How to Dress for a Wedding // Outfit Ideas for Wedding Guests

Anyone else finding themselves right in the midst of wedding season? At this age, many of our friends and family members have already tied the knot, but every summer we find ourselves attending at least a wedding or two. With that comes the struggle of how to dress for a wedding.

This summer, for instance, two of Dave’s cousins are getting married to their longtime partners and we couldn’t be happier for them! But, as always when weddings come up, my mind immediately goes to what I will wear. Anyone else?!

Disclosure: This post contains clothing that was provided to me complimentary from Adrianna Pappell and Aidan by Aidan Mattox. Affiliate links are also used, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a small commission. All opinions are my own!

Men have it easy. A timeless suit can last a lifetime, while women’s fashion changes every season! Of course, there are staples you can add to your wardrobe and accessorize to update your look for different occasions. Today, I wanted to share some other ideas for wedding guest dresses, some that don’t require you to even buy a new dress or outfit!

Add timeless dresses to your wardrobe for any occasion

The easiest way to get dressed for a wedding is pulling out a little black dress (LBD) and styling it in a contemporary way. My favorite LBD is one I’ve posted about before and is a cape dress from Adrianna Papell. Not into black? Don’t worry! A classic dress shape like this can be found in many other color options as well. Here it is in ivory, navy, and black.

Another brand that I’ve found to be curve-friendly and timeless is Calvin Klein. I wore a cobalt blue dress with an asymmetrical ruffle {similar ruffled sheath dress here!} to my cousin’s wedding many years ago that’s still in my closet. I also grabbed a little black dress with a peplum waist from the brand to always have for an occasion, just in case.

Add a colorful summer dress to your wardrobe for a special occasion

A special wedding calls for a special dress! When you want to remember an occasion, I try to buy a dress just for it. Of course, you’ll be able to wear it for other occasions, too, but I love when memories are tied to different outfits in my closet.

Aidan by Aidan Mattox was kind enough to send me this beautiful, flowing pink and red crepe midi dress that is just perfect for a summer wedding! I love the color blocking and pleated detail on the skirt. Pair this dress with a comfortable pair of wedges or sandals for dancing all night long!

Wedding guest on a budget? Borrow a dress!

Too many weddings to buy a new dress? There are several amazing services that are super helpful when it comes to getting wedding guest ready!

My favorite is Gwynnie Bee, which recently expanded to include sizes 0-12 to their already existing 14-22 offering. The service is a monthly subscription, starting at $49, to rent as many or as few dresses, blouses, and other garments as you can in the 30 day window. Add your favorite styles to your closet, and Gwynnie Bee will send out whatever they have available in your size from your closet when you pop an item back in the mail. I recommend prioritizing garments you want the most to be sure you get at least one option you’ll love for your upcoming event!

Another great option is Le Tote. Overall, I find their pieces to run a bit more casual or are more appropriate to wear to work. However, this service could be a great option if you’re attending a more casual wedding, or need several outfits as part of the wedding party or if traveling.

If the wedding you are attending is a black tie event, keep in mind that you’ll need a fancier gown than what Gwynnie Bee or Le Tote offers. For this type of occasion i would recommend checking out Rent the Runway, especially if you don’t foresee ever needing a gown again. Rent the Runway dresses start at just X for a few day rental, and they’ll send you two sizes so there are no surprises. Large cities also have Rent the Runway stores for convenient borrowing and returning, too!

Also keep in mind that wedding party and family members can find themselves attending extra functions such as rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and more that are sometimes scheduled closer to the big day when family and friends are scattered around the globe. For those that don’t often wear dresses, a rental or subscription service can be a big money saver!

Not into dresses? That’s ok! Try a jumpsuit or pantsuit for your next summer wedding guest ensemble

Not a big fan of dresses? That’s okay too! Instead of a dress for a summer wedding, try a jumpsuit, pantsuit, blouse with a knee length or longer skirt, or even a pair of dress pants with a blouse. To me, being comfortable in what you are wearing is important too! No need to feel out of place in a dress if that’s not your normal style.

Depending on the dress code of your event, just use your best judgement, avoid white, and I believe it’s always better to be over dressed than under. And remember, it’s always possible to dress up a casual piece with a beautiful sweater or jacket, accessories, and the right shoes.

Other brands to shop for wedding guest dresses

Another secret I’ve found to find the perfect wedding guest dress outfit is to shop when you don’t need one! Whenever I’m in search of a dress for a special occasion, I can never find anything. If I shop a bit earlier in the year, I can usually find what I want and get it on sale. Then, I can wear it for other events besides just the weddings that I know are coming later in the year.

Some of the brands I’ve found that work best for my personal style and body shape are Gal Meets Glam, Eliza J, Maggie London, BB Dakota, Cupcakes and Cashmere, and as mentioned before, Adrianna Pappel, Aidan by Aidan Mattox, and Calvin Klein.

I hope these tips and tricks for shopping for a summer wedding guest outfit were helpful! It’s tough sometimes to find the right outfit, but no matter if you’re on a budget or are ready to splurge, there’s a solution out there for everyone. Enjoy the festivities and have a Jordan almond for me!

Do you have any secrets for how to shop for a wedding guest dress or outfit? Do you have a specific go-to brand or style you always wear? Would love to hear about it in the comments!

6 thoughts on “How to Dress for a Wedding // Outfit Ideas for Wedding Guests

  1. Allison

    I love this post. That black dress looks stunning on you and I completely agree about wearing pants to a wedding. Especially if its not a cocktail attire event. I have a rule about dress shopping in general: If you try it on and you feel amazing in it, buy the damn dress. You’ll always find the perfect place to wear it to. <3

    Allison |

    1. Jenn Post author

      That is such great advice! I couldn’t agree more. Dress shopping on a deadline is rough and it’s always good to be prepared!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *