What to Wear to a Summer Wedding

Written by: Amanda Chung


Updated: July 21, 2022


Photo courtesy of Anastasia Nairne by thecablookfotolab

So you RSVP’d, stuck the invitation on the fridge, and put off dress shopping until, well, just now. In this era of next-day delivery, the only problem with that is deciphering the dress code. And while you appreciate the happy couple’s creativity, you’re not sure what “bohemian black tie” or “farmhouse chic” actually looks like. Here’s what you do: Google the venue, lean into the location, and—when in doubt—text the maid of honor for a quick yes or no.


garden table setup

In a Garden

Take cues from the lush, vibrant setting by wearing butterflies, budding cherry blossoms, or layers of foliage-embroidered tulle. Go above and beyond with jewelry that’s as pretty as it is on point (those leaflike ear cuffs: so good).

At the Courthouse

For a civil ceremony, it’s best to keep things simple. We love a sleek, one-shoulder column dress (for the bride) and smart two-piece sets (for guests) that segue seamlessly from city hall to celebratory brunch.

Photo courtesy of Rasa Juskeviciute for Lolita Jacobs and Jean-Baptiste Talbourdet-Napoleone

beach wedding scene

Photo courtesy of Natalie Watson

On the Beach

Before deciding on a look, make note of the ceremony time: If you’ll be standing in peak sun, opt for something flowy and breathable, like a linen sundress or a flouncy floral mini. Step it up with sunglasses, ear sheen, and strappy sandals that won’t sink into the sand.

Photo courtesy of Natalie Watson

bride and groom walking down a path

Photo courtesy of Anastasia Nairne by thecablookfotolab


Whether it’s going down at a Tuscan villa or a Provençal chateau, a destination wedding is an excuse to go all out (especially if you’re the bride). Emilia Wickstead’s gowns are the perfect blend of romantic and timeless—in other words, exactly what you want to be wearing when you say “I do.”

Photo courtesy of Anastasia Nairne by thecablookfotolab

mountain wedding scene

Photo courtesy of Natalie Watson

In the Mountains

For nuptials that take place between pine-covered peaks, tap into the rustic charm with a moody palette and minimal embellishments. Don’t forget practical add-ons, like low heels you can last all night in and a warm cashmere wrap for sundown.

Photo courtesy of Natalie Watson

couple kissing at a wedding

Photo courtesy of The Saums


A tip for brides: If you’re forgoing a traditional wedding in favor of a low-key elopement or an intimate family-only ceremony, skip the bridal salon and save some money by ordering an off-the-rack dress from your favorite designer (bonus points if it’s something you’ll wear more than once).

Photo courtesy of The Saums

Spruce Up the Bridal Suite

Every dress from Agua by Agua Bendita ships in one of these cute, keep-forever garment bags. Gift one to each of your bridesmaids to thank them for being with you on your big day.

  1. Agua by Agua Bendita dress goop, $410 Agua by Agua Bendita dress goop, $410
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Still need a gift? No worries—our editors rounded up the very best options for every kind of couple in our Wedding Gift Guide.

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