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What to Wear When You’re a Wedding Guest

Pretty dresses and sharp pants for summer weddings.

What to Wear When You’re a Wedding Guest
Find your new favorite must-haves with personal styling.

The date has been set and you’ve RSVP’d yes—now, what do you wear to a summer wedding? A cocktail dress (or a dress, period) isn't always the answer. First, check the venue to see if it’s indoors or outdoors. Next, see if the invitation specifies a dress code. Those two things will help you figure out how formal the event is. To give you ideas on what to wear, we’re navigating through a casual dress code, one that’s semi-formal, and a black-tie affair.

Anything but ordinary

Do you always have to wear a dress to a wedding? No way! If you’d rather wear pants, start with a slim-cropped pair in a saturated, summer-y color, then put a feminine twist on the outfit by adding a romantic blouse and block-heel sandals. If the event is outdoors, be sure to keep a pair of stylish sunglasses in your bag in case the sun peeks into your eyes.

Fresh and fun

No need for a formal gown when it comes to cocktail attire. Dance the night away in a knee- or mid-length dress with a romantic print. When choosing accessories, take your cues from the pattern in the dress. Simply pull out a secondary color (like the red shown in the picture) and use that to match your shoes and earrings. If it starts to feel like you’re wearing too much of one color, add a little sparkle with a metallic clutch.

Ballroom beauty

A black-tie affair is the time to go full glam with your outfit. We recommend a floor-length gown. Strapless, spaghetti straps, or off-the-shoulder necklines are a good bet for summer weddings. If you prefer a simple gown, spice it up with dramatic earrings or a statement clutch. If the dress is a focal point on its own, less is more when it comes to accessories. Stick to nudes, sleek metallics, or black. 

Now that you have your wedding look down, we’ll help you get dressed for all of your other summer events. From engagement parties to rehearsal dinners, explore The Stylist for more outfit ideas.