What to Wear to A Backyard Wedding

Plus, fits you can shop right now.
backyward wedding attire
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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 21, 2021
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Backyard weddings are trending for a few reasons: They're usually local, intimate gatherings with a comfy vibe and they offer a budget-friendly venue. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, we're predicting backyard weddings will be more popular than ever in 2021, especially in warmer months (think: upcoming summer weddings and fall weddings). If you're attending one of these more laid-back outdoor weddings, the dress code might have you stumped. (When is backyard wedding guest attire considered too dressy? When is it considered too casual?) If you find yourself asking these questions or just generally wondering what to wear to a backyard wedding, we've got you covered. Read on for backyard wedding guest attire etiquette—plus editor-approved outfit ideas you can buy right now.

What to Wear to a Backyard Wedding

Backyard wedding attire is most commonly defined as dressy casual. It's important to note that while this may be true for most nuptials, others may require a more formal—even black tie—dress code. Ultimately, the wedding style and formality is up to the couple, meaning there are no hard and fast rules. Pro tip: If you need more clarification surrounding the dress code, check the wedding website, or reach out to the couple directly. In general, though, backyard wedding guest attire includes lightweight fabrics, a wide range of colors and prints and semi-formal accessories that feel at home in an outdoor venue.

TLDR; Mini and midi dresses, jumpsuits, slacks and a button down shirt, and a lightweight suit jacket or blazer for a formal ceremony are all appropriate outfit ideas. Where footwear is concerned, plan for uneven terrain like grass, gravel or even sand (in the case of a backyard beach wedding). Block heels, wedges, dressy flats and dress shoes with sturdy soles are all safe bets. If you're living on the edge and opting for stiletto heels, have some heel protectors handy. And while a backyard wedding may be an opportunity to go with more relaxed 'fits—don't take it too far. No matter how casual the backyard wedding may be, it's still best to skip the t-shirt and jeans to be sure you're suitably dressed for the occasion.

Backyard Wedding Attire You Can Shop Now

Still not sure what to wear to a backyard wedding? Don't fret. We've figured it out for you by rounding up the best backyard wedding guest outfits. Here, browse our favorite backyard wedding guest attire picks. You'll find a variety of options, from floral print frocks to casual suiting. Plus, you can always check out Abercrombie x The Knot's "Best Dressed Guest" Collection. If you find an outfit you love, you can simply add it to your cart.

black and white gingham button-front midi dress


This ultra-lightweight sundress in a fun black and white gingham print is just made for a spring wedding.

Lulus Checks Out black and white gingham button-front midi dress, $68, Lulus.com

 Slim short-sleeve seersucker shirt in stripe

If you're attending a casual backyard wedding in warmer months, you can't go wrong with a short-sleeve, button down shirt in a breathable material like seersucker. Bonus points for a standout print like this one.

J.Crew Slim short-sleeve seersucker shirt in stripe, $70, JCrew.com

floral print midi dress with puff sleeves

Take a cue from the best parts of cottagecore and Bridgerton-inspired fashion trends with a pastel floral pattern frock with an empire waist, square neckline and puff sleeves.

Faithfull the Brand Le Temps Des Fleur Midi Dress, $319, Saks.com

butterly print long sleeve dress shirt

The lightweight fabric of this dress shirt with long sleeves will keep you cool even if the temps start to rise. A subtle butterfly print is less expected than a traditional floral print but still gives a nod to the outdoors.

Bonobos Trim Fit Stretch dress shirt, $128, Nordstrom.com

Mustard Yellow Floral Print Backless Maxi Dress

A floral dress for a garden wedding? Groundbreaking. But actually, this breezy floral print maxi in a trendy mustard shade feels totally fresh. Another thought: If you're looking for a casual bridesmaid dress for backyard nuptials, this is also a pretty option.

Lulus Fresh Picked Mustard Yellow Floral Print Backless Maxi Dress, $98, Lulus.com

Navy Classic Fit Linen Suit Separates

If you're unsure of the dress code, it's a smart move to keep a classic navy blue linen blazer on hand just in case the celebrations are more formal than you anticipated. Or, if the dress code is strictly semi-formal, spring for the whole suit and mix it up with an eye-catching floral print or patterned shirt.

Lauren by Ralph Lauren Navy Classic Fit Linen Suit Separates, $169, MensWearhouse.com

Plissé pleated wide leg jumpsuit in blush

This jumpsuit offers the best of both worlds: The romantic details (read: pleated chiffon and ruffles galore) of a party dress plus the comfort of pants. You know what we call that? A wedding fashion win.

Floret Studios Plissé pleated wide leg jumpsuit, $98, Nordstrom.com

gender neutral long sleeve dress shirt in solid pink

Thanks to a spread collar typically only seen in menswear, this crisp, gender-neutral dress shirt is both undeniably dapper and a wedding season staple.

Kirrin Finch Pink dress shirt, $150, KirrinFinch.com

gender neutral navy dress pants

These menswear-inspired dress pants are expertly crafted in Italy, so the fit is chef's kiss, but they're comfy enough to bust a move on the dance floor.

Kirrin Finch The Georgie Navy dress pants, $195, KirrinFinch.com

super skinny fit suit pants in stone

Give basic khaki pants a fashion-forward upgrade by opting for a slim cut style in a lighter hue. Add the matching jacket for a polished effect that's perfect for a dressier garden or beach wedding.

Topman super skinny fit suit pants in stone, $74.00, ASOS.com

navy blue crepe wrap dress

The best thing about a navy blue wrap dress? Its versatility. We love this effortlessly glam style with a sexy plunging v-neck in drapey crepe for an evening wedding.

Reformation Sur wrap dress, $248, TheReformation.com

long sleeve dress shirt with blue check pattern

A long-sleeve button down shirt in a blue pattern is a classic choice. Pair it with chinos khaki or navy blue chinos for a look that's put together but still laid-back.

Banana Republic Slim-Fit Non-Iron dress shirt in Racer Blue, $79, BananaRepublic.com

Floral print midi dress with off the shoulder neckline

Bring the boho-chic vibes with this pastel dress featuring a flowy tiered skirt and an off-the-shoulder neckline.

LoveShackFancy Capri Midi Dress, $425, Bloomingdales.com

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