29 Oct 2020

What to Wear to a Summer Wedding

Summer wedding apparel

Just like black-tie events, weddings usually call for elegant apparel. And if you’re stumped about what to wear to your next summer wedding so as not to stick out like a sore thumb, you’re in the right place. Our article offers you to look through the best summer dresses for weddings so that you can find attire that will both look dignified and let you be yourself.

How to Select Attire for a Summer Wedding?

How to select a dress

Here is the catch. You should know what event you’re attending and be very careful when choosing between summer wedding outfits for ladies. First and foremost, you should figure out what the invitation says and what the general vibe will be like. There are many dress codes out there, and we’re going to get you through each of them and give some advice about what to wear so as to adhere to the upcoming event.

  • White-tie wedding attire is the most formal dress code possible. Ladies should stick to a formal floor-length evening gown, with no exceptions. Also, they should complete their look with statement jewellery, high heels, and an elegant bag.
  • Black-tie (or Black-tie Optional) wedding dress code is a bit less formal style allowing women to choose between a formal gown or dressy cocktail apparel. You also have the option to complete your look with heels or flats. Classy trouser suits are also acceptable. Katie Holmes gives preference to a satin trouser suit with chic black heeled sandals.
  • Semi-formal or Smart Casual dress code allows for a relatively informal outfit. This style implies neat, conventional, but relatively informal clothes, which gives you a wide scope of clothing choices. Everything that is smart without being overly dressy will suit. You can wear a cocktail dress or a smart skirt and top. An elegant trouser suit will be also appropriate. Pair your clothes with heels, wedges or flats. 
  • Cocktail dress code is usual for an evening wedding. You can even wear an elegant mini but you must avoid looking like you’re going to a club. Feminine apparel that’s neither too formal nor too casual would be perfect. Take note that if the wedding ceremony is held outdoors, avoid high heels or stilettos that might get stuck in the lawn grass
  • Festive dress code is a relatively new tendency for wedding parties that leaves many people scratching their heads. Guests are free to play with their look as they wish. You can give your preference to cocktail-party dresses in bold colours and fun patterns. Playful accessories will complete your outfit. Steal Dakota Fanning's look by wearing a pink cocktail dress with court shoes, a gold clutch, and gold accessories
  • Casual attire means that the event will be quite laid-back, and that also goes for casual wedding guest dresses and other clothing. That being said, boyfriend jeans or tank tops would probably be inappropriate, unless they're specified as welcome. You can safely wear a sundress or elegant jumpsuit. A flattering blouse with a matching skirt or pants is also approved. You can go for flats or platforms. But not trainers.
  • Garden attire dress code is an optimal choice for summer. It’s almost at the same level as a beach event. If you are going to a beach or garden nuptial, you can go casual with your look. As it’s usually rather hot in summer, cutouts at the waist will let your body breathe and show just a bit of your skin without making you look sassy. Admirable pleats and elegant ruffles can adorn your summer dress. Choose light, refreshing colours for an open-air ceremony. A turquoise, coral, or blue dress of any length could become a real showstopper.
  • Informal guest attire calls for pretty much the same as casual summer weddings. Nobody can blame you for wearing a mini skirt and a crop top, but it's better to opt for something a bit more dressed up! If the weather allows, choose a floral blouse with smart shorts. But don’t overdo with glitz and glamour. 
  • Tropical or Destination dress code means something hot. If you see the key word "island" in your wedding invitation, dress accordingly. Cotton sundresses, flowing skater dresses along with cute sandals would be win-win on all levels. Choose gauzy fabrics, bold colours, and sand-friendly footwear. A rose pink or bright yellow dress will be ideal for hot weather and hot wedding party.

What Not to Wear

Things to avoid


Regardless of attire, there are some basic rules you should adhere to. They are applicable to all dress codes across the board. 

  1. Don’t wear white. Remember that it’s the bridals that look like sparkling princesses in their white pretty dresses. Not you. Otherwise, you can turn unnecessary attention to yourself and upset the bride. And that’s a huge party foul.  So, pick any other colour for the oncoming wedding, unless the bridal has specifically asked all the guests to stick to an all-white dress code.
  2. Don’t wear a dress that resembles the bridesmaid's dress. If you already know the style and the colour of the dress the bride is going to wear, try to avoid dressing anything similar. 
  3. Underdressing or overdressing. Even if the dress code is not formal, never wear hole jeans or T-shirts (unless it’s stated so). Choose the clothes that you would make you feel comfortable at a formal office party at least. Also, don’t overdo with your look. Avoid floor-gazers with statement jewellery if you’re attending a semi-formal or informal ceremony.
  4. Don’t dress too sexy. Avoid glitzy minis with extra-high heels that will make people think you’re heading to the club. Keep your look classy and appropriate. 

Outfit Ideas for Summer Wedding

Summer wedding outfit ideas

Now we would like to give you some guest outfit ideas that should be on the menu for summer nuptials. There are plenty of nice dresses for attending a wedding that will let you look beautiful yet adhere to the dress code. So if you’ve got a joyous party coming up, keep on reading and make up your mind.

Floaty Dress

A floaty dress is a very romantic trend of this year. You can wear it everywhere from streets and parties to black-tie affairs and special events like weddings. Floaty apparels are very feminine and can make you look charming. If you’re attending a formal ceremony, you can wear a super-dressy lace dress with stilettos to complete your glamorous evening look. 

Yet, a floaty dress is also a viable beach option. Wearing a floral dress with flat shoes can make you look more casual. Opt for open-back maxis, boho-inspired floaty dresses, elegant wrap dresses. The choice is yours. 

Opt for a floral tie-neck dress with blue suede court shoes and a silver bangle as spotted on Sarah Jessica Parker.

Maxi Dress

A maxi dress is a perfect look for a big night. A beautiful gown oozes style and femininity. It can work flawlessly for formal and semi-formal events, from beach weddings to ultra-posh ceremonies. Kirsten Dunst is chic in a blue v-neck dress with navy earrings.

For outdoor weddings in the afternoon, choose floral maxis with flowy skirts. Floor-grazers with modern prints can also look fitting. If you’re going to dance a lot, give your preference to dresses made of silk, jersey or chiffon that won’t restrict your desire to move. 

For a glitzy wedding in a swanky restaurant, choose something classy. An off-the-shoulder gown could be more than appropriate for an elegant affair. Also, apparels with open back can make you look sexy without going overboard. 

Weddings at the beach? Go casual! Choose light, refreshing fabrics with cute pleats or elegant ruffles. Such dresses look spectacular and incredibly female.

Silk Dress

Silk dresses are airy and extremely luxurious. Silk wedding dresses can enhance your beautiful silhouette and add elegance to your overall look. They are more appropriate for black-tie or white-tie ceremonies that call for some posh dresses. Stick to fancy silk gowns with minimal accessories. Silk dresses make a statement by themselves, and Jennifer Lawrence proves that in a chic silver maxi dress.

High-Low Dress

If you’re stumped with a Black-tie Optional/Formal dress-code and are now on the fence about which dress to choose, a cocktail dress or an evening gown, a formal high-low dress will walk the line perfectly. It deftly combines formal chic with flirty casual.  

Pencil Dress

Look for something classical? There’s no better option than a pencil dress. It’s something like a classic red lipstick - an absolute must-have thing in your wardrobe. It can hug your figure to emphasise your sexy curves for that special ceremony. It could be appropriate attire for a formal, semi-formal, smart casual, and even cocktail dress code. Embrace a pencil dress with beige court shoes, a silver bracelet and a ring for a sophisticated look like Eva Longoria.

Halter Neck Dress

Now we have this trend going especially strong. Evening dresses with halter necks are especially popular among women because they are modern and can show off your figure. They draw attention to your beautiful shoulders and bust, giving your body more feminine proportions. Depending on the colours and prints, halter neck dresses are relevant for different wedding ceremonies. Emma Stone is ultra-feminine in a halter neck polka dot dress styled with court shoes.

Satin Dress

Satin dresses are perfect whatever the occasion. With the rich texture and luxurious glow, satin apparel would become a real showstopper. And depending on the dress code, it can be edgy, casual, or feminine. If you’re going to a formal ceremony, you can make your satin dress even more dressy by tossing on a fur and grabbing a clutch. Heidi Klum makes her satin dress look polished by styling it with silver heeled sandals and statement accessories.

However, if you don’t want to dress like a celebrity hitting the red carpet, you can make your outlook more casual by combining it with minimalistic jewellery and avoiding swanky layering. Middle platforms can give your satin dress some downtown edge.

V-Neck Dress

Low V-neck dresses with matching accessories will also work great for a summer wedding. However, if you’re going to wear a mini bodycon dress, we recommend avoiding deep V-neck styles. Let the dress itself do the talking, but not its plunging V-neck. Any dress with a higher neckline will keep you on the sophisticated side of sexiness.  Blake Lively pairs her burgundy V-neck dress with heeled embellished sandals.

Dress With Sleeves

Although summer weddings are usually hot, you may still need to consider wearing a dress with sleeves, especially if you’re attending a wedding in June when it’s still cool in the evenings. 

Cap sleeves look like an extension of the neckline, a very elegant choice for a formal event. 

T-shirt sleeves can be either flat or puffed. Dresses with this type of sleeves offer modest coverage and draw attention to your bust. 

Three-fourth sleeves are quite slimming, while three-fourth lace sleeves can give your look a vintage touch.

Dresses with bell sleeves are great for festive dress code, while Juliet sleeves are perfect for posh white tie affairs.