How to choose the best Wedding Guest Dresses – Types, Tips..

Wedding guest dresses - faverie

While there’s a lot more pressure placed on the bridal party of a wedding event, you may feel a bit stressed as a guest of the event. Figuring out what kind of wedding guest dresses to wear can be a daunting task if you don’t already have a lot of options in your closet. 

Not to fear, we’re about to share some information with you that will make it simple to choose a dress that fits your body perfectly and allows you to feel good about yourself.

In the upcoming chapters, we’re going to discuss what styles of dresses work for certain body types, what dress to wear based on the dress code of the wedding, and the do’s and don’ts of wedding guest attire. 

Let’s jump right in!

The wedding guest dress

You’ve received an invitation to a wedding, and you’ve sent in your RSVP. Now comes the process of selecting the outfit that you’re going to wear to the event. Choosing a wedding guest dress is actually more involved than you may think.

You want to select something appropriate, but you also want to make sure that you’re not upstaging the bride. The focus should always be on the bride, groom, and wedding party, but you should also be a well-dressed guest. In this chapter, we’re going to talk about the wedding dress code and why it’s crucial to choose the right outfit.

What is a wedding guest dress?

A wedding guest dress is a conservative and formal dress that is appropriate for a wedding ceremony or reception. This formal wear can be chosen in a number of styles and colors. What you choose will depend on a number of factors such as the season, where the wedding will take place, the dress code, what your date is wearing, etc.

Fashion outdoor woman dress posing park

You may already have some dresses in your closet that would be appropriate for the upcoming wedding that you’re attending. If not, you can shop around for something that would be perfect. 

Leave yourself enough time so you can find the perfect wedding guest dress that makes you feel comfortable and confident. You should also spend some time thinking about your accessories, how you’re going to do your hair and what your makeup will look like.

Always dress for the season. You don’t want to show up to a wedding that’s taking place in the winter and wear a summer sundress. You also don’t want to be overdressed in the summer and wear something that’s too heavy or covers you up too much.

The location of the event should also be taken into consideration. If you’re going to a backyard wedding, you can dress more casually. An event that’s taking place at a fancy ballroom in the city will require much more formal attire. 

You should also think about your footwear. Outdoor weddings or locations that require you to do some walking to the wedding or reception will call for comfortable shoes. If you’re going to be parking using valet and walking right into the wedding, you can sport some high heels as your shoe choice.

The wedding dress code

A wedding dress code refers to the type of clothing that guests are asked to wear. Your hosts are essentially letting you know what kind of wedding they’re throwing so you can dress accordingly. The dress code may be listed right on the invitation, but you can also ask the bride or groom ahead of time if you’re not clear on what’s expected of you. Most couples these days will set the dress code ahead of time so there’s no question about what guests should be wearing.

Black-tie is a very common wedding dress code that applies to both men and women. Of course, men will wear black ties. Women will be encouraged to dress up in gowns that reach the floor or something elegant. 

You should stay away from bright colors and stick with something more conservative, light black or navy blue. Black-tie dress codes are usually used for nighttime weddings or weddings that take place in the winter months.

A casual wedding that takes place during the day or during the summer will allow you to choose a much more casual guest dress. A simple neckline, modest print, and minimal accessories will suffice.

Why is it important to wear the right wedding guest dress?

Wearing the right guest dress is important to the bride and groom that are getting married. They want to look back at the photos from their special day and see everyone they love looking their best. You don’t want to stand out like a sore thumb because you were the only one that dressed very casually at a wedding that recommended black-tie attire.

It’s also important that you feel good about the wedding guest dress that you’ve chosen. Weddings can be a lot of fun, and you’ll feel comfortable in your own skin when you choose a dress that accentuates all of your best features. 

Once you send back that RSVP, you can start thinking about what you’re going to wear. You’ll usually have plenty of time to plan ahead. Most RSVPs have to be sent back at least four to six weeks ahead of the big event.

When you get ready on the day of the wedding, you don’t want to wish that you spent more time preparing. Having to pick something from your wardrobe last minute isn’t going to make you feel confident. 

You’ll be rushing around confused by your options, and you may soon realize that you don’t actually have anything to wear. Have a few options on hand for that day. The weather may change, or you may decide that you don’t actually like the fit of a dress you purchased ahead of time.

If you’re worried about what you should be wearing as the guest of a wedding, you’re likely not the only one worrying about their wedding guest dress. Many people question what an appropriate outfit might be based on the type of wedding that they’re attending. Hopefully, we’ve provided you with enough information so you can pick the perfect dress for the wedding that you’re attending in the near future.


Stick with us if you would like to learn more about dressing for a wedding. We’ll discuss different types of dresses, what dresses will look best on your body type, and more about dress code requirements.

Types of women’s wedding guest dresses

If you’re a female looking for the perfect wedding guest dress, there are many options and styles available. In this chapter, we’re going to look closely at some of the different options you have in regard to seasons, styles, dress code, and location, just to name a few. Hopefully, by the end of reading this information, you’ll feel confident that you can pick an amazing wedding guest dress that is flattering and gorgeous.

It’s important that you feel good about yourself when you’re attending a wedding as a guest. While you might not be the one getting married, your self-esteem and comfort level matter as well. 

While you probably have a few dresses in your closet that you can grab last minute when you realize you’re going somewhere that requires a nicer dress code, you should treat yourself to a new dress the next time you’re invited to a wedding. 

You don’t need to wear the same basic black dress over and over again. There are plenty of other options out there that will turn heads and make you feel as confident as possible. Let’s take a look at some of the wedding guest dress options to consider, including some tips that you can use when doing your shopping.

Summer wedding guest dress

In the summer, you can choose a variety of dresses that really show off your figure. Spaghetti strap dresses with a shorter cut will be cool enough for a warm summer wedding while still looking really nice. Just make sure you’re not showing off too much skin. After all, this is a formal affair.

Prints are more acceptable in the summer, including flowing, flowery dresses. You can wear brighter colors that wouldn’t look appropriate in the middle of the winter. You can also choose a more basic dress and throw a colorful sweater or wrap over it to provide you with a little bit of warmth in the evening when the temperatures drop.

Plus size wedding guest dress

Being a plus-sized woman doesn’t mean that you can’t dress fashionably or comfortably. You can make a bold fashion statement the next time you’re attending an event like a wedding. 

Plus size model blue dress

Depending on what size you are, you may be able to look at standard-sized dresses that also come in a plus size. There are also plenty of brands that sell dresses specifically with plus-sized women in mind.

A maxi dress with a fitted bodice and flowing skirt is a great option. It allows you to show your curves up top, and you can cover some of the lower areas of the body that you may not feel comfortable with. 

The entire look will accentuate your curves and allow you to feel your best. The goal is to accentuate the waistline. The A-line dress is another option that is flattering in plus sizes.

Fall wedding guest dress

A wedding guest dress for the fall usually incorporates more fabric covering the arms and legs. Depending on where you live, it’s likely that you’re experiencing cooler temperatures in the fall. 

A long-sleeved dress that flows down to about the knee is a great fall style. You don’t have to completely cover up as you would for the winter, but you can still keep your body comfortable.

Fall colors and prints can include the basic black and navy, or you can be a bit more adventurous. Print options include florals, paisley, stripes, and even polka dots. If you’re going to a more casual event, you can throw a denim jacket on top or even a cardigan sweater.

Formal wedding guest dress

Formal wedding guest dresses are common for fancier events that require black tie dress code or something similar. It’s a more conservative look that requires you to cover up a bit. Cap sleeves and long sleeves are beautiful on a formal dress. 

You can also choose an off-the-shoulder variety that shows off your shoulders and chest. A formal wedding guest dress usually flows all the way down to the floor, but it can be a more fitted skirt or something flowing that has a good deal of pleated fabric to it.

Cocktail wedding guest dress

A cocktail dress is acceptable for semi-formal weddings. It was originally created in the 1920s. They’re known for being a go-to outfit for parties and low-key events. The overall concept is functional and comfortable. 

Elegant woman holds blue dress
Source: Chalo Garcia on Unsplash

It’s a commonly worn wedding guest dress that comes in all kinds of colors, prints, cuts, and styles. You’re supposed to accessorize a simple cocktail dress. Pair your dress choice with dazzling earrings, bracelets, and a necklace. Don’t’ forget to match your purse or clutch with your dress.

Beach wedding guest dress

A wedding on the beach is a beautiful event that typically takes place in the summer months. You can wear any wedding guest dress that is appropriate for the summer, and you’ll use forgo any kind of overly formal attire. 

Make sure that the dress you’re wearing is comfortable and will be acceptable in all kinds of weather. Something that’s very short and flowing may be uncomfortable if it’s a very windy day and your dress is blowing all over the place. 

Pay close attention to the shoes that you’re wearing. You may be required to walk a long distance from your car to the spot on the beach where the wedding is. You may also be walking on sand. Heels should be left at home, and flats make a better option.

Beautiful wedding guest dress

A beautiful wedding guest dress can look amazing in a lot of different ways. Beautiful colors on a woman include a simple black dress, shimmering silver, a lovely shade of pink, and any other color that complements your skin tone. 

Woman sitting posing red dress
Source: Andrewbrght Photography on Unsplash

If you have a warmer skin tone, you’ll look beautiful in shades of gold, red, orange, and yellow. Lighter skin tones generally look better in shades of blue, green, and purple. Of course, different colors look more appropriate during certain times of the year. 

You may have a nice tan in the summer months, and you’ll look great in a light-colored dress that may not have been flattering during the winter months when you looked paler.

Winter wedding guest dress

Winter wedding guest dresses are a lot of fun because you can choose from a large variety of styles. A long-sleeved dress is gorgeous in the winter. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. A fitted maxi top that flows down to a full-length skirt in a basic winter shade is an amazing option.

You can also choose a simpler dress that’s a bit shorter in length. Top it with a cardigan or shawl, and wear tights and boots on the bottom. There are a lot of choices in the winter when it comes to style, accessories, shoes, etc.

Elegant wedding guest dress

An elegant wedding guest dress should be relatively conservative in both style and color. If you show up to a wedding in a bright red dress, elegant isn’t really what you convey. Rather, you’re almost stealing attention away from the wedding party. 

Keep your guest dress simple but gorgeous. You don’t have to put something on that doesn’t suit your body type or skin tone. Choose something that is tasteful.

Elegant dress colors include blue, green, burgundy, purple, and black. Most elegant dresses are full-length down to the ground with a fuller skirt. You should stay away from very deep cuts on the chest or high up on the thigh.

Midi wedding guest dress

A midi wedding guest dress is a combination between a maxi dress and a mini dress. It’s a more casual option that you can wear when you don’t have to adhere to a black-tie dress code. 

It’s also a great option in the summer when you want a lighter-weight fabric that isn’t going to make your body temperature rise. Most midi wedding guest dresses are made from a lightweight cotton or polyester blend.

Black-tie wedding guest dress

You may be asked to adhere to a black-tie dress code at the wedding that you’re attending. The good thing about this dress code is that if you need to dress in black-tie attire, you’ll be informed of that beforehand. It’s not typical to show up to a wedding and not have known that everyone is dressing ultra-formal.

Woman silk evening dress

If you need to dress in black tie clothing, women should choose a guest dress that is black or very dark gray/navy. If you’re bringing a date along, they will wear a full suit with a black tie. You should both match each other very well. Your dress should be longer in length, full coverage, and your shoes should be a formal heel.

Long-sleeve wedding guest dress

Long-sleeve wedding guest dresses are most appropriate during the fall and winter months when temperatures are cooler outside, and you need to cover up a bit more for comfort. Sleeves on a dress can be fitted down to the wrists, but there are also dresses that have a more flowing and wider sleeve. Choose whatever feels most comfortable for you.

Woman red hair glasses red dress fence

Long-sleeve dresses don’t have to cover you completely. There are some gorgeous dresses out there that hit just above the knee, and they have full sleeves that are made of lace. It’s a gorgeous look.

Petite wedding guest dress

If you’re petite in size, you may have trouble shopping for certain articles of clothing. Dress shopping can be a challenge if you’re short. The length of the dress may not fall to the point that it’s supposed to. You have a few options in this situation. 

You can pick a wedding guest dress that you love and have it altered. Leave yourself enough time to shop and have the alterations performed prior to the wedding. You can also shop at a store or boutique that sells dresses in petite sizes. These dresses usually accommodate your height and should fit you better.

Casual wedding guest dress

A casual wedding guest dress is what most women will end up wearing to a wedding. Casual dresses come in a variety of soft fabrics that feel comfortable on the skin. A casual dress isn’t too tight and doesn’t reveal a lot of skin. 

You should be able to move freely in what you’re wearing and not have to worry about any kind of wardrobe malfunction. You can also pair your guest dress with everyday accessories, shoes, and handbags.

Spring wedding guest dress

Spring weddings are lovely as there are flowers blooming, temperatures are warming up outside, and the sun is hopefully shining for the happy couple. If you have to attend a spring wedding, think about the different dress options that you have. 

You may still want to cover up a bit, as temperatures tend to drop pretty quickly in the evening hours. Layers are also a nice option. You can wear something with thin straps, topping it with a cardigan or blazer. You can remove and add layers as needed. Spring shoe options include strappy heels or ballet flats.

Floral print wedding guest dress

Floral print dresses should be tasteful and not have too crazy of a print. Choose a dress that has flowers on it but try to keep the color scheme to something simple. Don’t mix together too many colors when you’re choosing a dress that has an elaborate print to it. 

If you’re going to wear anything over your dress like a cardigan or shawl, make sure it’s a solid color that matches your dress. Don’t mix together a variety of prints.

Off-the-shoulder wedding guest dress

An off-the-shoulder wedding guest dress is a more formal option that has a very classy look to it. You’re not showing off too much skin, but you’re accentuating your collar bones and shoulders. 

This is a very feminine and soft look for most women. If you want to make sure that you’re appropriately dressed and comfortable throughout the evening, cover your shoulders with a shawl as needed.

Embroidered wedding guest dress

A dress that has needlework incorporated into its design gives a different look to a dress. Those added dimensions and texture can really make a pattern pop. A nice look is a solid dress that has tasteful and subtle embroidery scattered across the design. Whether your dress is handmade or it’s something you purchased locally, embroidery can make your outfit stand out as something unique.

Sequin wedding guest dress

Sequins are a bit flashier and should be worn with caution. You don’t want to wear a dress to a wedding that looks like you’re about to go to a club or bar. Sequins are acceptable if they’re a conservative color and on only part of your dress. A short miniskirt dress that’s entirely covered with sequins might not be your best choice.

Lace wedding guest dress

Lace is very classy and an excellent choice for a wedding. In fact, many wedding dresses have lace as part of their design. As a guest, a dress that’s navy or black and has some lace worked into it is a gorgeous option. Pair it with a simple heel and basic clutch.

Woman blue dress

Now that we’ve discussed a large variety of wedding guest dress options, you may have a few options in mind that stand out from the rest. Make sure that you’re leaving yourself enough time before the wedding to shop around a bit. If you’re going to be doing some shopping online, you’ll want to leave enough time for shipping. 


Keep reading if you would like to learn more about what you should wear to different types of weddings based on the dress code. Let us know in the comments below what upcoming wedding event you’re trying to dress for.

What wedding guest dress to wear to different types of weddings

There are many different types of weddings, from destination weddings to backyard events. The type of wedding that you’re going to be attending will determine what kind of wedding guest dress you choose to wear. You want to look appropriate while feeling comfortable throughout the day.

In this chapter, we’re going to take a close look at some of the different wedding guest dresses that you can choose based on the details that you’ve been provided in your invitation. After you’re done reading, you should be able to make a proper choice regarding your wedding guest attire.

Once you’ve sent in your RSVP to the wedding you’ve been invited to, you should start to think about what dress you’re going to wear to the event. Make sure that you check the invitation to see if a specific dress code has been requested of the guests attending. 

If not, you can usually determine what kind of dress you should wear based on the location of the wedding and reception. A restaurant or backyard event allows you to dress more casually, while you can select a more formal gown for a black-tie event at a banquet hall.

The time of year is also something to take into account. Even if you know you have to wear something formal, the type of dress that you decide upon should be appropriate for that season. Winter dresses should cover more of your body. Summer dresses should be made of a lightweight fabric that will keep you cool.

In order for you to find the best wedding guest dress available, we’re going to take a look at some of the different wedding types that you may be invited to.

White Tie wedding

You’ve probably heard of a black-tie event, but white tie is the most formal wedding or event that you can attend. It means that you should be dressed fancier than you would for black tie. It’s typical for a very professional event, such as meeting with dignitaries. You may not ever be invited to a white tie wedding in your lifetime, but if you are, you should know how to dress.

A white tie wedding guest dress is a full-length gown that usually sweeps out at the bottom to a very full skirt. The top of the dress can be fitted, but it should remain very conservative. You also don’t want to select too bold of a color. You don’t have to wear white, especially since it’s more than likely the bride will be dressed in white. Stick to a conservative shade like silver, pale pink, or champagne. You can accessorize with gloves, heels, pearls, or diamonds.

Black Tie wedding

If you’re attending a very formal wedding, you’re likely being asked to dress in black-tie attire. This dress code is formal, and women should wear a dress that is full length. It can be a fitted dress that lacks a full skirt, but it should cover the body as not to be too revealing. Modest colors like black, navy, and burgundy are acceptable. You should choose appropriate accessories that compliment your dress but don’t look too flashy.

Black Tie Optional wedding

If the bride and groom have invited you to their wedding and have listed the dress code as black tie optional, then they want you to dress formally but with a little more freedom. While a bit less formal than black tie dress, you should still be wearing something formal and conservative. 

Elegant woman dress playing piano

A full-length dress would still be a good choice, in a modest color. Men are welcome to wear a tuxedo, but a classic suit is fine as well. You can match your dress to your date’s tie/handkerchief if you would like.

Cocktail/Semi-Formal wedding

You probably already have a number of dresses in your closet that are appropriate for a cocktail or semi-formal wedding. You can choose a shorter dress in a more fun color or print. Sequins, embroidery, and lace are all great features of a cocktail dress. Pair your dress with heels, a matching handbag, and some fun accessories.

Casual wedding

A casual wedding is laid back, and you’re expected to dress in something that’s appropriate for a special event but still something that’s dressed up. A casual dress can include a midi or maxi dress, sundress, sweater dress, or a basic black dress topped with something casual like a sweater or blazer.

Beach wedding

Beach weddings are so much fun, but it can take a little bit of time to decide what you want to wear to the event. You’re going to be outside for a good portion of the event, so make sure that you’re taking the temperature outside into account. You should bring along an extra layer if it’s going to get chilly when the sun sets.

Pay close attention to your footwear if you’re going to a beach wedding. You’re probably going to be walking on the sand or the boardwalk. Choose a flat shoe that is comfortable and practical.

Thematic wedding

It’s not completely unheard of for a couple to host a thematic wedding. Some of the most commonly used themes include a bohemian style, renaissance, romantic garden, and casual beach. 

Most brides and grooms will provide some direction regarding what you should wear to their event, so everyone is dressed accordingly. If you’re not sure what’s expected, you can always reach out and ask ahead of time.

Traditional wedding

A traditional wedding usually requires you to dress casually but still a bit fancy. Buying a wedding guest dress for a traditional event is nice because you’re usually left with a practical dress that you can wear again and again for other events and outings. You can’t go wrong with a basic black or navy dress with matching shoes and a purse.

Civil ceremonies

A civil ceremony means that you are gathering briefly at the courthouse or at somebody’s home to watch the couple exchange vows. You can dress rather casually for this event. Base your dress decision on the time of year where you live. Take into account the temperature outside and the weather that you’ll be exposed to.

Lady blue silk dress handbag

Weddings are a wonderful occasion to attend. They’re all about love and joy, with people getting together to celebrate two people that they love dearly. Whether you’re a family member, friend, or coworker, it’s important that you know what to wear to different types of weddings. 

When everyone dresses appropriately for the event that they’re attending, this helps to keep the wedding running smoothly. Not to mention, looking back at the photos of the event will be a wonderful experience for the couple. 

Nobody wants to reminisce about the one guest at their wedding that came dressed completely out of the dress code. If you want to learn more, you can read our article “What to Wear to a Wedding.”


Now that we’ve provided you with plenty of information and examples regarding different dresses that you can wear to an upcoming wedding event, we hope that you’re almost ready to start shopping. 

There are plenty of options available based on the season, the type of wedding you’re going to, your body type, etc. Continue reading to find out more about specific dress types based on your body and how you go about choosing the right dress.

What wedding guest dress is best for your body shape

A wedding guest dress should be appropriately chosen for the event that you’re attending, but you also want to choose a dress that looks good on you. This will help boost your self-confidence and ensure you have a good time. The shape of your body will greatly affect the type of dress that fits you properly and looks nice.

In this chapter, we’re going to take a look at different body types and what dresses work best for those body types. This information should help you when you go shopping for your wedding guest dress.

Having the ability to identify what your body shape is will start your journey towards finding the most flattering wedding guest dress option. It’s not always about style and finding something that looks trendy. You should attempt to showcase your best features.

Petite

The petite body type refers to a woman that is shorter than five feet, three inches tall, and that has a slender body shape. When you are petite, and you choose a wedding guest dress, you should strive to highlight your thin body shape. 

Choose a dress that’s fitted around the waist, or use a belt with the dress you’re wearing to create a more cinched look. Choose something that’s above the knee in length to make your legs look longer. You can also make yourself look taller this way. Something with vertical stripes can increase how tall you look, as well as a V-neck up top.

Tall and lean

Woman dress earrings model

Don’t feel like you have to downplay your height if you’re tall and lean. A fitted dress will allow you to show off your physique. Bring the waist of your dress in with a belt or with a fitted waistline to create a curvier and flattering shape. You should also choose a dress that’s above the knee if you can. It will help to show off your legs and height.

Large bust

A U-shaped neckline or V-neckline can help you show off a large bust. You should still attempt to be as appropriate as possible, so make sure that you’re covering up as best you can while still showing off your curves up top. Stay away from anything that’s off the shoulders and loose in the chest region. Those dresses will just cover up your curves.

Small bust

If you have a smaller bust, a strapless dress might not seem like a practical option, but it actually is. It can help give some definition to your chest. Just make sure that it fits well, so it doesn’t slide down at all. You can also choose a dress with a high neck to create curves and definition beneath the fabric. A shirt dress or maxi dress helps to give the appearance of a larger bust.

Broad shoulders

Show off your broad shoulders with an off-the-shoulder dress or a halter-style dress. You can also use a shawl or sweater over a simple dress to create a narrower shoulder base.

Tummy concealing

If your stomach is an area of your body that makes you self-conscious, choose a wedding guest dress that conceals this area. A dress with a high waist that flows down through the skirt will cover up anything that’s below your bust line.

Woman long red dress posing

You can choose from a large variety of top styles and skirt styles but stay with the high waist. If you’re attending a more casual wedding, a maxi dress is a great option. You can choose one with long sleeves, short sleeves, or even a tank top dress. Many of them have flowing skirts with pockets that create a very sleek look that hides the tummy.

Hourglass

The curvy hourglass figure generally has a proportionate bust and hips with a very defined waist. Don’t choose a baggy or shapeless dress that doesn’t highlight your curves. Opt for something with a deep V-neck, open neckline, and fitted waist. 

If you’re self-conscious about the size of your hips or bottom, choose a dress with a fitted top that flows out by way of a high waist. Another great option is a wrap dress or a belted waist dress.

Pear/Triangle Shape

Females with a pear or triangle-shaped body usually have a small upper body with large hips and thighs. You have the option to wear a wedding guest dress that adds size to your upper body, or you can attempt to slim down your lower half to make everything look more proportionate. The best dresses for pear or triangle-shaped bodies include strapless dresses, v-neck dresses, A-line skirts, or high waist maxi dresses.

Oval shape

The more round/oval body shape type will look lovely in a dress that is cinched in at the waist and floats around your bottom half. You want to look like you have a very balanced silhouette. 

A deep neckline will provide a very sexy look, and opt for a full skirt on the bottom. You want to bring that waistline in as much as possible with the dress you choose or the accessories that you select.

Rectangle shape

When you have a rectangle-shaped body, your chest, waist, and hips will all be about the same size. The hip line will be the same as your shoulder width. You usually lack definition in your hips. 

X-line dresses have a broad shoulder that tapers down to a fitted waist to create the look of curves and definition. Wrap dresses allow you to create definition where you feel it’s needed. Tiered dresses that ruffle down to the ankle create definition and layers that you may feel you lack. If you want to wear something fitted, go for a tight waist.

Apple shape

The apple body shape usually indicates that a woman is prone to carrying weight in their middle section. They may have an undefined waist, flat bottom, and thin legs. You should opt for a guest dress that draws most of the attention to your upper body. 

Woman pink dress luxury interior

You can do this by wearing something that’s fitted at the waist, a drop-waist dress, swing dress, or an empire waist. An A-line dress or wrap dress should work well also. Feel free to wear a short dress. Your legs are likely your best asset if you have an apple-shaped body!

Athletic shape

An athletic build means that you have narrow hips and good muscle tone over your body. You want to try and balance your upper body with your lower body, as your shoulders are likely quite wide. You’re striving to achieve a more hourglass physique. 

You can do this with ruffles, sequins, embellishments, and any other details that increase the volume of certain areas of your body that are thinner. Choose an A-line dress, V-neck, halter dress, or something with a lower waistline that creates a volume-like look in the middle of your body.

Plus size

If you are a plus-size woman, you can choose a dress that you feel comfortable in. You may want something more full coverage that’s made with a fabric that stretches for a good fit. A high waist dress will accentuate your shoulders and bust. It cinches high above your hips, flowing out the rest of the way to cover your stomach and bottom. 

If you find a dress that you love, but it doesn’t fit you quite right, don’t be afraid to have it altered to your body. Being plus-sized doesn’t mean that you can’t accentuate your curves. Don’t choose a boxy dress that hides everything. They tend to ride up in the back or in inconvenient places.


Now that you know plenty about different body shapes and what wedding guest dresses will look best on those figures, we encourage you to head to the stores or check online for a dress that you think will compliment your body type. 

Make sure that you try different dresses on to get a feel for what you like and what looks good on you. In the next chapter, we’re going to visit some tips for how to choose the perfect dress as the guest of a wedding.

How to choose the right wedding guest dress

In search of a new outfit to wear to an upcoming wedding? Not sure what’s in style or what type of dress would look best on your body type? We’re going to talk a lot about how you can choose the right wedding guest dress based on your personal style, what’s trending, and what would complement your body type.

After reading through this chapter, you should be able to pick out a wedding guest dress with ease.

Tips and tricks to select the perfect wedding guest dress

A wedding is a beautiful celebration of love between two people. You’ve been invited to share this day with someone you know and care about. You’re probably in need of a new wedding guest dress for the big event. 

To help you choose the right dress, we’ve selected some of our favorite tips and do’s and don’ts to help you throughout the process of shopping for something new. Whether you’re attending a casual summer wedding or something more formal in the winter, we are here to help.

Avoid White Wedding Guest Dresses

It’s a rule of thumb that you don’t usually wear white to a wedding unless you are the bride. That pristine white is saved for the woman that is the star of the show that day. If you were to wear white, you might look as though you’re the bride or that you’re trying to take some of the attention off of the bride. 

That’s not the impression that you want to make, and you surely don’t want to be remembered as the person who wore the inappropriate white dress to a wedding you attended.

Select Your Wedding Guest Dress Based on the Type of Wedding You’re Attending

There are several types of wedding events that you can attend. You’ll usually get some sort of insight into what type it is when you receive your official invitation in the mail. The dress code might be listed, but you may also be able to determine what you should wear based on the location of the wedding. 

If it’s a backyard wedding in the middle of the summer, it’s safe to say that you’re not expected to dress in black-tie attire. A more casual dress would be acceptable. If you’re attending a winter wedding at a fancy banquet hall in the city, a more formal and fancy wedding guest dress may be in order. You can always check with one of the other guests, someone from the bridal party, or even the bride or groom to see what kind of wedding it will be.

Think About the Season

The season the wedding is in will largely determine what kind of wedding guest dress you choose. In the summer months, you can choose something that (tastefully) shows a bit more skin. You can add a sweater or shawl on top for the chilly evening hours when the sun goes down. Winter weddings or weddings in the fall may require something warmer that you’ll be comfortable in throughout the event.

Match Your Wedding Guest Dress with the Right Accessories

Detail woman chest jewelry

Picking out the right wedding guest dress is only half the process. You should also pay some attention to the type of accessories that you’re going to wear with your dress. If you’re wearing a basic dress that is one solid color and doesn’t have many embellishments, then some bolder accessories are an excellent idea to add some style to your outfit. If you’re already wearing a dress that is in a bold color or is a print, stick with more simple accessories that don’t stand out too much.

Choose a Dress That Looks Flattering on You

Just because a dress fits you or comes in your size doesn’t mean that it’s the right dress for you. You want to choose something that’s going to flatter your body type. Women come in all shapes and sizes. Because of that, you probably have some features that you want to accentuate and some that you want to hide a bit. 

If you have long legs, don’t hide them behind a long dress with a lot of fabric in the skirt. Choose something that is cut shorter. An hourglass figure looks good in a dress that hugs the curves of the hips while flowing out to a knee-length skirt or longer. Try on a few different styles of dresses to see what you like the best.

Where to Shop

There are all kinds of places where you can look for the perfect wedding guest dress. If you’ve tried some dresses on and know the exact style that you’re going to want, you can look online for endless options. If you’re not really sure what’s going to look best or you have a challenging body shape that only looks good in certain styles, it may be a good idea to stick to local shops in your area that provide you with a large variety of options.

Pick a Color According to the Season

The color or print of your dress should be appropriate for that time of year. Darker and more conservative colors are great for the winter and fall months. Bright colors, pastels, and floral prints are far more appropriate for the spring and summer.

Set a Budget for Yourself

While it’s important that you find a wedding guest dress that you feel comfortable in, you don’t want to purchase something that’s going to break the bank. Set a budget for yourself before you start shopping. Try to stick to that budget as closely as you can.

Do’s and don’ts

There are some basic do’s and don’ts that you should keep in mind when you’re in the middle of shopping for a wedding guest dress. These are some of our favorite tips that you should keep in mind while shopping.

Don’t Upstage the Bride

Lady pink dress sitting floor

Remember whose big day it is. While you want to look fancy and feel beautiful, you’re not the bride. Dress in a way that’s not going to draw attention to you rather than the bride or the wedding party. That means you’ll want to stay away from a white dress or something bolder like a bright red dress. Elaborate up-dos, flashy accessories, and a big poofy dress aren’t what you’ll want to select as the guest.

Don’t Wear Anything Too Skimpy

Dressing in something that’s too revealing is another way to get the wrong type of attention at a wedding. A wedding is a much more conservative event than going out to a club on the weekends. You will be gathering with the bridal party, their family, friends, and coworkers. Wear a wedding guest dress that’s going to make a good impression on everyone at the wedding. Your dress shouldn’t be too short or revealing up top.

Don’t Wear White

White is reserved for the bride only at a wedding. You can wear white at your own wedding but leave that color dress at home for the event. You can choose something light in color, but it shouldn’t appear that you’re wearing a white dress or a dress that looks like it could be a casual wedding dress. Many brides wear something elaborate for their ceremony and then change it into something casual for the reception. You could be mistaken at the reception for the bride.

Don’t Forget About Underwear

Not that you would forget to wear underwear, but make sure you’re picking an appropriate pair for the dress you’re wearing. If you have a dress on that is cut a bit high and could cause an indecent exposure, make sure you’re wearing a full coverage panty that would keep you modest.

You also want to make sure that you aren’t wearing a style of underwear that’s going to show panty lines on the exterior of your dress. Your bra should be chosen carefully as well. You shouldn’t see bra straps underneath your dress. There are all kinds of strapless bras and different cuts that will work with whatever type of dress you choose.

Don’t Dress Too Revealing or Sexy

Dressing in a sexy outfit or dress is something you might do when you go out with your girlfriends on the weekend, but you don’t want to dress too revealing or sexy as the guest of a wedding. Make sure you’re covering yourself up, so nothing is too exposed. Many wedding ceremonies occur in a church. That’s not the place to show a lot of skin. Even the reception is a formal affair that requires you to be appropriate.

Don’t Wear Uncomfortable Shoes

You’ll probably be at the wedding for a number of hours, so make sure that you have something comfortable on your feet. If you’re not comfortable in high heels, leave those at home. Opt for something flat that is comfortable to walk and move around in. Comfortable shoes are necessary, especially if you plan on hitting up the dance floor at the reception!

Do Consider the Location

Wedding couple under blanket mountains

The location of the wedding will help you to determine what kind of wedding guest dress you should be wearing. A fancy and formal location will require a fancier and more formal dress. You don’t want to show up in jeans and a blouse if you’re going to a wedding at one of the top facilities in your area.

Do Take into Account the Dress Code

The dress code may be listed on your invitation, so take a peek at the details before you decide what you’re going to wear. If nothing is listed and the location doesn’t provide you with any insight into what you should be wearing, ask someone close to the bride and groom for some insight.

Do Check the Weather

You can choose your dress according to the season that the wedding will be in, but there’s nothing wrong with having a couple of different wedding guest dress options to choose from based on what the weather will be that day. A bright and sunny day where the temperatures are very warm may require a different outfit from what you would choose for a cool and windy day.

Do Bring a Change of Shoes

If you want to wear a formal pair of heels to the ceremony and the early part of the ceremony, you’re free to do so. However, you may want to throw a pair of comfortable shoes in your bag. When you dance or mingle during the reception, you’ll be happy that you have a change of shoes. There’s nothing worse than dancing around in bare feet!

Do Wear Layers

Layers are a great way to make sure that you’re comfortable all evening long. The earlier part of the day will likely require you to wear less clothing. It’s when the sun goes down that you will want to cover up to account for the evening chill that’s probably present.

Do Consider the Time of Day

Weddings can take place at all different times of the day. The dress you would choose for an afternoon wedding is probably a lot different from what you would choose for an evening wedding. Layers are nice, but the style of dress you choose should also take the time of day into account.


Now that you’re well informed regarding how to pick out the perfect wedding guest dress, it’s time to start shopping! Most wedding invitations go out a couple of months prior to the event, so you should have plenty of time to find something you love. Don’t wait until the last minute to figure out what you’re going to be wearing!

Conclusion

We’ve shared a lot of different information with you regarding the different wedding guest dresses that you can choose from. Once you’ve received your invitation and have sent back the RSVP card, you can start the search for the perfect wedding guest dress. From body type to different style choices, we’ve provided you with all of the tools you need to pick the perfect dress.

If you have any questions about choosing a wedding guest dress, leave a comment below. We also encourage you to share this point with anyone you know that may have an important event coming up. Read some of our other posts to learn more about our fashion style tips, how to shop for certain items, and the history of fashion.

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