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Destination Wedding Fashion for Guests: Summer Wedding Attire

A woman holding a bouquet in summer wedding attire.

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Summer is one of the most exciting times of the year to attend a destination wedding. Picturesque beaches present the perfect backdrop for an “I do,” and the cool evening air of a novel location carries the music from the afterparty into the horizon. With such a seasonal sense of romance, the pressure to wear the perfect outfit may feel immense. Formalwear, semi-formal wear, and beach-appropriate attire all have their unique charms. Whether you are planning a dress code for a summer wedding of your own, or are a soon-to-be wedding guest looking for outfit advice, why not consider all of your options before deciding?

summer wedding attire

Formal Summer Wedding Attire for Any Destination

Formalwear is a wide enough category that your guests will have options whether your ceremony is in a climate-controlled venue or outdoors. Structured silhouettes serve classic looks, but dresses with form-fitting fabrics may sweat through or restrict breathing. Instead, flowing gowns make for a beautiful formal look. Pair the gown with a statement necklace, a pair of earrings, and silk gloves for a wedding ensemble that emanates class.

Tailored suits in darker unbroken hues of black and navy blue are a perennial favorite in formal wedding dress codes. Add a highlight in the form of a silk bow tie and pocket square to reinforce the wedding’s color palate. Polished dress shoes and simple cufflinks complete the outfit and guarantee your guests will feel confident and look sharp.

No matter what you wear, pay extra attention to the finer details. It is all too easy to forget about personal grooming and proper hair styling in the rush of wedding preparations and travel, but other guests will notice the lack of attention paid. 

Semi-Formal Wedding Attire in Hot Weather

A semi-formal dress code is slightly more difficult to plan, but as long as you give concrete examples, it will turn out just as classy. Depending on the color palette of the venue and your decorations, sophisticated jewel tones bring a sense of life and vibrancy to summer wedding attire. Pastels offer a softer alternative but deliver a gentle and beautiful finish.

Semi-formal wedding attire’s biggest advantage is flexibility. Midi dresses, heels, and a clutch purse sit alongside blouses, culottes, and flats. The heat of the summer afternoon might lead your guests to wear refined boating shorts and a tucked-in button down while the cool of the evening may lead your guests towards blazers and slacks.

As for fabrics, satin and crepe suit a summer wedding at any time of day. Just be careful – your guests’ clothing shouldn’t overheat them if they sit outdoors. Summer semi-formal wedding attire is as much about comfort as it is about looks.

semi formal wedding attire

What to Wear to a Beach Wedding

Beachside ceremonies are one of the most enchanting opportunities afforded by a summertime wedding. The cool breeze, beautiful sand, and pristine waters will leave you with the memories of a lifetime. However, beach weddings also force planners to answer a tricky question: What kinds of clothing should our guests wear to the beach?

Outdoor weddings require flexibility in planning. Your guests’ summer wedding attire must account for weather variance while still matching the location’s natural splendor. An evening wedding dress code must recommend warmer clothes to account for the possibility of a windy chill.

The two main categories of outfits to sort through are your beach wedding guest dresses and your men’s beach wedding attire.

Beach Wedding Guest Dresses

When it comes to your beach wedding guests’ dresses, simple fabrics strike the perfect balance between comfort, beauty, and practicality. Emphasize maxi dresses made of breathable materials like linen and light cotton in your dress code. If you have a color palette in mind, tropical prints, and nautical patterns bring it all together.

Remind your guests not to wear dresses with a train or too many layers. Longer dresses fit the setting thanks to their elegance, but catching sand in a dress train is very obstructive. Guests may overheat if they’re sitting in the sun in too many layers.

Shoes that typically match with flowing dresses may not suit the surface of a sandy beach. Don’t recommend heels and wedges – they dig into the sand and make it difficult to walk without tripping. Instead, sandals or flat espadrilles ensure your guests feel as graceful as they’ll look. 

Once the basic look is established, remind your guests in beach wedding guest dresses that they may bring accessories that complement this aesthetic. Woven purses or beach totes, sun hats, and necklaces are all smart choices.

Men’s Beach Wedding Attire

Menswear is popular amongst wedding goers of all body shapes thanks to its flattering styles and practicality. Dressing for a destination beach wedding presents more of a challenge than dressing for a wedding in a traditional venue. What should your guests do differently?

Lightweight and breathable fabrics are a must. Stay cool in linens and cottons so everyone enjoys the ceremony from start to finish.

For shirts, stick with button-downs with short or rolled-up sleeves for a summer feel. All the better if guests use color patterns that match the wedding’s palette. 

Match those shirts with chinos and other pants in earth tones for a look that comes across as natural. Versatility and neutrality are key. Stronger tones risk overwhelming the whole ensemble.

Recommend boat shoes, loafers, or matching sandals as a final component of summer wedding attire. Comfortable, light shoes won’t cause any trouble walking on the sand or enjoying the edge of the water.

Beyond that, accessorize away! Encourage your guests to wear their favorite watch or sunglasses to synergize with their men’s beach wedding attire.

beach wedding guest dresses

Looking Your Best at a Dream Wedding

Do you have a better idea for your ideal summer wedding attire? Let us help you make it a reality. Destify turns your wedding dreams into treasured experiences by working with destination resorts to make your wedding plan simple. Use our app to track guest information, RSVPs, and more. We create meaningful memories with minimal hassle and stress. Browse our featured destinations or call today to get a head start on planning your wedding with us.

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