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What to Wear to a Summer Wedding: 30 Stylish Options

Here's what's hot in summer wedding attire.
summer wedding attire
shelley brown - the knot
by 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 Apr 24, 2021
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What's not to love about a summer wedding? Sunshine, outdoor celebrations, cheerful color palettes and an overall more relaxed vibe explain why 73% of weddings take place between May and October. If you're wondering what to wear to a summer wedding, we've got you covered—no matter your personal style. While a fluttery dress or a  lightweight suit may be the first types of summer wedding attire to come to mind, there are limitless options you can buy for your next big event that are season-appropriate and totally fresh. 

But before we share our shoppable list of what to wear to a summer wedding, here are answers to a few etiquette questions and some quick tips on what to wear to a summer wedding.

What to Wear to a Summer Wedding (Outdoors & Inside) 

When shopping for summer wedding attire, it's always better to be overdressed than underdressed. While rising temps may have you in a more laid-back state of mind, summer wedding attire still has a sense of formality. And, regardless of how casual the summer wedding may be, it's still best to skip the jeans and flip-flops to be sure you're appropriately dressed for the occasion. When in doubt (say, you're unsure what "black tie optional" or  "semi-formal" or means), ask the couple for clarification. Psst: The Knot's guide to decoding different dress codes is here.

If you've been invited to a summer wedding, there are a few important factors to keep in mind when planning your attire: location, venue and dress code. For instance, if you're attending a casual beach wedding, opt for garments made of breathable fabrics and unfussy accessories like flat sandals or boat shoes that will stand up to warm weather and uneven terrain. If you're choosing an outfit for a black tie affair at a country club, formal dress rules (think: a tuxedo and a long gown) still apply. In general, summer weddings are a great opportunity to sport colorful fabrics, as well as floral and tropical prints. 

Still not sure what to wear to a summer wedding? Don't sweat it. We've done the shopping for you by rounding up the best summer wedding attire for guests. Here, browse our editor-approved looks, broken down by dress code.

Formal Summer Wedding Attire

Formal wedding attire can encompass white tie and black tie. Generally, you can never go wrong with a well-tailored tuxedo or glamorous long gown. These days the term "formal attire" can also mean a dress code that's slightly less formal than black tie or black tie optional. This means that a tuxedo or floor-length gown might not be required,  but the event is still formal enough for one to be appropriate. Pro tip: If you aren't sure how formal to dress, always choose the more formal option.

navy blue long wrap dress with kimono sleeves

We love this navy wrap dress for two reasons: It's a universally flattering silhouette that looks good on basically everybody and its versatile shade of blue works for pretty much any venue or time of year. 

Reformation Winslow dress, $278, TheReformation.com

black tuxedo

A classic black tuxedo is a timeless choice 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 an impeccable look.

Bonobos Capstone Italian wool tuxedo, $900, Bonobos.com


metallic knit jumpsuit with cowl neck

Not into dresses? Not a problem. This jumpsuit feels formal thanks to its shimmery fabric and sophisticated silhouette, but is comfy enough that you can boogie the night away. 

Connected Apparel Metallic knit tie waist jumpsuit, $79, Nordstrom.com

hot pink column gown with skinny straps

Be bold with it. This dress comes in a summery shade of hot pink, AKA a seasonal color that will turn some heads. Bonus: If you aren't looking to splurge on a designer gown, you can rent this one for a fraction of the cost. 

Solace London Riley gown, from $65 to rent, RenttheRunway.com

One-Shoulder chiffon pleated gown with floral print

Get ready to bring the goddess vibes. This draped, on-shoulder gown is all about fashion power moves. The asymmetrical neckline shows off your shoulders, while the abstract floral print adds flair.

Marchesa Notte One-Shoulder chiffon pleated gown, $795, Saks.com

 yellow tropical print wrap maxi dress

This yellow maxi dress is the best of every world. The breezy wrap dress silhouette serves you summer wedding attire, while its sunny color and print is all kinds of playful. But the high slit adds some edge.

Lulus Heart of Marigold yellow tropical print wrap maxi dress, $78, Lulus.com

navy tuxedo

If you're attending a black tie summer wedding but a black penguin suit feels too prescriptive, consider a tux in an alternative color like navy. This look is still polished but pushes the boundaries ever so slightly.

Indochino Highworth navy tuxedo, $499, Indochino.com

strapless gown with blue ikat print

You aren't limited to floral or tropical prints where summer wedding attire is concerned. This structured, strapless gown with a blue Ikat pattern is absolutely stunning. 

Sachin & Babi Brielle Gown in blue Ikat floral, $850, SachinandBabi.com


Floral print pleated chiffon maxi dress

There's nothing garden variety about this floral print gown. Allover pleating plus a halter neckline give it a high-fashion feel.

ML Monique Lhuillier Floral print pleated chiffon maxi dress, $595, Saks.com

navy wool suit

If you're attending a black tie optional summer wedding, a suit in a dark hue is a totally appropriate choice. We love this one because it's lightweight fabric has some stretch—meaning you can get down on the dance floor. 

Bonobos Jetsetter Stretch Wool Suit, $650, Bonobos.com

Semi-Formal Summer Wedding Attire

Depending on the time of the event, you'll want to dress somewhere between formal and casual for a semi-formal summer wedding. Wear darker, more formal hues for an evening soiree; opt for light colors and fabrics for daytime nuptials. Keep in mind that semi-formal still has the word "formal" in the description. You still want to look elegant and put together. Sure, you can keep your ball gown or tuxedo at home, but don't dress like you're going to a low-key family barbeque.

peach foral print pleated dress with ruffle straps

Ah, romance. What better way to celebrate a love story than with this über-romantic dress with an allover floral print, ruffled straps and a pleated skirt made for twirling? 

Shoshanna Jeane floral print twisted and pleated dress, $495, Saks.com

Strapless wide leg jumpsuit with oversize floral print


Jetting off to a destination summer wedding? We've got your outfit covered. This wide leg jumpsuit with an oversize tropical print is all about chic island vibes.

Willow Ryan Strapless wide leg jumpsuit, $128, Nordstrom.com

light blue eyelet lace midi dress with puff sleeves and belt

It doesn't get more summery than a sundress of eyelet embroidered chiffon. This textured fabric it's both breathable—perfect for balmy weather—and whimsical. 

Sachin & Babi Jenna dress in baby Bblue, $495, SachinandBabi.com

 Tan chambray linen slim fit suit

A tan 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. Lose the jacket for a more casual look. 

JOE Joseph Abboud Tan chambray linen slim fit suit, From $199, MensWearhouse.com

one shoulder dress with bubble hem in pastel pink

This is a bubble hem done right. The one shoulder neckline, sophisticated pink hue and otherwise toned-down feel give this previously outdated style a fabulous update.

Tibi Italian sporty nylon one shoulder dress, $795, Shopbop.com

floral print midi dress with slit and puff sleeves

If the cottagecore trend speaks to you, look no further. It doesn't get more bucolic than this floral print dress, complete with voluminous sleeves and a smocked bodice for added comfort. 

Reformation The Meadow dress, $248, TheReformation.com

 wool linen light blue suit

Besides being one of the hottest trends in menswear, a light blue suit can be surprisingly versatile. Edge it up with a patterned shirt,  tie or pocket square—or go for all three.

Indochino Stockport wool linen light blue suit, $399, Indochino.com

sage green floral lace-up high-low maxi dress

Long dresses don't have to be super formal—take this maxi, for example. The skinny straps, high-low hemline are ideal for a daytime event.

Lulus In Love Forever sage green floral lace-up high-low maxi dress, $88, Lulus.com

peach gingham print dress with puffy sleeves

Bridgerton stans, this one's for you. Puff sleeves and a square neckline make this gingham dress a Regency Era dream. 

Azeeza Rory gingham print dress, $995, Shopbop.com

mauve pink short sleeve jumpsuit

The best thing about this jumpsuit besides its super-tailored fit? It can be dressed up or down for any occasion. Add nude heels and statement accessories for a more formal effect, or flats and more minimal jewelry for a relaxed feel.

Lulus One in a Million mauve pink short sleeve jumpsuit, $58, Lulus.com

Casual Summer Wedding Attire

Generally, casual means anything goes—but jeans, shorts and tank tops are probably not appropriate unless they're specifically noted as acceptable. For the purposes of wedding wear, assume this dress code means business casual to be on the safe side.

pale blue mini dress with ruffle hem and bow straps

Simplicity is the name of this game. A mini dress silhouette in a pretty pastel blue hue  is all about serving effortless glamour. 

Reformation Christine dress, $218, TheReformation.com

 navy blue floral print ruffled romper

Consider this printed romper for a casual summer wedding—it's flouncy and all-around festive.

Lulus Call it a Crush navy blue floral print ruffled romper, $54, Lulus.com

Gingham check button-up mens shirt

For a quintessential preppy summer wedding outfit, go for a gingham button down shirt. It can work in basically any setting, but we love it for a nautical-themed event.

Peter Millar Robinson gingham check button-up shirt, $148, Nordstrom.com

 Slim-fit stretch chino pant in navy blue

You can't go wrong with a pair of navy blue chino pants. They complement a wide variety of solid colors, prints and patterns. We love them with the above gingham button down shirt.

J.Crew 484 Slim-fit stretch chino pant, $80, JCrew.com

pink floral mini dress with off the shoulder sleeves

There's something so charming about a watercolor-inspired print. This mini dress also boasts the prettiest gathered sleeves plus a trendy off-the-shoulder neckline

Misa Danae dress, $325, Shopbop.com

blue colorblocked mini dress with tiered skirt

This colorblocked dress, with its tiered skirt, puff sleeves and flattering V-neck says one thing: chic.  

STAUD Corsica mini dress, $295, Shopbop.com

Short sleeve mens shirt in green floral print

Style gurus, take note. A breezy Hawaiian shirt in a graphic print is a fashion-forward option for a casual summer wedding. Bonus points if you're in a tropical setting.

ASOS DESIGN set regular revere shirt in green floral print, $26, ASOS.com

Tan modern fit chino


If jeans are off limits and you're looking for something more low-key than slacks to wear with a printed shirt, a pair of light chinos are generally appropriate for a casual summer wedding. Plus, lightweight fabric means you'll be comfy in your outfit all day. 

Joseph Abboud Tan modern fit chino, $40, MensWearhouse.com

My Love Story White Floral Print Tie-Back Maxi Dress

This floral maxi gown toes the line between semi-formal and casual, so it's all about what you pair with it. We suggest flat or block heel sandals for a casual summer wedding.

Lulus My Love Story white floral print tie-back maxi dress, $74, Lulus.com

Navy puff-sleeve cocktail dress with floral embroidery

Here's one final floral dress for good measure—we know how well-loved they are. Just add strappy nude sandals. 

ML Monique Lhuillier Puff-sleeve cocktail dress, $575, Saks.com

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