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The Ultimate Guide to Dressing for a Casual Wedding

The Ultimate Guide to Dressing for a Casual Wedding

August 15th, 2022

Shopping for casual wedding attire can be more complicated than dressing up. What counts as casual? A casual night with friends means jeans and a t-shirt, but casual dress for wedding means casual dresses, skirts, or linen trousers. As the younger generations get married, they embrace the simplicity of a casual wedding, and you need to know how to dress for the occasion. It's all about dressing for your surroundings.   

The first rule of thumb is to follow the dress code. It's the most important consideration when you choose your outfit. Most couples set a dress code based on the style of the event and the season in which it takes place. A black-tie winter wedding is very different to how a beach wedding guest dresses in the height of summer. An evening winter wedding may demand heels and a gown, but a country wedding is about simple dresses and accessories. Be sure you understand the dress code before you start shopping!  

So, what should you wear to a casual wedding? Here are Cotton Dayz top tips. 

Dressing for the Ambiance

The ambience isn't just the location, it's also the time of day and the season. A beach wedding tells you a formal dress is too much, but an evening beach wedding will require more of a coverup than daytime nuptials. Summer weddings are lighter and brighter compared to the autumn and winter rich fabrics and dark jewel tones. Take a look at what's currently in store and use this as your cue for current trends.  

The venue is also a good guide for what to wear. A rooftop city wedding is likely to call for a different dress code to an outdoor wedding in the country.  

Beach Weddings

If you are planning your outfit for a beach wedding, then a tunic midi dress is the way forward. Whether you want to embrace a solid colour and make your accessories pop, or your accessories are simple to let your bold patterned dress take the spotlight, the tunic midi dress is perfect for beach weddings.   

Country Weddings

A midi-tiered dress is an ideal option for a country wedding or a garden event. It's casual, but the tiering adds visual interest. The key is to wear it right – because they can be boxy, adding a belt or an additional layer (a cropped jacket) is the perfect way to complement any style of midi tiered dress. 

You can find a wide variety of dresses perfect for country weddings at Cotton Dayz, even if it's plus-size country wedding dresses you're looking for.  

Garden Weddings 

Nothing says garden wedding guest like a collared midi dress. A collared midi dress is any collared dress that comes above the ankles or as high as two inches below the knees. The ideal midi dress stops at the swell of the calf. Nothing says garden wedding celebration like a collared midi dress. Browse our range of dresses for a wealth of stylish options, whatever the atmosphere. 

The Theme

If you know what the colour theme of the wedding is, you can dress in line with it. It's a great way to ensure you blend in for pictures. You certainly don't want to be mistaken for the bride or any other member of the wedding party, like an accidental bridesmaid.  

If you're looking for plus-size wedding guests dresses, there are plenty of options. A cotton midi dress is a perfect way to celebrate on the beach. A crinkle rayon mosaic is an ideal dress for an informal or garden affair. If you are heading to the country to celebrate the nuptials of a loved one, a neutral tone is the perfect casual outfit and is a sure way to beat the heat. There's a stunning option for everyone, even if it's plus size casual wedding dresses you are after.  

Casual Wedding Guest Attire  

If you're looking for dresses to wear to a wedding as a guest, think breezy and floral. It's the perfect casual look for any wedding, whether it's in the country or on the beach. You want to beat the heat, feel comfortable as you enjoy the day, and know you can dance the night away.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you wear black to a wedding?

Absolutely! The only colour you really want to avoid is white unless you know for a fact that the wedding party will be wearing black. The key to pulling off black at a wedding is plenty of colourful accessories to make it pop.  

Can you wear white to a wedding?

Unless the wedding invitation specifically asks you to wear white to the wedding, it's best to avoid it. If you do choose to wear white, keep it limited and ensure you use plenty of colourful accessories.  

What's the difference between casual wedding attire and casual cocktail wedding attire?

Casual wedding attire is the most relaxed dress code of all the wedding dress codes. It doesn't mean you can wear jeans or yoga pants or tennis shoes. Business casual can provide you with a safe guide. Simple accessories and a nice dress with sandals or pumps are ideal. You could choose a sundress, a midi or even a jumpsuit. There's enough flexibility within the dress code for you to work with different fabrics, patterns, or colours.  


Casual is not the same as a casual cocktail. If your invite reads casual cocktail dress code, you have a bit of freedom, but ultimately, it's just a step down from cocktail. If it's cocktail casual on the beach, you can ditch the dress shoes – but only for a beach wedding. Otherwise, your shoes will dress up your outfit to achieve the casual cocktail dress code. Pumps or jewelled flats are suitable for a casual cocktail, along with lower cut necklines, off-the-shoulder dresses, or a low back. A formal pantsuit is also the perfect way to accomplish a casual cocktail look. 

What is appropriate casual wedding attire for the mother of one of the to-be-weds?

If you're the mother of the bride or mother of the groom, you want to look the part. Don't be pressured into shopping for items specifically labelled for mother of the. Any casual dress suitable for a wedding is suitable for the mother of the. If you pair it with the right accessories, you can wear what makes you feel good. A jumpsuit or pantsuit is a great option, but a simple skirt and blouse are also more than suitable.  

What is smart casual wedding attire?

Midi dresses, maxi dresses, and skirts with stylish blouses are all excellent options for a smart casual wedding dress code. Pair your choice with dressy flats or wedges for the perfect wedding look.  

Can you wear pants to a wedding?  

Absolutely, pants or a pantsuit are perfectly acceptable to wear to a wedding as long as they are appropriately smart-casual.  

Can you wear jeans to a wedding?

Unless the invitation specifically invites guests to wear jeans, it's safe to assume that jeans are an unsuitable choice. Of course, there are certain wedding themes that may mean jeans are an appropriate item of clothing to wear to a casual wedding. For example, a Cowboy Casual theme or even a Diamonds and Denim theme suggest jeans are allowed.  

Start Shopping Today

With so many options, Cotton Dayz is the first place to look for casual wedding attire that makes you feel fabulous. You’ll find a full range of stunning dresses, tops, pants and more available online for a great price. Check out the range today and prepare to shine as a wedding guest. 

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