Summer is wedding season, and if you’ve got any such events on your calendar, you’ll want to make sure your dress collection is up to date. When deciding what to wear — that is, if you’re not at the wedding party — you’ll want to consider both the time of day and the location. Whether you’re wearing regular, petite, or plus-size clothing, you’ll have lots of options to pick from. Read on for suggestions on how to choose the best summer dress to wear to a wedding.
Whether you’re at a tropical destination or your local shore, it’s hard to go wrong with a maxi dress for women. Maxi dresses are particularly beach-friendly because their longer length makes it less likely that an errant breeze will blow the skirt upward and thereby cause an embarrassing moment. Moreover, maxi dresses come in myriad patterns and styles, from solid to print, colorway, stripe, A-line, surplice, and ruffled, so you’re almost guaranteed to find something you feel and look terrific in.
You’ll likely be walking in the sand at least some of the time, so pair your maxi dress with flat, strappy sandals or embellished flip-flops. Avoid closed-toe shoes because you don’t want to have to keep removing them to shake out sand. Also, take a pass on heels because sand is not a stable surface, and you don’t want to twist an ankle and be forced to skip the dancing afterward. For jewelry, try dangling earrings or a chunky statement necklace, along with a few bangles.
The shore can be windy, and as the sun sets, temperatures can drop quickly. Not to mention, it will be hard to focus on the happy event if you’re shivering. So, if you’re at a late-afternoon or early-evening event, bring a jacket, sweater, or linen shirt to layer over your maxi dress.
Nothing says romance like a garden wedding — blooms scenting the air, birds singing in the background, the wedding couple pledging their love to each other. Express those romantic feelings by wearing a cotton summer dress in a soft floral pattern.
Given that sand won’t be a worry feel free to wear closed-toe shoes. However, if you’ll be walking on grass, you may want to stick with flats or low-heeled shoes. Heels — especially stilettos — tend to sink into the ground, and it can be awkward to take a step and have your foot come out of your shoe. Instead, throw on a pearl necklace and earrings or some delicate gold or silver chains. Add a pretty cotton cardigan just in case the air is cooler than you expected.
Garden and ranch weddings are similar, with one major caveat. No matter the dress length you choose, ranch weddings give you an excuse to pair your dress with your favorite cowhand boots. Keep the trend going by bringing a denim jacket for a cover-up, and finish the look with some turquoise and silver jewelry.
No matter the outdoor setting, you’ll want to avoid too much sun exposure. Don’t forget to bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Look for stain-free sunscreen to avoid ruining your dress.
Indoor wedding celebrations are often fancier than outdoor events because neither the wedding party nor the guests need to worry about the weather or walking surfaces. Not to mention, women love an excuse to break out their special occasion dresses. Although you can’t go wrong with the classic LBD or little black dress, take advantage of summer and opt instead for your favorite color, whether it’s a jewel, pastel, or neon hue. Almost any silhouette is suitable for an indoor wedding, including sheath, A-line, and fit-and-flare dresses. If you prefer prints, choose a fabric like silk that is dressier than cotton or jersey and more appropriate for a daytime garden wedding.
Now’s your chance to dig your high-heel shoes out from under your bed. The classic pump is always a safe bet, but go ahead and have fun. Show off your summer pedicure in strappy sandals or peep-toe shoes. If you’ve got any sparkly jewelry tucked away in a drawer, shine it up and put it on to complete your look. Balance is key, though. For example, if you’re going to be wearing chandelier earrings, consider skipping a necklace altogether.
Be aware that indoor celebrations are often preceded by a religious ceremony at a nearby house of worship, where modesty is often expected. If you’re planning on wearing a sleeveless or spaghetti-strap dress, bring along a shawl to throw over your shoulders during the ceremony. The shawl will also come in handy should it be chilly inside from the air conditioning.
With some thought and planning, you’ll be able to celebrate your friend or loved one’s nuptials in a dress that flatters you and is appropriate to the locale. Enjoy!