What to Wear to A Summer Wedding

summer wedding dressIt may not be your special day, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to look gorgeous. The problem is that what to wear to a summer wedding can be tricky. Because you shouldn’t have to stress out about a wedding that isn’t yours, we’ve put together some tips to ensure that you’ll turn heads while sticking to the dress code. Now all you’ve got to worry about is how to get that cute groomsman to dance with you.

What to Wear to a Summer Wedding: Basic Dos and Don’ts


  • Wear summer colors like turquoise, melon, strawberry, and kelly green
  • Wear cute pumps and/or sandals for an inside wedding/reception
  • Wear black (with color) to an evening wedding
  • Wear something sexy- but tasteful
  • Wear a linen pants suit
  • Wear a cool straw hat


  • Wear white, unless the bride requests it. People will talk about you (and not in a good way)
  • Wear black to an afternoon/morning wedding. Pick something colorful
  • Wear heels for an outside wedding/reception (your heel with get stuck in the grass)
  • Wear ultra low cut dresses, short-short dresses, shorts. If you wouldn’t want your grandma to see you in it, then don’t wear it.

What to Wear to A Summer Wedding: Dressing Tips

Dress for the time and place

Afternoon ceremonies tend to be more casual than evening soirees, so first take into account what time the event is taking place. At noon, it’s perfectly appropriate to wear a summer sundress or pastel skirt, while at six, it’s more fitting to wear a satin or chiffon cocktail dress. Many weddings nowadays call for a wardrobe change between a low-key ceremony and fancy reception. Determine how much to dress up or down according to the time and venue of the event.


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  1. Latha says

    Great! Thanks. What would you recommend for shoes? I am kind of both best man and maid of honor rolled into one:)

  2. Latha says

    Sorry to bother you again. What kind of accessories? I am thinking of a pretty diamond on platinum bracelet and pinkish rhinestone chandelier earrings? It is pretty warm now and so I doubt I will need a stole.

    • TBF says

      I think your accessories sound great- eye catching, but not overpowering.. I would recommend to bring a pashima/shawl just in case.

  3. Crys says

    What about a small white coverup/jacket over a navy blue dress? Does “no white” literally mean absolutely nothing white? I don’t know the bride, and the groom isn’t much help. It’s an afternoon beach wedding that goes straight into an evening reception at a Hilton, so I need something to coverup.

  4. Cristhys says

    I have this veautiful short dress that is white background has big pink flowers with brown leaves and a big brown satin belt that is built in. I wanna wear it for a friends wedding but im concern that because the background is white then is not appropiate what you think please help the wedding is in 4 days thank you

  5. Barbara Gates says

    My granddaughter is having a 10:00 a.m. outdoor wedding on 9/17. I haven’t the faintest idea what to wear. I am 5′ tall and 30 lbs overweight. I don’t wear heels any more because they just hurt my feet too much. The bridal party is pretty formal in I say raspberry & gold colors, bride in white. I hate dresses and would feel mu ch more comfortable in some type of pant outfit, would that be appropriate and if so can you give me some idea as to fabric & color? I sew. Thank you

    • TBF says

      Pants are totally fine! My suggestion would be a simple tailored blazer and pants suit with a pair of very cute dressy flats (try brands like Annie and Taryn Rose on the high end). In terms of colors try a complementary color like a violet purple so you’re complementary without being matchy, matchy. A nice all season weight fabric like gabardine or a light weight wool would be a good choice, so you can wear the outfit again.

  6. AnneMarie B says

    Okay, so money is tight for me right now, and I have a wedding problem. My husbands cousin is getting married Saturday, 3pm, indoors. I have 2 dresses. A white cotton eyelet lace pattern dress from Torrid, and a black sweetheart dress from Lane Bryant. Both are solid colors. But I do have a white shawl, and a black shawl, that I can mix and match with them to mix the colors up, and some knee high black leather boots. Lots of colorful scarves, and lots of colorful jewelry and nail polish. I’m trying to figure out which would be the least offensive with tradition, since I can’t buy a new dress right now.

  7. Fransie D says

    My son is getting married in the high summer at 16h00 – what kind of dress do I wear, a suit is not an option. The colours of the wedding is avocado green, chocolate brown and pink. They informed me semi-formal. The mother of the bride will wear a dress with the colours incorporated. I am short and about 30 pounds overweight (I will try to loose a few pounds before the wedding).

  8. Bridgette says

    I am going to my brother’s wedding in April and I have no idea what to wear. The wedding is in Texas, but I don’t know any details on if it’s indoors or outdoors or what time the wedding is at. Do you have any suggestions for something that I could wear for any situation? I think the color the bride picked is blue. An suggestions?

    • TBF says

      @Bridgette- Try a nice purple (lavender or lilac are nice purples for a wedding) sundress and purchase a matching scarf to wear around the dress (you can easily pick one up from your local Marshalls/TJ Maxx).

  9. scintilla says

    I am the mother of the bride and need advice on what to wear. My daughter insists that she wants me to wear anything. She getting married at Cambridge at the beginning of August at 2pm and is wearing a dark pinky red Elizabethian costume, bridesmaids wear long pale grey with a pink red sash( Jane Austin style) There is a small reception in the garden outside with tea, cake and canapes and then we go to a restaurant for supper. I would say it is semi formal. I’m not sure what the weather will be like. Is it appropriate for to wear a satin, or taffeta dress in a deep colour like wine burgundy or chocolate brown? The other mother of the bride is not as modern in her taste. Length of dress – is tea length out of fashion? I look best in cold bright colours. What kind of shoes would be the best and colour? Would silver be ok or would it be best to wear the same colour of dress?

  10. Sara says

    What colors are recommended for a summer wedding? I was going to wear a turquoise dress but I just found out the bridesmaids are wearing that color.

  11. Meghan Ann says

    What kind of shoe should I wear if the wedding is to be held on a yacht? Is that considered indoors or out? And since its evening should I opt towards a cocktail dress?

  12. Angelia says

    I’m clueless about what to wear to my brother n law 50th anniversary wedding. I’m not in the wedding but my husband is yet I have to sit at the head table with them. I never dress up because I feel over weight but I know I need to dress appropriate for this( husband has never seen me dresse me up either).

    • TBF says

      Hey Angelia- Head to your local department store and ask them if they have a personal style/shopping department. This is a FREE service that many of the local department stores have that help you find items that look best on you. It’s like a free personal shopper. Before heading in, cut out photos of outfits/styles you like to bring in with you. Hopes this helps.

  13. Stacy says

    Can I wear black to a wedding starting at 3 pm in Aug.? I’m thinking of a jumpsuit and would like to accessorize with pink, dark blue, or green. The reception is immediately following.

  14. Cait says

    is it ok to wear a light grey flowy dress (knee length) with purple pumps and purple clutch to a summer beachy wedding? Her colors are purple!

    • Catherine says


      The color red is acceptable if the dress is on the conservative side. The problem with red is that it can be way too flashy. You don’t want everyone to be staring at you and not the bride! If you love red, a safer bet would be a more muted dress color, paired with red shoes or a red bag.


  15. Melissa says

    I have a bit of a dress emergency…….so my mothers best friends’s friend invited us to her sons wedding even though were not exactly close. The wedding takes place this Sunday on the 28th of June. It begins at 5 and I guess there going to do the vow exchanging in the garden of the hotel and then head inside for cocktail hour and then have the reception. Me and my mother weren’t exactly planning to go all out for this wedding since we barely know the groom and are only familiar with the mother. Last minute we decided to hit up Macy’s and see what we could find.. My mother found a nice black calvin klein cocktail dress and I found this http://www.lordandtaylor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/lord-and-taylor/jeweled-bodice-gown?site_refer=CSE_GGLPRADS001_LT&CAWELAID=120178030000148513&CAGPSPN=pla&catargetid=120178030000917751&cadevice=c&gclid=CMexuIykr8YCFYI7gQodGjgIPA
    I know it might seem like a prom dress and it probably is lol but the dress itself looked so good on me and fit well that I thought it would be appropriate for a summer evening wedding..Id never worn black to a wedding before so i thought why not this time? I’m 20 so i thought it would be appropriate. What I realized when i got home was that maybe this dress is way to flashy for a summer wedding and too dark. I’m out of options at this point since the wedding is tomorrow and I have no idea what to do. My mother was thinking of taking some of the beading off and trimming the bottom to sort of resemble this

    or even this


    That way it wouldn’t look like I’m heading to the club or being too flashy.
    What do you think? Please help

    • Catherine says

      The Lord and Taylor link you posted doesn’t work, so I can’t see the original dress. The two options you posted do still look a shade flashy for a summer wedding. Make sure you pair it with flats and go light on jewelry and makeup.

  16. Cynthia says

    Going to a 7pm summer wedding, is a light orange dress appropriate color or should I opt out for a blk dress with white polka dot fitted dress?

  17. Maria says

    Going to my niece’s wedding on September 12 at 7 pm outside venue. Found a Katherine Kelly Embroidered Organza dress in mint green. Is this appropriate or should I go with a darker color for September 12 at 7 pm. Dress is gorgeous but light mint green knee length. I don’t want to wear wrong color.

    • Catherine says

      Just make sure you aren’t wearing the same color as the bridesmaids and you should be OK.

      • Maria says

        Thank you very much. The bridesmaids are wearing cobalt blue. I was just concerned about the light mint color at a 7 pm wedding in September, Thanks again for your help.

  18. Priya says

    Is a dark blue f21 dress good enough for a fall wedding? (Im thirteen) i think it might be too dark casual..,

  19. suzi says

    What do I wear to a 5pm wedding outside, and the wedding party will be in cowgirll boots with wine colored chiffon dresses? I am the groom’s former step mother as well!!

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