6 Easy Ways to Score Effortless, Beachy Waves
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Wedding season is back in full force (probably the biggest since 1984!), so while you’re sifting through the invites, you’ll need to figure out what to wear. And with so many types of weddings nowadays, it might be hard to figure out the dress codes for each. We’re here to help you find the best wedding guest dresses for all of your summer wedding events.
Before you shop, consider the location and type of wedding you’ll be attending. What’s appropriate for a grand ballroom is certainly different from what one might wear to a casual barn reception. You’ll also want to take note of at what time of day the wedding is taking place. Your dress can be less formal for a daytime wedding. For evening, you can really turn up the drama.
The invite or wedding website will also indicate how fancy you should get as they’ll include the dress code—cocktail, formal, and black tie are the most popular. For cocktail attire, any festive party dress will work. Formal is a bit dressier but both a short and long dress are appropriate. Black tie is more formal, so you’ll want to invest in a full-length gown or midi-length dress.
If your invite doesn’t suggest a dress code, we’ve highlighted a few common wedding themes and locations that will make putting together the perfect look a breeze.
With a wedding that leans into tradition, the ceremonies usually take place in a house of worship and the reception happens at a hotel or banquet hall.
For this type of party, you can’t go wrong with a romantic dress. Look for a style with feminine details like puff sleeves or ruffles in a dreamy pastel shade. Subtle sparkles or a pretty satin fabric also feels right.
For shoes, be sure to pick a heel based on your comfort level. If you can’t last all night in a skinny stiletto, opt for something sturdier like a block heel or a shorter, kitten heel.
Breezy. Sunny. Warm. While few things sound dreamier than spending your day (and night) celebrating with family or friends at the beachfront, there are some considerations to be made when it comes to your attire.
Look for dresses in breathable fabrics like cotton, rayon, or linen. Lighter colors reflect light, so stick to the paler hues to ensure you won’t overheat. Airy, flowy shapes will also keep you cool.
When it comes to your feet, if you need some height, you’ll want to choose a wedge or flatform that won’t sink into the sand. Or go with embellished flat sandals that’ll still look polished when you step off the beach.
These weddings—often held in a barn or in the woods—tend to have a more laid-back, almost bohemian feel.
Long, floaty dresses or off-the-shoulder silhouettes will help you match the mood. And don’t be afraid to play with prints—florals feel festive and fun for this type of celebration.
Since you’ll most likely be standing on uneven ground, try an espadrille, wedge, or block heel so you will be sure to keep your balance.
If you’re celebrating at an industrial loft or on a cool rooftop with the city as your backdrop, reach for a sleek dress to match the venue’s vibe.
You can’t go wrong with a 90’s-inspired silk slip dress or even a chic jumpsuit. Keep your accessories understated yet bold—like a gold choker chain or simple, oversized hoops.
For shoes, something bold and fashion-forward will help your outfit pop. Try something super strappy or in a neon shade.
Heading to a wedding at an unexpected venue like an art gallery or nightclub? Look for a dress with playful details or a bold color to match the vibe.
A metallic dress adds a little glamour. Alternatively, dresses with jaw-dropping details like cut-outs and front slits can also add excitement to summer cocktail dresses for weddings.
Keep your shoes interesting too—metallic heels or embellished mules are sure to get some compliments.