It’s no coincidence that wedding season typically falls in the summertime—warm weather, breezy days and beautiful blooms are all picture-perfect elements that embody the brightness of a wedding day. Summer weddings often take form as outdoor occasions, but indoor summer weddings aren’t uncommon. From beachside destinations to city hall ceremonies, the setting options for summer weddings far outnumber the possibilities for every other season.
So, you’ve got a wedding RSVP coming up on your calendar and you’re stumped—staring at your closet, hoping something jumps out at you. We’ve all been there! Trying to figure out what to wear to a summer wedding is a task that takes plenty of careful consideration and fashion finesse. Finding an outfit that’s both appropriate for the occasion and climate—and true to your taste—is admittedly difficult. Fortunately, a season so warm and relaxed makes room for a list of endless possibilities. From flowy formal dresses to bold-colored accessories, we’ll guide you through our tried and true tips and ‘fits for summer wedding attire.
Summer Wedding Attire Essentials
Attending as a guest means your only responsibility is to show up on time and in impeccable style. Embrace the limitless creative possibilities by tapping into your unique tastes. Just because the big day’s spotlight shines on the newlyweds-to-be, it doesn’t mean your exuberant spirit has to take a backseat. Arrive with confidence, knowing your perfect summer wedding outfit embodies who you are while fitting wedding attire expectations.
When it comes to wedding fashion, it’s helpful to know what garments should come out to play. Piecing together a skirt and blouse combo or jazzing up a dress with bold shoes and accessories are surefire recipes for success. These summer wedding staples are either already living in your wardrobe, or incredibly easy to find at your favorite boutiques and shops.
We’ll walk you through our favorite summer wedding essentials and give you the creative inspiration you need to channel your own style.
When you think of formal attire for women, your mind likely conjures up images of red carpet-ready gowns, flowing trains and sparkling accents. The dress has always been a closet staple for wedding events—whether you’re the bride, the flower girl or a guest.
Consider these dress styles:
- Wrap dress: Soft and feminine, the wrap dress features a lovely surplice neckline and a tie-sash to create an effortless silhouette.
- Bardot dress: The Bardot dress is a refined version of the off-shoulder dress, complete with slouchy mini-sleeves that sit just below the shoulders.
- Sheath dress: This form-fitting dress hugs your body while maintaining understated appeal. The sheath dress typically features a modest neckline to keep things streamlined.
- Kimono dress: With long, draping sleeves and a wraparound closure and tie-sash, the kimono dress is a grander take on the wrap dress. It usually features a subtle side slit that might come in handy during the season’s hottest days.
Another easy way to make your dress stand out is by experimenting with different lengths. Try these hemline measurements for your next formal occasion:
- Maxi: Hits just below the ankle, grazing the ground.
- Ballerina: Hits just above the ankle.
- Tea-length: Hits mid-calf area, about 6 to 7 inches from the ground.
- Midi: Hits mid-calf, about 3 inches below the knee.
- Knee-length: Hits at the knee or slightly above.
- Mini: Hits at mid-thigh.
Jumpsuits have become one of the most popular formal attire options available to women today. Offering a similar silhouette to a dress, the jumpsuit features pants rather than a skirt. Easily dressed up or dressed down per your RSVP’s details, the jumpsuit is an incredibly versatile summer wedding clothing choice.
Elevate your jumpsuit game with these elegant necklines:
- Sweetheart: Characterized by its distinctive heart-shaped construction, the sweetheart neckline curves along the bustline.
- Square: Running straight across the neckline while highlighting the shoulders and decolletage, the square neckline is minimalist and easy to accessorize.
- Surplice: The surplice neckline is made of two pieces of fabric wrapping together to form a sophisticated v-shape.
- Cowl: With their natural drape, cowl necklines add a bit of flair, depth and shape to your outfit.
Your summer wedding agenda is full of mingling and dancing from hour one to hour five. In order to keep the night feeling young, your toes need the proper protection and support to take you out of your chair and onto the dance floor.
There’s a shoe for every ensemble. Try these cute styles on for size:
- Flats: From classic round-toe ballet flats to an edgier pointed-toe silhouette, flats are comfortable and chic. Not only do they look great with every outfit, they feel great too. Check out our guide on how to wear flats with a formal dress if you’re looking for some extra inspiration.
- Heels: Give yourself a little boost in the form of a sleek, sophisticated heel. From heeled sandals to platform pumps, the extra height from a comfy pair of heels beautifully complements a long, flowy dress.
- Mules: You may think of slip-on shoes as the least formal shoes for a wedding occasion, but mules are total game changers. Characterized by their backless construction, mules can be open-toed, close-toed, flat, or heeled.
- Sandals: Warm weather calls for a pair of breezy, easy-wear sandals. Whether they’re lace-up gladiators or espadrille wedges, these sunny shoes are great for summertime events.
Tying an outfit all together means topping it off with a few accessories on top.
Comb through your closet or favorite boutiques for these must-have summer wedding accessories:
- Jewelry: Add a splash of shine by accessorizing your ensemble with a dainty necklace, glittering rings, or polished bangles.
- Hats: Not only are hats great distractions from a less-than-perfect hair day, but they provide shade from the sun and keep you cool all day long.
- Sunglasses: You’ll want to keep your eyes on the lovely couple at the wedding, so come prepared. Protect your eyes from UV rays and hours of squinting with a pair of stylish sunglasses.
- Purses: Absolute must-haves like your phone, wallet and keys are best stashed away in a colorful crossbody or a bold tote bag. Purses are the greatest and most functional accessories to any ensemble.
Summer Wedding Outfit Ideas
What to Wear to a Black-Tie Summer Wedding
Indoor: A soft blue sheath dress paired with white heeled sandals looks crisp, clean and effortlessly elegant. Elevate your outfit with simple diamond or rhinestone jewelry on your wrists, fingers and ears.
Outdoor: A dark blue pleated maxi dress with a sharp square neckline and thin spaghetti straps paired with a comfortable pair of black strappy stilettos looks beautiful on a breezy day. Top it off with dangly statement earrings and a neutral-toned clutch for a ceremony-ready outfit.
What to Wear to a Casual Summer Wedding
Indoor: Channel the lighthearted nature of a casual summer wedding with a blush pink halter neck jumpsuit and a pair of cream-colored pointed toe flats. Jazz it up with a pair of hoop earrings, minimalist bangles and a matching hair clip.
Outdoor: A mustard yellow sleeveless mini shift dress matched with a pair of beige strappy heeled sandals looks stunning with a chic rattan crossbody bag and a pair of gold-rimmed sunglasses. Spice it up with some chandelier earrings or keep it simple with colorful stud earrings.
What to Wear to a Countryside Summer Wedding
A jade green tea-length wrap dress with ruffle accents along the surplice neckline is the perfect complement to a relaxed countryside wedding. Support your soles in a pair of white loafers and protect your eyes in a fun pair of white sunglasses.
What to Wear to a Beach Summer Wedding
A coral-colored Bardot neckline midi trumpet dress ensures no strange tan lines befall your shoulders. Slipinto a pair of nude women’s flats to make traversing from land to sand a breeze. A lightweight floppy straw hat with a feminine ribbon and a pair of tortoiseshell earrings are exquisite finishing touches for the perfect beachside wedding ensemble.
What to Wear to a City Hall Summer Wedding
A floral A-line midi dress with dainty cap sleeves is a beautiful ensemble for an intimate city hall wedding. Paired with a simple pointed flat and a couple stacking rings, this understated look serves up seamless elegance and grace.
No matter what kind of wedding is next up on your calendar, you’ll be ready to celebrate with these creative summer wedding outfit ideas!