Knowing what to wear to a wedding isn’t always easy, so we’re here to help wedding guests with our pick of the best wedding guest dresses and outfits. There’s just one rule to wedding guest fashion: never wear white to a wedding.
Best Wedding Guest Dresses and Outfits
If you’re wondering what a wedding guest should wear to a wedding in Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter, these are our pick of the best wedding guest dresses and outfits for the 2019 wedding season.
What to wear to a Spring wedding
If you’ve been invited to a Summer Wedding, think soft silk and romantic lace for your wedding guest outfit.
Whilst pretty pastels are a firm favourite for the Spring months, soft shades are taking a tropical turn with bolder block colours reminiscent of paradise waters and warmer climes.
Online fashion retailer Chi Chi London offers a range of feminine and floaty wedding guest dresses designed to refresh your spring wardrobe with renaissance style florals and sophisticated block pastels colours to suit Spring, as well as doubling up as the perfect occasion wear with flare.
Showcasing pretty prints, delicate detail, elegant embroidery and stunning silhouettes. Chi chi’s dresses, skirts and tops in soft pastel hues set the perfect balance between glamour and effortless boho in style and shape for Spring.
Coast also offer a range of elegant wedding guest dresses and outfits that can be worn again. Think Bardot tops, culotte jumpsuits and fluid striped palazzo pants this Spring.
For Spring weddings, opt for an outfit with stunning florals and vibrant jacquards in an intense palette of green, orange and yellow. New shapes can be seen this season with cold shoulder tops, fluid trousers and sculptured dresses.
Or what about this floral sweetheart maxi dress by Kelsey Rose below – it makes the cutest Spring wedding guest outfit.
If pastels are not your colour, why not try a darker base with a colourful floral pattern. This works well with culotte jumpsuits like style this from Warehouse.
What to wear to a Summer Wedding
Buy this dress here.
If you’ve been invited to a wedding this Summer, here are all the trends to wear for 2019 wedding season…
This gorgeous neon floral prom dress by Warehouse is perfect for any summer wedding.
The full skirt is also complementary on any body shape and you’ll feel confident all day long. As the dress has a number of stunning colours it means you can choose from a range of matching clutches, shoes and jackets to complete your outfit.
Midi skirts are making an appearance at 2019 Summer weddings and we love this Ted Baker floral midi skirt in mint.
Team it with a simple top and shoes and the skirt speaks for itself.
Pretty pink dresses and lace never go out of fashion and take your from Spring wedding fashion to Summer, which is why we love this ASOS lace skater dress.
You can use lace to show off your waist too. This pink wedding guest shift dress from Coast features delicate lace around with cap sleeves and a soft flared hemline.
Baby pink also goes with a huge variety of colours so you aren’t limited for choice when it comes to shoes, jackets and jewellery!
Think Summer darks and different floral designs using beautiful fabrics like this dress from Coast.
Floral detail and delicate embellishment work against pleats and lace.
Bright and bold
A riot of colour adds intensity to the season with oversized blooms in yellow, burnt orange, red and coral.
Further drama is added with exaggerated proportions, from voluminous sleeves to maxi length pencil skirts and decorative edging. If you don’t want to wear a bright coloured dress, opt for neon heels instead.
This floral printed overlay dress from Coast allows you to express bright and bold patterns in a lightweight fabric which is flattering on all body types. This makes it perfect for wedding receptions.
If the weather is due to be a bit of a scorcher, a simple dress like this Zara maxi dress will help keep the heat at bay whilst looking gorgeous
You can wear this maxi dress with heels, flats or flip–flops if you’re attending a wedding on a beach. And, you’ll be able to wear it easily after the wedding day, too.
The new trend of matching jackets and shorts is your new secret style weapon, and this pretty embellished pair by ASOS will look absolutely amazing this summer.
Team it with a silk cami top and heels and you’ll look not only chic but seriously sophisticated.
Be daring in yellow with this stunning lemon zest pencil dress from Oasis.
This print will brighten up any Summer wedding no matter what the weather – rain or shine.
This summer is all about florals and flared trousers, which is why we love these ASOS watercolour print trousers.
Team them with a simple silk cami top and some heels and you are Summer wedding–ready.
For a smarter look opt for a trouser suit. Paired with a bright coloured cami you can lift your outfit. We love this style by Oasis.
What to wear to an Autumn wedding
For Autumn weddings, think deep reds and dark hues. Richly patterned with a Porcelain Rose print bodice, Ted Baker’s flattering Tzalva bodycon dress below is the perfect Autumn wedding guest dress.
Take note of some high-fashion touches – flared cuffs and a sporty zip ensure elegance with ease and comfort.
Although Rewritten are admittedly a brand who design the best bridesmaid dresses, the best dressed guests will be inspired by their party-wear. This Chianti red is our favourite shade for Autumn wedding season.
But if harsh Autumn colours aren’t your match, try the ‘Leah’ dress by Katya Shehurina below – the perfect occasion wear dress for the English Rose.
We adore the neckline weave and delicate chiffon finish! This is a princess dress for a wedding guest without stealing the limelight from the bride…
And look no further than Eliza Jane Howell’s exclusive London evening wear collection for faultless vintage glamour in a small selection of daring brights for Autumn weddings.
Beading, embellishment and beautiful belts accessorise subtle shapes and sexy necklines for Autumn wedding wear.
What to wear to a Winter Wedding
For Winter weddings, think ultra feminine shapes and dresses that look relaxed yet sophisticated.
Soft, fluid fabrics fabrics are layered to perfection in this Coast dress with barely-there tones of silver, nude and blush.
Add a touch of sparkle with this embellished nude maxi dress from Oasis which has an essence of Gatsby-esque glam. Making it an ideal wedding party outfit.
Icy blue is the new gold for the Winter wedding season of sparkle with Chi Chi London’s Ice Queen collection. The Tyana dress below, with satin pleated A-line skirt and lace cold-shoulder bodice is just the right amount of party pretty for any winter wedding.
Pair with a fur wrap, collar or cape in the cold weather for the perfect winter wedding guest outfit.
And if you don’t feel like wearing a dress, opt for a festive sequinned jumpsuit which can be worn again after the wedding. We love this simple Zoe Jumpsuit by Watters.
Maternity Dresses for Wedding Guests
Shopping for fashion-forward maternity wear can be difficult at the best of times, but when it comes to wedding guest outfits, there’s a whole other kind of pressure.
Whether you’re an evening guest or you’ve made the cut for the whole wedding, you and your bump are going to want an outfit that’s not only comfortable but oozing in style. We’re lovings ASOS’ wedding guest edit, and these maternity pieces certainly top the style stakes.
ASOS DESIGN Maternity tie waist maxi dress
More Wedding Guest Outfit Ideas for all Seasons
Whether you’re a wedding guest at a country wedding or a wedding by the sea, Little Mistress & Paper Dolls share their top wedding guest dresses and outfits for 2019…
What to wear to a traditional country house wedding
Go for brightly coloured botanical blooms in placement prints, blush pinks and flattering A-line shapes. Little Mistress’ new collection features the perfect dresses for this type of summertime wedding, keep styles short and playful but upgrade your look with delicate embroidery.
What to wear to a wedding by the sea
There’s only one key detail everyone should wear for a beach wedding… crochet! Appearing in bright blocks, soft china blue patterns and lemon yellows, this delicate design is cool, on-trend but laid-back enough for being beside the sea.
Make sure your look is bright and fresh and if you want to stand out from the crowd then go for Paper Dolls’ bold lace colour block number.
What to wear to a rustic outdoor wedding
For the more rustic, natural outdoor wedding embrace these feminine florals. Classic petal prints in baby pinks, creamy beiges and soft greys give out the down-to-earth vibe.
Not feeling a dress? Choose the on-trend culotte jumpsuit for something a bit more unusual but bang-on trend.
What to wear to a vintage or retro wedding
There’s always one quirky vintage or retro wedding in the calendar so think Grease-inspired full, bright skirts, flattering shoulder-exposing necklines and multi-coloured florals in fit and flare shapes for that all-important fifties glam.
If the swinging sixties is more your era then pick Little Mistress’ simple navy shift featuring the classic high neckline and oversized lace detail.
What to wear to a city wedding
Demure is the dream for that upscale city wedding, pick a midi-length in shape, add an understated floral placement or sophisticated lace for cool city style.
If you’re looking for something a bit different to a dress then Little Mistress’ embroidered wrap skirt and crop top co-ord set emanates perfect well put together style.
Wedding Guest Outfit Ideas
It’s an unwritten rule that the bride’s dress should be the focus of everyone’s attention – it is her wedding day after all. So it goes without saying that it’s a big no-no for a wedding guest to turn up in something that’s going to get more attention than the bride. But you can still make a classy and stylish statement wedding you go to with these top tips from Marks & Spencer on wedding guest fashion…
What to wear: Black Tie
Think understated ball gown. Strapless dresses give an aura of confidence without showing too much flesh as they highlight the subtle lines of the shoulders. Keep the look girly by opting for silk or chiffon.
Knee length dresses or longer are best and suitably more formal. See the Autograph Pleat Bandeau Dress for a perfect example or if you prefer a longer length Grecian inspired maxi dresses can also look stunning. Team with a twisted or plaited rope belt to complete your wedding guest style.
No girl’s wedding guest style outfit is complete without a fabulous corsage or fascinator and sparkling jewellery – just choose carefully!
What to wear: Formal or Black Tie Optional
Less extravagant than a ball gown, it suggests that the reception will be quite a dressy affair. Satin dresses are a nice day-to-night option. By opting for one with pleated detailing and a cinched waist you can disguise bumps that other dresses would cling to.
Lace panels and net detailing also add a classic, feminine edge to any dress. Look for built in net petticoats to create a chic 50s prom dress silhouette or update a shift dress with a lace clutch bag and fascinator.
Classic v-neck dresses are a safe staple for any wedding and make the most of the décolletage area.
What to wear: Casual or Semiformal
This dress code leaves the outfit much more to your own personal preference. Embellishment is a huge trend every summer!
If you are opting for shimmer, tone down the rest of your look. Embellishment is about creating a focus area – so look for a dress where the embellishment is in an area you don’t mind attention being drawn to!
For boho-chic, maxi dresses are the perfect wedding occasion dress. Go for a maxi with a bright floral or digital print, or statement tribal design.
Long necklaces or bangles can often complete this look so why not try it on with some jewellery – just stick to one accent colour.
- Avoid bright white if possible.
- Remember: less is more when it comes to make-up, hair styling and accessories.
- Opt for nude nail varnish. It matches any outfit and is less noticeable when chipped.
- Take a shrug, structured blazer or pashmina so you can party on into the evening when the temperature drops.
- Don’t show too much skin: legs or chest, not both.
- Most important of all, don’t upstage the bride!
Can you wear white to a wedding?
The answer to the question whether you can wear a white dress to a wedding when you are not the bride no – it is still frowned upon. This is because the bride should always be the one to stand out on her wedding day and one of the ways she does just that is by being the only one in the room wearing white.
Are there exceptions to wearing white to a wedding?
There are exceptions to the rule if for example it’s a non-traditional wedding. Are your friends having a non-religious wedding? The bride may be happy with you wearing white – but make sure you check first. Just because the bride is wearing a different colour, doesn’t mean you can assume white is ok.
You may be able to wear white to a wedding if it’s a patterned dress with hints of white, according to bridal experts. Just steer clear of full-length gowns.
Can you wear off-white or cream to a wedding?
We’re afraid that if the bride is a traditionalist, then off-white is also off the cards.
What is she opts to wear ivory, cream or champagne herself, and you’re accidentally matching her hue?
Can you wear black to a wedding?
You really shouldn’t turn up to a wedding in a black dress – you’re not attending a funeral.
But in recent years, the old adage that forbids wearing black to weddings has changed with some brides even dressing their bridesmaids in black.
If you do choose to wear black to a wedding, make sure your look is in good taste. The key is to choose a black piece that’s festive, formal, and special enough to not be mistaken for funeral attire.
7 Things a Wedding Guest Should Never Wear to a Wedding
What colours are not If you’re a wedding guest, this one’s for you! The happy couple have made the effort to invite you to the best day of their life, so please make the effort and dress accordingly. Here are seven things that you should never wear to a wedding…
White or ivory
This is probably the most important rule. Do not, we repeat, do not wear a white or cream coloured dress to a wedding.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve just come back from the Caribbean and have the most fabulous tan ever and the perfect white dress to show it off – this shade really is off limits. Instead, wear something in a colour and leave the whites to the bride.
You really shouldn’t turn up to a wedding in a black dress – you’re not attending a funeral. If you don’t suit pastels, then go for a number in a striking emerald or scarlet.
Wearing grey to a wedding is okay, or a dark navy but black really shouldn’t be worn to a wedding. It’s also considered unlucky and you wouldn’t want to be a bad omen, would you?
Anything too loud
The bride and groom should be the focus of attention on their big day. That’s not to say you shouldn’t look your best and dress up for the occasion but you need to blend in, so that means not turning up in anything loud and garish.
Tiaras or sparkly headpieces
If you’re married yourself, you may have a tiara carefully wrapped up in tissue paper somewhere that you’re just dying to wear again. Well, forget it and keep your sparkly headpiece for a Christmas party or ball. Have a great up-do instead if it’s an elegant evening event – you can always wear a sparkly diamante clip or accessory in the back of your hair.
Jeans and a nice top
Remember, you’re going to a wedding where the bride and groom will have invested a lot of time and money in getting the day just right. So don’t come in anything too informal.
Make an effort. So no jeans, trainers, tracksuits – no matter how comfortable you like to feel. The same also goes for children, too.
Dress for the occasion
On the other hand, you don’t want to be too formal either. If the wedding has a country-style theme and it’s in a barn where you’re going to be sitting on hay bales, then a silk coat dress with matching hat and Jimmy Choos is probably a bit too much. Match your outfit to the theme of the wedding.
Remember it’s a Wedding, not a night out
Even if you’ve spent the last six months in the gym, you’ve lost a ton of weight or you’ve got a great pair of legs and want to show them off, you really shouldn’t wear anything skimpy to a wedding. So no hot pants, no super-short minis and no bras on display.
Guests should dress for weddings in an outfit that’s going to add to the occasion in a positive way. If you’re wearing a dress, ideally you want something below the knee or just above.
Wedding guest outfit etiquette: What to wear to a wedding
Deciding what to wear to a wedding is no mean feat, especially when the wardrobe guidelines are as long as the bride and groom’s wedding gift list.
Anyway, with the ever-increasing pressure to dress to impress this wedding season, CollectPlus has teamed up with fashion psychologist and Founder of Style Psychology, Kate Nightingale, to reveal the UK’s top ten wedding guest outfit rules, as well as the tricks we can use to get round them…
The do’s and don’ts of wedding guest fashion…
1. Wear a fascinator or hat
23% of Brits admit turning up to a wedding without one
To get round this old-age tradition without (completely) bending the rules, instead try a simple fascinator, or even look out for elegant hair slides, which can give a subtle nod to the traditional headwear rule. Or you could go ‘au natural’, by heading to the hairdressers for a fabulous up-do.
2. Choose appropriate footwear
21% have opted for heels that were too high in the past, whilst 20% have worn trainers to a wedding
There’s no need to avoid heels altogether, a wedge or block heel are the perfect alternative to a stiletto, so you can dance the night away in comfort.
3. Do not wear jeans
20% have ditched a suit for a casual look at a wedding
To avoid raising the heart rate of the bride and groom, opt for a linen suit to channel a smart and sophisticated look that’s still tailored but more relaxed than the traditional morning dress.
4. Avoid white
19% have matched the bride at a ceremony they attended
If you really are reluctant to let go of white, opt for a design which incorporates a floral pattern to ensure you don’t steal the bride’s thunder.
5. Black is also off the cards
18% have accidentally dressed more suitably for a funeral
Instead go for monochrome to break up the colour, or make like Victoria Beckham at the royal wedding and pair a darker dress with a pop of colour in the accessories, such as the shoes or handbag.
6. Stay away from casual
16% have previously worn shorts and a T-shirt to a wedding
To ensure you stay cool but don’t look like you’ve just arrived from the beach, try a short-sleeved shirt with tailored chinos to tick all the wedding guest etiquette rules.
7. Play it safe with fake tan
16% admit a pre-wedding spray tan went wrong
If you are adamant on achieving that ‘Yes I’ve just come back from an exotic getaway look’, then trial your fake tanning a month or so before the wedding to ensure it’s streak free on the big day.
8. Wear a tie
14% have turned up to a wedding without one, much to the married couple’s dismay…
Keep the bride and groom happy and earn your place as the best dressed guest with a bow tie and matching pocket square, as an alternative to a tie
9. Don’t copy the bridesmaids
12% of wedding guests have been asked if they are a bridesmaid, due to a misjudged outfit style
Whilst weddings are a great excuse to get dressed up, try to avoid prom dress style looks and instead, dial up the glam via the outfit’s accessories.
10. Wear waterproof mascara
7% unwittingly went for the ‘teary panda’ look in the resulting wedding photos
Or at least ensure you have a pack of tissues handy in your clutch.
- Wedding Hair Accessories Guide