With Covid restrictions lifting and ceremonies with guests allowed again (up to 30 after 17th May and unlimited from June), it wouldn’t be too optimistic to finally start buying some wedding guest dresses.
Luckily there are plenty of joyful dresses up to the job this season, from sophisticated floral dresses to bold colours and minimalist styles.
Summer wedding guest dresses
While winter weddings (when they used to be a thing) are all about jewel and dark tones, lace and velvet and long sleeves, for summer, you can throw the rule book out the window. Pretty much anything goes, as long as you’re not wearing white of course.
For a destination wedding where heat is a big factor, going slinky will ensure you keep your cool all day. A minimal silk slip dress is the obvious choice here (look to Australian labels such as Lee Matthews, St. Agni or Vince for this), however this season I’m loving the cut-out dress trend, nailed by Zendaya on the Oscars red carpet in a neon yellow Valentino gown.
To keep things classy – it is a formal occasion after all – pick a design with a discreet keyhole detail around the midriff or back. Zimmerman and Aje have a couple of great options for this.
The maximalist fans will be glad to hear that our love affair with print has been revived for the new season, whether that’s tropical prints or florals, and bright hues are also a massive lure this season, from hot pinks to acid greens. Look to Halpern, TOVE and Rotate Birger Christensen for a bright twist on classics.
If you’re going to a black tie wedding, stick to a midi or maxi length dress for maximum elegance. You won’t go wrong with something from Chanel, Givenchy or Ralph & Russo if you’re looking to splash out a bit.
Of course, the high street is a great go-to if you’re struggling, with & Other Stories, Whistles, Mango, Zara and Arket all offering everything from ethereal dresses to elegant jumpsuits.
Without further ado, scroll on to shop Marie Claire’s edit of the best wedding guest dresses for summer.
Lisou's bold and colourful designs were made for occasion dressing.
The floaty, feminine silhouette has a nipped-in waist and finishes below the knee – perfect for both heels and flats. The silk georgette gathers at the shoulders with ruche detailing, before falling into soft petal-like sleeves.
This one-sleeved gown is perfect if you're attending a black tie wedding, plus it comes with a pair of matching earrings.
This organic cotton dress is perfect if you want to make a statement on the dance floor, and it doubles up as a great everyday option too.
RIXO's 'Aurelia' dress is embroidered with a lustrous poppy flower at the chest and a string of them that trace the maxi hem as well.
This jersey dress features a highly flattering ruched detail under the bodice.
You can never go wrong with a Ghost dress for a wedding, and the best-selling Luella dress is a great place to start.
La DoubleJ sources its spirited prints from the archives of Italian fabric houses. Cut from cotton-poplin, this 'One Love' dress moves effortlessly with a ruffled off-the-shoulder neckline, belted waist and tiered skirt.
Pink is one of this season's hottest shades, so invest in this floral number for your summer occasions.
The print on this dress is inspired by a beautiful early 1900s wallpaper design, depicting a floral-filled lakeside scene with swans gently swimming.
This sequin mini number is the perfect option for an evening do, all the more to sparkle on the dance floor.
Made of lightweight fabric, this chic printed dress is ideal for summer weddings.
This is basically Whistles' version of Rachel's 'commando' dress in the Friends episode where they're all getting ready, and that's a winner in my book.
Gone are the days you couldn't wear white as a wedding guest. This beautiful silk-satin dress is a great option for destination weddings.