I’ve received five wedding invitations for 2016, and three of them are this summer. And every time I pull back the doors to my closet, I let out a long, exasperated sigh. So, I’m making a mental list to try an organic spray tan, get a pedicure, and find the perfect dress (or two!) for all these warm-weather affairs.
Below, we’re decoding what to wear to six types of weddings this summer.
White Tie –
Lucky you, this dress code most likely means an evening of Champagne, black truffle risotto, and a string quartet. You’ll want to look extra glam for this ritzy occasion.
WEAR THIS: Full-length ball gown with dramatic jewelry and a bold red lip. This gorgeous Aidan Mattox gown – with gold sequins and a godet skirt – fits the bill. Want something less flashy? This black BCBG Max Azria gown with a halter neckline is simple but lavish.
Black Tie –
Almost as fancy as a white tie soireé, a black tie wedding calls for a long evening gown, as well. Prepare for an opulent evening of ornate hors d’oeuvres, toasts given with Champagne, and the soft strum of a harp.
WEAR THIS: This tulip and eggshell color block gown is perfect for a Saturday afternoon or Sunday brunch formal wedding, while this black and gold lace gown would look marvelous for an evening gala reception.
Enjoy an evening of shrimp cocktail, crisp white wine, glowing paper lanterns, and soft piano.
WEAR THIS: Grab your favorite LBD or splurge on a new cocktail dress. (And yes, black is okay at a summer wedding! Just pair it with a fun pop of color, like a bright lipstick or a colorful bib necklace.) This floral lace dress (with a scalloped hem!) is flattering and festive, and this floral silk dress – that looks hand-painted – is perfect for strolling the venue’s garden after the ceremony.
This kind of wedding is a mix between Formal and Casual. For a daytime shindig, stick with lighter colors. For an evening fête, choose darker hues. Be sure to bring your dancing shoes!
WEAR THIS: Think smart black pants and a gold sequined top or a dress with fun details, like this beaded high-neck midi dress or this indigo dress with mini pom-poms.
Beach Semi-Formal –
A destination wedding in Hawaii means white sand, fruity drinks in carved-out coconuts, and the cheery twang of a ukulele.
WEAR THIS: A floral-print dress, flat sandals, and a hydrating sunscreen. This lightweight crepe wrap dress from ASOS is pretty and relaxed. Want to kick it up a notch? This floral gown with cape sleeves and a knife-pleated skirt is dressier, and it’s begging to be paired with a bold, neon lipstick.
A backyard crawfish boil reception calls for a sunny sundress and strappy sandals. After all, you’re going to spend the evening playing lawn games and eating ice cream sandwiches – the bride’s favorite dessert of all time.
WEAR THIS: A kindred nod to gingham, this navy and cream windowpane dress is super cute for sun-drenched, merry festivities.
(A note from the author: I’ve never attended a white tie or black tie affair, so if you’re having a fancy summer wedding and you’re feeling generous, shoot an invitation my way! Would love to pull out my sequined godet gown – ha! – and dine on black truffle risotto.)