Our Guide To Semi-Formal Wedding Dressing

Getting invited to a wedding, especially if the bride or groom is a loved one, is exciting. However, figuring out what to wear can often cause a mix of excitement and stress — no one wants to look awkward or out of place. There are some obvious items that you typically should not wear to a wedding, such as jeans, sneakers, bra tops, and hoodies, but choosing a wedding outfit requires more than just knowing which pieces to avoid. 

There are prominent differences between wedding dress codes, such as black tie, semi-formal, and casual, so you should always pay attention to what it says on the invitation. While black tie weddings are super fancy, casual dress codes, are, well, casual. But what about semi-formal?

"Semi-formal wedding attire could be designer (or not), vintage, and have lux fabrics and details, but often is more casual and playful, featuring lighter fabrics, and a mix of hemlines," Lara Eurdolian King, a stylist/founder of Pretty Connected, tells InStyle. Semi-formal dress codes are somewhat lenient, so don't stress! Try to find something you like that's not too fancy or too casual — and we have some more specific suggestions to help you choose the right outfit.

Cute cocktail dresses

You can't go wrong with wearing a flattering cocktail dress to a semi-formal wedding. These dresses are typically short and somewhat playful, so you won't seem overdressed — but they're glamorous enough for you to appear fashionable. Just keep in mind that some cocktail dresses can be very sexy, so try to avoid choosing one that shows too much skin since you'll be at a wedding and likely want to look classy.

Simple maxi dresses

A semi-formal wedding typically isn't the place to wear your most sparkly, dramatic floor-length gown, but that doesn't mean you can't wear any long dresses. Consider wearing a light, minimalistic maxi dress featuring a solid hue or a subtle pattern to exude elegant energy without being too fancy for the occasion.

Chic jumpsuits

Jumpsuits have become so popular that nowadays, even some brides choose to wear jumpsuits instead of dresses on their wedding days! If you're a guest attending a semi-formal wedding, there shouldn't be any problem with you rocking a jumpsuit instead of a dress, as long as the piece is stylish and fits you well.

Go floral for spring

It's crucial to be mindful of what types of patterns you wear when attending a semi-formal wedding. Designs like animal prints or patchwork styles will likely be a bit too bold for these weddings, but more classic patterns, such as polka dots, will be adorable. If it's a spring or even a summer wedding, consider a dress or jumpsuit with a floral design for a cute, weather-appropriate, wholesome look.

Keep warm with a blazer

If you want to wear chic outerwear to a semi-formal wedding, blazers are excellent options. Blazers are stylish and sleek and will look good with most dresses and jumpsuits. While a fur jacket would likely be too glamorous, and a leather jacket would be too casual, a blazer satisfies that semi-formal vibe.