Wedding Guests: What to Wear to a Summer Wedding

wedding guests dancing at summer weddingSummer weddings are magical — nature is in full bloom, days are filled with sunshine and nights are warm and provide the ultimate climate for outdoor dancing and celebration. There are few things better than watching your loved ones say “I do” in the summer sun, but you may find yourself baffled trying to figure out what to wear to a summer wedding. 

Before you go down an online shopping rabbit hole, take a breath and let Fame and Partners walk you through the dos and don'ts of summer wedding attire. 

Summer Wedding Attire Dos:

Nailing a solid summer wedding guest outfit is much easier than you think. All it takes is some thought, coordination and old-fashioned planning. At Fame and Partners, we like to think of ourselves as wedding look experts. To help you perfect the art of summer wedding outfit selection, we’ve put together this simple (and fun) guide:

  • Dress for the weather. Sometimes, we feel like when it comes to dressing up, more is...well...more. For summer weddings, you want to show up in something that will work for warm weather, which means choosing something made with a light fabric. By going with a light, airy outfit, you are more likely to stay cool and sweat-free throughout the event. When it comes to summer wedding-friendly attire, we love a good jumpsuit. Jumpsuits tend to have more airflow than dresses and provide a chic, airy vibe that practically screams summer wedding.
  • From salty to stunning: Beach weddings create an interesting mix of “love the setting, fear the sand” emotions. Beaches make for breathtaking wedding scapes, but all of that sand can wreak havoc on a good dress if you show up unprepared. When attending a beach wedding this summer, look for dresses in light colors (they make rogue sand less obvious) and shorter lengths. You want something that stops a few inches above your ankle (think tea length) to avoid picking up sand as you walk, dance and move. 
  • Colorful and carefree: Summer is NOT the time to tone things down. Summer weddings usually feature bright, vibrant landscapes. Deep blue oceans, bright flowers, blooming plants and sunshine that seems to illuminate everything it touches. When looking at summer wedding guest outfit ideas, look for bright, cheerful hues. 

Even if you tend to gravitate towards darker, more muted colors, summer weddings are a great excuse to break out of your comfort zone and go for something brighter and more festive. Need some inspiration? Our collection of wedding guest dresses is filled with colorful options to help you bring life and energy to all of your summer wedding soirees. 

  • Be smart about your sleeves: Summer weddings practically demand short-sleeved or sleeveless dresses. While we love a chic sleeveless look, everything from air conditioning to dress codes may require a stylish cover-up. 

If you find yourself looking for something to cover your arms or chest, we suggest going for a sheer cape, vest or kimono. Ok, the last one may seem out of place, but a stylish kimono is the perfect way to elevate the look and feel of a boho wedding guest look and it will keep you warm during air-conditioned segments of the evening. Whatever style of cover-up you choose, make sure that the color and material complement your dress and don’t add extra weight or distracting patterns. 

  • Distinguish day vs. night attire: Summer weddings tend to fall into two categories: casual day weddings and formal evening weddings. Don’t get us wrong, sometimes a day wedding is as formal as their night-time wedding peers, but in most cases, day weddings will bring a more relaxed and casual vibe. For a casual summer wedding, you want to look for an outfit that’s light and fun. Think flowy, colorful and engaging.

For evening or more formal summer weddings, think mid-floor length dresses in light, breathable fabrics that won’t retain or generate too much heat. 

  • Always be prepared for rain: Even the most well-planned weddings have to contend with the occasional rainstorm or inclement weather. When planning your summer wedding outfit, always leave room for chance encounters with wet weather. Select a dress that would work with flats or with heels, just in case you need to go the flats route to avoid sinking into grass in a damp outdoor summer ceremony situation. Also, don’t forget that any accessory can be made stylish and fashionable, even an umbrella.
  • Go with customizable options: Ok, we will admit, we are biased here. But for good reason. At Fame and Partners, we are big believers in the magic of made-to-order fashion. Our operating model is this: we handle the designs, you take care of the finishing touches. Everything from sleeve type and length to neckline is decided by you, creating an outfit that is unique and personal. 

Summer Wedding Attire Don'ts:

As you can see from our “do’s” list, when it comes to summer wedding outfits, there’s a lot of room to experiment, explore and make your outfit your own. But there are also some things that you should try to avoid:

  • Going with heavy, warm fabric. The key to summer wedding guest outfit success is breathable, light fabric. If you go with a dress that’s too heavy or bulky, you’re going to be uncomfortable throughout the evening and may not be able to enjoy the event as much as you would in an outfit more conducive to summer sun and summer heat.
  • Showing up in something dark and muted: Outside of black, which works year-round, some colors--like browns--are just more suitable for fall, winter and cold-weather events. Summer weddings are the time to break out vibrant, bright colors, not to show up in something that looks more changing leaves than ocean breeze. 
  • Assuming summer weather means casual dress code: Summer is the season of sandals, shorts and beach cover-ups that double as dinner attire. With all of the casual daywear that comes with warm weather, it can be easy to assume that summer weddings are less formal than fall, spring and winter events. 

We are here to tell you that, when it comes to weddings, there should be no assumptions made when it comes to dress code. You should always err on the side of caution and check with the bride(s) or groom(s) if there is any confusion when it comes to what attire they’re hoping to see on their big day. 

At Fame and Partners, there are few things we love more than summer wedding dress season. Our made-to-order dresses give you the final say over the look, feel and energy of your outfit. We design the dresses and you add the finishing touches — like neckline, length and sleeve type — to really make it your own. Our dresses are not only customizable, they’re also gentler on the earth since we consume and produce much less than ready-made brands. 

Live life to the fullest, dress like you mean it.