Unusual wedding guest dresses

23 unusual wedding guest dresses to make a stylish statement

Going to a wedding doesn't mean abandoning your personal style for pastels or florals - unless that's what you want, of course! We've found the best unusual wedding guest dresses out there, featuring catwalk-inspired details including 2020's most-wanted trend: the long statement sleeve.

Whoever came up with “twinning is winning” had clearly never turned up to a wedding in the same outfit as another guest. To help you avoid this less-than-ideal scenario, we’re bringing you our favourite unusual dresses for wedding guests, hot off the high street for 2020.

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While there’s nothing wrong with choosing a classic look, we are partial to a quirky wedding guest dress that shows off your unique personality. Remember, unusual doesn’t mean inappropriate – we’re not talking Met Gala levels of sartorial extravagance. Our edit has everything from pared-back and elegant wedding guest dresses to stunning occasion outfits with bright and bold prints, alongside on-trend elements such as statement sleeves and colour blocking. And because we know how important it is to make weddings more sustainable – including for guests – we’ve deliberately selected wear-again styles that’ll see you through many a future social outing.

As always, we’ve also got your budget in mind, and have included dresses with a purse-friendly price tag that definitely don’t look cheap, as well as a designer pick or two for those looking to splash out. However much you’re looking to spend, you’ll feel like a fashion leader in one of these fabulous dresses.

Happy shopping!

We may receive a commission on products or services purchased through links in this article. All the products have been chosen independently by our editorial team.

Seraphine maternity wedding guest dress

Idol mixed print midi dress – Topshop, £39

We’re getting real Rixo vibes from Topshop’s Idol dress, but at a fraction of that cool-girl label’s price tag. Pair it with on-trend chunky chain accessories for a catwalk-inspired, boho-goes-tough look.

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Ruffle sleeve midi dress – River Island, £55

Bodycon dresses in pastel shades are a wedding staple. River Island adds drama to this modern classic through the notice-me sleeves of their green midi. You’ll probably struggle to find a cover-up to go over said sleeves, but then, why would you want to cover a look that’s so show-stopping?

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Chakra short sleeve sequin mini dress – Needle & Thread, £355

No, it’s not ok to wear white for a wedding – unless, of course, you choose a style that’s liberally embellished with colour, like the rainbow sequins and lace on Needle & Thread’s Chakra dress. We love the flowing tulle shape and delicate butterfly sleeves.

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READ MORE: The best summer wedding guest dresses

Blythe colourblock swing dress – Studio 8 at Phase Eight, £89

Phase Eight’s plus-size collection, Studio 8, is serving up some serious fashion wins at the moment – like this chic swing dress that showcases one of our favourite 2020 trends with its colourblock pattern.

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Marley dress – Reformation, £265

We’ve fallen hard for Reformation’s sustainable-fashion designs, and none more so than the Marley dress. This off-the-shoulder midi also comes in cream for a more pared-back look, but for a summer wedding, we love the cool lemon print.

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Frill hem sequin midi dress – £95, Warehouse

Sometimes only a whole lot of sparkle will do. If you feel the wedding you’re going to is one of those times, reach for this pink Warehouse sequin dress. The frill hem gives it an extra shot of romance.

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READ MORE: What to wear to a wedding – etiquette & outfit ideas

Long tie dress – Maje, £209

Red polka dot maxi dress with side cut-outs

Make your wedding guest look all about grown-up French chic with this red polka dot dress from Parisian label Maje. The figure-skimming silhouette and side cut-outs give it a subtle sexiness.

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Zebra print patched midi dress – Oliver Bonas, £75

Would you ever think of combining a striking botanical print with zebra? It’s lucky that the design team at Oliver Bonas did – this easy-wearing dress is stunning.

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Belted blazer mini dress – & Other Stories, £120

Pink blazer mini dress

Sugary pink meets crisp masculine tailoring: this & Other Stories blazer dress is an absolute triumph. The look proves pastels can be sexy rather than just sweet.

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READ MORE: This is how much it costs to be a wedding guest

Open-back ruched leopard-print maxi dress – Self-Portrait at Net-A-Porter, £144

What makes this Self-Portrait maxi stand out is the monochrome take on animal print, which adds edge to the classically chic silhouette.

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Asymmetric midi dress – Zara, £89.99

If you want to stand out from the crowd without going over the top, try this Zara dress. Apart from the fluted sleeve, every other element is elegantly simple, from the round neck to the block maroon colour.

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Rayna satin maxi dress – Ghost at Selfridges, £295

If your style is on the maximalist side, make a statement with this Ghost maxi dress. This is not a gown for subtle accessories – choose jewellery as bold as the colour.

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READ MORE: 23 things you know if you’re a serial wedding guest

Tweed dress with buttons – Zara, £59.99

There’s something deliciously Cher from Clueless about this look – it must be the sexy way with tweed – but the relaxed silhouette of this Zara dress keeps the whole thing feeling fresh for 2020.

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Sofia check print dress – AND/OR at John Lewis, £89

This ticks a lot of 2020 trend boxes, from the check pattern to the tiered skirt. Styled with the right accessories, AND/OR’s Sofia dress is a chic wedding-guest look, but it’ll also work as a cool day dress after the event.

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Tiered floral-print crepe maxi dress – The Vampire’s Wife at Net-A-Porter, £780

The Vampire’s Wife dresses are the perfect combination of on-trend details and overall prettiness – and this floral maxi is no exception. The fluted sleeves and boho print make for a delicately floral yet statement look.

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READ MORE: How much should I spend on the wedding present?

Brushstroke dress – Oasis Curve, £40

The brushstroke pattern on this Oasis dress makes a change from the usual wedding-guest floral prints. The high neck and tiered hem help create a super-flattering silhouette.

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Embroidered midi fringe dress – ASOS EDITION, £66

ASOS describe this embroidered dress as a midi, but’s really a mini with some hot fringe action going on. Whatever the hem length, keep accessories simple so as not to overwhelm the look.

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Lenora check midi dress – KITRI Studio, £125

Show off your catwalk credentials with KITRI’s Lenora midi. Checks are back in a big way for 2020, and the pink-and-white colour of this dress give the trend a romantic twist.

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READ MORE: What to write in a wedding card

Christine embroidered maxi dress – Phase Eight, £225

Phase Eight elevate the classic wedding-guest floral maxi by giving their Christine dress a fishtail skirt – instant evening-glamour vibes.

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Belted puff sleeve mini dress – & Other Stories, £95

The shape and colour of this & Other Stories dress give a nod to one of the year’s hottest trends, ’70s-inspired fashion. However, the fact that they’ve made it a mini rather than a midi ensures the overall look is totally 2020.

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Andela satin lace trim slip dress – £80, French Connection

Simply pop French Connection’s slip dress over a t-shirt-style body suit (better than an actual t-shirt if you want a smooth silhouette) for instant fashion editor appeal, then dress it up with the accessories of your choice.

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READ MORE: Cool hats & fascinators you’ll actually want to wear

Stephanie floral dress – Phase Eight, £99

To celebrate 40 years in fashion, Phase Eight went into their archive to find the vibrant print used on their Stephanie dress. We love the ’60s feel and the unashamedly joyous colour.

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Draped tie-neck dress – Cos, £99

Cos isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re a fan of their architectural silhouettes and pared-back style, you’re in for a treat with this draped neck-tie dress. The colour makes us think of cloudless summer skies.

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Whatever you choose, avoid making a fashion faux pas with our round-up of the worst wedding guest outfits of all time.