What to wear to a wedding
Designer dresses for wedding guests and evening reception outfits
Happily there are a host of contemporary labels that have just this sort of dilemma nailed, with distinctive designs that you'll happily bring into heavy rotation after the big day is over. Dress (or suit, why not?) sorted, it's time to accessorize. Check out our pick of spring shoe trends and browse a few of our favourite summer bags, all under £300. If the occasion calls for the exuberance of a hat but you're a novice, read our beginners guide to get you started.
Finding a jacket or warm layer that works with your chosen outfit can be difficult, so if the weather forecast isn't great, adopt the influencers' secret weapon and layer up with heat-retaining thermals from Uniqlo or Marks & Spencer, while a slip will provide a smooth base to make body-skimming silhouettes and clingy fabrics work.
What to wear to a country wedding
From left: Dress £69, Richard Quinn for Debenhams; Dress £595, Zimmermann; Dress £396, Loveshackfancy; Dress £245, Dôen; Dress £125, Kitri
The beauty of a country wedding is the sense of relaxed formality, so look for soft fabrics and flowing or pleated shapes. Whether it's a hay bales and mason jars affair or a grander country house setting, there's a high chance you'll be outside for at least some of the day so avoid stilettos or spike heels, which will sink into soft grass or get shredded by gravel. Instead opt for dressy flats, block heels or wedges.
What to wear to a city wedding
From left: Jacket £1,175, and trousers £550, Loewe; Dress £435, Collina Strada; Dress £325, Rixo; Dress £120 Ghost; Jumpsuit £270, Low Classic; Top £565, Haider Ackermann; Skirt £85, Kitri
A city wedding usually means a civil ceremony, but while things are a bit less traditional they can still be rather formal. Jewel colours, animal prints and tailoring tend to work well in this setting, as does a bit of polish when it comes to styling: think mules, court shoes or barely-there strappy sandals.
What to wear to a wedding abroad
From left: Dress £695, Borgo de Nor; Dress £170, The Line By K; Jacket £175, and trousers £130, by Keepsake; Dress £69, Studio by Preen; Dress £440, by Joie; Dress £740, by Cecilie Bahnsen; Dress £875, by La Double J
An invitation to a wedding abroad can mean all manner of things, from a barefoot Balearic beach blessing to an alfresco feast for 300 in a Tuscan vineyard. But, given the heat, ceremonies usually start later in the day, with revelries lasting into the early hours of the morning. A bold colour or print will stand up to strong sunshine, and silky fabrics will feel good in the heat. Keep accessories relaxed – a toe-post sandal and a basket bag are key this summer.
What to wear to an evening reception
From left: Jumpsuit £2,300, Valentino; Dress £625, 16 Arlington; Dress £1,990, Burberry; Dress £2,460, Chloé; Dress £1,070, Raquel Diniz
Intimate ceremonies followed by big parties are an increasingly popular way to celebrate, so if you've been invited to an evening reception look at it as an excuse to get into the spirit of things without having to sit through the formalities of the day. It also means your outfit needs to be dance floor ready – think mini skirts, fluid pleats and beading or fringe. Make sure to add a pair of shoes that you can dance all night in.
Feeling inspired? Check out our high street wedding guest dress guide for even more inspiration.