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While there weren’t too many opportunities to show off our wedding guest dresses last year, 2021 looks a bit more promising. As the vaccine continues to roll out, 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—maybe a daunting one, but the quest for the best wedding guest dress doesn’t have to be an unpleasant one. Pick a cheerful or elegant dress 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 are several wedding guest dresses to help you win best-dressed attendee just ahead.Countryside GatheringPhoto: Meredith Heuer
Depending on the exact location, outdoor spring weddings can be a little chilly. So reach for a dress with sleeves, like Malene Birger’s pleated design, or one that looks lovely with a shawl, like Zimmermann’s halter dress.
Malene Birger Lemona pleated midi dress
Farm Rio Vase forest maxi dress
Zimmermann luminous halter gown
Sir Amerie open-back floral-print dressMicro Wedding in the ParkPhoto: Anne Rhett Photography
Bring some more romance to the park with a lace, floral, or ruffled dress from designers like La DoubleJ and Maygel Coronel.
Chi Chi London off-the-shoulder lace cocktail dress
Faithfull the Brand El Paso midi dress
Maygel Coronel Maria reversible maxi dress
La Double J Babe Amalfi-print cropped dressBlack Tie in the CityPhoto: Emmanuelle Pickett
This is your moment to go all out. Layers of tulle, sequins, and draping make an elevated statement, and designers like Prada and Self-Portrait show us how it’s done.
Significant Other Caspian butterfly-sleeve dress
Prada jersey and tulle sleeveless dress
Needle and thread sunset sequin-embellished gown
Self-Portrait dot mesh-trim midi dressWedding by the BeachPhoto: Shore Shooters Beach Photography
Lightweight fabrics like that on Jason Wu’s cotton dress or Jacquemus’s linen design are perfect for those shore-side ceremonies.
Reformation Lillet georgette mini dress
Jason Wu gathered poplin midi dress
Jacquemus Tovallo midi dress
Wayf Hampton sleeveless dressCasual Courthouse CelebrationPhoto: Eva Espresso
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 Tory Burch’s tunic.
Ottolinger strappy cut-out midi dress
Tory Burch midi shirt dress
Asceno Ibiza linen maxi dress
Blaze Milano Sunshine blazer dress
MATCHESFASHION.COMCocktail Affairwedding guest dressesPhoto: Chris Tyler
Prepare to say cheers to the new couple in a fun dress that makes a glamorous statement. Metallics and jewel tones always work well for those memorable moments as you can see from Ganni’s silver mini and The Attico’s emerald frock.
Maggie Marilyn printing for you halter midi dress
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Ganni shiny jacquard A-line dress
The Attico green satin wrapped skirt
Solace London Sanna stretch crepe gownRomantic Garden CeremonyPhoto: Collins Nai
You can never go wrong with a romantic bloom, be it a micro floral frock from LoveShackFancy or a bouquet-covered Erdem dress. If prints aren’t your thing, a charming pleated dress—like Duncan’s—also fits the bill.
Duncan Beloved origami pleated dress
Erdem Elmer carnation-print crepe dress
Rixo Ingrid printed midi shirt dress
LoveShackFancy Masie floral smocked tiered midi dress