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If you’ve had a wedding save-the-date (or several!) prominently placed on your refrigerator, the chances are good that said nuptials have been postponed or rescheduled. As a wedding guest, that means you have a lot more time to search for the perfect outfit. If cocktail attire was the requested dress code for an upcoming wedding, that could leave a lot of room for interpretation as a wedding guest. So, you’ll want to consider a few things.
First, what season is the wedding? If it’s in the spring or summer, bright colors, playful prints, and pastel shades are idyllic while deep jewel tones and metallic fabrics are gorgeous in the fall and winter. Then, what type of venue is it? For an outdoor wedding, you can easily get away with lighter and floatier fabrics like cotton, eyelet lace, jersey, or chiffon. If the wedding is in a banquet hall or a historic building, elegant fabrics like satin, velvet, taffeta are perfectly polished. Beading and sequins can totally work for a cocktail look, too, in a shorter length. Another consideration is the time of day. If the ceremony is in the morning or early afternoon, a dress that skews more casual is entirely appropriate, while late afternoon and evening weddings call for more formal elegant styles. Finally, while cocktail dresses are generally a midi length or higher, you can still wear a maxi, but in this case, it’s best to opt for a more casual fabric.
Ahead, the best cocktail dresses for wedding guests, for every style, season and budget.
Marchesa Notte Off-the-Shoulder Duchesse-Satin Midi Dress
This romantic off-the-shoulder number is the epitome of elegance. If you're looking for the perfect cocktail dress for a formal wedding that isn't black, your search stops here!
AMUR Hiyori Dress
Giving a new meaning to the term “flower girl,” this strapless dress is utterly sweet. The clean lines and pleated detailing give it a modern feel that’s so sophisticated with minimal sandals and delicate jewelry.