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The 36 best wedding guest dresses & outfits for 2020

With stunning wedding guest dresses and classically elegant outfits, there's something for everyone in our 2020 shopping edit. We've curated the best looks you can buy in the UK, for spring, summer, autumn and winter, and for every celebration from city to beach. All you have to do is pick your favourite - and have a fabulous time at the wedding!

It’s sometimes said that the reason wedding guest fashion is tricky is because of social media. That is: you know someone else is going to post a picture of you even if you’re not the selfie-sharing type, so you want to make sure you look suitably stunning. This is why you end up scrolling through seemingly endless wedding guest dresses in search of the perfect look.

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Actually, we disagree – we think it’s always been difficult to strike the right balance when putting together a wedding guest outfit. As a general rule, you don’t want to go too “big night out”, but you also don’t want to go the other way and look dull. It’s an eternal challenge.

Well, challenge accepted. We’ve put some serious time into finding the wedding guest dresses and outfits you can buy in the UK that are totally Goldilocks: just right. These cover a range of styles, from pared-back elegance (think Phoebe Waller-Bridge on the red carpet) to ahead-of-the trend cool (basically, what Solange would wear) – and everything in between.

We’ve taken budget into account – after all, you still have to work out what to spend on the wedding gift – and included a mix of price points, both high street and higher end. And if you are into the social likes? They’re all totally Insta-worthy, too. We’ve also answered some of your most pressing wedding guest outfit questions. Happy shopping!

Off the shoulder lemon-print dress

What should a guest wear to a wedding?

So much depends on the style of celebration you’re going to. You can generally get an idea by checking out the wedding venue online – it’s not unheard of to have a laidback boho wedding in a grand castle, but it’s more likely to be on the glamorous side.

To help you choose your look, we’ve put together a guide on what to wear to a wedding, including 2020 etiquette.

Where are the best places to buy a wedding guest dress?

The UK high street is an excellent source of wedding guest dresses, with a range of styles and prices. You could also check out charity shops – their fashion stock has been on the rise for a few years now, and if you pick the right store, you could pick up a totally chic but cheap bargain, including a designer label for less.

That’s a sustainable way to shop – but of course, to be even more eco-friendly, you could choose something you already own and give it a 2020 makeover courtesy of your shoes and accessories. You could even organise a ‘shwopping’ session with your friends, where you all bring outfits you haven’t worn for a while and swap them.

READ MORE: Green wedding ideas – make your day more sustainable

What should you not wear to a wedding?

Unless specifically told you can by the couple, we’d avoid anything too revealing or too laidback – jeans and athleisure are a no.

Do I have to wear a dress to a wedding?

Absolutely not! So long as you keep an eye on the dress code and choose something on the smarter side, wedding guest outfits can be jumpsuits, trouser suits, skirt and top combos – whatever makes you feel comfortable.

What colours aren’t appropriate for a wedding?

It’s generally accepted that you don’t wear white to a wedding, unless the couple say it’s ok – or, indeed, ask you to! There’s some debate about whether it’s ever ok to wear black to a wedding, but if in doubt, ask. We’ve also heard people say that it’s rude to wear red to a wedding, but that seems to be a minority view.

32 best wedding guest dresses & outfits for 2020

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.

1. Scoop Neck Midi Dress, & Other Stories – £85

This & Other Stories midi is a perfect pink – not too sugary, but still bringing a sense of romance. The side slit is a sexy detail, and we love that ruffle hem.

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2. Camille Ponte Jumpsuit, Boden – £100

Boden’s Camille jumpsuit comes in different prints and colours, but we think navy is the most chic – and the easiest to wear. Dress it up through your accessory choices or keep the look pared back.

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3. Claribel Belted Draped Dress, French Connection – £130

French Connection are terribly clever at taking something typically ‘feminine’ and giving it a contemporary twist – just like their Claribel dress. It’s the classic wedding guest floral, but re-imagined to fit the nightwear-as-evening-wear trend (to put it another way: pyjamas on the red carpet), with a draped, kimono-effect silhouette.

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READ MORE: The best summer wedding guest dresses

4. Tall Camel Sport High Neck Dress, New Look – £15.99

From New Look’s Tall ranges comes this camel spot dress. It’s giving us post-makeover Pretty Woman vibes – remember that ravishingly refined dress Julia Roberts wore at the polo scene? – but the frill hem and high neck keep it feeling fresh.

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5. Lana Red Vintage Dress, KITRI Studio – £145

What do you get when you bring together red satin and a vintage silhouette? Why, sophisticated glamour, as this KITRI Studio dress demonstrates. If it had been full-on fitted, the gown would have been veering towards Too Much territory, but the sleeves and draped shape with nipped-in waist keep it wedding-perfect.

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6. Ruffled Printed Dress, Zara – £59.99

Trust Zara to nail a trend. Their ruffled midi dress has catwalk-inspired Seventies vibes thanks to that paisley pattern – a cool alternative to florals. We’re also taken with the ethereal boho vibe.

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7. Reiko Dress, Ghost – £149

Ghost’s Reiko dress is a masterclass is elegant simplicity. The waist-flattering cinch belt is an added style bonus.

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8. Siena Pink Floral Tea Dress, KITRI Studio – £125

Another winner from KITRI Studio, their Siena floral dress has us dreaming of sipping champagne on the lawn of a regal country house. The crinkle satin and ditsy floral print are very pretty, with a contemporary feel thanks to those statement sleeves.

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READ MORE: Pretty guest dresses for a country wedding

9. Belted Peplum Hem Midi Dress, Warehouse – £59

We’ll be honest, peplum tops never really did it for us. Peplum hems, on the other hand, are a rather lovely proposition, as shown on this Warehouse midi. We also love that perfect pale blue shade.

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10. V-Neck Satin Dress, H&M – £49.99

This H&M dress in vintage pink would be perfect at an autumn or winter wedding – paired with a cosy coat, of course.

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11. Yellow Fine Lace Panel Midi Dress, Self-Portrait – £380

Yellow lace midi dress

Soft yellow is such as lovely shade for a summer wedding, but that’s not the only reason we love this Self-Portrait midi. That delicate lace and flowing skirt combine to bewitching effect.

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READ MORE: The best fragrances for spring and summer weddings

12. Pink Floral Short Sleeve Top, River Island – £32

Paired with white trousers and a heel or statement flat, this River Island top would look utterly chic at a spring or summer wedding. The high neck keeps it on trend, while the sheer fabric is all about subtle sexiness.

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13. Satin Jumpsuit, Maje – £269

Maje can be relied on for an alluring style – and this black cami jumpsuit proves the point. The combination of the satin fabric and the lace trim is irresistible.

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14. Asymmetric Mini Shirt Dress, & Other Stories – £75

This & Other Stories mini dress would be just the thing for a chic city wedding. We’ve also added the chunky chain necklace show here to our wishlist.

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READ MORE: 23 beautiful dresses for city wedding guests

15. Blossom Dress, Oasis Curve – £68

We love the romantic colourway on this Oasis floral dress. The ruffled hem adds to the effect, and the skater silhouette is seriously figure-flattering.

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16. Green Twisted Mini Swing Dress, River Island – £38

We love how this River Island dress plays with the pussy bow trend, keeping the neckline but without the bows. It comes in a stand-out shade that calls for bold accessories.

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17. Faux Tweed Dress, Zara – £59.99

How cool is Zara’s tweed blazer-style dress? This has winter wedding written all over it – with tights, we think, for all the bravest of souls.

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READ MORE: 22 thoughts all winter wedding guests have

18. Gabin Dress, Sézane – €150 (£140 approx.)

If you want to make a statement, sequins are the way to go, as seen on this mini-dress from French cool-girl brand Sézane. We love the fact that they’ve used pastels, rather than straight metallics, for a pretty effect.

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19. Wild Rose Ruffle Gown, Needle & Thread – £425

Needle & Thread are known for their romantic designs, but they really have surpassed themselves with this tiered maxi. The tulle! The frills! The shape! It’s available in other colours, but we’re really feeling this beautiful blush.

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20. Floral Print Long Dress, Mango – £69.99

Be a vision of loveliness in Mango’s floral dress. That print is delicious, and the wrap neckline is so flattering.

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READ MORE: What to write in a wedding card

21. Poplin Dress, Zara – £29.99

Sound the bargain klaxon! Zara’s pink poplin dress would look amazing on the dance floor at a summer wedding – and the stripped-back style means you could really make it your own through your accessories choices.

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22. Plume Oversized Midi Dress, Sister Jane – £82

Voluminous yellow maxi dress

This London-based brand is one for the statement-makers among you. If you love a voluminous silhouette, you need to check out their line, including this Plume midi dress. We big fans of the high impact style and the sunny summer shade.

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23. Green Ruched Bardot Dress, River Island – £38

Fan of the bodycon look? We’ve got you covered with this River Island ruched dress. The Bardot neckline and long sleeves make it feel effortlessly elegant.

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READ MORE: Gorgeous green bridesmaid dresses

24. Liviana Lace Mini Dress, Gina Bacconi at John Lewis – £230

Gina Bacconi’s Liviana is a classic wedding guest dress, from the navy colour to the lace fabric. The timeless style means you can wear it to any celebration, switching up your accessories to change the look.

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25. Meadow Floral Print Maxi Dress, Chi Chi London at John Lewis – £56.25

We do love a floral maxi, and the wrap skirt on this Chi Chi London gown means you get a sexy yet subtle flash of skin when you walk.

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26. Luella Midi Dress, Ghost at John Lewis – £120

If you fancy a print but aren’t into floral, this Ghost pineapple-print dress could be right up your street. It’s cool and quirky, and the high neckline and voluminous sleeves are very 2020.

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27. Award Jacquard Mini Dress, Sister Jane – £82

This Dream Sister Jane dress is called Award, and you’ll certainly feel like a real winner in it. We love the oversized silhouette, and that Jacquard fabric is seriously chic.

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READ MORE: Beautiful blue bridesmaid dresses

28. Murphy Dress, Reformation – £300

Looking for a beach wedding guest dress? This off-the-shoulder gown from one of our favourite brands could be just the ticket. The sweetheart neckline and slim bodice leading into a relaxed skirt make for a lovely silhouette.

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29. Draped Pleated Dress, Zara – £29.99

This draped dress manages to be super-pretty without being fussy. That’s thanks to the flowing silhouette and the delicate blue shade.

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30. Yucca Two Piece, Reformation – £300

We’ve fallen hard for Reformation’s Yucca two piece, in the colourway they’re calling Carmen. We love the flash of skin at the midriff, and the puff sleeves of the top are divine.

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READ MORE: 11 ways to save money as a wedding guest

31. Bardot Pleated Maxi Dress, Goddiva at SilkFred – £65

Well, isn’t this delightful? SilkFred’s emerald green evening dress has a real feel of the red carpet about it. This is an effortlessly glamorous gown, with the Bardot neckline and floor-length skirt creating an enviable silhouette.

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32. Graphic-Print Mini Dress, Ganni at Selfridges – £175

Ganni is our go-to brand when we’re in the mood for some Copenhagen cool – like this graphic-print dress. You can easily dress it up with accessories for a celebration, but also wear it afterwards, ideally with some boots like these utter beauties.

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33. Nora Jacquard Jumpsuit, Studio 8 at Phase Eight – £130

Hello, beautiful! Coming from Phase Eight’s inclusively sized Studio 8 line, this notice-me jacquard jumpsuit would make you best dressed guest at any autumn or winter wedding.

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READ MORE: 35 thoughts every guest has at a wedding

34. Cutwork Lace Dress, Karen Millen – £140

This zesty orange lace dress is giving us strong summer vibes. We see it working with bold gold or tortoiseshell jewellery and a statement bag.

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35. Sana Blazer & Aliza Tailored Trouser, Whistles – £199 & £149

Trouser suits are big news for 2020 – and that goes for wedding guest outfits, too. We’d pair this Whistles trouser and blazer with a delicate cami top – ideally with a lace trim – and either sparkling flats or a heeled sandal.

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35. Long Pleated Print Dress, The Kooples – £338

Ignore the homicidal look in the model’s eyes and focus on the stunning printed dress. The flowing shape is pure boho, but in an unexpectedly rich, sensual shade, which adds sophistication to the floatiness.

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36. Valentina Dress, Essentiel Antwerp – £270

Calling all maximalists! We’ve found the dress for you, in the shape of Essentiel Antwerp’s Valentina. Layers of neon pink will never be right for shrinking violets, but if you’re ready to stand tall and be your confident best, this really is a dress that brings joy to the heart.

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Have you decided how you’re going to wear your hair? For inspiration, dive into our edit of celebrity-inspired wedding guest hairstyles.