Weddings are exciting no matter the season, but I always look forward to spring weddings with extra anticipation. David and I met at an April wedding, so that coupled with everything blooming and the mild weather makes them so special!
What to wear to a spring wedding depends so much on the venue (outside or indoors) and how formal the night will be. And then there are considerations of cost, comfort vs. style (taking shoes off for the dance floor is a must for me), and color scheme.
Below, I’m sharing a roundup of spring wedding guest dresses for a variety of budgets and ceremonies, plus shoes and accessories to complete your look.
Spring Wedding Guest Dresses
I divided this year’s picks into two categories: over & under $200. You’ll find a mix of daytime-friendly, cocktail, and formal dresses.
Not in Widget: Teal Mock Neck Dress, Pink Mini Dress
Outfit Details: Reiss Dress, Steve Madden Sandals (old, similar here), Hunting Season Clutch (old, similar here, less expensive here)
Spring Wedding Guest Accessories
I wear a neutral, strappy heel nearly every time we’re invited to a spring wedding. The Schutz Cadey Lees are a spin on a crowd-favorite Stuart Weitzman heel but are under $120 and way more comfortable.
If you know you’ll be walking in grass, consider a shoe with a block heel like this.
If you’re looking for an investment neutral shoe you can wear season after season, Sarah Flint, Stuart Weitzman, and Alexandre Birman are three brands I suggest checking out.
For on trend or colorful styles on a budget, Vince Camuto, Steve Madden, and Dolce Vita are great. A few of my picks for this season below…
A small clutch or pouch is all you need—as long as it fits your phone and a little touch-up makeup, you’re set!
My sister rented the Mansur Gavriel Cloud Clutch for a wedding last year and it’s been on my radar since. It’s sturdy, roomy, and easy to carry.
For a formal wedding, I’d carry something dressier with crystal or satin.
What to Wear to a Spring Wedding: FAQ
Below you’ll find a spring wedding attire FAQ that sheds light on what to wear where, dressing for outdoor ceremonies, and more.
What’s the difference between cocktail, black tie, and black tie optional attire?
- Cocktail—Any time the invitation doesn’t specify a dress code, assume cocktail attire. What’s appropriate for this dress code varies by time and location (more on this below), but basically anything “nice” that isn’t formal.
- Black Tie Optional—This is a signal that the couple wants you to dress up, but you don’t have to wear a full-length gown. Luxe fabrics are ideal and you could get away with a dressy LBD or cocktail dress.
- Black Tie—It’s time to spring for that gown. Choose a floor-length dress in a luxe fabric. Pair with sleek heels, formal jewelry, and an elegant clutch.
What are the best colors for spring weddings?
The only hard and fast color rule is that you can’t wear white (unless the bride requests it for a “white wedding”).
Beyond this, it’s up to you!
I prefer pastels (blush pink, mauve, soft yellow) or a floral print for spring weddings—something that mimics the season itself. However, bright colors are a 2022 spring trend (think coral, primary blue, kelly green) as well.
I usually avoid colors on the invitation (these are usually what bridesmaids will wear), and if I wear a bold color like red, I’ll sit away from the center aisle at the ceremony to avoid being in the couple’s wedding photos.
How should I take the time of day into account when planning what to wear?
A simple rule of thumb to follow is if the wedding is during the day, you can dress less formal. 4pm is widely considered the cutoff time between afternoon and evening. If the ceremony starts before then, opt for casual attire and lighter fabrics unless the invitation has a dress code that states otherwise.
The wedding guest attire for formal spring weddings (ceremony start time of 5pm and onward) is dressier and will be cocktail, black tie, or black tie optional. If the invitation doesn’t state, it’s safe to assume cocktail (in other words, a “nice” dress that isn’t a gown).
How should I take the wedding location into account when planning what to wear?
Spring weddings can be all over the map in terms of location. There’s everything from simple garden weddings to hotels, beach weddings, country clubs, barns, and churches. What works as “cocktail” attire differs a bit for each.
Regardless of the time of day, ritzy hotels and country clubs tend to lean more formal for cocktail (you’d be overdressed at a bridal shower but underdressed at a black tie wedding), and barns, backyards, beaches, and gardens tend to be more casual for cocktail (flowy floral or boho sundresses).
What should I wear to stay warm at a spring wedding?
If it’s a spring outdoor wedding at night, it’s always a good idea to bring a silk wrap or chiffon pashmina in case it gets chilly. You could also opt for a long sleeve dress in a lightweight fabric if you expect to need coverage the entire time.
Can I wear a jumpsuit to a spring wedding?
I say yes! I’m always a huge fan of dressy jumpsuits. They’re a fun departure from the traditional cocktail dress or evening gown. Look for solids and luxe fabrics like this or this.
Is there anything I shouldn’t wear to a spring wedding?
It’s up to you, but I tend to avoid fashion forward pieces, bold print dresses, mini dresses, cutouts, tight bodycon slip dresses, revealing necklines—really anything that will obviously take attention away from the bride.
In my book, one-shoulder dresses, flirty open back details, halters, ruffles, and strapless and sleeveless dresses are okay as long as the overall look is classy, not sexy.
What are the best places to shop for affordable spring wedding guest dresses?
Vince Camuto, ASTR the Label (I shared one of their fall wedding guest dresses last season), Nordstrom, Anthropologie, Lulus, and ASOS carry a variety of semi-formal and formal dresses. You can usually find a wedding-appropriate option under $200.