What to Wear to a Wedding: 9 Outfit Ideas That Never Fail to Look Good

It’s official, wedding season is approaching. And whether you’ve received your first wedding invitation or your 100th, one thing is sure to be top of mind: what on earth am I going to wear?

These days, it seems like the scope for weddings has seriously broadened. Where once upon a time there was a pretty classic dress code to follow, nowadays couples are seizing the opportunity to have a wedding that truly matches their personality. And that means the rules of wedding guest attire are evolving, too.


(Image credit: @slipintostyle)

Still, we all have to walk that fine line when it comes to deciding what to wear to a wedding. We want to look striking, somewhat fun, but still appropriate. We want to make sure we’re properly dressed for the setting—an outfit you’d wear to a destination beach wedding is not likely to be the same one you’d wear to a grand English countryside affair. And we want to take the opportunity to dress up, without making any wedding faux pas. Well, there are some basic ground rules worth referencing before rushing to the big day in a blush dress panic, and we’ve broken them down with some simple, foolproof outfit ideas that will ensure you’re the best dressed guest at all manner of nuptials.

From the trusty classics to the modern styles that push back against old fashioned conventions, consider this your guide on what to wear to a wedding, no matter how big or small.

1. Romantic Silhouettes

@brittanybathgate wearing a puffy sleeved dress

(Image credit: @brittanybathgate)

Style Notes: A wedding is the perfect time to embrace the romance of vintage-inspired silhouettes. Think puffy sleeves, Bridgerton-worthy corseting and voluminous skirts. This works particularly well if you're at a countryside wedding, like Brittany Bathgate. If your dress has a bold shape, keep the accessories minimal—sleek strappy sandals and a minimalist bag will do the trick.

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2. Bold Colours

@aimeesong wearing a yellow dress

(Image credit: @aimeesong)

Style Notes: For spring and summer weddings in particular, take the opportunity to embrace dopamine dressing and opt for a bold colour. Blue, lavender and butter yellow look set to be popular choices this year. Pro tip? Try and find out what the bridesmaids are wearing so you don't accidentally end up looking like part of the wedding party.

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3. A Black Dress—Yes, Really

@chrissyford wearing a black dress

(Image credit: @chrissyford)

Style Notes: The modern world has ushered in many wonderful changes, and right now the one I'm most grateful for is acceptance of wearing black at weddings and baptisms. Black once was the mark of doom and gloom, but now it's an undeniably chic wedding dress option, particularly for city nuptials.

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4. Brown Gowns

@piabaroncini wearing a brown gown

(Image credit: @piabaroncini)

Style Notes: If you typically gravitate to black pieces but can't get over the worry that it just won't be appropriate for the upcoming wedding, brown is a brilliant alternative. This season, there's plenty of tempting styles to choose from.

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5. Floral Prints

@tamaramory wearing a floral dress

(Image credit: @tamaramory)

Style Notes: When it comes to prints, florals are a failsafe wedding guest option. From ditsy florals to maximalist prints—which were all over the SS23 runways—there's sure to be a joyful design for you.

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6. Slip Style

@_jeanettemadsen_ wearing a slip dress

(Image credit: @_jeanettemadsen_ )

Style Notes: Another reliable wedding guest dress is the trusty slip dress. This slinky style can be mixed and matched with so many different accessories to create fresh outfits. I personally love pairing one with an oversized blazer and strappy heels.

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7. Match The Setting

@cocobassey wears a long dress in Greece

(Image credit: @cocobassey)

Style Notes: When it comes to a destination wedding, it's important to embrace the setting by opting for fabrics, colours and styles that look completely well-suited to the environment. For a beach wedding, a bohemian-style maxi dress is a great bet, while nuptials in a grand estate in France call for something much more sophisticated.

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8. A Tailored Look

@_jessicaskye wearing a black jumpsuit

(Image credit: @_jessicaskye)

Style Notes: Dresses just not your thing? Don't worry—a sleek tailored jumpsuit is a gorgeous, fashion-forward alternative. A strapless number like Jessica's is perfect for a city wedding, but for something more traditional opt for a sleeved style.

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9. Flat Footwear

@bettinalooney wearing a pink dress with ballet flats

(Image credit: @bettinalooney )

Style Notes: Accessories are your wedding season best friend—after all, a few clever swaps can make your go-to wedding guest dress feel brand new again. Footwear is perhaps the trickiest part to figure out, as you need something that you'll be comfortable in all day and night. Luckily, this year flat footwear is at the top of the fashion charts, and as Bettina proves, is more than polished enough to work for wedding attire.

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This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Maxine Eggenberger
Deputy Editor

Maxine Eggenberger is Who What Wear UK’s deputy editor and has over thirteen years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content specifically for Who What Wear UK since 2018, covering runway reports, emerging trends, long-form features, self-styled shopping stories and columns, including her edit of the best new-in buys. She ensures the highest editorial standards are met across the site, leads the editorial team in their SEO strategy and keyword planning, works closely with the beauty team on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media, including her own Who What Wear UK TikTok franchise, French Style Fridays. Previously, Maxine appeared on ITV's This Morning in her own fashion segment and has interviewed countless celebrities—everyone from Victoria Beckham to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Prior to Who What Wear UK, Maxine’s career began when, after completing her first-ever internship at Look magazine, she was offered a position on the brand's fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. Her passion and natural talent for writing and styling meant she swiftly rose through the ranks to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as InStyle.co.uk’s fashion and beauty writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief, overseeing both print and digital, before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others.

Maxine is based remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh where she spends her downtime renovating her house, walking her dogs, hosting friends and trying to master the art of making Old Fashioned cocktails.

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