22 Flowy, Light, and Absolutely Gorgeous Wedding Guest Dresses Perfect for Summer Ceremonies

Photo: Stocksy / Vladimir Tsarkov
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Wedding season is officially here, which means it’s time to dust off your dancing shoes and get ready to celebrate in style. The best wedding guest dresses all have a few important things in common: they fit the dress code, they never upstage the bride, and they make you feel your best. But finding the perfect option is easier said than done.

From breathtaking ball gowns to whimsical floral frocks, there’s a seemingly endless array of dresses to wear to a wedding, but these 22 are a cut above the rest.

What should a guest wear to a summer wedding?

Guests should first and foremost adhere to any dress code guidelines the couple provides. For example, if the dress code is white tie, black tie, black tie optional, or formal, you’ll need to lean a bit more fancy. Think: floor length gown or an elevated cocktail dress or pantsuit. If the couple requests cocktail or semi-formal, you can skip the ultra dressy gowns and lean more towards midis, knee-length dresses, or maxis that don’t read as true gowns.

When it comes to summer weddings, you may also find yourself dealing with less common dress codes that are more tailored to the venue. If the couple uses words like "garden party, tropical, beach, or outdoor" in their dress code request, use that as inspiration to find the best wedding guest dress for you. These more niche styles tend to lean less formal than the traditional dress codes, but that doesn’t mean you have to skimp on style. Simply consider colors or patterns that fit the theme, and don’t feel the need to purchase something that feels fussy or too formal for an outdoor affair.

Wedding attire for women can be confusing, but as long as you stick to the theme, keep the dress code in mind, and choose a look that aligns with your comfort level, you’ll be well on your way to being one of the best dressed guests of the night.

What color guest dress is best for summer wedding?

Summer weddings offer a ton of flexibility when it comes to what color dress guests can wear. Vibrant summery shades, pretty pastels, and trustworthy neutrals are all in play, but you may want to avoid deep jewel tones that tend to work better for fall or winter weddings.

There is one color to avoid at all costs, though. White dresses should be reserved for brides unless the couple specifically requests that guests arrive in the snowy shade. It’s best to avoid any color that can read too white in person or in photos as well. So, skip shades like champagne, ivory, super pale pink and nudes.

Red is another color that you may want to avoid, but it really depends on the couple. Some people believe it’s such an eye-catching shade that it could steal attention away from the bride, while others believe (or are aware of) an old wives tale that wearing red to a wedding indicates that you slept with the groom (this is obviously outdated, so do what you will with that information). There are also cultures that reserve the color red for brides. That said, plenty of couples are fine with guests wearing red, so if you’re planning to go that route just make sure to clear it with them first.

You may also want to avoid wearing the same color as the bridesmaids, simply because it may confuse other guests (but always check with the bride or groom—these certainly aren't hard and fast rules).

22 best summer wedding guest dresses

1. Abercrombie & Fitch, Emerson Ruched Strapless Midi Dress — $120.00

With a Cinderella blue (or black, or pink) color, and simple structure, this dress from Abercrombie & Fitch is a great fit for summer weddings. And because it’s strapless and satin, it’s an ideal option for outdoor affairs. If you prefer straps for support, this dress does come with some you can easily attach. It’s a classic fit that gives you room to breathe—and dance.

Return policy: You’ll be able to return the dress within 30 days for a full refund if you find it isn’t the right wedding guest dress for you.

Available sizes: XXS-XL

Colors: 3

2. By Anthropologie, Ruffled Peplum Halter Dress — $170.00

Delicate ruffle details, a modest slit, and a shirred back are just a few of the elements that make this Anthropologie dress a great option for summer weddings. It’s also crafted from a “only-at-Anthro” fabric that has sculpting properties while remaining stretchy, so you won’t sacrifice any comfort for the sleek silhouette.

Return policy: It can be returned for a full refund within 30 days (as long as it is unworn with tags!).

Available sizes: XXS-XL

Colors: 1

3. The Drop, Women's Scarlett Cowl-Neck Slip Dress — $60.00

This budget-friendly Amazon find is an ideal option for wedding guests who want to try one of this summer’s trendiest silhouettes without breaking the bank. With a simple cowl neck and satiny fabric, this slip dress is elevated enough for a dressier occasion but comfortable enough to wear for an extended amount of time. Plus, the colorful patterns will allow you stand out from the pack in wedding photos.

Return policy: Amazon Prime members can even use the “try before you buy” option to test the dress for free for seven days before making their purchase.

Available sizes: XXS-5X

Colors: 4

4. Banana Republic, Isa Cotton-Silk Dress — $190.00

If you’re looking for a dress that feels dressy without veering too formal, this Banana Republic find is a great option. The full skirt and small under-bust cutout add visual interest, while the summery pattern keeps things from feeling too fancy. While we love the lilac-floral print, the geometric option is also beautiful.

Return policy: It can be returned within 30 days.

Available sizes: 0-20

Colors: 2

5. Saylor, Leyna Mini Dress — $264.00

This mini dress screams “summer!” thanks to its sunshine yellow shade and fun fringe detailing (it’s giving flapper girl, which is so fun). The high neck also balances out the short length, so it doesn’t feel too revealing for a wedding.

Return policy: it’s available for a full refund within 60 days, and eligible for exchange within 90 days, as long as it’s unworn.

Available sizes: XS-L

Colors: 1

6. Express, Floral V-Neck Pleated Cross Back Maxi Dress — $128.00

A flowy maxi dress has long been a go-to option for a beach or garden wedding, but this Express option keeps things interesting thanks to its floral print and pleats. Plus, the color palette reminds us of strawberry cake with icing, and what could be sweeter?

Return policy: Express gives you 60 days for a full refund if you need to return it.

Available sizes: XS-XL

Colors: 1

7. Reformation, Casette Silk Dress — $328.00

Reformation is one of the most popular stores for wedding guest dress shopping, and for good reason. The retailer sells a variety of occasion-worthy dresses in a beautiful array of patterns, colors, and styles. This high neck option also features an open back and shirred sides, so it doesn’t feel too modest.

It’s available in this pretty blue floral, as well as a pink floral, black, green, purple, and sand (which feels a bit too bridal to wear to a wedding though).

Return policy: It can be returned within 30 days of the shipping date.

Available sizes: 0-12

Colors: 6

8. Eloquii, Eyelet Tie Front Maxi Dress — $140.00

Eyelet is a famously summer-friendly fabric thanks to its breathability, which means you won’t get overheated in this long-sleeve dress even if you spend the whole night on the dance floor.

Return policy: Eloquii accepts new and unworn returns up to 30 days after the date of receipt.

Available sizes: 14-24

Colors: 1

9. Norma Kamali, Diana Dress — $205.00

Lavender is quickly establishing itself as the color of the summer—and possibly the whole year—so why not make a splash by wearing it to a summer wedding. It’s also such a calming color that looks good on everyone. Norma Kamali’s Diana Dress has been a wedding guest favorite for a few seasons as it’s comfortable, flattering, and easy to travel with, but this purple update really takes it up a notch. (Our senior beauty editor, Zoe Weiner, has written about how it was her wedding dress favorite, and she called it the “leggings equivalent of a gown.”

Return policy: Net-a-Porter gives you 28 days to request or initiate an exchange or return.

Available sizes: XXS-XL

Colors: 1

10. Free People, Oasis Printed Midi Dress — $168.00

Don’t let the model’s sneakers fool you, this Free People dress is perfectly suited for summer weddings. It’s flowy, comfortable, and can easily be dressed up or down, making it a great choice for low-key weddings. And since it’s so fashionably versatile, you can rewear it to brunch with some sneaks.

Return policy: It’s eligible for full refunds within 30 days of delivery and store credit after 30 days.

Available sizes: XS-XL

Colors: 10+

11. Ganni, Smocked Satin Maxi Dress — $475.00

Stand out from the pack with this statement dress from Ganni. It features a textured bodice, contrasting black beads, and flattering silhouette that will leave other guests green with envy.

Return policy: It’s eligible for return within 28 days of purchase.

Available sizes: 0-14

Colors: 1

12. H&M, Asymmetric-hem Slip Dress — $65.00

With an almost marble-inspired pattern, this lime green dress is a great alternative if you want a printed dress, but don’t love florals. It’s also budget-friendly, which we appreciate (given so many formal dresses are only worn once!).

Return policy: It’s eligible for returns up to 30 days after purchase.

Available sizes: XS-XXL

Colors: 1

13. Hill House Home, The Matilda Dress — $175.00

Hill House Home may be best known for its famous nap dress, but that doesn’t mean you should sleep on their occasion dresses. This option evokes the same free flowing feel as the nap dress, but with more structure.

Return policy: The return window is a bit smaller than usual—you’ll only have 15 days from delivery to decide if it’s a keeper.

Available sizes: XXS-XXL

Colors: 5+

14. Mac Duggal Embroidered Ruched Flutter Sleeve A Line Dress — $498.00

Black may not be the most obvious choice for a summer wedding, but when it’s combined with a skirt covered in embroidered flowers, the moody shade becomes perfectly acceptable for formal warm-weather occasions.

Return policy: It’s returnable for 30 days after purchase.

Available sizes: 0-16

Colors: 1

15. Lulu’s, Dreamy Date Magenta Surplice Midi Dress — $65.00

If you’re looking for something a little bit more form fitting, consider this sleek dress from Lulus. It’s crafted from a stretch knit and features adjustable straps that help you find the perfect fit and is available in 10 different shades.

Return policy: Lulu’s accepts returns for 30 days.

Available sizes: XS-XL

Colors: 10

16. ASTR The Label, Santorini One Shoulder Midi Dress — $138.00

With its soft, summery color palette, asymmetrical hem, and one shoulder silhouette, this dress ticks all of the boxes for a great summer wedding guest outfit.

Return policy: ASTR The Label accepts returns within 28 days of purchase.

Available sizes: XS-XL

Colors: 1

17. Farm Rio, Green Dewdrop Floral Midi Dress — $235.00

This Farm Rio find is a great option if you’re looking for a dress that you can rewear throughout the summer season. When paired with heels and statement jewelry, it makes for a beautiful wedding guest look (get ready to stand out—nobody is losing you in a crowd), but you can easily dress it down with flat sandals as well.

Return policy: You can return it unworn within 30 days for a full refund.

Available sizes: XXS-XL

Colors: 1

18. X REVOLVE, Times Dress — $279.00

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind neckline, look no further than this statement dress from Revolve. It’s also available in blue, but this bold pink hue is much better suited to summer weddings.

Return policy: Revolve accepts returns within 60 days for a full refund and 90 days for an exchange.

Available sizes: SX-XL

Colors: 2

19. House of CB, Costanza Light Jade Maxi Dress — $255.00

Summer weddings may call to mind flowy, floaty dresses, but there’s always a place for a good fitted option as well. This dress screams “glamour” thanks to its sleek, vintage construction, corset-style bust, and stain finish, making it an ideal choice for a dressier wedding.

Return policy: House of CB only accepts returns that are shipped within 14 days of delivery.

Available sizes: XS-L+

Colors: 1

20. Zara, Pleated Ruffled Slip Dress — $70.00

Another budget-friendly find, this purple Zara dress is the perfect marriage of dressy and comfortable. The relaxed bust and pleated skirt make this something you can easily wear all night without feeling restricted, while the bright color and unexpected ruffles feel perfectly suited for a big event.

Return policy: returns are possible within 30 days of purchase.

Available sizes: XS-XL

Colors: 1

21. ASOS DESIGN, Cami Embellished Mini Dress — $245.00

Who says you have to reserve metallics for winter weddings? With its summary silhouette and open back, this beaded dress is fit for a swanky summer wedding.

Return policy: ASOS accepts returns within 28 days of delivery.

Available sizes: 0-14

Colors: 1

22. J.Crew Collection, Taffeta Side-Cutout Midi Dress — $350.00

Neon may seem like a risky choice for a wedding, but the classic construction and modest shape of this J.Crew dress tone the bright color down enough to not steal the spotlight. Plus, if you like the fit, it also comes in a pretty floral option.

Return policy: It’s eligible for returns up to 30 days after purchase.

Available sizes: 00-24

Colors: 2

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