wedding outfit

What to wear to a summer wedding

All the wedding dress codes explained, with a guide to the perfect wedding guest outfits

What to wear to a summer wedding

Hooray, wedding season is officially upon us! But with all the Champagne, speeches and dancing also comes a whole host of outfit dilemmas. Can you wear the same dress twice? Are hats a must? Is off-white off limits?

Take a deep breath. We've laid out the rules, de-coded the dress code and put together some outfit inspiration whether you're attending a beach, garden, cocktail, smart casual or black tie wedding.

Never wear white

Unless it's your wedding, steer well clear from an all-white dress – that includes off-whites like ivory, Champagne, egg shell and cream. There should really only be one white dress in the room. 

Read the invitation. Properly.

To avoid sticking out like a sore thumb Bridget Jones style, make sure to double check the invitation for dress code. 

Don't steal the show

Don't take the limelight off the bride. Now is not the time to flaunt your sparkly embellished floor length gown, or an out-there jumpsuit.

It's good to dress formally

It's better to be over-dressed than under-dressed, and by this we mean that it's better to steer on the formal side when you're in doubt. Stay well away from jeans, T-shirts, flip-flops, crop tops or shorts.

It's okay to wear dark colours

Contrary to popular belief, you can wear dark colours to a wedding – especially if it's an evening affair.


With that in mind, here is some wedding outfit inspiration to suit every wedding invitation...

Garden wedding

For obvious reasons, avoid wearing pointy heels if the wedding is in a garden as you'll just end up ruining the lawn as well as your shoes! Instead, opt for flats or wedged sandals. 

Dresses that are cocktail or tea-length are good, though you could also get away with a boho maxi-dress. For men, chinos and a blazer are perfect. 

Above: Linen blazer jacket, stiletto court heels, floral print dress, peach coloured shrug, peep-toe nude wedges

Beach wedding

Flowing maxi dresses are perfect for beach weddings. Pair them with sandals, flats or possibly wedges – although wedges can still be tricky to walk in in the sand...

For men, again chinos, blazers or light-coloured suits without ties would look the part.

Above: Maxi dress, Jacquard embellished clutch bag, beaded sandalsmetallic wedge sandals, bloom print bardot dress

Smart-casual dress code

Despite the word "casual", it is still a wedding. Jumpsuits and cocktail dresses are fine, you can accessorise them with funky shoes, a textured clutch or statement jewellery to dress it up. For men, think smart trousers or chinos with a button-down shirt and tie (though you might be able to get out of wearing a tie).

Above: Polka dot culotte jumpsuit, ruffle trim sandalsembroidered mulesblue stiletto heel, blue jumpsuit

Cocktail or semi-formal dress code

Wear something you feel is easy to dance in. And for men, this dress code does mean a jacket is required.

A knee-length cocktail dress is a must, with a blazer or shrug draped over your shoulders, paired with heels or wedges. The overall look doesn’t have to be too over-the-top, so feel free to introduce more unexpected accessories like a quirky bag and elegant sandals.

Above: Bloom print bardot dresspink heeled sandals, pointed slip-on heelssweetheart neck floral dress

Black-tie dress code

This is a formal wedding dress code. Think formal dresses and possibly even floor-length gowns. Embellished detailing, sequins and lace are all acceptable. Men should be in tuxedos and bow ties.

Above: Blue shrug, blue stiletto heel, short sleeve lace dress, striped lace dress

Check out our whole range of summer dresses, accessories and shoes online, or pop into your local Asda store