Wedding season is officially upon us! And if you’re like me, your mind is already buzzing thinking about what to wear to all of the events that are now popping up on your calendar. Since dressing for a wedding can be tricky, I thought I’d put together a straightforward list of style dos and don’ts to guide you through wedding season. Check them out below…
Do opt for pretty, romantic looks. A wedding is a celebration of love, so keep that theme in mind when you’re deciding what to wear. Think floral prints, crepe, ruffles, and lace. Edgy, sultry, or even overly fashion-forward ensembles should be reserved for other occasions.
Do wear your dancing shoes. You want to look chic and put together, but you also want to be able to dance the night away with the couple. So make sure that whatever shoes you pair with your outfit are the perfect mix of style and comfort. Wedges, mid-height heels, dressy sandals, and even chic ballet flats are all good options. If you really want to wear sky-high heels for the ceremony and cocktail hour, I suggest stashing a pair of flats in your bag for later in the night. Some couples are even providing flip-flops for their guests, which is what William and I did. If flip-flops aren’t provided for you, however, stick with flats, as flip-flops could be considered too casual for a more elegant event.
Do take note of the dress code. If a couple goes to the trouble of listing the dress code on their invitation or wedding website, take note. If no dress code is listed, you can usually infer how dressy a wedding will be based on the venue. Beach weddings, for instance, tend to be cocktail attire or dressy casual, while ballroom weddings call for more formal attire.
Don’t wear white. You would think this rule wouldn’t need repeating, but you’d be surprised. Almost every wedding I’ve attended has had a guest or two who could have used a little wedding etiquette refresher. The bottom line is this: Let the bride stand out from the rest of the crowd. Since more and more brides are opting for a hint of color these days, it’s best to avoid cream, blush, and any variation of eggshell in addition to bright white. If I don’t know what the bride is wearing and how she feels about the matter, I personally like to stay away from subtle prints with a white background too, just to be safe.
Don’t wear anything overly sexy or revealing. This is not the time or place for that! Weddings are family celebrations, so if it’s not something you would wear in front of your own grandmother, don’t dress that way in front of your friend’s grandmother either.
Don’t wear anything that is terribly uncomfortable or waiting to be a wardrobe malfunction. It's a shame to spend the entire evening pulling your strapless dress up or having to skip a beautiful meal because your dress is much too tight!
Now that you have my wedding dress code rules, here are a few of my favorite dresses to wear to a wedding this summer. Take a look…
This dress is a sweet and simple pick for all sorts of summer weddings. I love the chic neckline and skater silhouette.
This is a fun choice for an outdoor or even beach wedding. The print is graphic without being too bold.
This J.Crew maxi is sleek and sophisticated, and comes in several beautiful hues. It could easily be dressed up for a black tie event or dressed down for something less formal.
I’m a sucker for anything with scallops, and this flirty frock is no exception. The price is right, too!
I love the dramatic back on this dress from my Paper Crown collection. It can be dressed up or down, which makes it a versatile piece to wear to multiple weddings this summer.
This lace dress shows a little skin, but the silhouette makes it feel modest enough to wear to a wedding.
The flowers on this ruffle-hem dress are beautiful and romantic—everything a wedding ensemble should be.
This is one of my favorite dresses from my Paper Crown x Rifle Paper Co. collaboration. The silhouette has a vintage feel, and the bright flowers are perfect for summer wedding festivities.
This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated.