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Suzi Chin Maggy Boutique Sleeveless Sundress
Suzi Chin Maggy Boutique Sleeveless Sundress

How To Dress for a Summer Wedding

By Maudie BantaSHOP.COM Contributor

It is that loving season again, and the wedding invites are rolling in. So it is time for you to find that dress that you just love! Dressing for a summer wedding can be overwhelming, but if you follow these tips going to a wedding can be just as fun as it sounds. By knowing how to read the invitation and what the different formal attire means, it will help you to decipher the perfect dress for the event. Who knew that the invitation, weather, and fabric all come into play when dressing for a wedding?

The Basics

Step 1Invitation: First check out the invitation. Check to see where the event is happening, is it occurring on the beach, outside in the gardens, or in a church? Also look to see what attire it is, typically it will say black-tie, semi-formal, or casual if it is on the beach. If no attire listed ask around to others attending.
Step 2Weather: It is summer and chances are it will be hot, sunny, and humid. This means you should plan on wearing a dress that is lose fitting and comfortable to sit in. Also most weddings go into the evening, so don't forget a light jacket if it gets cold.
Step 3Colors: The color etiquette for attending a wedding is never wear white; it takes away from the bride's big day. Since it is the summer light pastel colors are always cooler. Look for those baby pinks and blues. Navy and plum purples are also great colors for the more formal events.
Step 4Fabrics: The lighter the fabric the better. The dresses made of cotton, satin, and chiffon are ideal for summer weddings.
Step 5Accessories: With the sunny weather don't forget to bring some sunglasses and sunblock, even a dressy sunhat or light pashmina shawl will help protect you. Also summer weddings are perfect to accessorize yourself with colorful jewelry.
Step 6Dancing Queen: Almost all weddings have a reception after with dancing, eating, and socializing, so remember to wear comfortable shoes and a dress that shows off your hip dance moves!

The Lingo

Black-tie: phrase used for semi-formal events, men are suppose to wear a tuxedo, while women wear everything from mid to floor length dresses.
Charmeuse: this satin-like material is ideal for summer weddings because of its light weight and soft features.
Chiffon: a fabric that is often layered because it is light, transparent, and delicate. It is normally made of rayon or silk.
Cocktail Attire: men wear black suits and women wear flirty knee length dresses.
Pashmina: although this fabric is made of wool, it is very fine and light, making it perfect as a wrap or shawl if you're outside to protect yourself from the sun or keep you warm from a cool beach breeze.
Rayon: a fabric that is comfortable and soft which works nicely for formal events in hot weather, but it often needs to be dry cleaned.
Satin: a fabric that is glossy and is used to make formal dresses.
Strapless: a dress style with no sleeves that is held up by the bodice.
Sundress: lightweight, normally cotton, flowing dress, perfect for summer weddings!
Sweetheart: a sweetheart dress means the top can either have straps or be strapless, but the bust area is shape like the top of a heart, very 50's style look.
Taffeta: a fabric material that is soft and slightly ribbed.
Tiered dress: a dress style that has the fabric overlapping creating a layering/ruffled type of look.

The Experts

iVillage "For these not-quite-formal affairs, opt for a dress that would work well at a cocktail party - maybe one that has embroidery, lace or beading, or is made with a snazzy fabric that shimmers as you move." For lace or beaded dresses check out this Maggy London dress
Forbes "If the invitation says black tie&Women can substitute long gowns with a lighter tea-length dress that makes a sophisticated statement without the weight."
Allure Magazine "The location of the event is a big clue about what to wear. If the wedding is on a beach in Mexico, it's pretty obvious that you should stay away from heavy beading. I love chiffon for a resort wedding. It's romantic, dreamy, and elegant. If the party is in a more traditional setting, like a ballroom or a country club, chances are the dress code will be more conservative."
eDressMe"Garden weddings are usually a bit more casual and more vibrant, daytime dresses are acceptable including sundresses." For a vibrant sundress dress check out Banana Republic.

The Brands

Calvin KleinA well known company that is always a safe bet when looking for appropriate special occasion clothing.
Maggy London Although they are on the more expensive side, their dresses are made with quality and are fancy enough to wear to either indoor or outdoor weddings.
Chadwicks Chadwick's offers all sizes, including plus sizes. Their dresses are on the cheaper size, and are perfect for those summer weddings.
Donna Ricco Her dresses, can be found at Nordstroms, come in beautiful colors and styles and are reasonable prices.
Newport News Has great dresses for summer beach weddings that are affordable.
Jessica London A great plus size brand that offers formal dresses at great prices. Their dresses have all the features a dress for a summer wedding needs!

The Price

$: When looking for dresses to wear to weddings, you will need to do a bit more searching to find cheaper dresses. There are often great sales at Nordstrom's and Macy's that offer dresses around the $50-$90 range
$$: Dresses made by Maggy London and Ralph Lauren tend to be in and around the $90-$200 price range. They are both well known designers and create picture perfect dresses with less expensive fabrics
$$$: The dresses that are around $200 and up, tend to be the high end designers that use imported fabrics and silks. They are nice to wear to formal weddings as they are well made and the expensive fabric defiantly shows. Check out the Taffeta on this Helene Berman Dress