After all the postponed weddings of last year, it's going to be a bumper summer of couples tying the knot. If you've been invited to one of these, it's likely to be your first big chance to dress up and spend time around all your friends - and to complete that, you need a killer summer wedding guest dress.
We’ve searched the rails of the high street (as well as delving into the new season drops of our favourite online retailers) to bring you the very best summer wedding guest dresses for every type of occasion.
Summer is the time of year when you can take inspiration from the weather and go as bold and bright as you dare, so there are plenty of patterns and prints in our edit. However, the trends for Scandi-inspired neutrals, shirred prairie shapes and more delicate floral designs are certainly still on the radar too, so we’ve included something to cater for all tastes and budgets.
None of these dresses are one-off wears. After the wedding, they can become staple parts of your party wardrobe with a chic jacket thrown on for autumn or winter weddings.
To start, we’ve also compiled a couple of top tips for you to ensure whatever you choose fits the bill.
Top Tips for Choosing a Summer Wedding Guest Dress
- Consider the dress code. Have the couple outlined a colour scheme to adhere to on their wedding invitation? Have they specified “black tie” or “cocktail attire”? Make sure you’re up to date.
- Make a mental note of what not to wear to a wedding. Y’know, the glaringly obvious like not wearing white, plus the unwritten rules like no denim and nothing too short.
- Don’t choose something which will have you upstaging the bride. Weddings might be a great excuse to buy a new dress, but don’t go too overboard.
- Wear colour in the summer to liven up the photographs. Any excuse, hey?
Now you know the rules, it’s time to get shopping. Ready to find your dream summer wedding guest dress for 2021? Keep scrolling…
NB: We have included third party products to help you navigate and enjoy life’s biggest moments. Purchases made through links on this page may earn us a commission.
1. Printed V-Neck Puff Sleeve Midi Tea Dress - £69, M&S X Ghost
Iconic British brand Ghost have designed a collection of dresses exclusively for M&S and you guessed it, they're dreamy. This delicate floral dress brings a trendy touch to a traditional tea dress and is perfect for a relaxed summer wedding.
2. Floral Tie Sleeve Mini Tea Dress - £59, M&S X Ghost
We also adore this short, chic mini dress that features pretty ties on the sleeves. Styled with sandals or heels and you have yourself a wedding guest dress that can be worn for summers to come!
3. Floral Frill Detail Shirred Midi Tea Dress - £69, M&S X Ghost
Vintage inspired weddings are all the rage and if you're attending one this shirred floral dress would be perfect for the occasion. It also comes in a mini me kids size - ideal if little ones are tagging along too.
4. Gloria Mixed Floral Midi Dress - £99, Monsoon
This colourful midi dress features a beautiful garden flower print and charming puff sleeves. It's ideal for a relaxed summer wedding or can be teamed with heels and a flowery fascinator for a more formal occasion.
5. Satin Pleated Cami Dress - £72, Chi Chi London
6. Round Neck Ruffle Dress - £19.99, Zara
We don't really need to say anything, do we? Those sleeves speak for themselves. This style comes in two other colours too.
7. Tenki London Halterneck High-Low Dress - £34, SilkFred
As we all know, leopard print is a neutral - so spice it up by wearing this gorgeous bottle green print version of it. Add statement shoes and jewellery for a contemporary look.
8. Wrapped Satin Dress - £69.99, Mango
Look pretty in pastel in this beautiful lemon satin gown. The flowy fabric is ideal for summer and you can tie the waist as you like - we love a bow.
9. Damsel in a Dress Lulu Lace Midi - £149, John Lewis
Bright, bold and eye-catching for summer, we adore this turquoise flared dress. Embellished with intricate lace, the shape elongates the figure and provides nice arm coverage for those who'd prefer that.
10. Beige Spot Halter Midi Dress - £38, River Island
Spot will never go out of fashion and this simple but statement silky beige gown shows them off to great effect.
11. Cowl Neck Midi Dress - £79, Coast
This dress was made for dancing. Designed in a super shimmery fabric, this navy dress drapes down from a cowl neck to a fitted midi. The textured finish elevates it up a level.
12. Long Knit Dress - £29.99, Zara
Don't be scared by lime green, it's actually such a flattering tone on tanned skin. This knitted dress has a really cool pattern and a fab ruffle trim. It'll turn heads for sure.
13. Organza Puff Sleeve Dress - £109, Coast
Whisper it, but we might have found the perfect dress. This organza number is the definition of drama and will make you the talk of the wedding (without stealing the bride's thunder, of course).
14. L.K. Bennett Avery Heart Spot Print Midi - £250, John Lewis
At a celebration of love, what better than to wear your heart literally on your sleeve (and the rest of you)? These cute white heart complement this chic blue pleated dress gorgeously. It's got Kate Middleton vibes which we are 100% here for.
15. Linen-Blend Floral Dress - £19.99, H&M
Costing less than £20, you may as well buy this dress in both colourways: one light green and one creamy yellow, both decorated with the hand-painted favourite wildflowers of H&M's own print design team. It's short and oh so sweet.
16. Lace Detail Maxi Dress - £34.99, H&M
Relaxed and flowing, this lemlem x H&M gown would suit everything from a destination wedding to a more formal event with a sharp jacket thrown over the top. The blue and peach colour scheme reminds us the seaside and the slight sheen to the fabric is glorious.
17. Pink Printed Long Sleeve Smock Midi - £46, River Island
Come summer, almost all the prints you'll find are floral so it's nice to find a dress with such a stunning abstract print. This magenta chiffon gown embraces a lovely deep, rich colour and complements most skin tones.
18. Lace V-Neck Midi Dress - £129, Coast
How gorgeous is this cut-work lace fabric! With a scallop-hemmed skirt and puff sleeves, this Coast dress is full of cute finishing touches.
19. ASOS DESIGN Wrap Around Pleated Midi Dress - £42, ASOS
Everything about this dress in on-trend: the wrap top, pleat skirt, cut-out detail, soft plunge and puff sleeves. You can't go wrong.
20. Blissful Bamboo Print Green & White Midi Dress - £85, Oliver Bonas
High necklines are beautifully sophisticated and it works perfectly here with this floaty, tiered skirt. Plus, you can get away with eating and drinking all day in this A-line silhouette.
21. Ruched Yellow Midi Dress - £70, Monsoon
This eco-friendly dress from Monsoon's S.E.W capsule collection is one you'll want to wear time and again. The mustard colour is gorgeous for a sunny day and you can dress it up or down depending on the wedding.
22. Mango Pleated Satin Maxi Dress - £79.99, John Lewis
This fit-and-flare silhouette is nipped in by the delicate waist tie and cascades down from the halterneck to the tiered base. It isn't a maternity dress but would look absolutely brilliant as one.
23. Belted Floral Print Midi Dress - £95, & Other Stories
Summer calls for colour and this dress has it in spades. It has a cool '70s vibe to it with bursts of pink, red, burgundy and peach. Sleeveless is great for a warm day too.
24. Ted Baker Rioni Floral Print Twist Waist Maxi Dress - £299, John Lewis
We know, cream! Played right, you don't need to worry about the colour of this dress at all. The beautiful floral print puts it right in the guest dress category; in fact, in the best dressed guest category, with its flattering, sophisticated and sleek design. Perfect for a summer wedding where the sun might not be shining quite as much as we'd like.
25. Polka-Dot Ruffle Dress - £69.99, Mango
If you're after a boho gown, this gorgeous two-tone, asymmetric neckline one from Mango is a dream. Those ruffle details and billowing sleeves scream out for a luxe outdoor wedding.
26. Ruched Bodycon Bardot Midi - £72, Chi Chi London
Floaty dresses aren't for every occasion and when you're invited to a glamorous soiree, this satin bodycon is a real winner. The ruching looks super luxe.
27. Frilled Broderie Anglaise Mini Dress - £65, & Other Stories
Flirty and feminine, this mini dress is a youthful and fun choice. Make sure it's an event where you won't feel the odd one out with your legs on show as this mini has a sexy side too.
28. Lemon Print V-Neck Midi Tea Dress - £45, Marks and Spencer
There's not a single dress in the Nobody's Child and M&S collab that you couldn't wear to a wedding - they're all incredible. If you're after a memorable dress that'll look great in photos, go for this fun lemon print dress.
29. Flowy Puff Sleeve Midi Dress - £85, & Other Stories
This kind of smocked bodice and sweetheart neckline suits both larger and smaller chests and the colour red really does work on almost everyone. If you're not sure what to wear, we can guarantee this dress will look good on you.
30. Vera Printed Jacquard Maxi Dress - £165, Kitri
Featuring a Hollywood-style high neck and a thigh-high slit, this dress was made for twirling. You'll feel like a million dollars, especially with your hair up showing off that gorgeous oversized bow neck fastening.
31. Celestia Dress - £285, Reformation
Fallen in love with this Pompadour print fabric? Reformation have it in lots of different styles but we love this strappy version with a fitted bodice and a full skirt (which gives you room to eat as much wedding cake as you want!).
32. Lantern Sleeve Tie-Front All Over Print Dress - £13.49, Shein
Don't have much of a budget? Shein has lots of dresses at bargain prices. We're partial to this lilac number which has a great swish to the skirt.
33. Patterned Black Dress - £39.99, H&M
Don't be afraid to wear black at a wedding if you pair it with colour. The floral print is already a cute touch, but a bag and heels in a complementary tone will really make this calf-length dress pop.
Now you’ve got your summer wedding guest dress sorted, make sure you check out our 18 rules which all wedding guests must follow! You don’t want to get caught out.