It's always oddly thrilling to see celebrities acting as bridesmaids and groomsmen, playing second fiddle for once, rather than stealing the spotlight on the red carpet. But that's nothing compared to when they're mere wedding guests, just trying to figure out what "black tie optional" means and hitting up the open bar with the rest of us.
Then again, A-listers aren't exactly your average wedding guests, unless the average attendee sports custom Stella McCartney gowns, gets made up by a Hollywood-approved hair and makeup team, and, you know, casually attends royal weddings. They may not actually be just like us, but they do still make great style inspo.
Below, find 21 of the best-dressed celebrity wedding guest moments in recent history—and start saving up for the aforementioned Stella McCartney sheath.
Nicky Hilton Rothschild
It goes without saying that Nicky Rothschild, née Hilton, would show up at her sister's wedding dressed to impress. Donning a lace Alice and Olivia column dress complete with feminine frills and a satin bow sash, the maid of honor assumed her position amongst the blush-hued bridal party on November 11, 2021.
Kim Kardashian celebrated Paris Hilton's autumnal nuptials dressed in black—a sartorial theme seems to have been shared amongst several guests including Emma Roberts and Nicole Richie. The cut-out Rick Owens gown was paired with witchy pointed-toe boots perfect for the season and graphic eyeliner.
Amongst a sea of chic wedding guests in black, Kendall Jenner stood out in bond-girl gold at Simon Huck and Phil Riportella's November 2021 star-studded nuptials. The sexy Donna Karan number showed off ample amounts of skin with a plunging neckline and sky-high slit.
Lady Kitty Spencer
Lady Kitty Spencer attended the Huck-Riportella wedding covered in liquid gold. The sumptuously gilded Dolce & Gabbana dress couldn't be more appropriate for the Fall fête.
Kardashian also surprisingly shunned the black-dress protocol, opting for a far more vibrant approach. The striking royal blue Balenciaga suit descended into pointed-toe sock boots and featured a dramatic train.
Hailey Bieber, née Baldwin, was dressed to kill while attending Felisha King Harvey and Bernard Harvey's wedding in April 2021. The body-skimming LBD by AZ Factory is giving us all kinds of sophisticated minimalism.
Bella and Gigi Hadid
The supermodel sisters served as each other's dates to Marc Jacobs's wedding to Char Defrancesco in April 2019. Both donned sleek pantsuits: Bella's black, over a black corset top and lacy Louboutin pumps, and Gigi's olive green, over a sheer L'AGENCE blouse and a Youssef Lahlou wide-brimmed hat.
The 2019 nuptials seemed to be a runway for smart suiting, with Kaia Gerber arriving in a more oversized take. The model served all the 80's glamour vibes with a wool wide-legged trousers and blazer combination designed by Jacobs himself.
Leave it to Emrata to turn up the heat. The model-turned-entrepreneur makes a serious case for yellow in the Saks Potts sating dress with a deep plunging neckline she wore to the Jacobs-Defrancesco fête.
Kendall Jenner showed off her supermodel bod in a strappy, retro-esque dress for Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber's September 2019 nuptials. The body-hugging velveteen dress cascades in a cool gold hue perfect for the rich autumnal aesthetic.
The younger Middleton sister all but stole the show at big sister Kate's royal wedding in April 2011. As maid of honor, Pippa coordinated with the bride in a crisp white floor-length gown with a plunging scoop neckline, custom designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen, also the mastermind behind Kate's dress.
The Duchess of Cambridge went a bit more low-key when it was her turn to attend her sister's wedding: At Pippa's nuptials to James Matthews in May 2017, Kate tapped Alexander McQueen yet again, this time for a drapey, long-sleeved midi-length gown in a dusty rose shade that perfectly matched the sash around tiny bridesmaid Princess Charlotte's waist.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
When Kimye attended 2 Chainz's wedding to Kesha Ward in August 2018, they went for an understated look — if "understated" equals a blinding neon green latex Versace dress and mirrored sunglasses for Kim and a pale green Louis Vuitton suit and Yeezy slides over gray socks for Kanye. If Kanye says socks with sandals are wedding-appropriate, it must be so.
Cara Delevingne and Ashley Benson
After keeping their rumored relationship mostly under wraps for a year, Delevingne and Benson made a low-key joint appearance at the June 2019 wedding festivities for Zoë Kravitz and Karl Glusman in Paris. For the rehearsal dinner the night before the actual ceremony, Delevingne wore a shiny black and gold pantsuit over a black bra top, while Benson donned a light brown, one-shouldered leather minidress.
Kravitz's Big Little Lies costars were also in attendance for her Parisian nuptials. For the rehearsal dinner, Witherspoon opted for the perfect dress for a summer wedding: Her Saloni dress is still available (and on sale!) in another colorway here.
While attending one of Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra's (many) wedding receptions in India in December 2018 with her now-husband Joe Jonas, Sophie Turner wore a gorgeous gold and peach-colored lehenga by Sabyasachi, the same designer responsible for the striking scarlet lehenga Chopra wore at one of the ceremonies.
Emily Blunt's turquoise Emilio Pucci column may have made it a bit difficult to hop in a boat to get to George and Amal Clooney's Venetian wedding ceremony in September 2014, but all that trouble was definitely worth it. (John Krasinski cleaned up well, too, but his classic tux could hardly match up to his wife's stunning gown.)
Jay Z and Beyoncé
The dress code for Solange Knowles and Alan Ferguson's November 2014 wedding stood in firm opposition to traditional etiquette: Every guest was dressed in all-white, including the bride's older sister Beyoncé and Jay Z, who somehow avoided tarnishing their crisp white getups while dancing up a storm at the New Orleans bash.
When the model and actress showed up at Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's October 2018 nuptials in a sleek black Armani tux and matching top hat, sticklers for royal etiquette were appalled. But it's all good: Shortly after, Delevingne revealed that she'd gotten permission from the princess herself to break the dress code and wear the dapper suit.
Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian
The guest list for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's royal wedding in May 2018 was the perfect blend of members of the extended British royal family and American celebrities from Meghan's tenure as a Hollywood star. Sports royalty Serena Williams, a close friend of the duchess, made the cut, and showed up alongside husband Alexis Ohanian in an elegant, pale pink Versace dress with matching sculptural fascinator.
George and Amal Clooney
Also on that elusive royal wedding guest list were the Clooneys, who have reportedly grown close to the Sussexes in the year or two. George donned a light gray Giorgio Armani suit, allowing his wife to steal focus in her custom-designed canary yellow Stella McCartney sheath dress. McCartney was kind enough to recreate the gorgeous gown for the masses not long after it made headlines but, alas, it has long since sold out.
Victoria and David Beckham
The Clooneys weren't the only power couple in the pews at Meghan and Harry's wedding. The Beckhams also made their way to the celebration, with the artist formerly known as Posh Spice wearing a navy blue ankle-length gown from her own collection (which, obviously, also sold out not long after she made it available to the public) and Becks in a dapper charcoal suit from Dior Homme.
Game of Thrones fans desperate for an update on the show ahead of its final season were undoubtedly delighted to see the cast reunite at Kit Harington and Rose Leslie's Scottish nuptials in June 2018. Among the stars in attendance was the Khaleesi herself, Emilia Clarke, who arrived solo, in a pale pink Dior dress printed with leafy stripes, which she topped with a Mansur Gavriel linen duster coat and paired with nude slingback Dior heels.