What to Wear to an Outdoor Summer Wedding

What to Wear to an Outdoor Summer Wedding

Summer is the height of the wedding season, and the heat allows for a high number of outdoor weddings. There are many beautiful outdoor locations for weddings, from backyards to beaches to vineyards to golf courses. When you are invited to these outdoor weddings, after responding to the invite, putting it on your calendar, and choosing your gift, your next question is probably wondering what you should wear.

Outdoor events tend to be less formal than indoor events, but there is still a wide range of potential outfits. Getting clues from the invites and scouting the location beforehand can give you a decent idea of the setting. Asking other attendees or your friend who is getting married about what might be appropriate can also be a good way to figure out what type of event this wedding is going to be.

Here are some outfits for a variety of different outdoor scenarios to spark your own imagination and ideas.

Maxi Dress

Dresses are generally good ideas for important occasions. A maxi dress is an excellent choice as the cuts tend to be loose enough to allow airflow while still giving off the floor-length formal impression. Vertical patterns are eye-catching and lengthening. Floral designs also match well with the summer season. Remember that designs and patterns tend to signify a more casual tone. Use cotton fabric paired with flat sandals for less formal ceremonies and chiffon or thin silk material and heels for more decorum. Some of these dresses can even edge into evening gown territory if you need them to. Maxi dresses seem to fit in particularly well with beach and destination weddings.

Sheath Dress

Sheath dresses are form-fitting and elegant. The tapering of the skirt recalls the formality of an office pencil skirt, yet when paired with some gorgeous jewelry, it makes for a sophisticated look that is just right for a wedding occasion. The skirts are either midi skirts, or they end at the knee. When the skirt ends in the right place, it creates a visual narrowing that slims and highlights your legs. These dresses tend to look best in solid colors. If you choose a light color and a breathable fabric, they make for great wedding guest dresses. While sheath dresses could work at most weddings, they are a great match for the golf course and country club locations.


If you are bored with the typical dress but still want something relatively formal and cooling, check out jumpsuits! With loose pants that give the illusion of a floor-length skirt and designs that are getting fancier by the day, these are becoming fantastic options for wedding wear. If you want less formal, tighter legs and patterns are excellent for creating an eye-catching outfit. If the event is going to be a bit more formal, a solid color is best, but you can still create visual interest by choosing a unique cut like one with ruffles or by opting for different fabrics like a lace overlay. This outfit would work really well at a downtown wedding on a hotel terrace or in an open-air penthouse.

Blouse and Skirt

Though a blouse and skirt combination tends to be more casual, it can be a great choice for outdoor weddings. Women’s blouses are apt to be lightweight, and the skirts can keep you pretty cool when summer heats up. If you get your visual proportions right, this outfit can be stunning. Think of a striped black and white skirt with a light pink top or a women’s white blouse with a floral skirt. Add some sandals for a beach wedding or high heels for a vineyard or garden location, and you are ready to go!

Add a Hat

If you have something to wear but still feel like it needs something more, consider adding a hat to complete your outfit. Hats are very visually interesting since we don’t see them all that often. Even a simple hat can dramatically change the feel of a look. Plus, since the wedding is outside, it makes sense to wear one. A large floppy hat or a Panama hat could be the key to perfecting your style. Mainly for morning and afternoon weddings, see if a hat is la pièce de résistance you’ve been looking for.

Make It Yours

Remember, you are going to this wedding to celebrate your friend’s big day. It’s a chance to dress up, show off what you got, and enjoy yourself. Once you know what kind of wedding you are going to, have fun with it! Explore different patterns until something just grabs your attention. Try on pieces with different necklines and skirt lengths—or even a layered skirt. Check out both loose cuts and slimmer designs. Whatever design you choose, make it yours by adding special jewelry, cute shoes, and a stunning hairstyle that will let you have a great time with your friend. Just keep in mind, only the bride wears white.


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