What to wear to a wedding: 5 street style-inspired outfits and tips for every summer occasion

What to wear to a wedding
What to wear to a wedding

You will reach an age, dear reader, when you skim through the pages of your summer planner, and suddenly find that every weekend is filled with bridal showers, bachelorette parties and weddings. Wedding season, and all its costly accoutrements, will make your bank account hemorrhage funds, making finding the right outfit even more essential—something versatile enough to make it through your dad’s fifth wedding, your best friend’s first and every one in between.

Shopping for versatile pieces that will last all through wedding season can definitely be a challenge, but fear not, we’re here to provide your wedding style bible complete with 5 stunning street style-inspired looks that work for each style of event. From an edgy, former rock star’s nuptials to your cousin’s synagogue nuptials we tell you how to dress for a wedding from head to toe. “Look for something that could dress up or down,” says Stephanie Brownlow, merchandise manager at popular Toronto boutique Jonathan + Olivia. “It doesn’t need to be black to be versatile.” The perfect item for a summer wedding? “Something comfortable! Breezy, fun and not uptight.”

When it comes down to it, just “do you.”

Jump to: Country Wedding | The Ex’s Wedding | Edgy Wedding | Conservative Wedding | Fashionable Wedding | Black-Tie Wedding

What to wear to a country wedding
Left: Photography by Stefania Yarhi

The Country Wedding

So, you’ve been invited to a wedding in a tiny cabin up north. With none of the pomp and circumstance, a red-carpet worthy gown seems unnecessary, so, what do you wear? Keep with the country theme in one of our favourite spring trends: English florals. Whether opting for a chic pantsuit or a bold dress, nothing screams summer wedding like some sweet and chic blooms. Keep it semi-formal with sleek feminine shapes, sky-high heels and a shiny statement necklace or earrings, much like Ms. Tomasi Hill, who can do no wrong in this bold print.

The dress: Reformed By The Reformation V-back maxi dress ($79, urbanoutfitters.com)

What to wear to your ex's wedding
Left: Photography by Stefania Yarhi

The Ex’s Wedding

Your first love is getting hitched and since you’re such good friends, surprise, you’re invited! It’s obviously an absolute must that you look your best so as to subtly remind him you’re the best thing he ever had without showing up the bride, which admittedly would be cruel.

Since the LBD is a bit taboo for a white wedding, opt for a pop of colour that shows off a bit of décolletage and a little leg without reading Pretty Woman. A midi-length, high-waisted skirt paired with a chic, slightly off the shoulder embellished crop top and killer stilettos a la Natalie Joos at Paris Fashion Week can be a great option, and the separate pieces are perfect for mix-and-match to keep you covered all summer long.

The skirt: Floral-print pencil skirt ($60, zara.com)

What to wear to an edgy wedding
Left: Photography by Jaewon Lee/streetpeacocks.tumblr.com

The Edgy Wedding

The wedding is taking place at an underground nightclub and the dress code reads: “no jeans.” Thanks guys. What better opportunity to whip out the coveted upscale grunge we saw strutting the Spring 2013 runways of Dries van Noten and Haider Ackerman? Jump right into the trend by tying a chiffon button-up (plaid if you’ve got it) around the waist of a silk maxi-dress and paired with tousled, pardon-me-I-just-rolled-out-of-bed-with-my-Parisian-lover hair. Or opt for this slick street style look outside Paris fashion week that blends a silk kimono style with plaid. Add a sleek low bun and wet, smoked eye for that herion-chic look sans track marks.

The dress: 3.1 Phillip Lim speckled and plaid dress ($595, ssense.com)

What to wear to a conservative wedding
Left: Photography by Stefania Yarhi

The Conservative Wedding

When navigating the church/synagogue or other place of worship wedding, it’s important to first and foremost be sensitive to the conservative nature of the dress code. It’s not always the right time to whip out the assets, ladies. But just because you’re forced to throw on some cover, doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice style. Try out a long-sleeve option like this L’Agence number that hugs all the curves, but keeps your naughty bits under wraps. Add your own hint of pizzazz with a great hat, and bold accessories just like Russian fashion princess Ulyanna Sergeenko.

The dress: L’Agence long tee dress ($417, shopbop.com)

What to wear to a fashionable wedding
Left: Photography by Stefania Yarhi

The Fashionable Wedding

This kind of wedding is the be all end all of fashion shows. Think Carrie and Big’s wedding in Sex and the City movie minus the alter ditching. There’s no reason not to pull out all the stops for this one, so embrace your inner fashion chick and go for it.

Take a page out of the fashion royalty of today (like this crop of fashion editrixes) and rock a high-low look. Pair this season’s coveted runway items with some great pieces from Topshop, Zara, H&M and Joe Fresh. Topping our list for the season’s designer weddings? Armani’s metallic suiting and Proenza Schouler’s mega photo-real prints.

The dress: Proenza Schouler embellished satin dress ($8,925, net-a-porter.com)

What to wear to a black-tie wedding
Left: Photography by Stefania Yarhi

The Black-Tie Wedding 

If your friend was first in line at The Great Gatsby on opening night, you’re in for quite the night. In lieu of the Plaza Hotel in New York, the wedding is taking place in the ballroom of the Royal York Hotel, and this may be your only chance for some time to pull out a gown and play Cinderella. If floor-length isn’t your thing, take another page out of Ms. Sergeenko’s book and opt for high volume glam.

A great tip: try out networks like Rent Frock Repeat for affordable rental prices on designer dresses.

The dress: Willow stretch-jersey and linen-blend dress ($850, net-a-porter.com)