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Sydne Style explains wedding dress codes and shows what to wear as a wedding guest

There was one year I had five weddings. I remember being so overwhelmed with having to get so many wedding guest dresses. Luckily, the dress codes were pretty similar. So I was able to re-wear some of the evening gowns and just switch up my accessories. My friend heavily used Rent the Runway the year all our friends were walking down the aisle. I know it can sometimes be daunting when you get an invite to a special event. So I wanted to put together a very thorough post for you explaining wedding dress codes and giving you ideas on what to wear as a guest for spring and summer weddings.

Prefer video? You can always watch my style tips over on Instagram Reels!

Wedding guest dresses for every dress code: overall Dos & don’ts

  • DO try to adhere to the dress code
  • DON’T ignore the location of the wedding
  • DO play with color and prints
  • DON’T choose anything too bold that will overshadow the bride
  • DO choose footwear you walk (and dance!) in
  • DON’T try out brand new shoes the day of the wedding
  • DO check the weather
  • DON’T forget to bring a layer if it will be cool
  • DO dress tastefully
  • DON’T wear anything too revealing
  • DO err on the side of overdressing if you’re unsure
  • DON’T underdress ever

… and obviously, unless it’s a white party, NEVER wear white!

 

I find black tie weddings to be the easiest dress code since they’re so simple to understand: you wear an evening gown and dazzling accessories. During the spring and summer, I like to brighten black tie events with a pastel or a pop of color. I just always stay away from bright red, since I feel like it takes away from the bride.

 

 

This wedding dress code is very similar to black tie, just a little more relaxed. If you want to wear an evening gown, you can. Just tone it down with the makeup and accessories. If you prefer an ankle length gown or a midi, that works too! Just look for ones that have a touch of sparkle. Or turn it up with your accessories.

 

 

I love this dress code because chances are you probably already have a cocktail dress in your closet. If you want a new one, I recommend a soft metallic. That way you can wear it year-round! A little black dress (or navy) is also great since you can accessorize it so many different way. As for length, I usually like to stick with something midi, above the knee or asymmetrical.

 

 

For daytime weddings, I like to go with A-line or more flowing silhouettes, nothing too tight. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worn this lace dress for daytime events. I first bought it in mint, then mauve and I’m honestly thinking about getting it in another color. It’s just so versatile! And unless the event is inside some fancy ballroom, I always wear a moderate block heel (flats would also work). You never know when you’re going to have to walk through grass at daytime weddings.

 

 

I honestly think this is the strangest dress code (apologies in advance if you chose it for your wedding!). The two words are polar opposites but I have seen it on a wedding invite. My advice? Go with a little black dress. LBDs are always safe. For summer, I like lighter materials, like poplin or cotton. And then I’ll add some champagne or nude accessories to lighten up my look.

 

 

Florals? For a garden wedding? Groundbreaking. I know, but it just fits so well! A pretty floral print in any length (except too short, obviously) works for a garden wedding. I also like a fruit print, as long as it’s not too vibrant. If you’re not a fan of prints, you can do a soft color. My number one tip? Make sure to wear sandals with a block heel, wedges or flats.

 

 

Barn parties have gotten so popular. They often can get cool, so depending on the weather, I’ll wear either a lightweight long-sleeve dress or bring a wrap. A safe bet is to think about the cottagecore trend: puff sleeves, ditsy prints and earth tones. Then just add a few country inspired accessories like western booties and belts.

 

 

 

Beach weddings are my absolute favorite (it’s the Pisces in me!). I always wear a flowing dress or jumpsuit with some special detail, like ruffles, lace or shine. And I always wear fancy flats so I don’t have to take my shoes off in the sand.

 

If you’re still here, then hi! I hope this wedding guest dress guide helps you. Click here for more wedding posts!



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