What to Wear to an Outdoor Wedding

Outdoor weddings are having a moment. Read our tips on guest attire—plus stylish options you can shop now.
outdoor wedding guest attire outfits
shelley brown - the knot
Shelley Brown
shelley brown - the knot
Shelley Brown
Senior Fashion & Beauty Editor
  • Shelley writes and edits articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a speciality in fashion, beauty, jewelry and accessories
  • Shelley writes and edits articles for The Knot magazine, as well as styles the magazine’s fashion and cover shoots
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Shelley was a freelance Digital Editor at Conde Nast’s Lucky Magazine and freelanced for FLAUNT Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, Backstage.com and Paste.com
Updated May 28, 2021
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Outdoor weddings offer naturally gorgeous scenery, stunning photos ops and work for any wedding style. What's not to love? And, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a feeling outdoor weddings will be more popular than ever in the coming months. If you're attending an outdoor wedding, the dress code might have you stumped. (Is the attire for a black tie outdoor wedding different than an indoor one? What about a beach wedding?) If you find yourself asking these questions or generally wondering what to wear to an outdoor wedding, we've got you covered. Read on for outdoor wedding guest attire etiquette—plus chic wedding outfits you can add to your cart.

What To Consider When Choosing Outdoor Wedding Attire

  • The Dress Code: Given that Outdoor weddings can range from grand black tie affairs to intimate backyard weddings, there are no hard and fast rules where outdoor wedding guest attire and dress codes are concerned. Ultimately, the wedding style and formality are up to the couple. If you're unsure of the dress code, check the wedding invitation, wedding website, or reach out to the couple directly. In general, the formality and location of the wedding should help guide your attire. For example, if you're attending a black tie outdoor wedding, a tuxedo or floor-length gown are appropriate choices. Conversely, if you're attending a casual beach wedding, a sundress or lightweight suit are safe bets.
  • The Season: Also take the time of year into account when choosing your guest outfits and accessories. An outdoor winter or fall wedding might require outerwear like a wrap, cardigan or dressy jacket, or a dress with long sleeves to keep you warm in case the temps drop, while an outdoor summer wedding probably calls for breathable, flowy fabrics (think: seersucker and chiffon) and sleeveless dress styles.
  • The Terrain: If you're attending on outdoor wedding on uneven terrain like grass, gravel or sand, it's a good idea to opt for sturdy shoes. Block heels, wedges, dressy flats and dress shoes with thicker soles will keep you comfortable. If you're a true fashionista and wearing stiletto heels, have some heel protectors handy. And while a casual wedding in the great outdoors may be an opportunity to go with more relaxed 'fits—don't get carried away. No matter how low-key your surroundings, it's still best to skip the flip flops or running shoes.

Outdoor Wedding Guest Attire Outfit Ideas

Still not sure what to wear to an outdoor wedding? Don't stress. We've done the thinking—and shopping—for you by rounding up the best outdoor wedding guest attire options. Here, you'll find a variety of options, from floral print gowns and cocktail dresses to suiting for every dress code. If you find an outfit you love, you can simply add it to your cart.

Blush maxi dress

This maxi dress is winner for two reasons: It has a romantic vibe (read: a plunging neckline and pretty blush hue) and the comfort of a breezy chiffon material.

Lulus Heavenly Hues blush maxi dress, $88, Lulus.com

green maxi dress with bow details on bodice

This avocado-hued long dress has "spring wedding" written all over it. It's elegant enough for semi-formal or black tie nuptials, but the unique color gives it a more fashion-forward feel than your typical floor-length black dress.

Reformation Carrara long dress, $428, TheReformation.com

pink tulle long dress with flutter sleeves

Bridgerton dress trends are still going strong. This tulle gown with a square neckline and vintage rose pattern is Regency Era chic.

Needle & Thread Bijou ruffled smocked floral-print tulle gown, $529, Net-a-Porter.com

floor length magenta one shoulder gown

Stunner. While the one shoulder silhouette of this monochromatic outdoor wedding guest dress gives off serious modern vibes, the ruffle details and oversized rosette are seriously whimsical.

Aidan Mattox One-shoulder ruffle long dress, $595, Saks.com

black tuxedo

A black tux is timeless no matter what time of year you wear it. Just add a self-tie bowtie (they're more polished than pre-tied ones) and a pair of velvet loafers for a dapper look.

Mens Wearhouse BLACK by Vera Wang Black slim fit tuxedo, $600, MensWearhouse.com

peach floor length gown with hater neckline with bow

Bow down. Ideal for a black tie evening wedding, this halter neck gown with an oversize neck bow, flowy tiered skirt and metallic pattern is sure to turn heads.

ML Monique Lhuillier Halter neck metallic dotted gown, $695, Saks.com

yellow floor length gown with cape sleeves

No jacket? No problem. Besides creating a truly stunning silhouette, the cape sleeves of this evening gown make it perfect for formal weddings in cooler seasons.

Marchesa Notte Cape-effect cutout crepe gown, $995, Net-a-Porter.com

floral full length wrap dress

An über-flattering wrap dress with a fresh allover floral print is a no-brainer for a spring wedding.

Lulus Fiorire Slate blue floral print wrap maxi dress, $88, Lulus.com

lilac maxi dress with bow straps

Ah, romance. This sweet maxi dress with a smocked waistline and ruffled details is ideal for a low-key affair like a garden wedding or beach wedding.

Reformation Hampton long dress, $388, TheReformation.com

boue seersucker suit

A seersucker suit is both a wardrobe and a summer wedding attire essential—it's more laid-back than a dark suit but still feels put together. Just add a printed shirt to mix it up.

Bonobos Italian stretch seersucker suit, $600, Bonobos.com

floral flutter hem midi dress

The eye-catching combo of a charming print, flutter hem and ruffle details make this budget-friendly floral dress feel luxe.

Eliza J Sleeveless flutter hem floral dress, $148, Bloomingdales.com

green floral print midi diress

This floral print midi dress is the best of every world: Its long sleeves make it work for a variety of seasons, its in-between length can go either casual or semi-formal and its garden-inspired pattern works beautifully in natural surroundings.

Reformation Lorne midi dress, $278, TheReformation.com

yellow ruffled mini dress

Feeling fresh? The lemony hue of this pastel yellow cocktail dress is a fun departure from more expected spring and summer wedding color palettes.

BCBG Flounce ruffled mini dress, $248, Bloomingdales.com

slim cut dress shirt in light blue

A long-sleeve button down shirt in solid blue is a outdoor wedding staple. Pair it with khaki or navy blue chinos for a look that's put together but not stuffy.

J.Crew Slim-fit Bowery wrinkle-free stretch cotton shirt, $99, JCrew.com

slim cut chinos in khaki

Give basic khaki chinos a fashion-forward upgrade by opting for a slim cut style. Wear them with a buttoned up dress shirt for a polished effect.

J.Crew Skinny-fit pant in stretch chino, $80, J.Crew.com

short floral wrap dress with blue and yellow pattern

If you're attending a casual wedding, consider wearing a shorter frock. This pastel mini dress featuring a flowy tiered skirt and vibrant botanical print is short on hemline but big on personality.

Lulus Feeling Butterflies light blue floral print tiered ruffle mini dress, $68, Lulus.com

tropical bird printed colorful midi dress

Jetting off to a destination wedding on the beach? Opt for a colorful sundress to play off the tropical vibe of your locale. The playful pattern and midi length of this one are totally on trend.

Farm Rio Neon Macaws maxi dress, $230, Saks.com

floral print short sleeves mens dress shirt

You can't go wrong with a short-sleeve, button down shirt in a breathable cotton. Bonus points for a statement print like this one.

Bonobos Stretch Riviera short sleeve shirt, $79, Bonobos.com

navy mens chinos

Navy blue chinos complement a wide variety of solid colors, prints and patterns. We love them with the above patterned dress shirt.

Bonobos Stretch washed chinos, $99, Bonobos.com

yellow floral print mini dress with puff sleeves

Take on the great outdoors in style. This flouncy, short floral dress is just made for a low-key daytime wedding.

LoveShackFancy Aldina ditsy floral ruffle mini dress, $425, Saks.com

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