What to Wear to A Summer Wedding

Wooden sign for outdoor wedding

It 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

Do

  • 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.

Don’t

  • 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.

Daytime Wedding Outfits

Have the Dance Floor Dress in Mint
Have the Dance Floor Dress in Mint, $119.99, Modcloth
floral maxi dress to wear to summer wedding
Calvin Klein Floral Maxi Dress, $74.99, 6pm.com
floral maxi dress to wear to summer wedding
Placement Floral Maxi Dress, $40 (on sale), MarksandSpencer.com

Evening Wedding Outfits

ASOS One Shoulder Drape Dress
One Shoulder Drape Dress, $85.74, ASOS

But by all Means, Do Dress

ASOS CURVE Wrap Front Maxi Dress

Yes, it’s summer, but that’s not an excuse to wear shorts and a tank top to a wedding. Even a low-key backyard affair calls for a skirt. While others may wear jeans to their friend’s special day, a fashionista doesn’t stray from decorum. Show the bride and groom that you understand the importance of their wedding and dress up.

Keep Color in Mind

Many weddings now have color themes, so if the invite is red and blue, you may not want to wear that color because the bride and bridesmaids will probably be wearing something of that hue. And while wearing white after Labor Day is no longer a fashion faux pas, it’s still disrespectful to wear white to a wedding. Also stay away from black. You don’t want to look like you’re going to a funeral.

Choose Complementary Accessories

A metallic pair of sandals or shoes are the perfect partner to a summer dress. For a ballroom affair, select strappy stilettos or peep-toes. If the event is taking place out doors, you may want to opt for wedges or flats that won’t get stuck in the grass or sand.

What to Wear to A Summer Wedding: More Dressing Tips

Outdoor Summer Wedding Outfits

Wallpaper Floral Maxi Dress
Wallpaper Floral Maxi Dress, $98, LOFT
TopShop Tailored Strapless Jumpsuit
TopShop Tailored Strapless Jumpsuit, $120, Nordstrom
Laundry by Shelli Segal
Twist Front Matte Jersey Dress, $128, Nordstrom

Indoor Summer Wedding Outfits

Gemma Geo-Print Wrap Dress
Gemma Geo-Print Wrap Dress, $98, Banana Republic
What to wear to a summer wedding: Puff Sleeve Dress in Super 120
Splurge: Puff Sleeve Dress in Super 120, $199 at JCrew

It’s also important to choose the right bag. Find a small clutch or wristlet that complements your outfit and fill it with your essentials, among which should be powder. Summer means heat, and heat means sweat, so be prepared.

Go Light on Makeup and Jewelry

Fresh, minimalistic makeup is more flattering for a summer wedding. Ditch the heavy lipstick and apply a shimmering gloss to keep lips moist and shiny. Be sure to wear a sunscreen if you’ll be outdoors, but go light on the foundation or wear a light coating of powder instead.

Because you’re probably wearing a light, breezy dress, you should also go light on the jewelry. Cumbersome baubles look awkward with an airy ensemble, so trade your chandelier earrings for pearls or studs. A little bling goes a long way in the summer time. Keep it light, and you’ll look and feel better.

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Catherine Brock

Owner and Editor at The Budget Fashionista
As a Southern California transplant now living in the Midwest, Catherine has turned layering into an art form and accepted that UGGs actually do have a place in the stylish lady's wardrobe. She's been featured in Woman's World Magazine, DrLaura.com, Refinery29, Wellness.com and has made appearances on ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis, KCAL9 Los Angeles, Fox19 Cincinnati, WGN TV Chicago and WCPO TV Cincinnati.
Catherine Brock