Summer wedding guest dresses Kitri vera Cropped

32 beautiful summer wedding guest dresses for 2020

Look stunning as temperatures rise with our pick of the best summer wedding guest dresses. Whether you're going to an elegant UK celebration in July and August or jetting off to a wedding abroad, we've found beautiful dresses for wedding guests of all budgets, from high street to high end.

Are you going to a wedding (or five) in July and August? Or perhaps September, assuming the forecast is good? If you’re anything like us, having a celebration to attend has put you in the mood for shopping – that’s why we’ve selected the summer wedding guest dresses we think you’re going to love.

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Guest outfit shopping can be a tricky business and it certainly helps to be clued up on what to wear to a wedding. There’s nothing worse than feeling over or under-dressed for an event, when you should be having a lovely time toasting the happy couple!

Whether you’re heading to a destination wedding and would like to rock summer brights or you’ve been invited to an English country wedding that would be perfect for pastels, we’ve got a dress for you.

Colour isn’t the only thing we’ve considered when compiling our list of the very best summer wedding guest dresses; we’ve also selected a range of hemlines, necklines, lengths and fits to suit all body shapes and tastes.

With dresses ranging from high street to high end, you can choose to splash out on something extra special, or to pick up a bargain with fabulous summer wedding guest outfits that may be cheap but feels luxe.

Red polka dot maxi dress with side cut-outs

What is appropriate to wear to a summer wedding?

Most kinds of dress will work – midi, mini, maxi, floral, minimalist, and more. Unless the couple’s wedding style is totally laidback, we suggest making sure the dress you choose has an element of formality.

Take the temperature into account: look for breathable fabrics and light, airy styles – bodycon might not work so well if it’s really hot!

For religious weddings, we recommend taking a cover-up if you choose a style with straps as bare shoulders aren’t always allowed in places of worship.

What should you not wear to a summer wedding?

Avoid the sort of dress you’d slip over a bikini on the beach. While there are lots of summer wedding dresses available, you’re looking for something party-perfect – aim for elegance.

Any thick, weighty fabrics are unlikely to make you feel good as temperatures rise. Wedding guest dresses with sleeves are fine, so long as those sleeves are sheer or made from a light-as-a-feather material, to avoid over-heating.

If you’re going to a wedding outside the UK, think about how your outfit will survive the journey. Linen may be associated with hot weather dressing, but it would seriously crease in your case.

READ MORE: Gorgeous guest dresses for a wedding abroad

As a general rule, don’t wear anything too revealing. We’re not saying you have to swathe yourself in a maxi, unless that’s what you want, but however hot it is, acres of skin on display don’t tend to make for a high-style wedding look.

Where is the best place to buy a wedding guest dress?

Let your budget guide you. If you’re looking to spend less, the more affordable end of the high street is a great option – check out brands such as New Look, Chi Chi London, Zara and River Island. Keep an eye out for mid-season sales, too. If there’s a brand you particularly like that’s out of your price range, make sure you sign up to their newsletter, so you’ll get early warning if they’re doing any last-minute discounts.

In terms of higher budgets, you’ll find the brands we love for wedding guest dresses in our shopping edit, alongside some not-so-spendy options.

32 summer wedding guest dresses 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. Side Cut Out Midi Dress, Warehouse – £55

We do love a wedding guest dress that’s distinctive enough to feel special, but also pared-back enough that you can style it with different accessories and wear it to multiple weddings. This Warehouse midi is a perfect example of that kind of dress, and has the added advantage of a very flattering silhouette.

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2. Camisole Dress, Zara – £29.99

This Zara cami dress is just so elegant. We’re very taken with the fluid skirt and the bow detail at the neckline. Simply pair with a chic cover-up in case in gets chilly, and you’re ready to go.

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3. Neon Pink Halterneck Maxi, Essentiel Antwerp – £270

Everything Essentiel Antwerp does sparks joy, and that’s particularly true of this neon pink gown. It’s such an uplifting shade of pink, and that loose silhouette would be a delight to wear in higher temperatures. A triumph of summer wedding guest dressing.

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READ MORE: The best long-lasting foundations for your wedding

4. Frill Midi Dress, Asime at Gather&See – £75

Proving that ethical fashion and chic style can go hand in hand, Gather&See brings together the best sustainable designs, like this midi dress. It’s Fair Trade, Vegan, and comes from a supply chain based on female empowerment – oh, and it looks fabulous, too.

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5. Amazonie Dress, Sézane – £130

This Sézane mini-dress would look fabulously boho at a laidback beach wedding. Go down the pretty route by pairing it, as in the picture, with delicate layered necklace; or for a more glamour-focused effect, choose bold, architectural gold jewellery.

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6. Crinkled Satin Dress, Johanna Ortiz x H&M – £39.99

H&M’s latest collab is an absolute winner: they’ve teamed up with designer Johanna Ortiz (clients include Alexa Chung, Olivia Palermo and Beyoncé) to create a stunning collection of vibrant maximalist dresses. We’d love to include every last one, but we’ve zeroed in on this exuberantly lovely yellow dress. Yes, the fabric isn’t necessarily the smartest for hot temperatures, but we reckon the flowing cut will still keep you feeling – and looking – cool.

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READ MORE: How to be the perfect wedding guest

7. Celestina Gown, Erdem – £2,170

Obviously, this is not a budget option. However, if Erdem is within your price range, take a look at the beautiful Celestina gown. Erdem is the king of florals, and this print is just so romantic. The dress is made from luxurious yet light silk organza, which is ideal in hotter temperatures.

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8. Belted Pale Pink Maxi, New Look – £27.99

We love the shape of New Look’s belted maxi – the way those batwing sleeves lead into a nipped-in waist creates an hourglass effect. It also comes in navy, but we’re enjoying the prettiness of this delicate pink.

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9. Riley Maxi Dress, Solace London – £320

If you’re wearing a Solace London dress, you know you’re going to stand out for all the right reasons. Their Riley maxi is no exception. There are no frills, no sparkles – that chic silhouette does all the talking. Body con styles can be tricky to wear in summer, but we reckon the spaghetti straps and slit at the back will make this work even when it’s hot.

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

10. Indigo Butterfly Spanish Rah-Rah Dress, Pink City Prints – £160

Off the shoulder blue printed dress

We’re big fans of Pink City Prints, whose glorious dresses are ethically hand-crafted. Their Indigo Butterfly dress is made from organic cotton, and is just the thing for a beach wedding, particularly if you wear the sleeves off the shoulder.

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11. Claribel Floral V-Neck Maxi Dress, French Connection – £125

Also available in emerald green, French Connection’s Claribel maxi dress has a beautifully bold floral pattern. The thigh slit and v-neck give the look a sophisticated sexiness.

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12. Puff Sleeve Wrap Maxi Dress, & Other Stories – £95

We love a puff sleeve, and & Other Stories always managed to craft them perfectly – as seen in this wrap maxi dress. It’s also available in green, but we love how this hue reminds us of cloudless summer skies.

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READ MORE: Guests reveal what they hate most about weddings

13. Rio Dress, Shrimps – £425

Black dress with rodeo print

We love the quirkiness of Shrimps, like the rodeo-inspired print of this Rio dress. Inspired by country and western – and particularly by Dolly Pattern – the pattern is fun and vibrant, and the shape is figure-flattering. Yes, it’s whimsical, but if that suits your style, why not?

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14. Lolita Maxi Dress, Monsoon – £130

Summer may be associated with brights and pastels, but darker colours can still feel season-appropriate in the right style – like this Monsoon maxi. The delicate lace bodice and the floaty skirt add lightness to the navy hue, giving it a summery aesthetic.

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15. Vera Red Polka Dot Dress, KITRI Studio – £165

Leave it to KITRI to create one of the must-have styles of the summer. Their Vera polka dot dress is the chic way to do sexy, with a flowing skirt, side slit and figure-skimming silhouette.

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16. Sleeveless Sweetheart Midi Dress, J.Crew – £210

We lamented the closure of J.Crew’s UK stores a few years ago, but the good news is, you can still buy this contemporary chic American brand online. We love how this lilac dress puts a cool spin on the traditional wedding guest lace look, thanks to the contrast straps and the use of oversized rather than delicate lace.

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READ MORE: 19 thoughts all summer wedding guests have

17. Long Satin Dress, H&M – £49.99

This H&M maxi is one of those wedding guest dresses you can wear to multiple events, styled differently each time. The mint green shade feels fresh and pretty, and the satin drapes beautifully.

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18. Nancy Lace Dress, Boden – £150

The use of chevron lace on Boden’s Nancy dress is a contemporary twist on a classic look. The v-neck and pencil skirt combine to create a clean silhouette.

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19. Pink Floral Ruffle Dress, New Look – £25.99

For a romantic floral look on a budget, New Look’s floral dress is hard to beat. The asymmetric style and oversized ruffle mean you won’t blend into the crowd.

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20. Eleanor dress, Rixo – £305

Fashion editors’ favourite RIXO are known for their cool floral-mix prints, but what’s really caught our eye from their latest collection is this leopard-print dress. We love the tie detailing on the halter neck and the tiered skirt. Just when we thought we might be over animal print, they’ve made us fall in love again.

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READ MORE: 23 newlywed accessories couples will actually like

21. Spring Meadow Pleated Dress, Warehouse – £79

Romantic pastels in a pattern designed to evoke a meadow in bloom make this Warehouse dress a vision of prettiness. The pleated skirt keeps it on trend for 2020.

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22. Clemance Rainbow Maxi Dress, Lisou – £450

What could be more joyous than a rainbow dress? This silk Lisou gown features a cool zig zag pattern, skimming the body to figure-flattering effect.

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23. Long Tiered Dress, H&M – £34.99

Rock a summer sleeve with this H&M floral maxi. The gauzy fabric means you shouldn’t over-heat, and combined with the floral pattern you get a delicate, elegant effect.

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24. Sail Print Off Shoulder Midi Dress, Self-Portrait – £320

This Self-Portrait midi is precision-cut for modern elegance, from the dropped shoulders to the ruched bodice and the striking pattern. You’ll wear it again and again.

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READ MORE: Is it rude to have evening-only guests?

25. Tiered Maxi Dress in Taffeta, J.Crew – £221

This divine taffeta gown is making us dream of drinking cocktails on a sunny day – while looking utterly fabulous, of course, thanks to the statement silhouette and inviting colour.

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26. Button Up Mini, & Other Stories – £75

How cute is this floral mini dress? The square neckline and puff sleeves are very 2020, but the overall look is timelessly pretty, so the dress can take up a long-term spot in your wardrobe.

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27. Tiered-sleeve dress, Alexa Chung at Matches – £262

Alexa Chung has taken all the old wedding guest dress clichés – floral, pastel, just below the knee – and reworked them for a fresh 2020 look. This cloqué dress has statement, off-the-shoulder sleeves and a knockout silhouette, keeping it perfectly up to date.

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28. Floral Lace Midi Dress, Oasis – £80

We’re always keen on a contrast skirt, and this Oasis dress nails the look perfectly. The delicate lace bodice is beautifully offset by the bold floral print skirt.

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READ MORE: 35 thoughts every guest has at a wedding

29. Talent Dress, Sister Jane – £98

We love the flow of Sister Jane’s enchanting maxi dress. It feels both timelessly romantic and totally on trend.

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30. Sequin Dress, Mango – £69.99

Can sequins work at a summer wedding? This gorgeous Mango gown rather suggests they can. It needs to be a relatively glam affair – you might look a bit out of place in this at a rustic barn wedding – but otherwise, we say, get out there and sparkle!

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31. Cowl Neck Satin Slip, Urban Touch at SilkFred – £55

Cowl necks are back for 2020, and we weren’t sure how we felt about that until we saw this enthralling slip dress. The silhouette is sexy yet sophisticated, with the neck an ideal counterpoint to the fitted shape. Consider us converts.

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32. Nikita Dress, Reformation – £265

We could hardly do a wedding guest dresses edit without brand of the moment Reformation. Their Nikita dress comes in different colourways, but if you want something truly wedding-perfect, choose this Etienne print. We love everything about it, but particularly the ruffled neckline and the tie shoulders.

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