21 Wedding Guest Dress Styles for 2021 Ceremonies

Wedding season is back and bigger than ever, with designers noting that they’re “double dressing” their clientele for the surge of events and weddings in 2021 — rollover from pandemic-paused ceremonies.

In 2021, weddings range from large, traditional ceremonies to escapist, destination events or more intimate gatherings; no matter the style, each requires a dress code for its wedding guests. Here, WWD rounds up wedding guest dresses for seven types of ceremonies in 2021.

1. Cocktail

Short and sweet! A common dress code for myriad wedding ceremony styles, cocktail attire offers a balance between formal and casual, oftentimes with playful appeal. We especially enjoy Prada’s strapless nylon logo number, Ganni’s metallic frock or Cult Gaia’s feathered cocktail shaker.

Prada’s Logo-Detailed Nylon Gabardine Strapless Mini Dress

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Charo Ruiz’ Camille guipur lace-trimmed printed  cotton-blend voile maxidress YOOX Net-a-Porter Group

Staud’s Corsica Dress in Tomato Wild Orchid

Staud’s Corsica dress in Tomato Wild Orchid Staud

3. Black Tie Wedding

The number-one rule of a black-tie ceremony? A full-length look. Depending on the location, formalwear styles can vary from old Hollywood glamour and sleek slips to more voluminous ballgowns. Here, looks from Jonathan Simkhai, Alaïa and Gucci make for the perfect maxi.

Jonathan Simkhai’s Clementine Ruched Satin Maxi Halter Dress

Jonathan Simkhai’s clementine ruched satin maxi halter dress Jonathan Simkhai/Moda Operandi

Alaia’s Open-Back Wrap-Effect Stretch-Knit Halterneck Gown

Alaïa’s open-back wrap-effect stretch-knit halterneck gown YOOX Net-a-Porter Group

Gucci’s Pink Layered Silk-Georgette Gown

Gucci’s pink layered silk-georgette gown Gucci/Matchesfashion

4. Floral-Filled Garden Ceremony

No matter the wedding size, a garden party setting welcomes feminine, flirty and, of course, floral-emblazoned fashions, like these frocks from Brock Collection, Markarian and Tory Burch. 

Brock Collection’s Samanta Floral Taffeta Cold-Shoulder Maxi Dress

Brock Collection’s Samanta floral taffeta cold-shoulder maxidress Brock Collection/Moda Operandi

Markarian’s Ashton Sage Floral Brocade Smocked Dress

Markarian’s Ashton sage floral brocade smocked dress Markarian

Tory Burch’s Handkerchief Patchwork Dress

Tory Burch’s handkerchief patchwork dress Drew Vickers


5. Civil Ceremony

The civil ceremony, aka the courthouse wedding, is the perfect place for a more polished look, like a tailored midi dress from Sergio Hudson or Bottega Veneta, or sleek, tailored jumpsuit from Galvan.

Sergio Hudson’s Signature Belted Crepe Dress

Sergio Hudson’s signature belted crepe dress Sergio Hudson/Moda Operandi

Bottega Veneta’s Square-Neck Satin Midi Dress

Bottega Veneta’s square-neck satin midi dress Bottega Veneta/Modsens

Galvan’s Wide Leg Corset Jumpsuit

Galvan’s wide-legged corset jumpsuit Galvan


6. Farm & Countryside Ceremonies

A rustic farmhouse or countryside ceremony is the perfect opportunity to pair cowgirl boots with a “cottage-core” or bohemian frock (or as some call it, “Colorado Casual”). LoveShackFancy, Khaite and Sleeper all offer a refined feel to countryside chic.

LoveShackFancy’s Kalani Maxi Dress

LoveShackFancy’s Kalani maxidress LoveShackFancy

Khaite’s Felicia Dress

Khaite’s Felicia dress Khaite

Sleeper’s Brigitte Linen Midi Dress

Sleeper’s Brigitte linen midi dress Sleeper/Moda Operandi


7. Micro-Weddings

Due to the pandemic, micro weddings are booming. Whether celebrating in the months following a Zoom-ceremony or attending a backyard soiree, the perfect looks offer a more casual, laid-back feel for the intimate setting. Here, day dresses from New York contemporary labels Cara Cara, Sea New York and Matteau (also designed in Sydney, Australia).

Cara Cara’s Darby Dress

Cara Cara’s Darby dress Cara Cara

Sea New York’s Varsha Dress

Sea New York’s Varsha dress Sea New York

Matteau Tiered Floral Organic Cotton Maxi Dress

Matteau tiered floral organic cotton maxidress Matteau/Moda Operandi

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