wedding?
First up, let’s talk dress code! What to wear to a wedding really depends on the requested attire. On your invitation, the hosts should have indicated whether the wedding calls for formal (black tie or black tie optional), cocktail, or casual attire. So definitely check that invitation before shopping or combing through your closet.
Below, I’ll go through each type of wedding attire with stylish, appropriate options. If you’re ever in doubt, ask your friends or any acquaintances you know what they’re wearing!
Formal Summer Wedding Outfit Ideas:
Long Black Dresses
The first thing people think of when they hear “formal wear” is black tie. Even if the wedding you’re attending isn’t quite that formal, you can’t go wrong with a long black maxi or midi dress. They’re flattering and easy to style, no matter what accessories you’ve got. Black, of course, can be hot, so go for a light fabric dress like this satin slip dress (reviewed here, I am IN LOVE–I got it in both pink and black!) or get something with a high slit/open back to keep you cool.
You could go with the easy option of black shoes and black purse, which is a no-brainer–but another option I like especially for a summer wedding–brighten it up a little with shimmery heels and statement earrings (see some favorites rounded up below). The base black against the bold accessories will be balanced, dramatic, and fun—perfect for a summer wedding.
Emerald Wedding Dress Outfits
Emerald green is quickly becoming one of the top trending colors of 2023. Not that I’m exactly a big trend girl, but I’ve always loved emerald, and I love all the emerald options I’m seeing everywhere! I like it for everything from formal dress codes to cocktail attire because it’s a dramatic jewel tone. It’s a no-brainer for a summer wedding guest dress. I’ve included several emerald dresses above!
This silk green dress has a beautiful floral print, a back slit, and spaghetti straps. It’s giving Y2K vibes in the best way. I also love this asymmetrical side-slit dress. The draping is dramatic and chic. For accessories, you can pair them with gold shoes, dainty gold jewelry, and a gold handbag.
Pastel Summer Wedding Guest Outfits
Spring and summer make everyone think of bright colors and soft textures, like this light purple halter top dress, this artichoke silk dress, or this blush one-shoulder gown. The perfect spring or summer palette!
For accessories, I love these white bow heels to make a bit of a statement and this glitzy pleated pouch. The shimmery fabric, gold chain, and rose gold color pairs well with pretty much any color, including pastel dresses–and the texture also adds a fun contrast! Simple pearl or gold jewelry are easy go-to’s for jewelry!
Casual Summer Wedding Outfit Ideas:
Casual wedding guest dresses call for light breathable fabrics, such as cotton and linen. Bright and pastel color palettes are fun and seasonally appropriate, but black is always classic, too. All these dresses would be fun for anything from a backyard wedding to a destination wedding outfit, or for pre-wedding festivities, like a rehearsal dinner or even a shower!
Floral Dress Wedding Outfit
If you’re headed to a casual wedding, you can’t go wrong with a summery floral print. You can get a floral dress in any style or cut, but something a bit longer is usually safer as added length can help strike the balance between casual and TOO casual. The midi or maxi length is perfect for showing off your shoes, navigating an outdoor venue, and dancing the night away. I also love a floral dress with a puff sleeve, tasteful cut-outs, or a little asymmetry just to make the outfit more interesting.
And, since these floral prints and dress styles are already busy, keep the accessories simple. I like neutral colored shoes and handbags, and maybe a little gold. A rattan handbag or straw hat could be cute for a garden or beach wedding!
Bold Destination Wedding Look
When you’ve got an exotic, beachy destination wedding, don’t be afraid to go all in with bold summer colors! Magenta is a favorite of mine right now, so I linked a few different magenta dresses above! For accessories for a destination wedding, go with lighter and natural accessories. Think white or neutral (metallic is also a neutral!) heels and a rattan handbag. (The lower the heel, the better in my opinion, especially if you’ll be in sand or uneven outdoor ground!)
Jumpsuit Wedding Look
First of all, YES, you can pull off a jumpsuit for a wedding. I have a whole post on it HERE that you can check out! I particularly like this look, because if you have a ton of ceremonies to go to this wedding season, it allows you to mix up your attire with something you’ll actually wear again. It just takes a little bit of finessing to figure out how to choose the right jumpsuit and accessories that’ll be elevated enough for a wedding.
Above I have one of my favorite jumpsuits to jump into for a wedding (sorry, had to). It’s green, which, again, is a trending color this season, and the bottom is flared so it creates the illusion of a dress. It’s linen and adjustable too, so you’ll be cool and comfortable all day. Refine it with accessories by pairing with these platinum bow heels, this bow handbag, and a pair of statement earrings that’ll give the look detail and visual interest.
All Black Set Wedding Dress Outfit
Now that I’ve got you on board with a jumpsuit, why not try a two-piece set? This linen two piece set works for a casual wedding, because of the all-black color that dresses it up a bit. The pants are well-tailored trousers, which makes the outfit look more polished. The crop top is in the same black color and provides almost full coverage, so it’s the perfect blend of finesse and fun. Plus, this outfit would be really breezy for a warm summer wedding! It just needs black heels, gold earrings, and a handbag with a little color to make it a full ensemble.
Cocktail or Semi Formal Summer Wedding Outfit Ideas:
LBD Wedding Guest Outfit
You can’t go wrong with a little black dress at a cocktail or semi formal wedding. It’s feminine, chic, and easy to style. You could go all black with this outfit since its short, or you could add a few more elements to make it more exciting. I paired each one of these black dresses with silver heels and a quilted clutch to add texture variety and drama. But, don’t be afraid of a pop of color either!
Silky Blue Midi Dress Wedding Look
We talked about emerald having summer vibes because of plant life and grass, well I also am seeing a lot of this pretty aqua blue hue! The ruched or draped asymmetrical shape makes these dresses extra interesting! They’re subdued enough for a church ceremony but playful enough for the party.
Colorblock Gown Wedding Outfit
I love a colorblock piece, and this color block gown is perfect for a semi-formal wedding. The cut is swanky and formal, but the color and tied spaghetti straps are playful and casual, so together it’s perfectly semi-formal. Since the dress is already so much to look at, consider neutral accessories and simple jewelry. (Though, I could get on board with a matchy-matchy handbag in that red or pink color.)
Accessories for a Summer wedding:
Shoes for a Summer wedding:
When shopping for a pair of shoes for a summer wedding, look for shoes that are comfortable and breathable. A summer wedding is the perfect opportunity to dress up without sacrificing comfort and I will prove it to you with all of these sandals I’ve rounded up above. 😂
Sandals are a great choice for a summer wedding as they’ll keep you cool. (Plus, they’re easy to slip off to run onto the dance floor! 😉)
Look for sandals with leather, mesh, or even a comfortable fabric material. Also, cushioned insoles, and fun details like the options above for a polished look. If you want to wear a heeled shoe, go for a light-colored style with breathable fabric. Consider that you might end up in grass or on a beach at a Summer wedding, so pumps or stilettos might not be your best bet. Platforms, wedges, and block heels are all good options.
Purses for a Wedding:
When it comes to Summer wedding purses, look for stylish and practical purses in summery hues like light pinks and corals or nude that will brighten any outfit. Choose from shoulder bags, clutches, or even cross-body bags that offer plenty of storage room for all your essentials. You can also opt for feminine details like tassels, beads, and sequins. They add a special touch for a wedding, which is of course a special occasion.
I hope this was helpful in sparking some outfit ideas for this upcoming wedding season! Remember, don’t stress–everyone’s eyes are on the bride anyway. 😉 Just have fun!