This year, weddings are taking a more laid-back approach. The usual rules are set aside in favour of letting guests express their own style to create an outfit they feel fierce in. However, this makes it tricky if you're completely stuck for ideas and there are no guidelines!
As we see trends changing for brides and grooms, from formal dresses and tuxes to relaxed high-low styles and not a bow tie in sight, it's time for guests to do the same when picking out their outfits. Here are our top tips to help you dress for the occasion and look gorg' doing it.
Dressing for the season
One of the first steps when deciding what to wear to a wedding is the climate. British weather is well known for being unpredictable, so (aside from checking the forecast repeatedly), dress for the season for the best chance of success. For spring and autumn weddings, potential showers, cold spells and sometimes the odd heatwave aren't unusual, so try to cover all your bases.
Choosing an outfit with layers so you'll be able to add or remove them when needed will help with the unexpected temperatures, while opting for a closed-toe shoe and a trusty pocket-sized umbrella will keep you dry all day long.
If you're jetting off overseas or have been invited to a summer wedding, a lightweight, airy fabric is a fab pick to keep you cool and looking fierce. With options ranging from floaty chiffon to breathable viscose and silky-satin being the most popular, you'll find a summer-ready outfit in no time.
When it comes to beachy destination weddings, a more laid-back look is perfect. Think handkerchief hemlines, boho styles and relaxed, airy two-pieces. Don't forget to ditch the heels for a pair of standout sandals. Sand and stilettos are never a good mix.
Understand the event
Another thing to consider when deciding what you should wear to a wedding is the venue. If you've not helped plan the day and haven't visited the venue before, a quick Google of the venue is a good way of seeing it before the big day. When checking out the venue, ask yourself a few questions: Is it a religious ceremony? How formal is the venue? Is there an obvious colour palette from the invite? and what dresses to wear at a wedding reception, if I'm only going for the evening? All these answers will help you whittle down your outfit choices.
If you're attending a formal or religious venue, following the dress code can also sway your choice of dress. Choose a piece that covers the shoulders and pair it with a midi or maxi length for a range of fabulous options. For a laid-back, informal wedding, choosing a smart-casual outfit that's comfortable but sticks to the theme will make you feel amazing whilst being elevated enough for a wedding celebration.
Avoid wearing white
For obvious reasons, this is a tip we all know. But just because white's out of the question, creams, beiges, and neutral tones are definitely not. (Though you may want to double-check with the bride to be safe!) These earthy, neutral tones are a perfect pick for a timeless dress that you can wear on repeat season after season. We've RSVP'd yes to so many weddings that choosing a dress you can wear again and again saves you time and money. You'll be the best-dressed wedding guest every time.
Just make sure that you won't be mistaken as an extra bridesmaid if you choose a neutral tone, as this can be a popular colour for bridal parties!
Follow the suggested dress code
When attending a wedding as a guest, it's important to adhere to the specified dress code. You can find this information on the invitation or wedding website. Whether it's a formal black-tie affair, a casual gathering, or a cocktail party, respecting the dress guidelines ensures that you fit in well and honour the couple's vision for their special day.
Consider the venue and theme
Respecting the surroundings is key when choosing what to wear to a wedding. Take into account the venue and the theme of the event to ensure that your outfit suits the occasion. For a beach or outdoor wedding, choose lightweight fabrics and flowing silhouettes. For a formal indoor setting, opt for more structured and sophisticated attire. By carefully considering the location and theme, you enhance your overall experience at the wedding.
Avoid an all-black ensemble
While black is a timeless and versatile colour, it's generally recommended to avoid wearing an entirely black outfit to a wedding. Instead, opt for more vibrant and celebratory colours that reflect the joyful atmosphere of the occasion. If black is a must for you, incorporate colourful accessories or patterns to infuse life into your ensemble. Remember, weddings are a time of celebration and embracing happiness.
Set yourself apart from the bridesmaids
To avoid any confusion, it's best not to dress like a bridesmaid on the wedding day. Bridesmaids typically wear specific dresses chosen by the bride, often coordinated with a specific colour scheme. To distinguish yourself from the bridal party, select an outfit that showcases your unique style while still respecting the overall aesthetic of the wedding.
Dresses for wedding guests
Here are some of our best wedding guest dresses that'll look fierce at any event, whether on a sunny beach abroad, at a formal manor house reception, or for an easy go-to every time.
Estella Midaxi Dress in Odd Dot Pink on Amparo Blue
THE summer formal wedding guest dress is here. It's the perfect choice if you're after something more modest but still want a standout print. The Estella Dress does both. With an open back, a cool midaxi length and made from lightweight viscose, it keeps you cool enough for summer but can be layered up for spring.
Boho Maxi Dress in Dahlia
If you're headed abroad, attending a beach wedding or a summery rustic farmhouse celebration, then our Boho Maxi Dress is the ideal mix of floaty and romantic. Complete with a handkerchief hem, an adjustable drawstring waist and a halter neckline, it will take you from the beach to the English countryside.
Olivera Midi Dress In Pink Echinacea
If you want to make a statement while keeping it neutral, this soft pink floral midi dress is for you. Made from floaty chiffon fabric, with a wrap-style silhouette and ¾ length sleeves, it's the perfect in-between dress for when you just don't know what to wear!
Can you wear a maxi dress to a wedding?
Of course! A maxi dress is a fab option for a wedding all year round. In the colder months, a maxi dress helps to keep you warm and covered from the elements, while in summer, it's airy and breezy, perfect for staying cool.
Can you wear trousers to a wedding?
We love a co-ord, and a fierce suit is a gorgeous look for a formal event. If you're attending an informal event, a pair of statement trousers or palazzo pants with a graphic cami is the ideal mix of smart casual that stands out for summer.
What should you wear to a formal wedding?
Formal weddings can sound daunting, but it's much simpler than you'd think. Picture clean lines, classic silhouettes and modest coverage when choosing your outfit for a formal event. Wrap styles, midi or maxi-lengths and ¾-length sleeves are great places to start on your hunt for the perfect dress.
What should you wear to a casual wedding?
One of the best things about a casual wedding is (technically) no dress code! This means you're free to express yourself in whatever way you feel your best. However, jeans and a nice top might not cut it this time. So, try elevating your usual smart-casual looks into a more photo-ready, wedding-appropriate outfit. Lean towards the smarter side, and pair with strappy heels, your fave accessories and a grab a glass of bubbles for a look that's sure to turn heads.
Need more inspiration on seasonal wedding guest dressing?