This year, weddings are experiencing a big boom. According to a recent Affirm survey, the average American will be invited to four weddings in 2022 — which means wedding guests will need a lot of outfits.
Finding the perfect gift for the newlyweds in your life may have already been a challenge, so why make your search for the perfect attire more complicated than it needs to be?
Style expert Zanna Roberts Rassi stopped by TODAY to share a few stylish looks for every kind of wedding, whether you're headed to a garden party or a black-tie event. Keep reading to see all of Rassi's picks, plus other top choices from experts and reviewers.
To shop this article by category, click on the links below:
- Wedding guest attire as seen on TODAY
- Best dresses for wedding guests in spring and summer
- Beach wedding guest dresses
- Long wedding guest dresses
- Maternity wedding guest dresses
Wedding guest attire as seen on TODAY
Black-tie optional doesn't necessarily mean you have to wear black — but Rassi says it does mean you should dress up.
Since formal attire can be pricey, she recommends renting a nice outfit for the day; it's sustainable and shouldn't cost you as much as an entirely new outfit. She picked this designer dress that hits on emerging trends in formal wear: high-shine gold metallics. Plus, it's super flattering!
A traditional tux may not be essential for this event, but you can still pull off something nice. Rassi also recommends opting for a tux rental that fits you nicely. This combo taps into the same color palette as the dress above and Rassi approves of the separates. Another tip — think about the photos! If you're going as a couple, you'll want to dress cohesively.
When it comes to garden parties, Rassi says to think "preppy and proper." Stick to the basics, but feel free to switch up the color palette and get adventurous with the fabrics — look to summer pastels!
Editor's Note: Rassi's original pick is out of stock, but we found a similar option below.
Fashion-forward, wedding-appropriate but still guaranteed to score you some compliments — Rassi says this dress checks all of the boxes. From the tiered neoprene fabric to the lilac color, there's a lot to love about it.
This mock neck dress also taps into those pastel tones and features a ruffle design to break up the texture of the piece. With an asymmetrical hem, the cut of the dress also plays into the fun element Rassi mentioned.
Think about the terrain — you probably don't want to be trekking through mud and gravel in stilettos. These square heels that Rassi picked out don't compromise on style and won't have you sinking into the mud.
According to Rassi, woven bags are a huge trend for summer. This mini bag from Zara strays away from any signs of bulkiness and hits on that trend, too.
A baby blue suit is one way to play into the adventurous element of a garden party, Rassi said. This crisp suit is light and bright, but if you want to make sure it fits right, too, she says the length of the jacket should fall somewhere between two knuckles on your thumb.
You can't go wrong with a white dress shirt. This one from Alfani looks crisp but also offers some stretch, so you won't feel too restricted.
Pair the suit jacket with the matching pants for a uniform look.
Complete the outfit with these loafers that feature a simple metal chain across the tongue. When it comes to accessories outside of your tops and bottoms, Rassi warns that you shouldn't overdo it.
When it comes to beach weddings, you'll want to be mindful of the color palette and your choice of footwear, Rassi says. Opt for breathable fabrics and fun prints — leave heavy fabrics like denim and wool out of the equation.
This dress is nice enough to wear to the wedding, but you can still flaunt it on a nice summer day. It's bright, fun and airy, plus the cold shoulder makes for a unique touch.
Tie some raffia accessories into your look, starting with this hat that Rassi picked out.
This chic handbag looks beach-ready, but the pearl accents make it an accessory to remember. It also comes with a shoulder strap, so you can use it as a crossbody or keep it on your shoulder throughout the night.
While Rassi says women may not be able to get away with wearing white to a wedding (don't compete with the bride), men can get away with it at a beach wedding. Opting for off-white tones that play into one another is the best way to go, she said.
A simple white tee can be dressed up for the occasion, and goes nicely with the shorts and suit jacket here.
This might be the one time wearing shorts to a wedding won't earn you weird looks. While this pair has a relaxed fit, the pleated design gives them the look of dress shorts — and they can be styled the same way you would dress pants, with a closed-toe loafer.
Stumped on what to wear for a backyard ceremony? Rassi suggests leaning into loose fits and casual fabrics — but that doesn't mean T-shirts and jean shorts.
Like your favorite PJs, but elevated. This satin-inspired top is bright, flowy and pairs perfectly with the bottoms Rassi picked out.
These pants have a looser fit but aren't baggy. You can elevate the look by French tucking the top into the pants.
Rassi says you can break up the "bedtime" look with a big pair of sunglasses, like these. The frames are simple and they won't break the bank.
Add a simple shoulder bag to complete the outfit. Rassi picked this floral-inspired accessory which also comes with a gold chain for a little extra glam.
Complement her bright pink outfit by going blue. The silky satin-like fabric takes this shirt into the dressy realm, rather than giving it the feel of a Hawaiian shirt.
For the bottoms, avoid anything baggy. Rassi says these suit pants should fit nicely and you can cinch the waist with a belt — just make sure that the hem hits right at the ankle.
A darker belt and shoes will help to elevate the look, according to Rassi. This outfit can take you from a backyard barbecue to backyard nuptials, she said.
Style expert Katie Sands previously stopped by the 3rd hour of TODAY to share wedding guest attire options for men and women. Keep reading to see all of Sands' picks, plus more expert-approved wedding guest attire for nearly every type of ceremony.
Can you wear black to a wedding?
Stylists agree that black is a chic neutral that can be worn for all occasions. "Black is not reserved just for black-tie weddings — it's a staple in a wedding wardrobe. Black dresses in classy, slip-inspired designs are having their moment this summer!" shared wedding industry educator Taryn Blake.
Aside from being a neutral hue that is acceptable in all ceremonies, black adds elegance to almost any type of silhouette. While black can be associated with funerals and mourning, wedding planner and bridal expert Jessica Bishop said it's also a chic choice for a wedding. "In the past, people have been a bit superstitious about wearing black to a wedding, but there is no hard and fast rule against it."
"You'll just want to make sure your outfit is appropriate for the vibe and formality of the event. Black is best suited for formal, evening occasions, but that doesn't mean you couldn't wear a black sundress to an outdoor beach wedding."
What colors shouldn't you wear to a wedding?
There is a general consensus, at least in western cultures that white is reserved for the bride. "In my opinion, the only color to steer clear from is white, unless explicitly requested by the couple. Any other color is fair game, though you may want to keep to hues that won't have you sticking out like a sore thumb in a group of people," said Bishop.
Bishop also suggested being cautious with bold colors like neons, wacky patterns and anything that draws attention away from the couple.
What to wear to a wedding if you're older
Age is not a factor to feel fabulous and donning trendy styles. "Mature doesn't mean it can't be fun. Opt for a pop of color, a pattern or a unique fabrication like an off-shoulder style," added Blake.
Comfort is key wherever you go, but your choice of dress will depend on different factors such as the style of the fabric, the season and the formality of the event. Bishop mentioned that "fit is important, so having something tailored to your measurements will help you feel confident. Accessories can be key to making you feel your best, with shawls, wraps, or boleros serving to cover areas you might feel insecure about. As a guest, two-piece dresses for women and suits for men are perfect."
Wedding guest dresses trending in 2022
Some trending styles for wedding guest dresses in 2022 include "slinky satin styles for women that are easily re-wearable. Jumpsuits are also a popular option because they offer freedom of movement for dancing and lots of luxe fabric options from sequins to lace," shared Bishop.
But for those that are "Bridgerton" lovers, floral patterns are still a great element to don at a wedding ceremony. According to Blake, color-blocking wrap dresses, cutout fabrication and patterned details are gracing the dance floor this season.
"We're seeing a ton of guests mixing and matching color palettes!" she said.
Best dresses for wedding guests in spring and summer
Patterned floral dresses are often a safe bet for spring weddings, and Sands says you can't go wrong with this standout floral frock. The deep V-neck is flattering, the ruffle detailing is chic and both could be highlighted with a loose updo hairstyle. It works for both formal and black tie-optional occasions.
If you're jetting off for a barn wedding, Sands says this checkered dress delivers on style and will still give you coverage.
You can easily rewear this sleek number for years, and it works for a number of black tie occasions.
We've been seeing cutouts pop up everywhere, and this tasteful take on the trend feels elegant enough for a formal party or garden party. While Sands wouldn't recommend wearing it to a black tie event, she says the open sides and lightweight fabric makes it ideal for ceremonies in warmer weather.
Over 1,700 customers gave this floral cocktail dress a stunning five stars and it's simple to see why. The dress is made from a thicker material and 3/4-length sleeves that are great for cooler temperatures during the spring.
No matter the season, Sands says you can't go wrong with a jewel-toned dress. The details on this piece, from the unique twist front to the flowy satin fabric make it too stylish to resist — and it is less than $65.
Whether you're heading to a formal wedding or cocktail party, this dress is the one for a form-fitting look. Aside from hugging and accentuating your favorite qualities, the ruffle detailing adds a modern twist to traditional bandage style. "The slit was high and sexy, but did not move around your thigh as you walk, so you don't have to worry about wardrobe malfunctions," added one satisfied Amazon shopper.
Flared cuffs are having a moment this season, and this eye-catching silhouette from Eloquii is perfect for a formal wedding or a proper church ceremony. It's made with a knit scuba fabric that feels lightweight and hides any imperfections. One reviewer confirmed this dress is better than expected and "fits like a glove yet not constricting. There is a good amount of stretch but it still holds its shape."
For spring and summer days when the weather is a bit breezier, this elegant maxi dress from Baltic Born will keep you fresh and comfortable. It has a front slit and a stretchy bodice to keep you moving all night.
You'll look like wedding guest perfection in this lightweight mock neck dress from Summersalt. Made with silky recycled charmeuse, its romantic smocking, watercolor florals and delicate ruffles are perfect for a casual garden shindig.
Simplicity is key with this navy sheath dress — and it makes for the perfect canvas for accessorizing. This Lands' End dress gives more of a professional look when you're going from the courthouse to the post-nuptial dinner.
Dance the night away in this romantic rose ruffled midi dress with fluttery sleeves and a dramatic side split. It will become a wardrobe staple whenever you have a last-minute event.
A silk dress always looks elegant and appropriate for any type of celebration. This Lilysilk wrap dress gives a romantic allure and feels super smooth. It also has a V-shaped neckline and a fluted hem that'll accentuate your body in all the right spots.
Feel like a princess in this flattering dress with flowy chiffon fabric. This style comes in a dozen different colors and comes in sizes up to 24. The dress features an elegant off-the-shoulder neckline that looks extremely feminine.
This is a dress you'll wear multiple times once the wedding night is over. The classic design features a hidden back-zip closure, a fitted silhouette and a sweetheart neckline that lends a sophisticated feel. It also comes in three classy hues to choose from.
What to wear to a casual beach wedding
Whether you're celebrating next to the Atlantic or at a resort destination, you should keep in mind that the weather can be hot, humid or rainy.
"You'll also want to consider the terrain when picking out your footwear," said Bishop. "Stilettos won't work great for a wedding in the sand. The most important thing is to choose an outfit that suits the level of formality of the event. When in doubt, run your wedding attire questions by the couple to get confirmation if you're unsure."
For most outdoor ceremonies, it's OK to show more skin and wear "spaghetti straps, plunging necklines and higher slits. Stay away from casual shorts or flip-flops, even on the beach!" suggested Blake.
Beach wedding guest dresses
Enjoy the view of the ocean and seagulls in this tropical maxi dress. The design features a chiffon material that flows effortlessly along with a comfortable stretchy waistband.
Perfect for an outdoor wedding, the fabric of this Lulus midi dress is super light and flowy — which is essential when the weather is unpredictable. "I love the length, as well as how the fabric drapes. It's just an incredibly flattering dress!" said one buyer who rated it five stars.
Match the party's festive decor with this floral chic dress featuring a bateau neckline and sheer details with flared sleeves. This dress offers the perfect amount of elegance and comfort for a spring or summer wedding.
Classic, elegant and comfortable: this dress is all you need to pack for your upcoming wedding destination. According to Nordstrom shoppers, this style gives a more fitted look that you can easily dress up or down.
Cool off by the bar in this summery, flowy wrap dress. You can wear it with heels or flats and look elegant no matter what.
For an outdoor wedding, a dress with built-in UPF is an added plus. That's why we love this tunic dress from Coolibar, which comes in both solid colors and prints, and is made with sun protection included.
Green is one of the hottest colors for spring and summer, and this particular hue is perfect for a waterfront ceremony while the sun sets. The maxi dress has a side slit and a mock neck that bestows modern elegance.
Nothing says beach extravaganza more than a Lilly Pulitzer dress. This bold and multicolored print is great for a beach wedding in the sand. "I can't say anything bad about this dress — it is stunning. The blue color is beautiful and the cut is flattering," mentioned one customer.
Long wedding guest dresses
Sands says a jewel-toned dress works for every occasion and for every season. She loves the square neckline on this piece and says you can easily dress it up or down.
If you're looking for a more conservative yet feminine style, this dress from Baltic Born is key. The silk-like material adds panache to the design and it also features a side slit for comfortable dancing all night.
This halter maxi dress is all you need for all the wedding invitations you RSVP'd this year. The design features a curve-hugging silhouette and front slit for a polished event-ready look.
Feel like a high-society member with this elegant maxi dress. The sultry design is ideal for a formal wedding outdoors. All you need is a pair of stilettos and the right accessory to elevate the look.
Comfort is essential when the wedding is expected to be a long one. Dress in this exquisite and comfortable design from Indigo Republic. The dress offers a goddess-like feel thanks to the ruffle detailing on the hem. Also, it features an adjustable strap and an elastic neckline for bustier women.
Join the bridesmaids on the dance floor in this colorful halter maxi dress. All you need is the confidence and the right shoes to enjoy mingling with an eligible bachelor. The design comes in two additional colors and lengths.
If you're attending an afternoon wedding, this is the ideal piece to hear them say their vows. The Express dress has an asymmetrical silhouette and comes in five bold colors for a perfect summer soiree.
This midi dress features a satin finish in a dark green hue with a cowl neckline. It's modern and elegant enough to wear to a gala-style reception. You can also dress it down with a denim jacket for another casual event.
This red maxi dress offers a sultry look that will keep all suitors coming to your table. The open-back design is sensual yet conservative enough for religious ceremonies.
Going to a black-tie wedding? This dress is the right choice to celebrate the new couple. The side slit adds sensual flair while the one-shoulder neckline keeps things glamorous.
Maternity wedding guest dresses
For women that want to keep the party going during their pregnancy, this chic dress from ASOS will do the trick. The satin dress is excellent for those on maternity leave that want to look effortlessly classy.
Look like a true goddess in this feminine maxi dress from Motherhood Maternity. You can wear this one for a black-tie or beach wedding without any complications. The long tail is ideal to hide your feet when you want to stay barefoot all night.
This ombre midi dress gives some mermaid vibes. It features a sleeveless, fitted silhouette that won't make you feel constricted even when the belly grows a few inches.
If the extra pregnancy weight is a concern, don this elegant column dress. The material is thick and opaque enough to hide your undergarments.
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