A wedding guest dress should be appropriate for the occasion and season. Heavier fabrics and dark tones are best for winter weddings, while light wrap dresses and floral details suit spring or summer events.
If you receive an invitation with the black-tie optional dress code, consider a cocktail dress halfway between a formal gown and a tuxedo. Look for pretty details like puff sleeves and thinner straps to elevate your look.
Look beyond the LBD and shapeless caftan if you’re hunting for a dress to wear to a friend or family member’s wedding. Plenty of brands carry plus-size styles in sizes 16W and up — from chic mini dresses perfect for dancing to dreamy fairytale frocks in delicate tulle.
Rent the Runway is a go-to for one-off rentals without a subscription (in sizes up to 22), while Nuuly offers a selection of under-the-radar designers in sizes 14W and up, with a monthly rental fee. Kiyonna also stocks various special occasion dresses for women of all shapes and sizes, from elegant black-tie affairs to relaxed beach soirees. A few favorites to try: this botanical floral print dress, this strappy wrap dress, and this one-shoulder number with adjustable bow straps and ruching detailing.
Black tie weddings call for floor-length evening gowns, formal cocktail dresses, or a classy suit. Whether you’re looking to go all out with a glamorous pick adorned with feathers or gemstones or want something subtle and understated that still delivers on style, our collection has you covered.
Nordstrom Women’s Health associate e-commerce editor Lily Wohlner tested thousands of wedding guest dresses, evaluated customer ratings, and sought expert advice from influencers to find the most popular and highest-rated options for all tastes and budgets. This head-turning selection has something for everyone, from classic silhouettes to figure-flattering midi-length styles.
If shopping on a tighter budget, check out Amazon’s impressive dress collection. The retailer is known for its lightning-fast grocery, home goods, and tech delivery services, but it also has a solid selection of wedding guest dresses—with plenty of high-quality options in the under-$100 range. For example, this lace floral cocktail dress from Merokeety has more than 17,000 reviews and boasts four-way support and stretch.
If you want to save even more, consider subscribing to rental service Nuuly. The service lets you rent six styles monthly, including black-tie wedding guest dresses from brands like Anthropologie and ASTR the Label. Just use the code THEKNOT20 to get $20 off your first order!
Fall weddings call for colors that reflect the season. Rust orange, deep jewel tones, emerald green, gold, and classic black all feel appropriate for autumnal celebrations. If you want something casual, try a cozy sweater dress with a chic belt and pockets or a high-low midi.
For a more formal affair, go with this floral midi dress that’s just as flirty as it is feminine. Pair with sandals for a relaxed vibe or strappy heels for a more dressed-up look that won’t feel too stuffy.
ASTR The Label is known for its on-trend yet totally wedding guest-friendly dresses. This floral midi is no exception and has already earned more than 1 million TikTok views. The high neckline is flattering without feeling too sexy, and the forgiving Magic fabric will skim and stretch to fit any figure.
This velvet mini has all the sartorial glam you need for an autumn wedding. The high slit and relaxed straps are both flattering, while the pleated skirt adds texture to your look. Wear this luxe number with a trendy leather jacket for an extra dose of cool-girl style.
Weddings can range from casual to high-end, and deciphering a dress code with terminology like “black tie optional” or “beach formal” can be overwhelming. You can follow some basic guidelines to keep your look on point.
If you’re invited to a wedding that calls for semi-formal attire, opt for a cocktail-length dress with a sleek silhouette, non-revealing material, and elegant design. You can also find great wedding guest outfits that are midi or maxi length, a bit more formal than cocktail dresses but not quite as dressy as floor-length gowns.
Choose a wedding guest dress with beautiful details like lattice designs, ruching, pleating, and lace accents to add an extra touch of luxe. Then, accessorize your look with slim hoop earrings and neutral block heels to keep it polished.
Whether you’re shopping for standard, petite, or plus wedding guest dresses, Nordstrom has got you covered with stylish, size-inclusive styles in classic colors and flattering fits. Browse their wedding guest section by occasion, venue, and formality of wedding guests, and filter your options by neckline, sleeve length, and dress length. And don’t forget that Nordstrom has a free, seamless returns experience through curbside, in-store, or by mail.
In the summer, wedding guest attire tends to lean less formal than other seasons. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style! Whether you’re looking for something romantically pastel, bold and bright, or simply chic, there are many options. Consider the theme and venue for inspiration and your style when choosing a casual, dressy, or formal summer wedding outfit.
Try this ASTR the Label wrap dress in dainty floral lace for a chic yet casual summer wedding guest look. The flattering off-the-shoulder neckline and delicate details make this dress a wedding-guest staple you’ll wear again and again.
A wedding guesting calls for something a little more formal, but that doesn’t have to mean boring. A classic silhouette is always a stylish choice, and this Badgley Mischka gown with a trendy corset bodice (available in sizes 0 to 22) fits the bill.
Regarding winter wedding guest dresses, long-sleeve options are the best for keeping you warm while looking stunning. Plenty of styles also feature wintry fabrics like velvet and silk, dark floral patterns, and winter-appropriate shades. If you want to be even more cozy, add a chic wrap or fur vest.
If the invite calls for black tie attire, you can’t go wrong with a full-length gown made from luxe materials. This elegant pick from Badgley Mischka features a front cape in a deep blue that works for any color scheme, while the bustier bodice and three-quarter sleeves are classic wedding-guest silhouettes.
A relaxed rustic dress is perfect for more casual outdoor winter weddings or barn ceremonies. This midi style from Free People is ultra-flattering with a comfortable smocked bodice and eye-catching earthy pink floral print. Also, it offers inclusive sizing.
Plenty of lace options exist if you want to stay on the more traditional side. One option is this gorgeous navy dress with a plunging neckline and a romantic tiered skirt. The dainty floral pattern feels reminiscent of spring but doesn’t feel too wintery, so it’s a great choice for late February or early March when the lines between seasons are blurred.
When the invitation reads “destination wedding,” it’s likely to be a warm-weather ceremony on the beach, so breathable fabrics will be your friend. You can easily find summery maxi dresses with fun details—like sexy side cutouts or criss-cross straps—at a wide range of prices from online retailers like Lulus, Eloquii, and Amazon. (Remember that strappy sandals are always inappropriate for a wedding, no matter the season!)
If you plan to wear something a little more formal but still comfortable for the beach, look to Reformation or Nordstrom. Both retailers carry destination-appropriate traditional looks in linen and seersucker, plus a variety of other light fabrics that are perfect for sunny beach weddings.
If you’re unsure what to wear to a destination wedding, ask the bride and groom or check the venue/locale info on their website for guidance. You’ll want to know whether the festivities will be mostly outdoors, in a tent, or at a fancy hotel, which will help you decide on dress code options. For example, a casual beach wedding in Tulum would probably call for something flowy and bright, while a luxe ceremony at a historic hotel in Rome might call for a more classic gown.