Garden weddings take place outdoors during the day, so they are considered more casual and relaxed than a wedding inside a church or at a formal venue. The dress code for a garden wedding is typically casual or semi-formal, although it’s always advisable to check the dress code if nothing is noted on the invitation.
The key to putting together a beautiful garden wedding guest outfit is to let the environment inspire your look. Imagine being surrounded by vibrant flowers, lush greenery, and the sweet scent of blooming blossoms as you celebrate love in a picturesque garden setting.
Garden weddings provide a charming backdrop for a joyous occasion, and your outfit should reflect the garden’s natural beauty and be stylish and elegant. Think garden-inspired and floral dresses naturally come to mind.
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Florals are a Natural Choice
a) Wear a Floral sundress: A floral sundress is a classic choice for a garden wedding. Opt for a knee-length or midi dress in a soft and flowy fabric. Look for romantic details like ruffles, lace, or delicate embroidery. Pair it with strappy sandals and accessorize with dainty jewelry and a small clutch.
b) Flowy maxi dress: Embrace the whimsical and ethereal ambiance of a garden wedding with a flowy maxi dress. Choose a dress in pastel or earthy tones, and consider designs with empire waistlines, off-the-shoulder sleeves, or open backs. Complete the look with wedges or embellished sandals, and add delicate accessories like drop earrings or a statement bracelet.
c) Jumpsuit with floral prints: For a modern and chic look, consider a jumpsuit with floral prints. Look for a style that flatters your body shape and pairs well with heels or wedges. Keep the accessories minimal to let the jumpsuit stand out, and opt for a clutch or a small crossbody bag.
No matter what you wear, Keep these things in mind when choosing an outfit for a Garden Wedding.
1. Romantic Silhouettes
Garden weddings are blooming with love! Choose classic styles that are soft and rounded and follow the shape of your body, like wrap dresses, fit and flare, sheath dresses, and A-lines. Anything that nips in at the waist is figure flattering and youthful. Off-the-shoulder and one-shoulder dresses and tops are elegant and romantic. Stay away from severe or oddly cut clothing that looks extreme or boxy, or shapeless
2. Feminine Colors
Colors that Reflect Nature’s Palette are perfect for a garden wedding and help achieve aesthetic harmony. Incorporate hues that mirror the natural surroundings to create a cohesive and enchanting look.
Soft earth tones like sage green, dusty rose, or sky blue are timeless and can capture the essence of the garden. Pastels are soft and romantic, so they are always appropriate for weddings. Or, you could wear bright colors, so long as they didn’t look too wildly tropical. (Leave loud Hawaiian tropical prints for beach or destination weddings).
Colorful florals on a dark blue, black or purple background can also be lovely. If you wear a dress like this, be careful that the overall look isn’t dark or moody. An outdoor wedding is a light, sunny, happy event, so nothing edgy or goth-like.
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3. Floaty Fabrics
Dresses, blouses, and even dress pants made of light, flowy fabrics that move in the breeze are elegant for a garden wedding. For example, chiffon is a favorite and is also very lightweight, so it will keep you cool at an outdoor wedding. Any kind of sheer overlay is also lovely.
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What to Wear to a Summer Wedding
A good rule of thumb when choosing your outfit for a summer wedding (or any wedding, for that matter) is that being overdressed is always better than being underdressed. “It could appear as an insult to the bride,” etiquette expert Lisa Grotts explains. “When in doubt and if it’s not clear on the wedding invitation or website, ask the bride.” After that, the details lie in the dress code, as highlighted below.
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Lisa Grotts (also known as The Golden Rules Gal) is an etiquette expert with over 20 years of industry experience. She’s an author, former columnist for The Huffington Post, and has appeared on media segments for NBC, The Today Show, and BBC News.
Grotts insists that formal doesn’t need to be complicated for a summer wedding. Select “Long shimmery fabrics or silk is an elegant choice with loose or slit sleeves,” she says. “A wide-legged pantsuit is also very chic with evening heels.” As for men, “Black tie/formal means a tuxedo; midnight blue is a welcomed alternative to black with patent leather or velvet loafers,” Grotts adds.
In regards to how the venue factors into your look, the rules surrounding black-tie wedding attire will remain the same no matter the locale. One difference that may slightly change for women, however, is their shoe selection choice, as stiletto heels aren’t the best option for beach locations. Instead, women should opt for fancy wedges or formal sandals if the ceremony is taking place on the sand, then change into another pair of shoes if they’d prefer to wear heels for the reception.
If the invitation indicates a semi-formal dress code, Grotts suggests a maxi dress for women. “Easy and breezy! It’s always a safe bet,” she says. “From V-necks to one shoulder or a high-low hemline. Wedges or a metallic heel would [also] complete the look.” What’s more, if shopping for an outdoor, semi-formal summer affair, a colorful palette of yellow, green, pink, and blue are wonderful hues for guests to consider when searching for a dress. On the other hand, men should consider a dark suit in navy or gray with a necktie for a smart semi-formal ensemble, Grotts adds.
“Floral and flowy” is Grotts’s motto for a casual summer wedding. In particular, she recommends dresses that are “Strapless, halter, or sleeveless but with a wrap.” For footwear, go for sandals or wedges, especially if the terrain isn’t suitable for heels. “To be extra chic, dresses with solid tassels around the sleeves or hemline act as a built-in accessory,” she adds. This is also a great dress code to lean into mini hemlines and pared-back beauty looks. As for men, “Khakis or chinos with a blazer and open-collared shirt or polo without a tie would work,” Grotts suggests. However, she insists: “certainly no flip-flops!“