What To Wear To A Summer Wedding

17 December 2018

Wedding season is well and truly upon us and we’ve got you covered with all the tips and tricks for what to wear to a summer wedding.

This may be your first ever wedding (exciting!), or maybe you’ve been to a gazillion already – but let’s freshen up on the basics first.


  1. Overdress rather than underdress – It’s always better to overdress than underdress! No matter what the theme of the wedding, it’s always smart to be on the safe side and overdress. Remember, it’s the most special day of their lives and you want to show them the love and respect such an occasion deserves.
  2. Never wear white! This seems super obvious, but you’ll be surprised! You should also steer clear of cream.
  3. Follow the dress code on the invite! This is where you’ll find the best hints for what to wear.

Now let’s take a look at some of the most popular dress-codes for a summer wedding!


If you’re a girl:

Usually, when we hear the word “casual” we think of denim, shorts and maybe even some ripped jeans YEEZY style. But…. this is a big no-no for a wedding! Denim is definitely off limits even for a casual wedding.

Instead, think wide-legged pants with a cute floral top, and a pair of flats. Or try a knee-length floral sundress with wedges for the quintessential casual look.

What to wear to a 'casual' summer wedding
What to wear to a ‘casual’ summer wedding?

If you’re a guy:

It may be casual, but still, no flip-flops for the guys. Think “something appropriate for work” type of vibe! Chinos are a great choice with a light coloured shirt, and a pair of loafers or driving shoes in navy or brown. If it’s a beach wedding, sandals would be a great choice.


If you’re a girl:

Take hints from invite with this one. Where is the wedding located? On a farm? A winery? A church? The location will give you a bit of an idea of the elements and style.

Weddings are the perfect occasion to wear beautiful bright colours, especially in summer, so set a festive tone with a floral dress!

What to wear to a 'smart casual' summer wedding
What to wear to a ‘smart casual’ summer wedding?

A jumpsuit is also a great option for a smart casual wedding, but ditch the one you’d wear to the beach and opt for a more tailored style. Pair it with a clutch, some heels and accessories and you’re ready to roll!

If you’re a guy:

Opt for a similar outfit to the casual wedding vibe, but spruce it up a little with a relaxed blazer over a dress shirt. No tie required!

WEDDING DRESS CODE: ‘Cocktail Attire’

If you’re a girl:

This is one of THE most popular dress codes so get a few staple outfits and you’ll be sorted for the whole season.

What to wear to a 'cocktail' summer wedding
What to wear to a ‘cocktail’ summer wedding?

Whilst you could go for a tailored jumpsuit or two piece dress, a fun cocktail dress will be your best bet for a cocktail wedding.

Keep things fun with colours and patterns, just make sure it’s not overly revealing and if you’re wearing a dress, it should finish at or above the knee.

Heels are an absolute must for a cocktail wedding! Choose neutral colours, like a black or nude heel, or you could go for a statement pair of heels and opt for a plain dress.

If you’re a guy:

Go for a suit and tie. Summer is the ideal time to choose a light grey or light blue suit. Try a dapper pair of velvet shoes in a magenta or brown for something a bit different.


If you’re a girl:

There’s a wide range of options for semi-formal nuptials!

You could choose a midi dress, or if it’s an outdoor wedding go for a maxi dress and think about wearing a pair of embellished sandals if you’re going to be walking on grass or sand.

What to wear to a 'semi-formal' summer wedding
What to wear to a ‘semi-formal’ summer wedding?

Make sure you don’t forget to do your nails, makeup and accessories. A semi-formal wedding is a perfect occasion to put your hair in an up-do that you might not normally wear and finish it off with a crisp clip.

When your hair is up you can show-off some fabulous statement earrings! Consider a pair you wouldn’t normally go for, like an unexpected shape or size. Wear a sleek pair of heels in black or nude.

If you’re a guy:

For a semi-formal wedding, guys should go for a suit and dress shirt. Depending on the venue, a tie should be worn. For example, if it’s a church wedding, definitely opt for a tie, but if it’s a garden or beach setting a tie may not be necessary.

Choose dress shoes with dark socks, and don’t forget about the final touches like a belt and a vest for a more sophisticated look.

WEDDING DRESS CODE: ‘Beach Formal’  

If you’re a girl:

Think summer floral midi dress with fun accessories!. You can go for a more natural look with your hair and makeup for a beach wedding. Go for tousled curls and sun-kissed look with your make-up.

What to wear to a 'beach formal' summer wedding
What to wear to a ‘beach formal’ summer wedding?

For a beach wedding, you still want to impress but make sure you think about the elements: water, sand and sun! Heels are probably not ideal as you’ll be navigating sand, so instead try some dressy sandals for a more comfortable experience, and don’t forget to put on your sunscreen!

If you’re a guy:

Ties are definitely not required for a beach wedding. Opt for light summer colours, like chinos and light fabric shirts, or a linen shirt is a charming choice for a beach wedding. Sandals are appropriate footwear for a beach wedding.


If you’re a girl:

You can still wear colour to a formal event! Take your cues from the wedding invite. A formal dress (midi or maxi) with statement accessories is still suitable for a formal wedding, or this is your chance to bring out the full-length gown!

What to wear to a 'formal' summer wedding
What to wear to a ‘formal’ summer wedding?

If you’re a guy:

Tuxedos are not required for a formal wedding, but definitely opt for a suit for a formal wedding. Try a fitted suit for a more modern look and go for leather shoes, a belt and even a vest to complete the look.


If you’re a girl:

Bring on the sparkly jewellery and the elegant hair up-do! It’s not compulsory to wear your hair up, but why not? It adds an extra touch of elegance.  You can wear an elegant midi dress, but make sure you embellish it with the right accessories.

What to wear to a black tie summer wedding
What to wear to a ‘black tie’ summer wedding?

The safest option is a full-length gown, just remember to get the right size heels as you want to be able to walk in it without tripping over!

If you’re a guy:

This is the second most formal attire there is, so you’re going to need a tuxedo, a black tie or bow tie, patent leather shoes and a cummerbund.


If you’re a girl:

Ok, this is THE pinnacle of wedding attires so you need to pull out all the stops!!! You’ll need a formal, full-length ball gown, hair and makeup done professionally and glamorously and don’t skimp on the accessories. Think GLAMOUR in every sense of the word.

What to wear to a 'white tie' summer wedding
What to wear to a ‘white tie’ summer wedding?

If you’re a guy:

For a white tie wedding, you’re probably going to need to invest in something you’re unlikely to have sitting in your closet: a jacket with tails. A bow tie is an appropriate choice for a white tie wedding, black leather shoes and if you want to go all the way, white gloves.

Need more inspiration? Shop Showpo’s complete range of wedding guest dresses today!

Teagan Russell.