Ah, summer weddings. Everything is blooming, the temperature is warm, the sun is making everyone have that golden hour glow. You see the bride begin her walk, and she looks stunning. Everything is perfect…but what are you wearing?
Summer weddings are truly the best, but sometimes finding the right outfit is a little tricky. What’s the vibe of the wedding? Casual or fancy? Indoor or outdoor? Is there any dress code for the venue? During your search for the perfect summer wedding attire, you may begin to feel almost as stressed out as the bride herself!
To take the worry out of your event, here’s an all-inclusive guide of what to wear to any kind of summer wedding.
What to Wear to a Summer Wedding
The summer wedding attire you wear to your next summer wedding depends on a lot of different factors. It is helpful to first get an idea of what the general mood of the wedding will be. If it’s not directly mentioned in the invitation, try looking at details such as the venue, time of day, or reaching out to other guests to see what they know.
The big question is formal or casual? There’s also some pretty big space that exists in between. The trajectory of your ensemble can change from a formal to a casual wedding.
You’ve got tons of options for weddings of all kinds, thanks to all of the choices we have online. So you should have no problem finding something amazing to wear to the event. You can even rent an outfit if you only plan to wear it once and want to save money.
The most important thing to find out before having any idea where to go with your summer wedding attire is finding out the dress code. Knowing that will help guide you in the right direction. It will give you a better idea of what you should wear, as well as what you should not wear.
You should also consider the venue being indoor or outdoor. In the summer, you don’t want to pick a dress that will make you miserable in the heat.
Formal Summer Wedding Attire
For ladies, it’s pretty easy to find an outfit that is formal and is going to keep you cool in that summer heat. Most dresses these days are strappy or strapless. You often don’t have to worry about long sleeves or long pants that will make you dread that summer heat, especially at an outdoor wedding.
A long dress is a stylish option for a more formal dress code. They are more modest than a short dress and tend to look more elegant and classy. Try dresses that incorporate materials like lace, sequin, or tulle. These types of materials will look more formal.
Formal long dresses that are one solid color are your best bet for a formal wedding. Pair some solid color gold heels with it, and you will be turning heads when you walk in.
Another stylish and appropriate option for formal weddings is satin dresses. Satin dresses instantly scream elegance! You can try making them look more summery by selecting pale colors and pastels. That said, you can’t go wrong with emerald green or burgundy either.
Formal weddings call for simple, elegant jewelry choices. Try a single pendant necklace, some dainty gold earrings, or a thin bracelet.
Choose a solid color dress, and you can get a little more creative with your shoe choice.
You can choose a gold, silver, or even rose gold shoe that has a little more detail to it than your standard heel. A more intricate strapped shoe or a pointed toe to bring attention to your shoes and will look extremely classy for a formal wedding.
For men, wedding dress codes are a bit more straightforward. If it’s a white tie or black tie affair, you should wear a tux. If the wedding is formal or black tie optional, you can get away with a nice suit, but you will need to wear a jacket and tie still. You may be able to remove the jacket during the reception.
As far as suit colors, stick to black for a very formal black tie affair. Lighter colors like grey or navy are acceptable for a formal event. You can wear a brighter color tie if it’s not a black tie or white tie event!
Semi-Formal Wedding Attire
What exactly is semi-formal when it comes to summer wedding attire? Rather than having a super expensive-looking gown or dress, you get to have a little fun playing dress-up when it comes to semi-formal.
If the wedding you’re planning to attend calls for a semi-formal dress, you can dress up without a lot of strict expectations. You should plan on wearing something nice, but a little more comfortable to the event.
A perfect example of an appropriate dress at a semi-formal wedding is a midi dress. You can incorporate different details like sequin flowers, lace, tule detail on the straps. The sky’s the limit. You can also opt for a more bold pair of shoes when the dress code is semi-formal.
Midi dresses are such an attractive option for a semi-formal wedding. Plus, it will be a lot more comfortable to move around in at the reception. There are so many different varieties of styles of midi dresses. They also are a flattering option for a lot of different body types!
If you’re not in the mood for a dress, try a classy pantsuit. Pick a tan or beige color and pair it with a pointed heel.
For men, you can skip the tux and wear a nice suit. If the wedding is semi-formal, you should still wear a tie, although you may be able to go without with a nice enough suit.
For a semi-formal summer wedding, consider lighter suit colors like grey or tan.
Casual Summer Wedding Attire
Perhaps the easiest and most unclear dress code of them all, the casual dress code. Just about anything within reason goes for a casual wedding. Unfortunately, this very fact can make it feel so complicated to find the right outfit!
If you want to go the no-dress route as a woman, you can wear dress pants and a blazer. You can wear just about any length dress you would like.
It is not recommended that you wear an ultra-short dress. You want to be sure that you won’t be uncomfortable sitting or dancing. You can choose floral prints, dresses with tie belts, and whatever strap type you feel most comfortable.
For shoe choice, you can wear flats, a nice pair of wedges, or any other shoe that is a couple of steps above a sneaker. You get to choose whatever looks nice and is comfortable!
Men should still wear a nice shirt and pants to a casual summer wedding. Shorts are not appropriate, but if it’s a very casual venue you may be able to wear a short sleeve shirt. A tie and jacket are not required for casual wedding attire, but you can wear them if you like.
Beach & Destination Weddings
Depending on the location and the dress code laid out, beach wedding attire can vary. However, if the wedding is taking place on the literal beach, you want to plan an outfit that will accommodate that kind of setting.
Try long flowy dresses, wedge heels, prints, and ruffled, girly details for an on the beach wedding. You can elevate your look with fun accessories like chunky, bold jewelry too!
Men can wear lighter suits or even linen outfits on the beach, similar to casual wedding outfits.
A reminder that a beach wedding may not necessarily take place on the beach. It may be at a venue with a beach outlook. The same goes for destination weddings. Always double-check that you have all the details you need to make a well-informed decision about what to wear.
Let’s now take a look at the most popular questions people have about choosing summer wedding attire.
Can I Wear a Short Dress to a Summer Wedding?
When attending a wedding, you don’t want to show up in your club dress. Picking a dress that at least goes to your fingertips or one that you can successfully bend over in without letting any of the goods show is the best way to decide if something is appropriate or not.
A short dress is appropriate depending on the formality of the wedding. Casual is probably safe for a short dress, semi-formal may be pushing it.
Can I Wear Shorts to a Summer Wedding?
Probably not. Remember that casual wedding attire doesn’t mean the same as casual dress for normal life or streetwear. You don’t want to be the only one underdressed at the event, so it is usually best to avoid wearing shorts to a wedding, regardless of the dress code.
What Should You Not Wear to a Summer Wedding?
Even some items are a no-go for the most casual of weddings. You don’t want to show up looking sloppy or disrespectful. You wouldn’t want someone showing up to your big day in a t-shirt, jeans, and a pair of beat-up running shoes.
The following items are to be avoided at all costs when it comes to what you’re wearing to a summer wedding:
- flip flops
- tank tops
This page may contain affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we'll earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you.