Your feed probably looks a lot like mine right now: A sudden proliferation of lacy white gowns, sharp tuxes, and ivory bouquets held by glowing brides and their besties. You know what that means. It’s wedding season! You probably already know this because you have 15 wedding invitations sitting on your desk. You’re probably also wondering what you’ll wear to these weddings and how you’re going to afford all those outfits. I can help with both issues. In this post I’m breaking down popular spring/summer wedding dress codes and offering up some affordable dress options for all the weddings on your RSVP list. (Affiliate links ahead.)
First, let’s establish some ground rules for wedding guest attire:
1) It’s OK to dress up and look pretty; but don’t upstage the bride. That means you shouldn’t wear an all-white outfit (unless the dress code explicitly says to wear all white). This also means you shouldn’t wear anything too flashy or attention-grabbing. When it comes to weddings, err on the side of conservative and modest. Remember, this isn’t your day…
2) Respect the dress code on the invitation. Sometimes invitation will very explicit about the dress code, and you should follow that code even if doesn’t make sense (like an Alice in Wonderland-themed beach wedding…).
3) It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed, even with a casual dress code. We all hate to part with our trusty pair of jeans, but weddings are not the place for them. Take the opportunity to dress up a bit and enjoy the formality of such a joyous occasion!
4) For warm weather weddings, color and prints are your friends. Embrace them!
Casual Spring/Summer Wedding
Congrats! You got the easiest type of S/S wedding to dress for. If the wedding is the spring, bust out your spring best: pastels, florals, and lace. Something to keep in mind: spring showers and humidity. Check the weather in advance. If there is even a slight hint of rain make sure you bring a small umbrella to protect you from sudden down pours (better yet, get your significant other or a friend to lug it around for you).
If it’s in the summer, don’t be afraid to play with vibrant colors. Since the temperatures are warming up, look for dresses in breathable fabrics like lightweight cotton and linen.
- Dress: Be Outside Dress, $79.99, Modcloth
- Necklace: Daphne Pearl Necklace, $98, Stella & Dot
- Shoes: Ankle-strap D’orsay Pump, $30.99, Charlotte Russe
Formal Spring/Summer Wedding
Formal dress codes require a bit more effort, but it’s totally possible to beat the heat while still looking polished and appropriate for the occasion. Wear airy, breathable fabrics like chiffon, double georgette, or silk. Those fabrics always look effortlessly elegant (so you’ll need minimal accessories to complete your look), and they won’t cause you to overheat. Formal dress codes typically call for long, floor length gowns, but you can get away with a chic knee-length dress so long as your hair and accessories are formal. Bring a light cover-up, like a pashmina throw or shrug, just in case the AC is on high during the ceremony or it gets chilly during the night. As for accessories, less is best with elegant, formal gowns. Add a fancy clutch and strappy sandals, and you’re good to go!
Quick tip: If you have a fancy wedding to attend, and you KNOW you won’t have to attend anything quite as fancy in the distant future, consider renting a dress from Rent the Runway. I rented a gorgeous floral gown from RTR for a masked ball, and I LOVED it. Bonus: you can get $25 off your first rental when you sign up through the website.
- Dress: Badgley Mischka, $135 to rent, Rent the Runway
- Wrap: Cejon Beaded Chiffon Evening Wrap, $38, Lord & Taylor
- Earrings: Alexis Bittar, $20 to rent, Rent the Runway
- Clutch: Whiting and Davis, $25 to rent, Rent the Runway
Beach weddings seem fun and exotic, but they can be tricky to dress for. Here is one very important point to consider: You will be near water, sand, and many natural elements that can cause issues for your outfit. Comfort is key. Long chiffon maxis or midi length sun dresses in linen or lightweight coton are great options. If you choose to wear a flowy dress, make sure it is long enough to avoid potential flashing situations with every gust of ocean breeze. Avoid shoes with a thin high heels that could sink into the sand, and opt for wedges. You’ll probably have to remove your shoes at some anyways, so make sure they are easy to remove and your feet are in, um, presentable condition. 😉
- Dress: This is Bliss Dress, $59.99, Modcloth
- Necklace: Turquoise Rae Necklace, $65, Kendra Scott
- Bag: INC Quorki Clutch, $51.99, Macy’s
- Shoes: Three Band Wedges, $35, Charlotte Russe
Backyard weddings are typically intimate and on the more casual, but not TOO casual side. Think feminine with comfort (i.e., you can wear flats). You likely already having something cute to wear to this kind of wedding, so here are some important points to consider: If the wedding is the morning, the grass may be dewy and there may be wet mud. That’s why I recommend wearing flats and dressy sandals or wedges to backyard weddings.
- Dress: Scallop Trim Poplin Dress, $79.95, eShakti (Get $40 off your 1st purchase by signing up for newsletter; you can add sleeves to this dress)
- Cardigan: Fine Knit Cardigan, $14.95, H&M
- Necklace: Enamel Arrow Necklace, $27, Pink Mascara (Get 20% off using code Summer 20)
- Shoes: Bella Slingbacks, $148, Boden
NOW FOR THE WEEKLY LINK UP
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