What to Wear to Summer Weddings: Are You a Best-Dressed Guest?

Summer wedding season is right around the corner, and that means it’s time to shop for a new dress (or maybe a jumpsuit?), and all the accessories to go with it. You don’t have to spend a fortune to make a good impression, even if you’re invited to multiple happy events. We’ve gathered up some tips for what to wear to summer weddings…in the afternoon, after dark, or at a beachside destination. Remember your goal is always to dazzle…but never, ever to upstage the bride!

Daytime Weddings

Katie Holmes. GettyImages; Dana Tyler Bracelets.
Left: Katie Holmes at New York Fashion Week. GettyImages. Right: Tri-Color Bracelets by Dana Tyler Inspired Travel Jewelry.

Weddings by their very nature are dressier than other occasions, so this is one time when it’s okay to err on the side of overdressed. For daytime weddings, choose a smart sheath or a sundress…but nothing too bare. Bring along a pashmina or matching jacket if there’s a church or synagogue involved (not to mention those air-conditioned reception venues).

Accessorize with selfie-worthy earrings, a choker or pearls, and your best bracelets. Kitten-heel pumps and a top-handled bag will keep you on trend all spring and summer long.

A Note About Color

Model Karolina Kurkova in a stunning LBD with removable peplum jacket
Supermodel Karolina Kurkova in a stunning LBD with removable peplum jacket. Basket Earrings at danatyler.com

The rules of etiquette have relaxed about wearing black to a wedding, so a tailored LBD is fine for day and easy to dress up for night. But never wear all-white to a wedding or a pre-wedding event…that’s strictly bridal territory.

Evening Weddings

A one-shoulder style looks just right for an evening wedding. Earrings by Dana Tyler.
A one-shoulder style looks just right for an evening wedding. Earrings by Dana Tyler.

If the invitation says Black Tie, most women opt for a long, formal dress and men are expected to wear tuxedos. If not, you can wear a long dress, a cocktail dress, or dressy separates. Look for new silhouettes like one-shoulder or cold-shoulder styles, and amp up your accessories to include a little more bling.

Consider statement earrings, or a statement necklace, and one or two wide cuffs to show off your summer-tanned arms.

Beach Weddings

Elizabeth Banks, GettyImages. Palm Tree Necklace at danatyler.com.
Elizabeth Banks in Hawaii. GettyImages. This Palm Tree Necklace would make a lovely bridesmaid’s gift for a destination wedding. Photo courtesy of danatyler.com.

Many people think a beach wedding means anything goes, but it’s a wedding after all, not Coachella! You can still dress up out of respect for the big day, just feel free to adopt a slightly more casual vibe. Off-the-shoulder looks and high-low hems will work, along with floaty florals and tropical prints. Your jewelry can go a little more Boho, including turquoise beads, shell earrings, and bangle bracelets. Relax and have fun!


Coming Next Month: Be sure to check out OBJ for jewelry news from the May 19 royal wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.





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