Pretty Garden Halter Dress

The Best Wedding Guest Dresses for Summer

Here's how to win the award for Best-Dressed Guest.
By Betsy Cribb
Updated May 06, 2021
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Summer in the South means three things: mosquitos, stifling humidity, and weddings. Lots of weddings. And with every joyous occasion comes an opportunity to ace the dress code test. Dressing appropriately for weddings is hard enough to figure out the rest of the year (these vague references to attire are too much for our little hearts to bear), but add warm weather and breezy venues, and it only gets more difficult!

When it comes to dress codes, summertime black tie weddings are a little more relaxed than their winter counterparts. The venue also often determines just how formal you should go, but there are a few tried-and-true rules to live by, no matter where it's held: Stick to midi- or full-length dresses, keep fabrics in mind, and remember the transformative power of dynamite accessories and a good pair of heels. You'll probably see a little bit of everything at cocktail-attire weddings in the warm-weather months. Depending on the venue, you can turn up the formality or take it down a notch with your accessories. Really like to break it down? A tailored jumpsuit is equally appropriate for the festivities.

Morning weddings call for delightfully ladylike looks. Stick to fresh, dewy makeup and delicate accessories for an ensemble that really hits the mark. For a garden wedding, florals? Groundbreaking. The Devil Wears Prada's Miranda Priestly may think it's a little expected, but if there's a more appropriate place to wear a vibrant floral pattern than a garden wedding, we haven't found it. Afternoon weddings, especially those held beneath sprawling mossy oaks or on a farm, allow for more casual ensembles. A sundress with fun accessories and wedges is appropriate, as is a pretty blouse paired with a midi skirt.

We've found dresses that will solve all of your summer wedding wardrobe woes, whether the happy couple is celebrating in a rustic barn in the afternoon or a ritzy country club after dark. 

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