Best Options For Wedding Guest Dresses This Summer

We’ve made it to another wedding season and I think it’s safe to say, this year will be quite different than last year. Now that people are getting vaccinated for COVID, there seems to be less reluctance for having gatherings. So, I’m sure many of us are starting to wrap our minds around the idea of finally attending weddings again. After a year of living pretty much exclusively in sweatpants and leggings, we are getting excited to be dressing for the outside world once again. Wedding season is particularly fun, because you can get really dressed to the nines, depending on the requested attire for the ceremony. Let’s explore some options for wedding guest dresses to get you ready for the 2021 wedding season!

Pre-COVID, weddings were beginning to shift into a more casual affair. It seemed that curbing costs and opting for backyard, courthouse or more intimate weddings was trending among many couples. Choosing instead to invest their funds for their future, buy homes or use it for an experiential-packed honeymoon, these casual weddings gave guests some respite in attendance fatigue and saved them money on buying multiple outfits and lavish wedding gifts. (I had a friend who had 10 weddings the summer before COVID).

But now, the excitement of living life again has people looking to kick it up a notch, so you may see some weddings start to shift in the other direction. Regardless of the type of wedding you are attending, it’s still important to look your part as a well-put-together wedding guest. 


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Wedding Guest Dresses for Women Over 40

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Casual Wedding Guest Dresses

For the casual backyard wedding, you want to be comfortable and stay cool. You need to be prepared for any change in weather but of course still look dressy enough to call yourself a guest at someone’s wedding. I love an option like this floral pleated maxi dress from Ted Baker London. It’s light and airy and gets bonus points for the fact that you can wear it for other occasions as well. You may also go with an option like this Aidan by Aidan Mattox Cowl Back Slip Dress. I absolutely love the bright pop of color and slip dresses have continued to trend this year, so you can be living in the fashion moment. 

Formal Dresses

Of course, you will still get invites to much more formal affairs. I personally adore a cocktail attire wedding. Getting a chance to buy a new dress (OK, yes that I will likely wear again) is super exciting. One of my favorite options that I found was this Gianni Bini Sequin Dress. I love the use of colors and the sexy silhouette. In keeping with the sparkle trend for wedding guest dresses, this Adrianna Papell Beaded Gown is an even more formal option. It would even be appropriate to wear for a black tie wedding.  This gown comes in an array of colors and the art deco sequin pattern is classic and elegant. 

Wedding Guest Jumpsuits

Let’s not forget, you also can go the non-traditional route and wear pants or a pants suit. I appreciate this option, because it frees you up to be comfortable for dancing, if applicable, or if you tend to get a chill it will keep you covered and warm. For the last few weddings I have attended, I’ve chosen to wear a jumpsuit instead of a dress. It’s probably the next best solution if you are not a dress person. An ultra-feminine and flowy option like this Pleated Culotte Jumpsuit from Express would make a wonderful summer wedding guest outfit. I also love the color and fit of this Cap Sleeve Jumpsuit from NY&C. Either of these would make a beautiful option as wedding guest attire if you don’t like to wear a dress. 

Expert Style Tips

  1. This may go without saying, but don’t upstage the bride! Keep your color options as far away from white as possible. Pastels can be beautiful, but can still be interpreted as too “bridal” so tread lightly.
  2. Don’t forget your accessories! Accessorizing your wedding guest dress or outfit is probably one of the most fun parts of planning your look! Feel free to pack on the sparkle with bold accessories. This mult-colored Mckenna Statement Necklace from Kendra Scott is gorgeous. Celebrate in the most literal sense with these Sip Sip Hooray Earrings from Baublebar or enhance the sparkle of your outfit with this Pave-Accent Wide Stretch Band from White House Black Market.
  3. Get your dancing shoes ready. I don’t know about you, but what’s a wedding without dancing your butt off? I know, it’s not for some people, but I always make it a point to get out on the dance floor if music is in the mix. If you are like me, then you want to have comfortable but still stylish footwear. Something as simple as these Daniella Block Heel Sandals from Sam Edelman are the perfect shoe. You can wear them to more formal events or to that garden or backyard wedding and beyond. The open toe and block heels give you the comfort you need for a long evening or event. You can also go with a tried-and-true wedge. Get a pair of these Alex Marie Leather Ankle Strap Sandals, they should go with almost any wedding guest dress and spare your feet from any pain. 

Shop Wedding Guest Attire for Summer

(Pictured above from left to right)

Ted Baker London Dixxie Cabana Pleated Maxi Dress, $234

Aidan by Aidan Mattox Cowl-Back Halter Slip Dress, $131.25

Gianni Bini Bridget Beaded Sequin Colorblock Asymmetrical Dolman Sleeve Hi-Low A-Line Dress, $155.40

Adrianna Papell Art Deco Beaded Blouson Dress With Halter Neckline, $109

Express Pleated Halter Culotte Jumpsuit, $98

New York & Co. Women’s Structured Cap-Sleeve Jumpsuit, $35.98

Kendra Scott Mckenna Gold Statement Necklace, $91.98

Bauble Bar Sip Sip Hooray Earrings, $54

White House Black Market Pavé-Accent Wide Stretch Bracelet, $45

Sam Edelman Daniella Block Heel Sandal, $120

Alex Marie Mairitwo Metallic Leather Ankle Strap Wedge Sandals, $69.99

Let us know! Are you excited to get back to attending weddings this year and what do you plan to wear? 

– Carmen Turner

You may like to read more of Carmen’s trends posts like How To Wear Kimonos When Staying In And Going Out and Best Ways to Wear The Patchwork and Color Block Trends This Summer.

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