Peak wedding season is upon us and if you have invitations arriving in the mail, planning your outfit can be a fun (and stressful!) item to check off your to do list. As if right on cue, I recently received a comment from one of my lovely readers requesting a Style Guide geared toward wedding guest dresses perfect for summertime. No matter the season, dressing for the occasion can get tricky especially if the dress code isn’t specifically stated on the invitation. To help with the confusion, today I’ve decided to break down the four main types of wedding styles and how to dress for them. Plus, I’m even handpicking specific options for each category. That way you’ll be prepared for a black tie soiree or backyard bash and everything in between. Let’s get to it…

Black Tie

the best dresses for black tie weddings

Monique Lhuillier Keira Gown, $298

The most formal wedding dress code is black tie. That means dressing to the nines in a formal gown in addition to tuxedos, bowties and cummerbunds. If a floor-length gown isn’t in the cards for a hot summer wedding, a fancy cocktail dress should do the trick. Here are some safe and chic black tie options…

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Formal or “Black Tie Optional”

the best formal or "black tie optional" dresses

Anthropologie Inesse Dress, $290

 A step below black tie but still worthy of dressing to the nines, formal weddings usually call for gowns and tuxedos as well. You do have a little more wiggle room with dark suits and elevated cocktail attire. Check out these options if you’re headed to a formal wedding… 

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 Semiformal or Cocktail Attire

the best semi formal or cocktail attire dresses

Gal Meets Glam Tyler Off the Shoulder Scuba Crepe Dress, $168

In between formal and casual, semiformal is a category where most weddings fall into. Cocktail dresses with either dark or light colors are appropriate as well as lighter suits and ties. Here are some of my favorite semiformal dress options…

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Casual or “Daytime Attire”

the best casual or "daytime attire" dresses

Reformation Talita Dress, $218

Last but not least we have casual. A casual wedding dress code does not mean you can show up in jeans a T-shirt though! During the summer sundresses are completely appropriate, and fabrics don’t have to be as heavy. If you want to wear a cocktail dress, that’s OK too, but perhaps you can tone it down with wedges or a low block heel. Here are some fun options…

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Do you have any weddings coming up? 

Let me know what you’re wearing in the comments!

XO Lauren

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Except Photo: Virgil Bunao

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