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dress for summer wedding

What to wear at a summer wedding?

Chic Wedding Guest Dresses for Summer

Your summer calendar is packed with weddings, but figuring out what to wear for each summer wedding can be daunting. An invitation to a summer wedding is the perfect excuse for a new dress for summer wedding guest. Whether it’s traditional black tie or an out-there theme, you want to look good but not upstage the bride. Beautiful summer weather calls for bright wedding guest attire in fun color or with a summer wedding dresses guest in an unexpected print.

I get many emails asking "What should a guest wear to a summer wedding?" Of course, dress finding isn't as easy as it sounds. You may be stuck on what to wear, and with the wedding fast approaching, it's time to get shopping! Choose an outfit that is comfortable and practical for the outdoors, yet still beautiful. A simple yet gorgeous summer wedding guest dress with a beautiful print or color will work perfectly for this occasion. Choose from colors such as lilac, soft yellow, pink, mint green and red for your dress. After all, if you can't have a little fashion fun in the summer, then when else can you? If you are unsure about how formal or casual your wedding dress code is, check the invitation for listed wedding dress attire. Just in case it doesn't say anything a good way to gauge the formality of the event is looking at the venue and the time of the wedding ceremony. Day wedding events are generally more casual than wedding ceremonies held at night, also if the venue is an expensive upscale place the dress code will be more formal than a beach resort wedding ceremony.
If it’s been a long time since you attended a summer wedding, you’re probably feeling stressed about what to wear. What color dress should you buy, should it be a solid or print, long or short, what style? The questions go on and on.

To find your answer, look for clues in the place of the wedding/reception. A formal church wedding in the city followed by a large, swanky reception at a posh hotel calls for a very different dress than what you’d wear to a small, low-key ceremony outside in the country followed by a reception at the old mill wedding hall.

With weddings all over the place these days, it’s hard to decipher the dress code. So, here are three popular wedding settings, and the summer wedding guest dresses that would look lovely at each. 

Related-  What to wear to a Spring Wedding?

Whether your bestie is getting married barefoot in a beach wedding ceremony or an intimate bohemian wedding in the woods or planned a black-tie event at a luxury hotel, we have a summer loving wedding guest dress idea that's perfect for every occasion this warm summer season. There are some baseline principles to adhere to, regardless of what’s printed on the invite. Finding the right dress for a wedding requires the right balance. It should be sexy, but not vulgar, classic but not boring. You want attention but not to steal focus away from the bride. As summer is always jam-packed with wedding dates, one or more of our gorgeous summer wedding guest dresses is sure to make you dance with joy and be the heartbeat of the wedding party. We have listed many options for you to look perfect in- like beautiful summer wedding dresses guest with long sleeves or, fresh summery colored summer wedding guest dress or, different hem and neckline designed dresses. As we share the Dress Edit with you, we have also explained different wedding dress codes so you are never under dressed or over dressed at the wedding party.

Click through our edit for dress for summer wedding guest we're currently loving. Look fabulous at the next event, dress up and have fun and don't forget to take pictures while you are at it!

Related- What should I wear at a Boho Chic affair?

dresses for summer wedding
silk dresses for summer wedding
dresses for summer wedding
silk dresses for summer wedding

Dressy Summer Wedding in the City

Try our embroidered Silk organza top (Also available in a dress, made to order option). This yellow silk top goes beautifully with a pleated blue skirt. The top has been embroidered with small flowers and beads and makes for a gorgeous head turning lewk for a summer wedding.
Big City weddings are trendy cocktail affairs with a cosmopolitan vibe. They are usually held in a restaurant or club, on a rooftop, or at any other type of classy urban venue. Your goal should be to look modern and sophisticated. An elegant shift dress with a touch of drama like this hot pink one-shoulder dress is just what you need for a big city wedding. Choose a vivid summer hue or a cool, graphic print.

A pair of statement earrings or a statement necklace and high heels help create the chic look. As for your bag? Keep your look sleek with a ladylike structured clutch that looks like a piece of art.

Style Tip: The most sophisticated looks are minimalist and non-fussy. Keep your look long, lean, and clean.

dresses for summer wedding guest
summer wedding dresses guest
dresses for summer wedding guest
summer wedding dresses guest

Casual Summer Wedding in the Countryside

A stylish printed blue scuba dress is always a good idea. Combine the dress with white sneakers for a casual brunch or with heels for a wedding and you are sure look super special and stunning.
“Rustic Chic” is the theme du jour for many summer weddings, meaning more couples are tying the knot in barns, fields, orchards, and vineyards. When you are invited to one of these events, play into the relaxed, happy theme by choosing a sweet dress.

A proper length is one that hits the knee or just above it, but the popular “midi” length, which hits mid-calf, can work too. A floral print matches the homespun vibe, but if that’s not your thing, any other classic print from stripes to polka dots can work too. A pretty solid color can work too. Nothing dark or dreary.

Instead of heels, which will sink into the grass, opt for a pair of low wedges. Round out your look with some pretty, soft-looking jewelry.

Style Tip: If the ceremony is on a hot, sunny day, you might want to take along a feminine wide-brimmed hat. This can look very pretty at an outdoor country wedding.

Summer Wedding Dress Codes Decoded

At their core, the dress codes are there to help you feel appropriate within the overall formality and vibe of the event. In New York and the Northeast, formal and cocktail attire still seem to reign, but we’ve seen some more creative dress codes elsewhere. For example, a West Coast wedding is likely to be less formal overall than an East Coast or Southern bash. Make sure to check if there are multiple events in the evening that you need separate outfits for.

 Casual summer wedding 
INFORMAL SUMMER WEDDING  

Since many casual summer weddings are outside—think backyard barbeques and garden parties—keep the heat in mind. Shorter hemlines, strappy backs, and keyhole cutouts help you stay cool. Add comfortable flats or sandals and a couple low-key accessories to complete your look.

Informal summer wedding definitely doesn’t mean don’t try. Just as with casual attire, informal refers to clothing that is comfortable, but still appropriate to the setting and the occasion. And while not every bride wants a gala wedding, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be chic in celebration of the big day.

#She should wear- Informal may be defined as wearing a great-fitting trouser/pants, a sandal, and maybe a blouse or camisole. It’s effortless, yet still put together. Or wear a pretty day dress with a fun flat instead of a heel. Something in a pretty print with a cool detail, like a cold shoulder or an asymmetrical hemline would work great too.


# He should wear- A pair of slacks and button-down shirt, or a linen trousers with moccasins, or loafers and a polo-t shirt. If you are adventurous accessories with a stylish hat and pair of chic sunglasses.

 semi-formal SUMMER WEDDING  

What’s the best dress for a semi-formal summer wedding? Something short, chic, and elegant. You can’t go wrong with a little black dress, but it can also be predictable. If you are comfortable with color try a floral dress or embroidered dress. A relaxed updo is a no-fuss choice for humid weather—plus, it’s a great way to show off a fabulous pair of statement earrings!

pink wedding guest dress for summer
pink summer wedding guest dress
pink wedding guest dress for summer
pink summer wedding guest dress

What do you wear to a summer wedding in 2020? 
Relaxed Summer Beach Wedding

Easy to slip on and great for keeping you cool, summer wedding guest dresses run the gamut from linen dresses with sleevse, flowy maxi dresses to flirty fit-and-flare styles. Bright, summery colors like yellows, pinks and greens make great options, but we're totally loving a soft, blush pink this year as well.

More and more couples are skipping the church and opting for a seaside ceremony. In this case, your summer wedding guest attire would need to be more casual.

Maxi dresses are a fantastic option for a beach wedding. They’re relaxed but still glamorous and a bit boho. Pair a flowy tropical maxi like this one above with wedges to help you maneuver the sandy ground. Go for an ethereal look. Ocean-themed accessories or jewelry in beachy tones and textures are perfect outfit makers, but hippie-chic pieces work too. Don’t forget a shawl to wrap your shoulders in for when the sunsets!

Don’t forget a pair of sunglasses, and you may even need a shawl when the sun begins to set.

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).

Dress for summer wedding Guest Bohemian
Dress for summer wedding Guest
Dress for summer wedding Guest Bohemian
Dress for summer wedding Guest

How should I dress for an outdoor summer wedding?

What to Wear. Women should look for a cotton sundress or Linen dress or other clothing made of natural fibers. Loose-fitting clothing will be your friend. Something like this green cotton linen dress is fitting for a summer outdoor wedding because it strikes the right balance between comfort, formality, and stylishness.

Unspecified SUMMER WEDDING DRESS CODE

What to do when the invitation says the time and place and nothing about a dress code? Start by doing your research. Savory suggests checking the wedding website for more information or searching the venue on Instagram. “By searching the venue’s profile or geotag, you will get a good idea of the style of the venue and be able to see what other guests have worn to past weddings. If you want to dig further you can search the various hashtags from [other] weddings.”

But if you truly can’t figure out any further details and the bride gives you the old “wear what you want” line, “You can’t go wrong with a simple tailored dress and a classic heel or nice flat.” The sheath dress is a favorite for this summer for its simplicity and versatility; pack a few accessory options and decide once you’ve arrived how flashy or understated you want to make your look. You’d always rather be a bit more dressed up versus too underdressed for an event.

Dress for summer wedding Guest Bohemian
Dress for summer wedding Guest
Dress for summer wedding Guest Bohemian
Dress for summer wedding Guest

Outdoor SUMMER WEDDING

The photos of a beach or garden wedding are inevitably stunning, but how to dress for humidity and uneven terrain, especially if it’s still a formal occasion? “In Miami and the Southeast, our clients are coming in for ‘Black Tie Beach,’ which we’re really advising is a stunning dress in a bold print or color, with sand-friendly shoes, of course,” says Lester. An embellished evening slide is a perfect way to maintain the occasion’s formality while keeping your balance.

Think through your dress choice as well. A maxi dress may sound like a perfect pick, but a tea-length dress will avoid dragging in the sand or dirt. Focus on breathable, natural fabrics and lighter colors to fit in with the environment. And don’t forget a top layer for when warm days turn into cooler nights. Chong recommends a tuxedo or leather jacket for a modern take.

Bohemian wedding guest dress
Destination wedding guest dress

What is the best color to wear to a summer wedding?

Bright colors, like fuchsia and lime green, are more acceptable at beach weddings or outdoor summer weddings than more formal indoor events. Wear red to a wedding, if it suits you, but do make sure the style of the dress is appropriate.

outfit for summer wedding usa
Colors for spring wedding usa

What kind of dress do you wear to a summer wedding?

When it comes to a classic or traditional type of summer wedding, it's time to go formal. You know the bride will be looking flawless in her big, white dress, so you must look your best as well. Your safest bet is to choose a chic dress that finishes anywhere from the knee to the ankle.

Thematic SUMMER WEDDING

Many of us panic a bit at an invitation for Moroccan-inspired nuptials or the ever-dreaded and murky word festive. Resnick-Gick has a client with “a three-day celebration in Majorca this summer that calls for a different theme every night.” As much as you might want to slough off the request and stick to a LBD for ease of packing, Savory suggests trying to adhere as much as you can: “A wedding takes an enormous amount of effort and time to plan. Every detail is thought out, including the dress code.” But she cautions that it doesn’t mean you have to turn it into a costume party: “If a wedding calls for festive or a theme, you don’t want to go overboard or borderline tacky. Simple is better in this case.”

Destination Summer Wedding

Easy is the name of the game when it comes to summer destination weddings. Pick a bright, breezy dress in a packable fabric, throw on some sandals and hoops, and you’re done. If you’re headed to a tropical locale, wear your hair in long, beachy waves for an effortless sun-kissed look.

Bohemian maxi dress
wedding guest maxi dress black

What color should I wear to an evening wedding?

Blue, black, purple, and burgundy are all safe colors for an evening wedding. If the wedding invitation specifies that it's a semi-formal dress code, wear a cocktail dress. Just make sure you don't wear anything too flashy so you don't upstage the bride.

Gold formal dress long usa
Gold Midi dress

What should I wear to a summer beach wedding over 50?

Though beach clothing is still light and breezy, semi-formal men's beach wedding attire should involve khaki, linen, or seersucker pants, a button down, and a sport coat. Women should look for cocktail or tea-length dresses made of a dressy material. Lace, chiffon, and organza are all beautiful and comfortable choices.

Cocktail Attire Summer wedding

You are good to wear a short dress or pants for cocktail attire, but you can push that too far. “If the dress code requests cocktail attire and you opt for a short dress, don’t go too short!” advises Savory (see: not angering the bride). Look beyond the classic cocktail sheath to something “short, fun, and flirty, or a great fluid pant and top with heels. A nice silk taffeta dress can be dressed up with “massive party earrings and strappy metallic sandals. Then put it in low-key mode with delicate gold jewelry and flat slides.”

Mother of the Bride & Groom Dresses for Summer wedding

Whether helping the bride get ready, arranging last-minute details, or giving a teary-eyed toast, moms are busy on the big day. A flowy, sleeveless dress lets you go here, there, and everywhere with ease, and is perfect for hot summer temps. Be sure to bring a lightweight wrap for when you want to take a quick break from the dance floor.

outfit for summer wedding usa
Bridal shower dress usa
floral mother of bride dress usa
Floral dress mother of groom usa

Formal summer wedding

Perhaps the most classic wedding dress code is black tie or its twin, formal. Metallics are a great option for formal summer weddings, including black-tie events. Shimmery fabrics fancy up your look, without the need for bulky embellishments or accessories. Simple heeled sandals and subtle crystal earrings let the dress—and you!—shine. While men get off easy with a tuxedo, women have to decide if they want to go traditional with a long gown or take a more modern approach. 

If you have to go with tradition because of the bride’s wishes or family demands, find a creative spin with the fabric choice. Something colorful with personality, even if it’s a simple silhouette can be a great option. If you have a plain gown that you plan to re-wear to multiple weddings, create newness by accessorizing. Accessories are always the answer when looking to dress up your look and separate your ensemble from everyone else.

beaded dress with sleeves usa
gold cocktail dress with sleeves
Fernanda Romeroo sequin dress

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.
1. A wedding with a church or temple ceremony means you may need to pack a light wrap to cover your shoulders as a sign of respect. Not familiar with the religion? Ask a fellow guest if this or other forms of modesty, such as head coverings, are required.


2. The earlier the wedding, the more casual it tends to be. This doesn’t give a green light to denim, but it does mean that a lower heel and more casual dress might be a better fit in the morning/early afternoon versus late afternoon/evening.
3. If you’re unsure how fancy the wedding will be, you can also 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.
4. The golden rule for being an appropriately dressed wedding guest? Look pulled-together without standing out. After all, the bride is the one who’s supposed to stand out today!

We will love to answer any questions or help you get the ultimate perfect wedding guest dress, write to us on Labelsandhyagarg(at)Gmail.com

ABOUT THE WRITER

Sandhya Garg is a Project Runway designer. She studied and specialized in women's fashion at London College of Fashion, UK and has worked at Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Liberty London, Alice Temperley to name a few.

She has her own successful resort dresses, special occasion dresses, wedding guest looks, swim coverups label. While on Project Runway Season 13, she won 2 challenges and was fortunate to show her collection at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. The brand has been featured in Marie Claire US, Ftv.com, Elle Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Vogue online to name a few.

She designs limited edition high end printed spring dresses and swim coverups. Beautiful prints are inspired from around the world to be worn during travel, resort stay or cruise holidays.