Best wedding guest dresses: The stylish wedding guest dresses and outfits to shop now

Ellie Davis
·14-min read

Wedding season has taken on a whole new form this year with lavish functions of hundreds of people swapped for more intimate affairs, but there’s one question that remains unwavering - what are you going to wear?

Our loved ones are getting creative with their nuptials during the Coronavirus crisis. Whether you're attending via Zoom, with just your nearest and dearest in their back garden or planning ahead for the celebrations that have been postponed to the end of the year, there’s one thing that's for certain. There are festivities to be had and the perfect outfit needs to be purchased.

If you’re anything like us, over the past few weeks, there has been a seemingly never-ending flow of engagements that have started filling up our previously vacant lockdown diary for 2021. While plans may still be uncertain, the mini sartorial panic is real as you search frantically in your full-to-the-brim wardrobe with nothing to wear.

Wedding guest dressing is an art. After wearing nothing but loungewear and pyjamas for the past year or so, this gives us all the perfect opportunity to finally dress up to the nines in a number that's still comfortable enough to dance the night away in.

You want to look your best so you can treasure the photos for years to come as well as feeling confident as you reunite with old friends. There’s also the possibility of a wedding romance - but it goes without saying that you can’t upstage the bride herself. Dress code, time of year and location are all worth considering, along with musing over the wedding guestwear taboo of wearing white

We have gathered our favourite party dresses to help you nail your wedding guest woes.

Olivia Rubin Nell monochrome heart-print silk midi dress

Wearing white? Out the question. Wearing a monochrome black and white wrap dress with a playful pattern? Surefire win. No matter the wedding - be it big or small - this option from Oliva Rubin has just the right level of formality and fun and acts as ode to romance with the heart design.

Olivia Rubin
Olivia Rubin

£395 | Harvey Nichols

Jenna Dress Haley Ditsy

Winter weddings may call for something a bit more covered up and that’s where this ditsy number from Ghost comes in. It’s the perfect mix of sophisticated yet sensual with subtly puffed sleeves and a high neckline.

Ghost
Ghost

£120 | Ghost

ASOS Design Tall cowl neck maxi dress

This season, we can’t get enough of this rust colour that is a great hue for the all-black wardrobe wearers looking for something brighter with more intrigue yet still subtle for summer nuptials. The fabric is lightweight to keep you cool and on the dancefloor all night long.

ASOS
ASOS

£50 | ASOS

Closet London high neck midi dress in lilac polka dot oversized floral

With more intimate, registry office-esque functions still on the agenda, you may want something like this high-neck midi from Closet London. The pale lilac hue is feminine and fun, while the floral and polka pattern adds sophistication.

ASOS
ASOS

£75 | ASOS

Florence embellished flutter sleeve maxi dress red

If it’s a party frock you are after, it’s a party frock you shall have and Monsoon may be just the ticket with this attractive burgundy hue and the glitzy beaded embellishment. It has flutter sleeves and sits at a maxi length.

Monsoon
Monsoon

£170 | Monsoon

Whistles Tie Back Maxi Dress in Pale Blue

From the front, you would be mistaken in thinking this was just your run-of-the-mill black tie-ready silhouette. The back is where it’s at with a tie-back detail and just the right amount of skin coming through the sensual side slit. It is offered in a range of colours from this pastel pale blue, to a must-have mint.

Whistles
Whistles

£159.20 | John Lewis

Self-Portrait Pink taffeta and point d’esprit mini dress

After the best part of a year wearing nothing but loungewear, what better excuse than a wedding to go all out on the formal dressing? This frothy frock from Self Portrait has a pale pink mini construction with white point d’esprit ruched sleeves.

Self Portrait
Self Portrait

£290 | Harvey Nichols

ASOS DESIGN Curve v neck button through midi dress

Giving us LA-based label Reformation feels at a far more purse-friendly price tag, this is one of those BDs that you can revamp for just about any occasion. From a Saturday night at the pub, to your best friend’s nuptials, the versatile design is elevated with a floral print and can be dressed up or down.

ASOS
ASOS

£32 | ASOS

Needle & Thread Aurelia Mini Dress

For all the glitz and glam that the occasion calls for, Needle & Thread has got you covered with its array of beaded ensembles that could never be described as blend-into-the-crowd-wear. Case in point, this mini lilac frock with a stunning sequin embellishment. It also comes in coral and pink and at the longer midi or gown length.

Needle & Thread
Needle & Thread

£410 | Needle & Thread

ASOS DESIGN cami midi slip dress in high shine satin

A slip dress may have been originally synonymous with 90s fashion but they are the timeless, wardrobe staple that have become quintessential wedding wear. This elegant iteration from ASOS nails the minimalist and refined aesthetic. The navy shade gives a subtle but stunning twist on a typical LBD. It has a tie back and a slight cowl neck.

ASOS
ASOS

£40 | ASOS

ASOS EDITION drape sleeve midi dress

This dress could very well be the definition of partywear with a sequin droplet design that would rival a disco ball. This is a going all out type of frock that may just command all the attention in the room. Sorry bride.

ASOS
ASOS

£150 | ASOS

H&M Puff-sleeved dress

For low-key summer affairs, you may be looking for a more casual dress and if that’s the case, H&M is here with an array of options. This dainty flower print number has caught our eye with the button front detail, V-neck and elasticated cuffs. It comes in green and black.

H&M
H&M

£24.99 | H&M

Sister Jane black velvet mini dress with bib collar

One of the biggest trends over the last season was an oversized collar and this dress takes it to the next level of extreme with an XXL embroidered Peter Pan iteration that we are fully obsessed with. It’s set on a soft, stretch velvet dress that will make a versatile addition to your wedding seasonal attire.

Sister Jane
Sister Jane

£85 | ASOS

ASOS EDITION textured cami midi dress with tiered hem in sand

One of the many excellent qualities about the ruffle-trim frock is that it’s just easy. It has a throw-on-and-go look that will effortlessly flatter, while accessories do the job of adapting it to more formal dress codes. The sand hue will look great with a tan and the straps are adjustable to ensure its fits as best as possible.

ASOS
ASOS

£120 | ASOS

H&M V-neck dress

Cottagecore but make it wedding season ready and this is the result. A feminine and floral dress with a vintage distressed feel that will answer all your summer dress code woes. It has a sleeveless construction with a deep V-neck and ties at the back.

H&M
H&M

£34.99 | H&M

Primrose Dress in Dulcie Ditsy

Oozing with timeless elegance, this is the kind of dress that you'll reach for time and time again - no matter the occasion. Weddings, of course, but really any warm weather function as you can easily dress it up and down with the right accessories. It takes an even more elegant twist on a classic slip dress with an ethereal floral print. When winter arrives, slip a t-shirt underneath and you’re good to go.

£195 | Ghost

ASOS Design satin maxi tea dress

No matter whether their nuptials are accompanied by a heatwave or a storm, this dress brings the sunshine and positivity with its vivid floral design. This may just be the only piece where you can include white as the pattern on top is bold and eye-catching. Invest in this dress now to get your wardrobe ready for a whole host of summer soirees.

£45 | ASOS

Floral Diamond Ruffle Gown

Answering your froufrou dressing dreams in the most elegant way possible, Needle & Thread is on hand with this romantic piece. It is made up of tulle that has been embellished with an early 1990s vintage floral print, frill detailing and voluminous sleeves.

£360 | Needle & Thread

Jenna Neck-Tie Detail Midi Dress Teal

Move away from your all-black wardrobe by investing in this Tiffany-hued number from Reiss. The dress falls to a flatterin midi length and is balanced by a sleeveless construction with a high neck and open back with a handy, well-placed insert to avoid bra-related drama.

£225 | Reiss

Balloon-sleeved dress

Nail effortless style with this leopard print piece from H&M. It may have a different feel from the traditional wedding colour palette but we’re encouraging you to go bigger and fiercer with the animal design. Big ticks for us include an A-line silhouette, balloon sleeves and a subtle flounce.

£17.99 | H&M

ASOS Design halter neck ruched waist midi dress

Mint green has been the undeniable colour of the season and it's surprisingly subtle enough to suit even the chromophobes. For boho dress codes or to suit a softer venue like the beach or countryside, one onf our favourite designs is this knockout piece from ASOS. It has a halterneck style, flattering shirred waist, sophisticated pleated and romantic ruffle detailing. Love.

£45 | ASOS

Belted Puff Sleeve Mini Dress

Whether you are attending nuptials home or abroad, this dress covers all the bases. For more casual dress codes, this floral number is meets all requirements. It feels special enough for those garden or day celebrations without drawing attention away from the lady of the day.

£85 | & Other Stories

Josie Zip-Detail Bodycon Dress Berry

Black-tie dress codes have met their match with this sophisticated piece from Reiss. A bodycon with a twist, it has an elegant knee-length design and flattering draped neckline. It is offered in this transitional burgundy shade or white for those non-wedding functions.

£185 | Reiss

Anna Blue Ditsy Print Midi Dress

A winner year-round, this versatile piece nails wedding dressing. From the stunning cornflower blue hue to the posey floral design, this frock rocks with a summertime feel that can be worn in colder weather with the simple addition of a pair of tights. It has a midi fit, chic full sleeves, and on-trend gathered detailing at the sleeves.

£145 | Kitri

Norma Kamali Diana jersey one-shoulder midi dress

Nail any formal dress codes with this head-turner from Norma Kamali. This one-shoulder dress oozes elegance and won't fail to make a style statement. It is constructed with a ruched design for an extremely flattering look and offered in a pleasing bold red hue.

£215 | My Theresa

Rick Owens Lilies knit dress

Giving us real nostalgic 90s feels, this halterneck dress from Rick Owens can be styled anyway you want to suit all occasions from weddings, to heading to the pub on a Saturday night. It's so versatile you'll find yourself looking for reasons to slip into this understated design.

£244 | My Theresa

Hope & Ivy maxi cami dress with open back

This red carpet-worthy frock will bring a sultry and elegance look for your warm weather weddings this season. The slip-like piece has a tie-back with a floral design and stunning lace inserts.

£59.50 | ASOS

Eva Dress

Feel party ready with this mini halterneck dress from Seren. The stunning piece has a loose-fitting design with a flattering tiered hem. You can easily style it up and down to suit your dress code be it black-tie or cocktail. Just add strappy sandals and statement earrings and you're good to go.

£300 | Seren

ASOS EDITION volume sleeve midi dress

This dreamy blue number has a unique cut that brings a new dimension to summer formalwear. We've fallen hard for the retro oversized shoulder design and vintage-inspired floral print combo.

£76 | ASOS

Aria Floral Print Midi Dress

From weddings in the city, country or further afield, this floral frock from Kitri is the perfect purchase to have ready and waiting in your wardrobe. It has a silky satin-like fabric with a versatile navy hue to firm its status as the ultimate transitional piece. Finished with a stunning floral design and a puff sleeve embellishment it will look gorgeous in wedding snaps.

£145 | Kitri

Beatrice Maxi Dress

Taking inspiration from vintage designs, this maxi dress offers an effortless option. Styling is made easy thanks to the lustrous fabric, plunging v-neck and flutter sleeves. It comes in a range of colourways but we're quite taken with this radiant sandy hue.

£228 | Free People

Baum und Pferdgarten Atena tiger-print maxi dress

Channel beach wedding vibes in this midi number, which can also be styled just as easily for autumnal nuptials. Animal print is the new neutral, so amp up the effect by going wild with your accessories or keep it minimal with just a gold chain and contrast heels to make it work for formal dress codes. A blank canvas of a frock, the styling possibilities are endless.

£199 | MyTheresa

ASOS DESIGN maxi tea dress

If you are on the hunt for a more modest number, may we introduce you to this polka dot piece. It has long-sleeves, a full-length skirt and high neck silhouette. The timeless print works for all occasions, from smart, to casual and everything in between.

£38 | ASOS

Rae – Abstract 60’s Floral Swirl

This playful floral print takes inspiration from the Swinging Sixties and we're so here for it. The genius design duo at Rixo know a thing or two about wedding guest dressing and this is the perfect piece to wear as you watch the happy couple say ‘I Do’.

£305 | Rixo

ASOS DESIGN maxi dress in floral print

For a lower cost alternative on a certain Rixo dress, this maxi from ASOS comes in tops. It is flattering, fun and can be upgraded with the right accessories and a chic little clutch. Consider your wedding attire woes well and truly sorted.

£36 | ASOS

Puff-sleeved dress

There's no such thing as having too many LBDs in our book. They're so versatile and can be prevented from looking too sombre with the right finishes; think chandelier earrings, a jewelled headband and sky-high heels that make the most of your pins. The genius in H&M's design lies in its simplicity - a clean silhouette, mini length and v-neck - with a few quirks, like the catwalk-worthy puffed sleeves. As well as block black, it comes in stop-traffic red with a floral print. A steal at this price.

£17.99 | H&M

16 Arlington Michelle feather-trimmed mini dress

One of fashion’s favourite partywear labels, you can always count on 16Arlington for frothy frock that is in equal parts stylish as it is opulent. The classic LBD is turned on its head with the Michelle dress that has a fanciful feather-trimmed embellishment.

£850 | Net-A-Porter

Rixo Antoinette ruffled-trim crepe maxi dress

As Dusty Springfield once sang "The look of love is in your eyes..." You may only be a guest at the wedding but you'll fall head over heels in love with Antoinette, Rixo's romantic midi.

Available in sizes XS to XL, the high nip at the ribs flatters the waist and the delicate ruffles create a playful movement.

£315 | Rixo

Hamaji The Nomad African Night Dress

Made to order, this stunning Italian silk crepe dress by Hamaji The Nomad via Akojo Market, has been embroidered with eye-catching botanical designs and decadent details.

The craftsmanship of this piece is truly exceptional - each dress has been embroidered by a group of skilled artisans the designer works closely with in Nairobi, Kenya.

Expertly stitched at the Hamaji studio at the base of Mount Kenya, this is the artisan showstopper for wedding season and beyond.

£269 | Akojo Market

Kitri Serafina floral-print satin midi dress

Have you ever looked at an object of desire and in Liz Lemon's voice thought "I want to go to there"? Because we want to go to there.

Produced in limited quantities, this floral-print satin midi is one of the most dreamy dresses of the season. Get it while stocks lasts.

£59 | Kitri

ASOS DESIGN pleated shoulder pencil dress

While the design of this monochromatic spot print dress from ASOS is classic, the silhouette brings an interesting twist to the piece. It has an asymmetric neckline and a flattering ruched detail that ensures you can feast away at the wedding buffet without worrying about a skin-tight fit.

£21.85 | ASOS

Richard Quinn Navy One Shoulder Dress

With an asymmetric design, this 80s inspired knee-length dress is sure to turn heads at the party. The dark navy colour, wide mesh strap and sophisticated silhouette means this dress can take you from the morning ceremony to cake-cutting at the reception without a hitch.

Available from sizes 6 -18. Play up the polka-dot lining with matching accessories.

£160 | Debenhams

​See all dresses from Debenhams

KITRI Roxanne embroidered frilled crepe midi dress

The embroidery on this playful crepe midi is a sunny-summery motif that is perfect for both formal and informal weddings. The asymmetric neckline and flared skirt will suit any shape and you can dress it up or down with simple or OTT accessories.

£29 | Kitri

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