The different types of summer weddings and what to wear to each of them

By on October 27, 2015

SUMMER WEDDING

With summer soon approaching, it is time to bring out our wedding outfits for weddings in the warm weather. The heat during this time makes choosing a suitable attire somewhat difficult, as we have to find a dress that is formal while still being comfortable. This style guide will run you through the different types of summer weddings that you can expect to attend, and what dress is appropriate for the style of wedding and also suitable for the weather.

Types of summer weddings

Formal weddings held at an indoor venue are standard fare in every weather, and the rules of dressing are the same. The reception is usually held in the evening, and in a classic banquet style hall or country club setting.

Another type of popular wedding style is the semi-formal or cocktail style wedding. This may be held indoors or outdoors, and can either be in the evening or in the afternoon. The wedding venue and theme should ideally determine your choice of attire for this type of wedding.

Casual weddings are a huge hit in summer, with the warm weather adding a natural and informal touch to every occasion, including weddings. These may be held indoors or outdoors. Some weddings may also be held outdoors while the reception is done indoors.

Beach weddings are a summer favorite. Although these come under the category of casual weddings, we think they deserve to be a category on their own since the dress code for beach weddings is somewhat different from all the other kinds of weddings.

Now, let us take a look at some general rules of dressing appropriately for any type of summer wedding.

Rules that apply to all types of summer weddings

We all know that summers can be warm, sometimes uncomfortably so. Nevertheless, you should always dress appropriately for a wedding in summer, however warm it may be. Be considerate of the other people at the party, and do not choose dresses that are skimpy or too revealing. It is likely that even a casual wedding may have elderly people and children attending, and you do not want to be the cause of any unwanted attention. Think of what you wouldn’t like others to wear to your own wedding, this will give you an idea of whether your dress choice is inappropriate for the function.

Jeans, shorts and tank tops are not appropriate attire for any wedding, whatever be the style. This rule applies even if the wedding is held at a beach, in a garden or the couple’s backyard. The same goes for plastic footwear too. After all, it is a wedding. You should at least make an effort to dress for it, and not turn up looking like you dropped in on your way to the store.

Apart from avoiding white (which is supposed to be the bride’s signature color), we also suggest that you avoid a dress in the color that the bridal party will be wearing, provided you know what it will be. There are no problems here, but we don’t think you would be too pleased to be mistaken as one of the bridesmaids after all the painstaking efforts you went through to pick your outfit for the wedding.

It is also a good idea to take the venue into consideration when you plan your makeup for the event. Use waterproof makeup and tone down the colors if it is an outdoor or daytime event. This will help you look fresh and charming. We also suggest that you visit this article on HowStuffWorks for more tips on what you should never, ever wear to a wedding.

Now, let’s move on to the more interesting part of what to wear to each of the weddings we listed above.

Black-tie or formal weddings

The general rules of dressing for formal weddings applies to this style of wedding in the summer as well. Aim for elegant and stylish gowns, and choose accessories that complement the dress. Floor-length gowns are the expected norm. However, you can also opt for a shorter dress as long as it is formal attire, and doesn’t look too informal or casual. Fitted silhouettes and A-line dresses with a signature detail are usually appropriate. Another choice is the Little Black dress, but make sure you dress it up so you look special and not like the ten other women wearing black.

One thing you should remember when choosing your full-length gown, is whether the fabric will be comfortable in the hot weather. Satin or polyester gowns may not be the best choice. You should instead look at cotton, chiffon or other breezy fabrics. Since the event will be held in the evening, you can choose deeper hues for your makeup, and add a few scintillating accessories to enhance your look. Just remember the standard rule: For a gown with plenty of details, keep the accessories simple. On the other hand, choose dressy accessories for a simple dress. The basic idea is to balance out your look, and not look too cluttered. Spend time to do your hair. You may like to keep it away from your face with a chic updo, as it will be both convenient and practical. Add a stunning clutch and pair of killer heels, and you are all set for the wedding.

Semi-formal weddings

This is a tough one to crack. It is difficult to say whether the wedding style leans more towards formal or towards casual, based on the information provided in the invitation. You can judge to a certain extent, based on the venue of the wedding. Nevertheless, it isn’t always straightforward if the wedding is held at a resort or a venue with multiple halls. Another thing to consider is the time of the event. If it is in the morning or afternoon, it is more likely to sway towards casual, while evening parties are usually more formal.

In either case, the best option is to choose a dress that is more formal, than it is casual. Cocktail dresses that end at the knee or slightly above are your best bet. But make sure that it is dressy and gives you a festive look. For daytime affairs, soft breezy fabrics in light pastels or dusty colors are a great choice. You can either choose a knee to calf-length dress or a two-piece dress, depending on what looks good. If it is in the evening, opt for darker colors and don’t hesitate to bring on the bling.

Semi-formal weddings open up a world of options in silhouettes, styles, necklines, sleeve lengths and hemlines. The jury is divided on whether pant-suits are suitable attire for semi-formal events. Since it is standard office attire, we think it’s best you let it go. Choose a dress that is more party-style instead. Go with what is trendy, or you can always pull out your safe and solid companion, the little black dress. A-line, fit and flare, and modern fit dresses are all quite popular now. You can choose an off-the-shoulder neckline, or one with a single shoulder strap for a trendy look. When choosing a sweetheart or strapless dress, add a pashmina or stole to your ensemble for the evening, in case it gets windy. For a semi-formal event, stick with heels or peep-toes for your footwear. Sandals and anything too casual are a definite no!

Casual wedding

Do you think anything goes for a casual summer wedding? Unfortunately no! The original rules of never wearing jeans, shorts, tank tops or flip-flops to any wedding applies here as well. Never, ever pull out your formal full-length gown for this wedding, or you will end up looking overdressed. Instead, patterned dresses, plain frocks in fun breezy fabrics and short dresses that are modest, should be your choice.

Make sure that your choice of dress is suitable for the venue where the wedding is being held. Lace dresses are perfect for garden or outdoor weddings. Sparkle is alright, but do it with style and don’t go overboard with it. Choose fabrics like cotton and chiffon to feel comfortable and look good in. The current trend is to go for ballooning, loose-fitting garments, and if you find one that looks great on your frame, wear it. A skirt and blouse are also suitable for casual weddings.

If you are lost for choices, and are worried whether you will end up looking too casual, choose to wear business casual. That way, you can’t go wrong. Make sure you pack a punch by choosing interesting accessories like dangling hoop earrings or a nice chunky necklace to go with your dress. Footwear can either be wedges, peep toe sandals or kitten heels. You can accessorize with a matching scarf, which can double up as a wrap, when it gets too windy in the evening. For outdoor events, it is best to stick with nude makeup and a simple hair style that keeps your hair off your face. You can comfortably let your hair down if the event is held indoors, and also go with darker make-up colors. Casual style usually means minimal makeup and hair styling. So, just enhance your look, and don’t go decked up for a ball.

Beach wedding

The favorite summer style wedding, beach or destination weddings are huge and happening in today’s wedding world. Since the location is definitely outdoors, there are a number of factors to consider when planning your attire for a beach wedding. Firstly, it is going to be hot and sometimes humid, so your choice of fabric is more important than at any other wedding. You will be spending time on the sand, so your choose comfortable footwear. With limited control over the wind and weather, it is best that you are prepared for it with an appropriate hairstyle and suitable makeup. Nevertheless, beach weddings are lots of fun, and one of the most casual styles. So, experiment with what you will wear, and let your personality shine through your dress choice.

Think of summer on the beach, and tea or knee-length cotton dresses come to mind instantly. Dreamy, flowing fabric and short hemlines are regulars at beach weddings. Bring on bright colors and patterns with Bohemian, Aztec prints or anything that you love. Vintage-inspired striped and polka dot dresses are also appropriate, and even chic. Soft pastels and dusty hues look great on short chiffon dresses. Patterned cotton and lace are also great choices. This is your chance to show off your fresh new tan with a beautiful sleeveless or strapless dress. Halter necklines and ruffles are also pleasant and perfect for beaches.

Maxi dresses are another excellent choice. Just remember that you will be walking in the sand, so stick to a length that is just right. Your accessories should add to your look, and it is best to opt for natural cut stones or chunky earthy colors in your accessories. Large statement earrings and burlap or jute clutches or totes are great as accessories. Keep the makeup to a minimum and fix your hair well with a suitable hairstyle that stays in one place and you do not end up looking disheveled. To walk comfortably, choose flat heels or sandals with a festive touch of color or sparkling embellishments.

Now that we have all the different types of summer weddings covered, you know what you should stock your wardrobe with, to be ready for this warm wedding season. Visit us at Best for Bride for a stunning variety of evening dresses and dresses for special occasions. With varieties for every type of wedding we just saw here, you are bound to find all the dresses you require, for attending every wedding this season. Not only are all the dresses pictured here part of our splendid collection, we have much more to suit your taste. And if you are busy planning your own wedding, check out our different wedding services and find everything you need. For more wedding tips, fashion advice and everything wedding-related, keep visiting us at Best for Bride.

About Olga Pomeransky

Olga is manager at Best for Bride since 2005. Currently Best for Bride operates 4 bridal stores in Canada (Toronto, Etobicoke, Hamilton and Barrie). Best for Bride sells wedding, bridesmaids, mob dresses and more. http://www.BestForBride.com

4 Comments

  1. sobby14@yahoo.com'

    Laura Daniels

    October 30, 2015 at 9:26 AM

    OMG! That red semi-formal dress is awesome! So cute!

  2. sobby14@yahoo.com'

    Ida Brown

    October 30, 2015 at 9:59 AM

    Plastic footwear? Oh well, i was going to were my jelly sandals 🙂

  3. sobby14@yahoo.com'

    Alice Ardoin

    November 15, 2015 at 9:25 PM

    Great tips and the best dresses, as usual!

  4. sobby14@yahoo.com'

    Dorothy Peak

    November 16, 2015 at 7:55 AM

    I have been to about 10 weddings in my day and I think the semi-formal are the best. Not to stuffy, but just elegant enough to celebrate and enjoy.

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