Tips on how to dress well for spring and summer weddings via Downtown Demure

How to Dress for Spring/Summer Weddings + Style to Inspire Link-up

Tips on how to dress well for spring and summer weddings via Downtown Demure

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

Casual Spring Wedding Outfit Collage

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.

  1. Dress: Be Outside Dress, $79.99, Modcloth
  2. Necklace: Daphne Pearl Necklace, $98, Stella & Dot
  3. Shoes: Ankle-strap D’orsay Pump, $30.99, Charlotte Russe

Formal Spring/Summer Wedding

Formal Spring Wedding Outfit Collage

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.

  1. Dress: Badgley Mischka, $135 to rent, Rent the Runway
  2. Wrap: Cejon Beaded Chiffon Evening Wrap, $38, Lord & Taylor
  3. Earrings: Alexis Bittar, $20 to rent, Rent the Runway
  4. Clutch: Whiting and Davis, $25 to rent, Rent the Runway

Beach Wedding

Summer Beach Wedding Outfit Collage

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. 😉

  1. Dress: This is Bliss Dress, $59.99, Modcloth
  2. Necklace: Turquoise Rae Necklace, $65, Kendra Scott
  3. Bag: INC Quorki Clutch, $51.99, Macy’s
  4. Shoes: Three Band Wedges, $35, Charlotte Russe

Backyard wedding

Backyard Spring Wedding Outfit Collage

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.

  1. 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)
  1. Cardigan: Fine Knit Cardigan, $14.95, H&M
  2. Necklace: Enamel Arrow Necklace, $27, Pink Mascara (Get 20% off using code Summer 20)
  3. Shoes: Bella Slingbacks, $148, Boden


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{Rhea Et Cetera} {Downtown Demure}



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Leave a Comment

The Comments

  • Avatar

    Oh, I love #1! That dress is stunning, and the heels you chose are perfect.

    • Elizabeth
      > Alecz

      Isn’t that dress so lovely? 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Alcez!

  • Avatar
    lanae bond

    I love all the dresses you picked, makes it hard to choose which I like the most! You also provided great tips.

    • Elizabeth
      > lanae bond

      Thank you, my friend! Btw, I have completely given up on mastering Polyvore. I resorted to Picmonkey to make the collages…

  • Avatar
    Ashley L

    Oooh I love the floral spring look! That dress is crazy cute!

    • Elizabeth
      > Ashley L

      Thank you, Ashley! I’m also a sucker for pretty florals. 🙂

  • Avatar
    Carmilla FaShih

    So super cute Liz! I love these styles and your layouts. Thank you for sharing, I love your blog. Blessings! Carmilla

    • Elizabeth
      > Carmilla FaShih

      Thank you my, dear! So much love for you and your blog too!

  • Avatar

    I was trying to figure out something to wear to an event the other day and I made the same point that you pointed out “I would rather be overdressed than underdressed ANY day.” 🙂

    • Elizabeth
      > Elizabeth

      Haha, that’s always the safer way to go. Chances are other people share your motto. 🙂

  • Avatar

    Just when I needed it! ^.^ We have a beach wedding June 13 (which is in Mexico, which is uncomfortably close to both the equator and the summer solstice! [hottest day in the year]). It’s been hard to figure out what to wear, but this is such a guide! Thanks so much! 😀

    • Elizabeth
      > Kiera

      Whoo, that’s going to be a hot wedding (and I mean that literally). So glad this post was helpful for you. I know beach weddings are tricky. Let me know if what you end up wearing or if you need help choosing something in advance. 🙂

  • Avatar

    totally agree with these tips! so far i haven’t been to a wedding that had guests who had committed some fashion faux pas 🙂

    rhea @

  • Avatar
    Courtney Kincaid

    I LOVE the Modcloth dress you chose for the first option, but as a redhead with blue eyes, I’m a big fan of anything blue and white!

    Loving this linkup and seeing the others’ styles! Great idea!

    • Elizabeth
      > Courtney Kincaid

      Thanks, Courtney! Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE your hair color and respect the fact that you can rock anything blue and white (and would probably look awesome in this dress)? No? Well, now you know. 🙂

  • Avatar

    I love the dress on the formal spring/summer wedding set! So beautiful 🙂

    If you have a sec, I’d love to hear your thoughts on my latest 🙂

    Abby of Life in the Fash Lane

  • Avatar

    Thanks for commenting on my blog! Those picks are beautiful! 🙂

  • Avatar
    Rachel G

    Beautiful dresses! I’m going to a marriage ceremony this week–it’s a legal marriage at the government office rather than a big fancy wedding, but all the same I’m still trying to decide what to wear! The bride is wearing a fancy traditional indian tunic outfit, so I think I will wear one of my simple tunic outfits to fit the tone everyone else will have.

    • Elizabeth
      > Rachel G

      I think that’s a great idea, Rachel. Have fun at the wedding!

  • Avatar

    I really appreciate your thinking and your tips that you give for different dresses for different wedding themes,it will really help all the girls who are searching a beautiful ,perfect wedding dress for her special day.Your tips will really help all these girls and will make there day a memorable day.

    Thanks for share.

  • Avatar

    I love the idea of a print maxi for a spring or summer wedding! It looks fun, light, and classy. Thanks for sharing these tips!

  • Avatar
    Umina Restaurants

    first pic i thought i was looking at katy perry! lol