15 Elegant Wedding Guest Dress Ideas

Wear these gorgeous dresses to look the best and stand out from the crowd.

Reviewed by Amy Salinger, Fashion Stylist Amy Salinger Amy SalingerFashion Stylist facebook_icontwitter_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MSc Pratima Ati MSc linkedin_icon
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Madhumati Chowdhury MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English & Literature), Certified Style & Image Consultant Srijita De MA (English & Literature), Certified Style & Image Consultant linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years
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Picking the perfect wedding dress can be difficult, but when it comes to choosing the right elegant wedding guest dresses, it can get a bit trickier. Well, the reasons are obvious – you would want to look like the showstopper while keeping in mind that you would not steal the wedding couple’s thunder at the same time. Plus, if there is a theme, your job can get more difficult as you would need to stick to the theme, but you would want to give your twist to the look. So today, in this article, we will help you choose the dresses that your heart desires effortlessly. Now go ahead and read the article.

Ace The Look
  • Hair: While elegant updos or loose waves are great options for a formal wedding setup, you can opt for braids or bohemian-inspired hairdos for a beachside wedding.
  • Body Type: A-line dresses or fit-and-flare styles are flattering and suit most body types. Wrap dresses and empire-line dresses work well for an hourglass figure.
  • Footwear: Block heels or wedges are good options for outdoor weddings and closed-toe pumps or dressy flats suit indoor weddings.

15 Beautiful Wedding Guest Dress Ideas

1. Pastel Colored Dress

Pastel colored dress for wedding guest
Image: Instagram @miabellacouture

Summer and spring are the most comfortable seasons when choosing an outfit; you do not have to worry about the weather as much as you would otherwise. Go for sophisticated pastel undertones like peach, mint, or off-white without stepping into the white territory and choose something that is simple, but stands out. This refined, peach-colored bodycon dress with ruffles is a perfect mix of the elements. You can wear fashionable, sequined stilettos or nude, but elevated footwear – it will look great with these outfits.

2. Soft Pleated Midi Dress

Choosing a dress becomes twice as hard when you are pregnant for a lot of reasons, but bank on that pregnancy glow. Wear something that is soft on your skin and elegant. Go with graceful midi dresses that hit a sweet spot with the length, and go with tasteful platform heels or wedges that go perfectly with these outfits. Style this with a silver side body bag, and a simple, polished pearl necklace.

3. Short Bottle Green Dress

Short bottle green dress for wedding guest
Image: Instagram @mumuandmacaroons

Short dresses don’t always have to be skimpy; this dress is proof. Wedding guests generally steer clear of short dresses, but you just need to know how to go about flaunting them. Bottle green is a gorgeous wedding color that just brings out an instant glow, and when you add details like glamorous shoes, accessories, and a clutch, it elevates your style even further. You can choose to dress up or down with dresses like these.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Silver, nude, or beige pumps will look good on a short bottle green dress for a wedding.

4. Skirt And Crop Top Outfit

Skirt and crop top for wedding guest
Image: Instagram @mumuandmacaroons

If you want to try something new, try two-piece dresses as they are turning out to be a hot favorite of most women. Formal pantsuits, crop tops, peplum skirts, etc. are also interesting choices. This royal blue skirt and crop top are screaming elegance. Pair the attire with contrasting accessories with a tinge of animal print etc. to let it all pop.

5. Off Shoulder Jumpsuit In Blue

Talking about pantsuits, if you are headed to a destination wedding, or weddings that have a specific theme, your hosts would appreciate people following it. Go with a simple, yet elegant blue off-shoulder pantsuit and pair the outfit with ankle strap sandals. You can tie your hair in a messy chignon bun and carry a high-end clutch to keep it all easy breezy.

6. Maxi Dress For Fall Weddings

Maxi dress for fall wedding guest
Image: Instagram @southernstyleblog

If you are lucky, fall weather accommodates dresses like these. If it’s a ranch or vintage wedding you are invited to, a simple spaghetti strap dress with gladiator sandals, an oversized hand clutch, and big designer sunglasses will seal the deal for you.

7. Floral And Sheer Outfit For A Beach Wedding

Floral and sheer outfit for a beach wedding guest
Image: Instagram @mumuandmacaroons

Unless you are from the bride’s closest tribe, don’t venture into anything light, white or something similar when choosing your dress. Instead, go for a dress that is unique and an exquisite off-beat choice. The delicate floral thread work for the body, and the sheer extension that flows below the knees gets you all kinds of beach ready. Wear luxurious high or sheer sandals to take this look up a notch.

8. Embellished Chiffon Gown

Look like a glam diva in this chiffon gown with embellishments and diamante details. This dress is also ideal for a black tie wedding or super formal occasions too. The halter neck and keyhole style are balancing all elements perfectly. Carry a sleek side body bag and wear ankle strap heels. Put your hair up and let your neckline steal the show.

9. Rose Gold Bohemian Outfit

Rose gold bohemian dress for wedding guest
Image: Instagram

Bohemian, Victorian, vintage, etc. themes have become increasingly popular over the last few years, and so it’s always good to have dresses that have an old-world charm but a modern aesthetic to them. With fine rose gold embellishments and fringes, this dress is a perfect definition of being the best of both worlds. Let your makeup be subtle and finish it all with a deep red lipstick to look like a damsel from the retro era.

protip_icon Quick Tip
If you want the fringes and embellishments to stand out, go for nude heels, clear pumps, or metallic pumps.

10. Navy Blue Fit Mermaid Style Maxi

Navy blue fit mermaid style maxi dress for wedding guest
Image: Instagram @afterdarkboutique

If the wedding is at an upmarket banquet hall, boutique or a palace, you need a dress that is equally compelling. Go with a dress like this and flaunt your body without worrying about stealing the bride’s thunder. You don’t need any accessories either; the dress will do all the talking.

Fashion Stylist Amy Salinger adds, “Navy is a great option instead of black. It puts a twist on what is considered classic.”

11. Off-Shoulder Lace Dress

Off-shoulder lace dress for wedding guest
Image: Instagram @saulee

Weddings and lace are synonymous, leave the whites to the bride and go for pastel or muted undertones. The off-shoulder neckline and the high-low hemline are details that do the talking for you.

12. Pencil Skirt Dress

Guest wedding dresses are a huge part of the bridal line and cater to women and their varied preferences and body types. Petite, plus, middle-aged or pregnant, there’s a dress for all of us, we just need to be more open and not confine ourselves to boring dresses. This pencil skirt dress is fashion-forward and elegant too. Pair this dress with white sandals and beach waves to complete this look.

13. Asymmetrical Spaghetti Dress

Asymmetrical spaghetti dress for wedding guest
Image: Instagram @davidsbridal

Asymmetrical dresses stand out, just like that. This asymmetrical floral dress is just breathtakingly beautiful.

“This dress is appropriate for all types of weddings. The shorter front keeps it cool, while the longer back leans more formal,” says Salinger.

14. Long Beaded Dress

Long beaded dress for wedding guest
Image: Instagram @dmbfashion

If you are looking for something more embellished and loaded, go for dresses like these and choose colors that complement the heavy work. Flashy colors can seem loud and over the top.

15. Red Peplum Skirt Style Dress

Red peplum skirt style dress for wedding guest
Image: Instagram @marisabaratelli

Peplum skirt style gowns or skirts just bring out the oomph like nothing ever does. That combined with an asymmetrical cut – near perfection.

Wedding Guest Outfits – Dos and Don’ts

Dos
  • Stick to the theme, and respect the invite.
  • Choose dresses that are romantic, and not too revealing.
  • Wear shoes that are comfortable for dancing etc. because wedding ceremonies are followed by receptions, which always feature dances.
  • Be watchful of the cuts and patterns of the dress you choose.
  • Look for alternate and new outfits while sticking to the code.
  • Pop your outfit with accessories.
  • Always prefer carrying a clutch or a sling bag over big office or beach bags.
Don’ts
  • Wearing white is a big no-no, and there’s no excuse for this.
  • If you know what the bridesmaids are wearing and you are not one of them, don’t even think of matching clothes with them.
  • Showing up in dresses that steal the bride’s thunder in any way is not a nice thing to do.
  • Opt out of dresses that are too revealing.
  • Don’t be overly casual or informal with your dress, so no jeans, flip-flops, distressed denim, etc.
  • There’s a difference between being stylish and sleazy, tread cautiously.
  • Don’t pick colors that are loud and glaring.
  • Black is turning out to be an acceptable wedding color, but always check with the host, you never know.
  • Carrying huge laptop bags is not a nice thing either.

Infographic: Top 6 Wedding Guest Dress Ideas

Trying to find the right color, fit, or style could be a major hassle when it comes to selecting a wedding dress as a guest. You do not want to upstage the wedding couple but also keep your style. Whether it’s the wedding venue or a themed wedding, you can step out of the white zone and play around with colors to create the perfect outfit. Check out the infographic below to find the top 6 wedding guest dress ideas.

top 6 wedding guest dress ideas (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Choosing elegant dresses for wedding guests can be a difficult and tricky task. To make sure you get the perfect dress for the wedding, our list of dresses for wedding guests will point you in the right direction. For weddings with a specific theme in place, an off-shoulder pantsuit or maxi dress with a pair of sunglasses and sandals will make for a comfortable and chic outfit. Always remember to wear comfortable shoes and avoid white and black to make you look your best on this special day.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can a guest look classy at a wedding?

Avoid white dresses and excessively glittery accessories. Floor-length gowns, lesser make-up, and simple accessories give a guest a classy look at a wedding.

What is the best color to wear as a guest at a wedding?

A little black dress is a must-have in your wardrobe for formal occasions. However, be mindful of the culture the couple and their families come from. In some cultures, you do not wear black to a wedding and some do not appreciate white. Double-check these things before picking your wedding guest outfit. Pastel, bottle green, and earth tones can also be worn at weddings.

What fabrics are suitable for a summer wedding?

Lightweight cotton, chiffon, silk, linen, and georgette are apt for a summer wedding. Breathable and airy, these fabrics provide an elegant yet summery look that is perfect in warm weather.

How do you choose a dress that is appropriate for the time of day and venue of the wedding?

By taking the time of day and venue of the wedding into account, you can choose a dress perfect for the occasion. While you can go for lighter fabrics such as cotton, linen, or chiffon if it is a day wedding, choose darker colors and silk or satin dresses for an evening wedding.

Key Takeaways

  • Colors that complement your skin tone are welcome, except anything white, since it is the brides’ color for the D-day.
  • Outfits with floral threadwork are always a safe choice and unconventional as well.
  • Sandals, neckpieces, bracelets, earrings, or clutches are great accessories that can elevate your look.
  • Two-piece dresses, such as pantsuits, crop tops, co-ord sets, and peplum skirts are also good options for weddings.
  • Comfortable fabrics such as lace or satin in soft, pastel colors are always a savior.
elegant wedding guest dresses

Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

Stay ahead of the curve with the hottest wedding guest dress trends. Check out this video to explore a plethora of bold colors that will ensure you shine at every celebration.

Amy Salinger
Amy SalingerFashion Stylist
Amy Salinger is the founder of Style Method NYC. She assists clients with unique body types, lifestyles, and budgets and helps them flaunt fabulous styles. Amy has appeared on Lifetime TV, The Today Show and MTV. She has also worked in editorial, television, and with private clients for over 20 years.

Read full bio of Amy Salinger
Pratima Ati
Pratima AtiFashion & Lifestyle Writer
Pratima Ati is a postgraduate in International Business from Staffordshire University. After working in Marketing and Business Development for a few years, she jumped ship to pursue two things she loved – fashion and writing.

Read full bio of Pratima Ati
Madhumati Chowdhury
Madhumati ChowdhuryAssociate Editor
Madhumati is an associate editor with seven years of professional experience. She has previously worked as an editor, proofreader, and a writer with various organizations, helping her navigate through the various facets of content creation and refinement with ease.

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Srijita De
Srijita DeCommerce Writer
Srijita De is a makeup and fashion enthusiast with a passion for empowering readers through practical tips and tricks to present their best selves with confidence. Armed with a postgraduate degree in English and Literature from the University of Calcutta, she has honed her writing skills and developed an in-depth understanding of the beauty and fashion world.

Read full bio of Srijita De