How to choose the perfect dress for a summer wedding?

January 23, 2024

When it comes to weddings, one of the most daunting tasks is figuring out what to wear. The anxiety of choosing the right outfit can be overwhelming, especially if it’s a summer wedding, where the heat and the formal setting may seem to be at odds. Factor in the varying dress codes and it’s enough to make your head spin. However, with some sound advice and a bit of preparation, you can find the perfect dress that will make you feel confident and comfortable on the special day.

Understanding the Dress Code

Before we dive into the specifics of dresses, it’s crucial to understand the dress code for the wedding you will be attending. Often, the invitation will provide an indication of the dress code, such as casual, formal, black tie, or even beach wear. Equally, you might find hints in the venue or time of day.

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Casual Dress Code

Despite its name, a casual dress code doesn’t mean showing up in your favourite weekend wear. However, it does provide a bit more flexibility. A midi dress, perhaps with a floral print, can be a great option for a casual summer wedding.

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Formal Dress Code

For a formal wedding, you will need to elevate your style. A long maxi dress or stylish gown could be the perfect choice. Think elegant fabrics like silk or chiffon and consider wearing darker or more subdued colors, even in summer.

Black Tie Dress Code

Black tie weddings are all about glamour. This is your chance to pull out all the stops. Consider a full-length gown in luxurious fabric or a classic black cocktail dress. Add a touch of sparkle with your accessories to really stand out.

Choosing the Right Dress for Your Body

Once the dress code has been deciphered, the next step in finding the perfect dress is to consider what styles suit your body shape best. It is essential to choose a dress that makes you feel comfortable and confident.

A-Line Dresses

A-Line dresses are universally flattering, as they cinch in at the waist and flare out over the hips. They can be a great choice for both casual and formal weddings, depending on the fabric and detail.

Empire Waist Dresses

Featuring a high waistline and a loose skirt, empire waist dresses are perfect for those who want to emphasize their upper body. They are particularly suitable for casual summer weddings, in light, airy fabrics.

Bodycon Dresses

For a black tie wedding, a bodycon dress can be a fantastic option. These dresses are fitted and figure-hugging, making them a glamourous choice. However, ensure it is comfortable to wear for several hours.

Opting for Season-Appropriate Colors and Fabrics

Summer weddings are usually characterized by bright colors and light fabrics. However, the choice of colors should also depend on the venue and time of the day.

Daytime Weddings

For a daytime wedding, opt for lighter colors. Soft pastels, floral prints, and neutral tones can work really well. However, do steer clear of white or cream, so as not to upstage the bride.

Evening Weddings

For an evening wedding, darker colors are usually more appropriate. However, summer also allows for bolder choices such as vibrant reds, blues, or even metallics.

When it comes to fabrics, choose materials that will keep you cool. Linen, cotton, and silk are all excellent choices for a summer wedding. Avoid heavier fabrics, as they can become uncomfortable in the heat.

Accessorizing your Dress

Choosing the right accessories can elevate your look and make your dress wedding appropriate.


When it comes to shoes, comfort is key. Weddings can often involve a lot of standing and dancing, so opt for shoes that you can wear all day. For a casual wedding, wedges or block heels can be a great option, while for formal or black tie weddings, opt for more elegant heels.


When choosing jewellery, it’s crucial to consider the neckline of your dress. For dresses with a high neckline, opt for statement earrings and a bracelet. For lower necklines, a necklace can be a beautiful addition.


Finally, a small clutch is the perfect handbag for weddings. Choose one that complements your dress and can fit your essentials.

Don’t Forget the Outerwear

Even though it’s a summer wedding, evenings can still get chilly. Therefore, don’t forget to consider outerwear. A light shawl or wrap can be a stylish and practical addition to your outfit. And remember, the outerwear is also a part of your outfit, so ensure it complements the dress.

Choosing the perfect dress for a summer wedding doesn’t have to be a headache. By understanding the dress code, considering your body shape and comfort, opting for season-appropriate colors and fabrics, accessorizing your dress, and adding a layer for the evening, you can ensure that you will look your best and feel comfortable throughout the day.

Navigating through Summer Wedding Dress Trends

Looking at the latest trends in wedding guest dresses can spark some ideas and inspiration for your own outfit choice. In 2023, there are several trends to watch out for that could be perfect for a summer wedding.

Midi Dresses

A big hit this year, midi dresses are often chosen as guest dresses for both casual and semi-formal weddings. This style, falling between a mini dress and a maxi dress, strikes the perfect balance between formal and relaxed. Midi dresses can be found in a wide variety of patterns, including the ever-popular floral print. They are also versatile enough to be paired with different shoe styles, making them a convenient choice for any wedding guest.

Slip Dresses

Another prevalent trend in 2023, slip dresses, is an excellent choice for summer weddings. These dresses are lightweight and seamless, making them a comfortable choice in the heat. Depending on the dress code, they can be dressed up with accessories and elegant shoes for a formal wedding, or down with simple accessories for a casual summer wedding.

Ruffled Dresses

For those who want to add a touch of drama to their wedding attire, ruffled dresses are a great choice. Whether it’s a cascading ruffle down the front of the dress or delicate ruffle detailing on the sleeves or hem, this style adds a touch of fun to your look. Remember to balance out this statement piece with minimal accessories.

Conclusion: Dress to Impress at Your Next Summer Wedding

Selecting the right guest dress for a summer wedding can indeed seem like a daunting task. Yet, it’s essential to remember that the key is to feel comfortable, confident, and appropriately dressed for the occasion. Following the dress code, understanding your body shape, selecting appropriate colors and fabrics, accessorizing correctly, and being aware of the latest trends are all steps in the right direction.

Whether you opt for a casual midi dress for a relaxed beach wedding, a black tie gown for an elegant evening, or a trendy ruffled number to make a statement, your outfit choice should ultimately reflect your personal style. After all, weddings are a time of celebration, and what better way to celebrate than by feeling great in your attire.

Remember, you are there to celebrate the love between two people, so don’t fret too much about your dress. As long as you are comfortable and feel beautiful, you’re sure to make a great impression. So, gear up to enjoy the joyous occasion of a summer wedding!