As Invitations Arrive—28 Wedding Guest Dresses to Shop Now

·4 min read

While there weren’t too many opportunities to shop for wedding guest dresses last year, 2021 looks a bit more promising. Several brides and grooms are putting a date on the calendar and sending out invites to friends and loved ones. It all makes for what wedding planners and forecasters are calling the post-pandemic wedding boom. And if you’re a recipient of any number of these wedding invites, you might be left with a question you haven’t had to ask yourself for a minute: What shall I wear?

After months in comfort-first clothing, the idea of going all out—in heels, a dress, and such—may be a daunting one, but the quest to find some of the best wedding guest dresses doesn’t have to be an unpleasant one. Pick a cheerful or elegant design that makes you feel great but also allows you to celebrate fully should an all-night dance party be on the itinerary. Whether you’re attending a socially-distanced outdoor wedding or looking for a formal little black dress, there’s something to help you win best-dressed guest just ahead.

Countryside Gathering

<cite class="credit">Photo: <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Meredith Heuer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Meredith Heuer</a></cite>

Depending on the exact location, outdoor weddings often come with unpredictable weather. So reach for a breezy dress that can beat the heat, like Reformation’s organic cotton design, or one that looks lovely with a shawl in the event of an unexpected cool breeze, like Maggy London’s sleeveless dress.

Reformation Bekkah crocheted lace-trimmed organic cotton midi dress

$250.00, NET-A-PORTER

Farm Rio tropical tiles maxi dress

$245.00, FARM RIO

Maggy London draped sleeveless dress


Sir Amerie open-back floral-print dress


Micro Wedding in the Park

<cite class="credit">Photo: <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Anne Rhett Photography" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Anne Rhett Photography</a></cite>

Bring some more romance to the park with a lace, floral, or ruffled dress from designers like Hill House Home and Maygel Coronel.

Self-Portrait belted pleated chiffon midi dress

$455.00, NET-A-PORTER

Hill House Home The Sabrina dress


Maygel Coronel Maria reversible maxidress


Faithfull the Brand Sonja midi dress

$199.00, SHOPBOP

Black Tie in the City

<cite class="credit">Photo: Emmanuelle Pickett</cite>
Photo: Emmanuelle Pickett

This is your moment to go all out. Layers of tulle, high-shine fabrics, and scalloped lace make an elevated statement—and designers like Needle and Thread and Self Portrait show us how it’s done.

Wayf The Mina metallic ruffle strap gown

$138.00, NORDSTROM

Agua by Agua Bendita Achiote embroidered cotton-poplin maxi dress


Needle and Thread Sunset sequin-embellished gown

$500.00, NET-A-PORTER

Self-Portrait off-the-shoulder tiered maxi dress

$540.00, NET-A-PORTER

Wedding by the Beach

<cite class="credit">Photo: Shore Shooters Beach Photography</cite>
Photo: Shore Shooters Beach Photography

Lightweight fabrics like that on Jason Wu’s cotton dress or Zimmermann’s linen design are perfect for those shore-side ceremonies.

Zimmermann Aliane scalloped floral-print linen midi dress


Jason Wu gathered poplin midi-dress

$550.00, NET-A-PORTER

Asceno Ibiza linen maxidress


Mes Demoiselles Aubade floral-print cotton-voile dress


Casual Courthouse Celebration

<cite class="credit"><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Photo: Eva Espresso" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Photo: Eva Espresso</a></cite>

Elevated comfort is the name of the game here. Slip-on an easy-going dress with a polished finish, like Blaze Milano’s blazer dress or Zara’s fuss-free tunic.

Zara printed shirt dress

$70.00, ZARA

Brandon Maxwell gathered printed gazar midi dress

$2175.00, NET-A-PORTER

La Ligne Serena twist-front linen-blend midi dress

$450.00, NET-A-PORTER

Blaze Milano Sunshine blazer dress


Cocktail Affair

wedding guest dresses
wedding guest dresses
Photo: Chris Tyler

Prepare to say “cheers” to the new couple in a fun dress that makes a glamorous statement. Metallics and rich, vibrant colors always work well for those memorable moments as you can see from Ganni’s silver mini and The Attico’s tangerine frock.

Aidan by Aidan Mattox halter godet-trimmed mini dress


Ganni shiny jacquard A-line dress


The Attico floral jacquard minidress

$1113.00, MYTHERESA

Solace London Sanna stretch crepe gown

$540.00, NET-A-PORTER

Romantic Garden Ceremony

<cite class="credit">Photo: <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Collins Nai" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Collins Nai</a></cite>

You can never go wrong with a romantic bloom, be it a micro floral frock from LoveShackFancy or a bouquet-covered Erdem dress.

Borgo De Nor Daniela peony dress

$780.00, INTERMIX

Erdem Elmer carnation-print crepe dress


Rixo Ingrid printed midi shirtdress

$375.00, NET-A-PORTER

LoveShackFancy Majory floral-cotton midi dress


Originally Appeared on Vogue