32 Cocktail Dresses to Wear to All Your Weddings This Season

A classic cocktail dress is a staple of any woman’s wardrobe and seems to become even more perfect once wedding season rolls around. We rounded up our favorite cocktail dresses for wedding guests.
by Kelli Acciardo

It’s summertime—which means that wedding season is in full swing, and you’ve probably got a few save-the-dates hanging on your fridge. That also means you’re going to need something to wear to each of these celebrations. We think a cocktail dress is a great choice for wedding attire—whether the wedding you’re attending is formal or semiformal affair. We’ve picked out our favorite short, long, plus-size, embellished, modest, sexy and romantic options, below, plus some from RenttheRunway.com (it’s got thousands of cocktail dresses perfect for weddings, that you can rent, wear, and return—without breaking the bank).

(And psst...through The Knot, couples can offer their guests a 20 percent discount code for Rent the Runway. Just head to your Wedding Website dashboard—or create one—to redeem.)

  1. red off the shoulder cocktail dress

    The lady in red always gets noticed. This evening cocktail dress is not for the tame, but it is sure to impress.

    Quiz off-the-shoulder sheath dress, $44, LordandTaylor.com

  2. polka dot black and white cocktail dress

    Petite cocktail wedding dresses can be tricky to find, but you’re in lucky with this black-and-white polka dot number that was made for smaller frames.

    Topshop petite black spot pinafore dress, $100, Topshop.com

  3. MADELYN DRAPE MAXI DRESS

    Make everyone green with envy when you enter the room in this high-low ruched forest green dress.

    Aijek Madelyn drape maxi dress, $379, Revolve.com

  4. Keepsake Add to Hearts Lost Dreams Dress

    This floral strapless stunner is the ideal summer cocktail dress for any outdoor soiree. It’s super romantic thanks to the sweetheart neckline and flouncy hem, and has a flirty element with its cutout.

    Keepsake lost dreams dress, $35, RenttheRunway.com

  5. Cinq a Sept Sade gown

    Be the belle of the ball in this pink cocktail dress that’s simply incredible from head to toe.

    Cinq a Sept Sade gown, $695, Shopbop.com

  6. ML Monique Lhuillier Add to Hearts Gladiolus Dress

    When it comes to cocktail dresses for weddings, one trend that always works is color blocking. This bright feminine frock combines a hot pink with a lighter blush pink.

    ML Monique Lhuillier gladiolus dress, $115, RenttheRunway.com

  7. Lara Annabelle Beaded Mesh A-Line Dress

    Whether you choose this geometric beaded cocktail dress in black or blush, you’ll love spinning around the dance floor in the flare skirt.

    Lara Annabelle beaded mesh a-line dress, $298, DavidsBridal.com

  8. Three Floor Add to Hearts Lace In Line Dress

    If you’re attending a wedding where you must wear white (if it’s not on the dress code, make sure to stay away from this hue!), this is the white cocktail dress to do it in.

    Three Floor lace in line dress, $80, RenttheRunway.com

  9. HERVÉ LÉGER Fluted cutout pointelle-knit dress

    A bandage dress in striking cobalt works perfectly for an evening wedding, and the best part is, you can wear it for many other occasions afterward.

    Hervé Léger fluted cutout pointelle-knit dress, $696, TheOutnet.com

  10. Marchesa Notte Off-the-Shoulder Embroidered Floral Gown

    Marchesa’s über-fem cocktail dresses are always suitable for wedding season, but this cold-shoulder silhouette covered in blue blooms takes the cake.

    Marchesa Notte off-the-shoulder embroidered floral gown, $1,095, LordandTaylor.com

  11. ASOS DESIGN Cowl Back Pleated Midi Dress in Stripe Floral Print

    There are a lot of pretty factors to this printed white cocktail dress in a midi length, but the cowl back design makes it a unique contender for a summer wedding.

    ASOS DESIGN cowl back pleated midi dress in stripe floral print, $60, ASOS.com

  12. topshop Star Jacquard Ruched Slip Dress

    If the wedding you’re attending is beachy or boho, a punchy ruched slip dress fits the bill.

    Star jacquard ruched slip dress, $80, Topshop.com

  13. Kay Unger Add to Hearts Sequin Rain Sheath

    A sequin shift is a winning plus-size cocktail dress option for a wedding, and this style hits all the right notes with it’s shorter length, but longer sleeve.

    Kay Unger sequin rain sheath, $30, RenttheRunway.com

  14. Xscape Floral Off-The-Shoulder Party Dress

    Short and sweet—just how we prefer a floral cocktail dress.

    Xscape floral off-the-shoulder party dress, LordandTaylor.com

  15. Marilyn Satin Faux Wrap Dress COOPER ST

    Available in coral and navy, this liquid-shine plus-size cocktail dress will highlight all your curves in the right places.

    COOPER ST Marilyn satin faux wrap dress, $170, Nordstrom.com

  16. Aidan by Aidan Mattox Embellished Cocktail Dress

    Let’s call this the next-level LBD. This dress is sexy meets black tie with it’s V-neckline and feathery details.

    Aidan by Aidan Mattox embellished cocktail dress, $220, Bloomingdales.com

  17. One Shoulder Metallic Pleated Dress

    This one-shoulder metallic cocktail dress for a wedding is as good as gold.

    Dima Ayad one-shoulder metallic pleated dress, $1,225, 11Honore.com

  18. Alice + Olivia Lanora Tier Pleat A-Line Dress

    If blue is your hue, than this tiered, cap-sleeve, V-back navy cocktail dress is the one for you.

    Alice + Olivia lanora tier pleat a-line dress, $695, SaksFifthAvenue.com

  19. Milly Cecile Dress

    Meet the girliest ruffle dress in the sweetest bubblegum hue. If you’re looking for a pink cocktail dress for a wedding, this gem’s a good choice.

    Milly Cecile dress, $450, Shopbop.com

  20. Slit Maxi Slipdress TRACY REESE

    Simple doesn’t have to mean boring, as evidenced by this versatile, full-length slip dress.

    Tracy Reese slit maxi dress, $398, Nordstrom.com

  21. HERE'S TO YOU MAGENTA BACKLESS DRESS

    Stand out in a sea of strapless (and strappy) numbers and opt for this effortlessly glam purple cocktail dress for a wedding instead.

    Lulus here’s to you magenta backless dress, $47, Lulus.com

  22. ASOS CURVE Kimono Twist Front Maxi

    Be a green goddess in this kimono-esque plus-size summer cocktail dress that shows a flash of leg whenever you enter and leave the room.

    ASOS curve kimono twist front maxi, $52, ASOS.com

  23. yellow maxi

    Yellow cocktail dresses at weddings always bring the sunshine, and this stretch-knit dress will bring a smile to everyone’s face.

    Rony Kobo Jennifer dress, $438, RonnyKobo.com

  24. red striped bow dress

    Not that you want to show up the bride on her special day, but this striped midi dress styled with an oversize bow is going to turn heads.

    Amur Eva dress, $80, RenttheRunway.com

  25. frill lace bardot cocktail dress

    Something about this blue cocktail dress just says Italian nuptials in the Amalfi coast, don’t you think?

    Missguided frill lace bardot dress, $56, ASOS.com

  26. cocktail dress blush chiffon

    Searching for a long cocktail dress for a fancy affair? This flowing, floor-length chiffon gown sparkles with just the right amount of sequins on the bodice.

    Marina chiffon gown with drapey sequined bodice, $50, DavidsBridal.com

  27. Nicole Miller  Mint Pleated Sweetheart Dress

    Pleats + lace = the ultimate cocktail dress for a wedding guest. Plus this pale mint color is flattering on every skin tone.

    Nicole Miller mint pleated sweetheart dress, $80, RenttheRunway.com

  28. French Connection Jeunesse maxi dress

    A smoky gray cocktail dress for a wedding is an excellent color choice, and this seersuckered waist style is both comfortable and glamorous.

    French Connection Jeunesse maxi dress, $130, FrenchConnection.com

  29. ELOISE MIRRORS MAXI DRESS

    This showstopping maxi cocktail dress has a mosaic halter bodice and faux silk organza skirt.

    French Connection Eloise mirrors maxi dress, $160, FrenchConnection.com

  30. Slate & Willow Add to Hearts Black Sequin Susie Dress

    Feathers and black tie are a match made in heaven when it comes to the crème de la crème of LBDs.

    Slate & Willow black sequin susie dress, $55, RenttheRunway.com

  31. Parker Black Jordanna Feathered Fit-&-Flare Dress

    If you’re attending a Gatsby-themed wedding (or just channeling Daisy Buchanan), this ’20s-inspired dress will do.

    Parker Black Jordanna feathered fit-and-flare dress, $498, SaksFifthAvenue.com

  32. MIKAEL AGHAL Cold-shoulder ruffled chiffon gown

    Even if the wedding you’re attending doesn’t take place in a castle, you can still choose a cocktail dress that was fit for a fairy tale.

    Mikael Aghal cold-shoulder ruffled chiffon gown, $388, TheOutnet.com


    Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, some of which may be sponsored by paying vendors.


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