Wedding-guest dresses for every dress code

By: Alexandra Donaldson

Author: Canadian Living


Wedding-guest dresses for every dress code

By: Alexandra Donaldson
There are few of us who make it through the summer without going to a wedding—or several. If you ask us, weddings are a great opportunity to try new looks and have fun with outfits. And, although options are plenty, you can never go wrong with a summer dress. Pick something comfortable and fun—and make sure it makes you feel like you could dance all night. Whatever the dress code or location of the wedding(s) you’re attending, we’ve got a dress to match.

Wedding guest dresses for church Ladylike at church

If you’re headed to the chapel for a religious ceremony, a ladylike silhouette in a bold floral print never disappoints. The midi length and thicker straps on this dress are demure enough for a traditional venue, but the print is a knockout. Keep the look fresh with a structured bag in a primary colour (and it will hold a hanky should things get sentimental). Complete the outfit with these elegant pumps—the conservative heel will ensure maximum comfort.

Dress, $98, Mackage bag, $350, Earrings, $44, Shoes, $40,

Wedding guest dresses for cocktail hour
Bright and bold for cocktail hour
If you’re headed to a wedding that has the primary goal of being labelled party of the year, a slinky cocktail dress is a necessity. This geometric number is fun and festive, while playful accessories like these cobalt heels and a quirky clutch—this one is particularly apt, no?—are bold accents for a lively wedding that will last into the wee hours. Pearl earrings add a touch of class because, after all, you’re still a lady.

Dress, $45, Anya Hindmarch purse, $1,576, Earrings, $28, Shoes, $80,

What to wear to a city hall wedding
Chic and tailored at city hall
If your low-key friends need a witness for their civil ceremony, there’s probably no dress code—the bride may be as likely to wear a suit as a dress. For witnessing duties, opt for a frock with a shorter length and great tailoring. This fit-and-flare silhouette is flattering, comfortable and can easily be dressed up or down. Add pizzazz with metallic accessories and a cross-body bag. Wherever you celebrate after the ceremony, you’ll be happy you dressed up for this intimate event.

Purse, $50, Dress, $280, Shoes, $85, Necklace, $68,

What to wear to a beach wedding
Boho at the beach

If you’re headed to a beach wedding this summer, we say embrace the surf and sand and go with a breezy maxi dress. Long dresses are formal by nature, so we recommend loosening up a bit with a print or standout colour. Opt for simple jewellery to keep the look more modern than hippie. If barefoot is too casual, grab some lace-up sandals and your favourite sunnies to take to the sandy ceremony.

Tom Ford sunglasses, $395, Dress, $80, Earrings, $12 Shoes, $198,

10 maxi dresses under $200

Black tie wedding
Glam at a black-tie affair
A formal wedding is the perfect opportunity to pick up a glam gown. Stick with floor-length if the invite specifically states “black tie” or “white tie,” and embrace luxe fabrics such as tulle, silk or lace. This one-shouldered dress is simply elegant and includes ruching for a flattering silhouette. We love the idea of pairing bright red with contrasting gemstone earrings in blue or green. Lace-up stilettos complete the look.

Earrings, $38, Dress, $140, Cuff, $125, Shoes, $160,

Garden party wedding
Sweet and feminine at a garden party
A garden wedding calls for a little bit of romance. Though your LBD will do, we think this feminine grey number with pleating is a modern alternative well suited to sunny summer days. Make sure to wear flats or wedges—you’ll thank us when your heels aren’t sinking into the grass. These espadrilles seem casual but the sparkly canvas suggests otherwise. A quirky floral clutch mirrors the garden setting, while classic Jackie O sunglasses are ultra-chic.

Tom Ford sunglasses, $350, Dress, $240, Sandals, $258, Edie Parker clutch, $1,495,

Wedding guest skirts and jumpsuits
Not into dresses?
Not to worry! A-line, pencil and maxi skirts also work well for weddings, especially when paired with a feminine blouse or strappy camisole. If pants are more appealing, choose a tailored suit or jumpsuit. Just remember to have fun with prints, colours and textures—it is a celebration after all!

Jumpsuit, $100; blazer, $80; Tory Burch skirt, $480, Sequined skirt, $210,

Read more:
3 ways to wear a jumpsuit
3 ways to restyle a long bridesmaid dress
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Wedding-guest dresses for every dress code