Summer Wedding Guest Dresses

9 Pretty Ideas For What to Wear to a Summer Wedding

We all know that summer has a second name: Wedding Season. And if you've got a bunch of ceremonies and receptions on your calendar between June and September, you're going to want to be prepared with at least a couple of beautiful summer wedding dress options. 

When it comes to choosing the perfect wardrobe of wedding guest dresses, you may be stumped on what colors and the level of formality will be best. For most weddings, a semi-formal (not long, not too casual) cocktail dress works. Evening weddings are perfect for little black dresses, and for summer, brights and pretty prints are perfect. (Yes, you can wear black to a wedding!) As always, the most important thing not to wear to a wedding is white—it takes away attention from the bride!

Below, we have found nine gorgeous options for what to wear to a summer wedding, answering that "Can you wear black to a summer wedding?" question once and for all. Once again, yes you can, but there are plenty of other options, too!

Updated by Taylor Davies

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Floral Dress / Rebecca Taylor

The perfect warm weather wedding guest dress? A floral dress has the feminine print that is perfect for a romantic event like a wedding. If straight-on florals aren't your thing, opt for florals with a painterly, abstract effect. In general, you should scale the print to your figure (smaller frame, smaller floral and vice versa.) And to look smaller in florals, make sure the print is tightly spaced (the less background is showing, the smaller you'll look.)

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Shift Dress

Lovers + Friends /

When temps heat up, nothing is more practical (and chic) than the shift dress. This dress silhouette is known for its straight up and down cut (no waist or belt) and is flattering on most women. The best fit for most women is something that skims the body instead of a loose babydoll-type dress. The most flattering length of shift for most women is at or above the knee (longer dresses are harder to carry off.)

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Strapless Dress / Parker

If you have a dressier summer wedding to attend, opt for a strapless silhouette. Options range from fitted little black dresses to fuller, tea-length styles for more formal weddings. If you will be where the weather is variable (going from outside to air conditioning, day to night, etc.) carry a lightweight wrap for your shoulders. The strapless dress is perfect for fabulous accessories and updos.

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Little Black Dress

Anine Bing /

The little black dress is the perfect dress to wear for semi-formal events, especially a nighttime summer wedding. Look for a flattering style, with or without sleeves, and accessorize with looks that keep it interesting like pretty pearls or metallic shoes. Need inspiration for how to wear your little black dress? We have 14 ideas for wearing your little black dress.

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Ruffled Dress

Self Portrait /

Go with a girly ruffled dress for your summer weddings. Ruffles close to the face brings the focus up. A pretty ruffled hem is absolutely perfect for dancing opportunities; tiered ruffles have a sweet, feminine look that make your entire style seem softer.

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Sheer Dress

Alexis /

One of the biggest trends of the season is a dress with some sheerness to it; this type of dress works perfectly for summer weddings. Illusion-top dresses give you more coverage than a strapless or sleeveless style, while still allowing some skin to peek through.

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Maxi Dress

Jill Jill Stuart /

Go with one of the best looks of the season, the maxi dress. This versatile length works for both beachside weddings and formal events alike. Look for vivid colors, great prints and flattering cuts for your body type. You can add heels to your maxi or wear dressier flat sandals to dance the night away.

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One-Shoulder Dress

Cynthia Rowley /

Want to go super-glam for your summer wedding event? Try a one-shoulder dress to give yourself a goddess vibe. Whether you go with a long or short silhouette, this tried-and-true dress style will definitely make you well-dressed for the occasion.

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Embellished Dress

Needle & Thread /

Give your wedding guest outfit some sparkle with an embellished dress. Look for pretty details on the bodice or waist for a bit of shine. Save allover beading for black-tie or formal events.