Style

16 Pretty Dresses to Wear to Weddings

Christy Dawn Dress

Don’t you love weddings? The funny toasts, the first dance, the theater of it all. If you have any friends’ weddings (or parties) coming up, here are a few pretty dresses to consider…

Thoughts? Which would you wear? These would be beautiful shoes, too.

P.S. 15 wedding dos and don’ts, and having sex on your wedding night.

(Top dress from Christy Dawn.)

  1. Lis says...

    I haven’t been able to get the ‘Garden Slip’ Shopbop dress out of my mind since I saw this post so I just went back and bought it. Thanks for the tip :)

  2. M says...

    Love the print maxi abd ruffled edge

  3. Polyana says...

    Aahh, wish I’d seen the ruffle edged dress before! I was after something similar for a wedding i’m attending tomorrow. In the end though, I got a jump suit with a cool ruffle on the back :-)

  4. Love these! I’m going to a wedding in July, that’s a weekend long event. I have three events to go to so I need all the inspiration I can get on what to wear…
    I love the linen strip (even though I’m not a one-shoulder gal) and the printed maxi.
    x Tali
    http://www.stylecheese.com

  5. Love this post! The floral midi, drop-waist and ruffle edged are my favourites. Sooooo pretty!!

  6. I’m currently obsessed with floral prints! Love these :)

  7. Moo Young says...

    Loved all the selections! One audience you left out were the pregnant women. :) No hard feelings, but one dress suggestion would have been great because I am in search for a wedding appropriate dress that isn’t too casual as someone who will be attending a few wedding this summer during the last trimester.

    • Lexi Mainland says...

      Congratulations! There are a few options in this maternity clothes round-up we published recently: http://cupjo.co/2oQ8fmx

  8. Elizabeth says...

    It’s funny that you mention wedding season because it’s all I can think about these days. I’m getting married in October, and what started as an intimate family-only event has turned into a 70-person Wedding with a capital W. It’s important to my fiance that friends are there as well, and I completely get that, but it’s also very different to be a bride than it is to be a groom… As my therapist says, I’m “an introverted introvert,” so being the center of attention is a pretty terrifying prospect. I’m very excited to marry my fiance, but I’m dreading the wedding! Do you have any advice for shy brides? Thanks a million!!!

    • Julia says...

      Some of the best advice I got, and I’m so happy we took it (both my husband and I are introverts), was to take some time to yourselves after the ceremony. We also did a first look, which I also highly recommend as it abated my nerves prior to the ceremony. But anyway since we’d taken most our pictures beforehand during the first look, we used the excuse for our family and friends that we wanted to take our wedding photos but then we sent the photographers away too and just hung out for 30 minutes! It was sooo nice. I personally also found it helpful to take engagement photos just as practice for all the wedding photos that are taken. I was super nervous during our engagement session to have all that attention on me, but then it felt easier during the wedding photos. One other thing we did to kind of diffuse the attention was a big table at the reception for us plus all the attendants, not a sweetheart table. And once we had a couple glasses of champagne that helped too :) It ended up being a fantastic day!

  9. Allison says...

    I really appreciate that you include “plus sizes” in these fashion roundups. It’s so discouraging to see big lists of pretty clothing that come from manufacturers who wouldn’t even think of carrying my size, which has happened all my life!

  10. Love the pink midi dress.! My sister in law was married last weekend and I was happily surprised to see from the photos that my £5 green thrift shop dress matched the green in my husbands kilt perfectly! Ended up scrapping my bare leg plan (after weeks of exfoliating and moisturisering my dry and very pale ‘wintered’ legs) in favour of black opaque tights (a bracingly chilly spring day in Edinburgh) – maybe a fashion faux pas with open toe sandals, but I think I just pulled it off!

  11. Emma says...

    I love the look of jumpsuits, but it’s so hard to find long ones with sleeves and a covered back! It’s a problem for people with religious modesty beliefs!

  12. JMB says...

    I love the blue polka dot! I was perusing the anthro website just now and there is a Maui dress that is literally the perfect summer wedding guest dress. I love it so much I am going to go home tonight and start patterning a linen dress for myself! I have a fashion degree I never use, but summer dresses are so easy to make! <3 Thanks for the inspiration.

  13. kelly ehlers says...

    maybe crochet lace or flower petal. I feel weird wearing a maxi dress to a wedding for some reason. I’m weary of shoulder tie as well-I’ll be scared it comes undone.

  14. Laurel says...

    Or you could just use Rent the Runway and save a few bucks ;)

    • Liz says...

      Rent the runway doesn’t offer insurance if your items are lost or stolen. The little insurance they make you buy is just for small amounts of damage and stains. And since it is a rental, your credit card or home/rental insurance won’t cover it either. My package was stolen out of my apartment building and Rent the Runway made me pay retail for the items. And if you don’t have a police report for some reason, they make you pay double – so be careful! I used to use them all the time, but I can’t afford to pay hundreds to thousands if something were to happen again.

  15. I got a dress to wear to all the weddings this year. It’s a jersey knit maxi dress in a cinnamon color from eShakti. It’s great for everything! For casual weddings I can tie the skirt up in a knot and toss on flat sandals. For more formal weddings I can throw on heels and sparkly jewelry. I feel like I hit the dress jackpot.

  16. I love anything that is drop waist, and I love printed floral maxi’s!

    xx, Hannah

  17. Linen stripe all the way!

  18. Rachel says...

    Glad to see some body diversity!

  19. Jesse Waldele says...

    Where is the dress in the lead image from!? Its by far my favorite <3

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      it’s from christydawn.com — her dresses are so pretty!

  20. Elise says...

    Thanks for curvier sizes! Ref dresses are my go-to for wedding dresses, they work perfect every time, except if you have a bridezilla of a friend who will forbid you to wear one with an open back. :/

  21. Lauren E. says...

    Every summer I tell myself, “I’ll just wear an old dress to that wedding I have to go to” and then I inevitably buy something new! So thanks for giving me one more reason to shop :)

  22. I like the crochet lace and the shoulder tie. So first and last
    I love weddings. I hope to have my own sometime soon too :-)

  23. Cynthia says...

    I like the frilled sleeve and spot midi. The shoes are cute, but I would look for a similar style with a lower heel. You have dress choices for everyone’s taste and pocketbook.

  24. Ebony-Maria says...

    Honestly would not wear any of these to a wedding. Maybe a BBQ!

    • Em says...

      Yeah I was kind of feeling the same. Most of these feel like dresses I’d wear to a summer picnic. A bit too casual for most weddings I’ve attended.

    • Jill Palumbo says...

      I live in California and I think all these would be appropriate. I guess we don’t dress up too much. lol

  25. Aw, yes I’m SO in love with the thought of weddings (even going to weddings), so I loved coming across this post! The dresses are pretty, but my ultimate favourite has to be that last blue one. Agh, to die for!

  26. Deb says...

    Oh my goodness that ruffle-edged dress is sooooo pretty. Swoon!

  27. Lo says...

    The ‘frilled sleeves’ one is gorgeous!!!!!

    Lo

  28. I love the floral midi. I would just wear that normally, not just to a wedding. Great edit!

  29. jen says...

    May be an age thing, but I wouldnt wear any of these dresses to a wedding. Very, very informal and here, bar like.

  30. Ker says...

    The Reformation Ruffle Edged dress is gorgeous. Just need to find a wedding to attend!

  31. Hanna says...

    Thank you for including plus models and fits in your selection — and for doing so without fanfare or “othering”. Representation matters!

    • Anela says...

      Exactly what I was thinking!

  32. G says...

    Love that you guys have added some more sustainable choices- I love the Reformation dresses :)

  33. Caroline says...

    Ahhhh I asked for this post a few months ago in the comments and Joanna responded saying it would be in the works and now it’s here!!! ?? BEST DAY EVER! Thank you team Cup of Jo! You guys rock.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yay!!! so glad to hear that. thanks so much, caroline :) :) :)

  34. brittany says...

    oooh, i love that reformation dress- and the zara one! i’m a sucker for anything floral right now.

    xo, brittany
    http://www.notablob.com

  35. I love that Christy Dawn dress. Well basically that whole line. We featured Natalie Martin on the blog today and every dress in her collection is to die for/Would be perfect for weddings!

  36. I’m team jumpsuit!! There’s something really modern and sexy about jumpsuits, AND most of them are super comfortable. The only problem is the taking-everything-off-to-pee issue….but after 4 glasses of champagne, I usually dgaf and just own it. Plus, peeing naked in a bathroom stall is weirdly liberating.

  37. Maire says...

    The ruffle edge dress is so gorgeous!! I also love the pink crochet one, but I don’t know if I would love it on. I have no weddings this summer to attend, only weddings to deliver flowers to as my side hustle! So glad wedding season is here!

    • I agree; I love the ruffled edge dress! And delivering wedding flowers in a pretty sweet side hustle. A.

  38. Lis says...

    Can I get an opinion from the smart commenters on Cup of Jo? I am shopping for a dress for a wedding in June, and I’m obsessed with all the beautiful floral maxi dresses in stores right now. But I’m wondering if a maxi dress is too casual for many weddings? I think of maxi dresses as more of a casual, daytime look, so a maxi would definitely be appropriate for a beach wedding or a daytime garden wedding. But what about an evening, cocktail-attire wedding? The wedding I’m going to is in LA, church ceremony and country-club reception. Thoughts?

    • LF says...

      I think you can make it work depending on the fabric and pattern. More formal/expensive fabrics (silk, etc.) definitely, jerseys, etc, probably not. The Reformation “ruffle edged” dress above would totally work! Also go a little more formal on the shoes/hair/jewelry.

      Plus, no matter the dress code, seems like you have to go to an extreme at one end or another to truly seem out of place at a wedding, particularly in CA. Guaranteed no matter what you decide, some random cousin/uncle will be in khakis :) Wear what you love.

    • Christine says...

      I think it’s definitely appropriate!! If it’s in a nice fabric (not a cotton knit), it would for sure work for a church/country club. I’ve work maxi dresses to multiple weddings and have always received compliments, even a “I love that you wore a maxi!”

    • Allison says...

      I love the floral maxi dress look, but too casual. I live in LA and have been to many weddings like the one you are going to. The dress is just a little too beachy, even for a mid-morning ceremony/lunch reception. Definitely wouldn’t work for evening/cocktail attire.

    • shannon says...

      It could work if it was silky fabric (NOT cotton or jersey) dressed up with heels, putting your hair up in a chignon or something similar, and flashier jewelry. The right accessories will really help it read more formal. If you’re not willing to go all out on those, I would skip it and wear something else.

    • Cait says...

      I think a lot of these are more of a casual look! I would probably try to figure out what other people are expecting and at least dress it up a lot.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i think so much of it is the styling. you could take a black cotton dress and add a smoky eye and pretty gold earrings and heels and it would look dressy for a wedding. (and so on.) it’s fun to think about!

      i think a floral maxi with nude heels and pretty makeup would look gorgeous!!

    • Elle says...

      I agree that the key is fabric and styling! I wore a kinda sheer silk wine-colored maxidress from &otherstories to my brother’s quite polished evening East Coast (county-clubby but not at a country club) wedding and was really impressed by how well I hit the mark, TBH– I thought it was way too gown-y when I bought it but with patent leather shoes and a big bib necklace I thought it looked pretty fresh despite buying it emergency-style at the last minute :O

  39. Emily says...

    I was literally hoping you would post such a thing!!! I was debating asking you to for a while haha. A few weeks ago, my friends asked me to officiate their wedding in June !!!! I was so thrilled, and can’t wait, but have been really having trouble deciding what to wear! I feel like I need to be more professional than pretty, so at the moment I think I’m going to go with a summery jumpsuit. But now I’ll have to peruse your list and weigh the options again! :)

  40. Rebecca says...

    I love the pink ones!

  41. rach says...

    We have 8 weddings total this year!!!!! YIKES. We’ve gone to two and have six left between now and Aug! Including two in one weekend. (Gasping mouth emoji here!) Thankfully only one out of town!

  42. Thank you for including some ‘plus size’ (ugh I hate that term) options without a big to-do about it!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      our pleasure!! we ended up cutting this dress from the story (it felt a little too casual for weddings), but i really love it, too: http://bit.ly/2qgm7Uk

    • rach says...

      Yes agreed. But that floral print is basically sold out. :(

    • Abbie Patterson says...

      Ditto!! Just bought the forever 21 beauty ($25!!! How could I not?!) for a June wedding.

  43. Sarah King says...

    These dresses are gorgeous! I have FIVE weddings this summer. That madewell dress looks beautiful and good for travel.

  44. Rachel says...

    Reformation dresses are so beautiful, but how to wear them if you need a bra?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good question! i’ve heard great things about this strapless bra, which i think might work for some of them? http://bit.ly/2qgfy4h

    • Alexandra says...

      Yes, please a post on undergarments (that word alone makes me cringe a little bit). I have a very pretty shirt dress, but it seems so thin – what would one wear underneath?

    • Rachel says...

      Yes, this is an awesome Idea — it could even be a sponsored post with a Nordstrom bra personal shopper person. They are the best. Kimberly, I’ve seen those and just don’t understand the physics! Maybe I will give a try.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg what a great idea!

    • JMB says...

      YES. Nordstrom bra post. I AGREE! They are THE BEST US retailer with THE BEST staff. If you have boobs, they have GOT YOU.