Since the year began, I’ve already attended two weddings, I have one next month, and then one almost every other month for the rest of the year (including my own). With 2020 and the majority of 2021 postponing weddings left and right, it seems EVERYONE is trying to squeeze their wedding into 2022. I get it, and no one besides a completely unprecedented pandemic is to blame, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that wedding season is about to get pretty nuts. So, because most of us at EHD have been googling “wedding guest dresses” for the past few months, we all decided this is a post we needed to write, in hopes that it’ll help keep a little bit of the attending-a-wedding-stress at bay. So we all got together and pinned the wedding guest appropriate dresses that we would want to wear, and broke them up into their appropriate dress code categories. If you have a wedding (or several) coming up on your calendar, we hope this post will help you check one thing off your list.
1. Flower Print Dress | 2. Knot-Front Cutout Halter Midi Dress | 3. Green Animal Strappy Frida Dress – Curve | 4. Adabell Dress | 5. MISA Mesh Midi Dress | 6. Cowl Neck Slip Maxi Dress | 7. Selkie Princess Dress | 8. Knot Detail Dress | 9. Puff Cottage French Dress | 10. My So Called Life Nightie | 11. The Way to Love Black Floral Print Ruffled Maxi Dress | 12. The Elsa Dress | 13. Betsy Midi Dress – Curve | 14. Gitane Long Sleeve Smocked Linen Midi Dress | 15. Davenport Dress
When it comes to a casual wedding dress code, this is where (I believe) you should get a dress that you would absolutely wear again. It should be dressy enough that it’s not an “everyday” dress, but casual enough that you could also wear it to non-wedding events. I love black so I am extremely attracted to #2 and #4, but if I were a color gal, I wouldn’t skip #13. #7 is also a very sweet option, by a brand called Selkie that I’ve recently discovered and love.
1. Instant Impression Sage Green Asymmetrical Midi Dress | 2. Diana Gown | 3. x REVOLVE Ava Dress | 4. Long Sleeve Roma Dress | 5. Resounding Beauty Dusty Purple Surplice Maxi Dress | 6. Roxanie one-shoulder fil coupé chiffon mini dress | 7. Knotted silk-satin mini dress | 8. Twist Front Long Sleeve Dress | 9. Lilac Vienna Mini Dress | 10. Sierra wrap-effect Dress | 11. Rina Dress | 12. Noah Wrap Dress | 13. x Revolve Camo Dress | 14. Scala layered ruched jersey midi dress | 15. Aaliyah Midi Dress
From what I understand, a cocktail wedding dress code means you can wear shorter-length dress but it must still be fancy and a bit formal. This is actually the most popular wedding attire choice, so here’s to hoping one dress in this category will get you through all of wedding season. I personally love midi dresses so #2, #12, and #15 are all on my list. But for a short option, I can’t help but love a one-shoulder look like #6.
1. Forest Green Midi Dress | 2. Boat Neck Maxi Dress | 3. Evening of Elegance Navy Blue Floral Jacquard Wrap Midi Dress | 4. Black Lottie Dress | 5. Printed Crepe de Chine Gown | 6. Westerly Dress | 7. Niesha Handkerchief Hem Midi Dress | 8. Private Kiss Midi Dress | 9. Midnight Sky Child Midi Dress | 10. Steel Sky Child Midi Dress | 11. Silk Wrap Midi Dress | 12. Meadow Maxi Dress
I think semi-formal is the most confusing wedding guest attire category. Semi?? Formal??? I don’t know what’s happening. But after much research it has come to my attention that it is very similar to a cocktail dress attire, except with semi-formal the length of the dress should be at least below the knee. Also, according to brides.com, a semi-formal wedding calls for “darker, more formal colors for an evening wedding, and light colors and fabrics for a daytime event”. Fair enough. For this category, I am loving #2 but if I were a person that the color yellow looked good on, I would absolutely go for #5. For a nighttime wedding that might get a little chilly, #11 is a great long sleeve option.
1. Sunset Views Midi Dress | 2. Rory Velvet Dress | 3. Burgundy Maxi Dress | 4. Soa Dress | 5. Mara Velvet Maxi Dress | 6. Amelie Dress | 7. Cami Gown | 8. Mina Dress | 9. Tasteful Dress | 10. The Rianna Dress | 11. Embellished Sequin Maxi Dress | 12. Twist Back Cap Sleeve Dress | 13. Summer Cinderella Midi Dress | 14. Simone Maxi Dress | 15. Words of Warning Maxi Dress
A formal dress is either a floor-length gown or a fancy cocktail dress. I think of this category as what you would wear to prom but make it #matureadult. You don’t want your dress to scream “I am in the running for prom queen” but the level of “fancy” is about the same. I wore #9 to a wedding last month and received a ton of compliments on it. It’s very tight and form-fitting, so just know that you have to feel confident about flaunting your curves :). If I had to buy another formal dress though, I’d go for #14 or #15. Which one is up your alley?
1. The Rosabel Maxi Dress | 2. Queen Gown | 3. Sequin Cowl Neck Gown | 4. Sandra Plunge Crepe Trumpet Gown | 5. Victoria Maxi Dress | 6. Drina Gown | 7. Hit the Mark Gown | 8. Velvet Applique Tulle Dress | 9. Magali Pascal Side-Slit Maxi Dress | 10. Multi Tie Maxi Dress | 11. Low Back Slip Mermaid Fishtail Gown | 12. Cape-Effect Metallic Gown | 13. Cayla Side Drape Gown | 14. Off-the-Shoulder Gown | 15. Draped Stretch Satin Gown
Black tie weddings are intimidating. A black-tie dress is a floor-length gown, full stop. If you have a black-tie affair coming up, and don’t see yourself wearing a gown more than once, I cannot recommend services like Rent The Runway enough. It was literally created for instances like this and will save you from buying something you’ll never have the chance to wear again. And they have HUNDREDS of designer dresses to choose from. But if you do have multiple fancy affairs going on, any of these dresses will have you looking perfect for the part. Mallory wore #3 to a formal event last weekend and loves it. It’s affordable but dressy so it’s completely appropriate for black tie events. I am a sucker for black or red dresses so #1, #4, and #11 are living rent free in my head. Oh, and #12 is so chic it almost hurts.
So there you have it. If you are wedding guest dress shopping we hope this post helped to narrow down some options. Cheers to surviving wedding season! 😉
Opener Image Credit: Photo by Veronica Crawford