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Dressing for a wedding as a guest is always a challenge. You’ll have to ask yourself if there is a dress code, if the wedding will happen in a place of worship, and what time of day the ceremony will take place.
Attending a summer wedding is a whole other ball game. Not only do you need to dress for the heat (remember those old churches don’t always have air conditioning!), but you always want to pay tribute to the bright colors and fun florals during this time of the year.
You might want to hang on to the outfits mentioned below. According to The Knot, 73 percent of weddings happen between May and October. Here are some of the best options to wear to weddings this summer, no matter how formal or casual.
Formal Summer Wedding Options
As etiquette standards relax, formal weddings are less common these days, but they still happen. If you attend a formal wedding in the summer, you may wonder how to attend a black-tie event when the temperature is reaching 90 degrees. The good news is that there are plenty of options that will make you look elegant without making you sweat.
Evening Gown In Floaty Fabric
When it comes to formal wedding attire, evening gowns are the classic name of the game. These are usually floor-length or ankle-length. But you can still have fun playing around with lighter fabrics and colors to offset those full skirts.
For a summer wedding, steer clear of heavy fabric and dark colors. Choose something light and floating, such as chiffon. If you choose a gown with sleeves, make sure they are loose and open to accommodate for the heat.
Don’t choose a dress that is overly flashy or embellished as it could be seen as drawing attention away from the happy couple. Fortunately, these days, there’s a bit more freedom in what is considered acceptable formal attire.
(If you choose a plunging neckline, check out this guide on taping your breasts.)
As mentioned above, the standards for what is considered “formal” have changed. These days, you can get away with wearing an elegant pantsuit to a formal wedding!
That being said, play it carefully to make sure you’re not ignoring the dress code. You can also opt for formal fabrics and a sophisticated cut. Wide-legged slacks can add a draping effect similar to a skirt.
Of course, you should also choose a pair of formal heels to set off the ensemble.
A cocktail dress can be a cooler option for a formal event since the hemline usually ends around your knees. You can also find a variety of sleeve options, including sleeveless, that will help keep you comfortable in the summer heat. For a formal wedding, it is good to bring a wrap or cover to wear during the ceremony itself. This will also help you if the air conditioning is on full blast!
Cocktail dresses vary in color, fabric, and style. For a summer theme, stick with light colors (of course, you should steer clear of white, cream, or off-white).
Cocktail dresses should be paired with heels, preferably in a neutral shade. Nude and black are some of the most popular options.
Semi-Formal Summer Wedding Options
Semi-formal attire opens up the options for more jewelry, louder colors, and more dynamic prints. That still doesn’t mean that you should be taking attention away from the main event! But you can explore styles a bit more freely than at a formal wedding. Here are a few options for what to wear to a semi-formal summer wedding.
Floral Maxi Dress
You can’t go wrong with a beautiful maxi dress. You can find plenty of styles and different options for coverage, which makes it easy to dress the whole look up or down.
Summer is always the right time for florals, and a casual wedding is a perfect chance to show off a beautiful floral-patterned maxi dress. The length of the skirt offers a more sophisticated look that is also appropriate for religious spaces.
Semi-formal attire also gives you more options for shoes. When planning your outfit, think about where the wedding and reception will take place. If it is outside, you may want to opt for wedges, which will offer a bit more balance on uneven terrain.
Jumpsuits have come a long way since they were reintroduced to the fashion world. These days, you can find ones that are just as elegant as dresses or pantsuits. Dress them up with some jewelry, heels, and a sophisticated wrap for the ceremony. This will also ensure that you will stay comfortable in heavily air-conditioned indoor spaces.
Jumpsuits come in all kinds of styles and fabrics these days. For a semi-formal wedding, you may want to choose one with long, loose trousers. This will help you adhere to the dress code while also staying chic and cool in the summer heat.
Sundresses vary widely in style and fabric. While most sundresses are probably too casual for a semi-formal event, you can find ones that fit the bill.
Keep the length a bit longer–at least down to your knee–and choose an elegant pair of shoes. If your dress is sleeveless or shoulder-baring, bring along a wrap. This will keep you comfortable in cool buildings while staying respectful of both the space and the dress code.
At a semi-formal wedding, you can certainly play around with brighter colors, interesting patterns, or unique designs. But remember the cardinal rule: let the attention stay on the couple.
Casual Summer Wedding Options
Even if the invitation says “casual,” you should consider it as “business casual”. You don’t want to show up in shorts and a tank top since you may offend the couple and the attendees. Remember that it’s always better to go slightly too formal than informal.
That being said, there are plenty of casual outfits that check all the boxes for attractive, respectful, and comfortable attire at a casual summer wedding.
If you have a favorite sundress in your closet, now is the perfect time to take it out. Anything goes when it comes to the style and sleeve length provided it is still respectful and looks great. If you want to add a bit of formality to your sundress for the wedding ceremony, consider bringing along a wrap.
You also have more freedom in choosing the length of your hemline. In a casual setting, above the knee is okay. Just make sure you’re not in danger of flashing the other guests.
Relaxed Maxi Dress
You can find maxi dresses of all styles. A casual wedding is a great time to bring out a maxi dress in simple fabric or more unique styles. High-low skirts are a fun choice, as are bright patterns and floral designs.
Flowy, loose skirts are fun and comfortable while staying elegant. Make sure you choose a great pair of shoes, such as classy wedges, heels, or flats. Whatever you do, don’t wear flip-flops–it’s casual, not sloppy.
Yes, rompers are a go for casual wedding attire, provided they look attractive and put together. You can find rompers in cute floral patterns that are perfect for the summer.
One of the fun things about rompers is that you can completely change the look with a few simple tweaks. Your choice of jewelry, accessories, and shoes can make you look alternatively fun and relaxed or elegant and stylish.
If you have a long summer of weddings scheduled, don’t panic. By sticking to these helpful tips, you can find a chic and fun outfit for any wedding, no matter how formal or casual.