It’s officially summer wedding season—and officially time to check out this year’s popular trends for summer wedding guest dresses. Weddings are the perfect time to try out new trends and styles you might not otherwise have occasion to wear!
So what’s hot in 2023?
In this article, we’ll cover it all. Read on to check out the top trending dress styles for summer 2023, plus timeless tips to help you choose one that’s perfect for you.
Cottagecore, a popular fashion aesthetic inspired by a life lived in the countryside, has officially made its way to the top of the wedding guest dress trends list.
The style is hallmarked by whimsical features like embroidery, Peter Pan necklines, flowy skirts, floral patterns, corsets, and puff sleeves that recall the romanticized times of centuries past.
The trick to wearing cottagecore to a wedding is finding a dress that meets the aesthetic while still being formal enough to wear as a wedding guest. Given that many summer weddings are in more casual outdoor settings, it’s the perfect season to try out this style.
One important piece of advice: Many cottagecore patterns are heavy on white (i.e. soft-colored florals on white fabric). Be sure to find a pattern that doesn’t break the cardinal rule of wedding guest dresses!
Two-piece dresses are perfect for summer. They offer a way to stay cool in the heat of June, July, and August wedding events. Two-piece dresses aren’t a new trend, but they are still around in 2023 and continue to be a popular option.
When you’re choosing one, be sure to strike the right balance of cute and stylish, but also event appropriate. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with dresses that show a lot of skin, but they’re probably better saved for a night out with the girls rather than a wedding.
The dress pictured above from Lulus is a great example of a two-piece style perfect for a wedding guest.
In the spirit of everything Y2K making its way back in style, halter necklines are proving to be a big trend for all kinds of events—weddings included. Halter necklines can be simple but also add some extra flair when they’re high-neck or designed with a cutout like the style from Revolve pictured above.
If you’re looking for a style that makes a statement, this summer wedding guest dress trend is the one for you. A dress with volume in the sleeves and/or skirt is totally in and brands are getting creative about designs, from this puff-sleeved Lily Pulitzer to this bubble skirt dress from Windsor to this ASOS option (pictured above).
Volume is a great way to try out different dress shapes that suit your body shape, feel fun, and stand out from the more commonplace dress styles you see at every wedding!
When it comes to color for this year’s summer wedding guest dress trends, sherbet shades are all the rage. Choose a fun sherbet-y orange, pink, or yellow for a trendy and seasonal pop of color, or have extra fun with a dress like the Petal and Pup option pictured above that combines complementary shades together in one dress.
The timeless rule of thumb for wedding guest dresses is still true in 2023—skip the white so you don’t compete with the bride on her wedding day. Even though your guest style likely won’t really outshine a bridal gown, it’s standard consideration to choose another color when it’s not your special day.
In summer, when white is in, it’s even more important to make a conscious choice to avoid it!
Weddings are fun to dress up for, especially if you love to try out new trends and unique styles. While attending a wedding as a guest is a perfect time to show off your style, it’s not the time to make too big of a statement.
Remember, you’re a guest. It’s not your day. Have fun, but skip the Lady-Gaga-in-a-meat-dress level statement styles that will call too much attention your way.
Remember that as a wedding guest you’ll be eating a full meal, having cocktails, and hopefully dancing the night away. Comfort must be a priority. We’ve all experienced an an uncomfortable outfit inhibiting our good time—and it’s just not worth it.
If you don’t feel totally comfortable and confident in your dress choice, keep looking!
Every brand sizes a little bit differently, even for summer wedding guest dresses that are the same style and aesthetic. No matter how sure you are of your size or number of times you have bought from a brand in the past, try on your summer wedding guest dresses in advance to avoid last-minute surprises.
PS: Don’t get stuck on the tag size—nobody knows (or cares!) what size you’re wearing. Buy the one that fits and flatters you best, not the one that aligns with unnecessary wishful thinking 😉
Ready, set, shop! We hope this guide has given you the inspiration you need to find a dress you’ll feel fabulous wearing. Looking for more ideas? Follow Perennial on Instagram to see what our couples’ guests are wearing this season!