Tory Burch 2021 dress

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

2021 Wedding Guest Dress Trend: Prada

Prada’s logo-detailed nylon gabardine strapless minidress  Prada/Moda Operandi

Ganni’s Gathered Metallic Jacquard Mini Dress

Ganni dress at Net a Porter

Ganni’s gathered metallic jacquard minidress  YOOX Net-a-Porter Group

Cult Gaia’s Ansel Dress

Cult Gaia Ansel Dress Tahoe

Cult Gaia’s Ansel dress  Aaron Feaver


2. The Beach Wedding

Beach weddings inherently dictate a more casual wedding guest look. Breezy, lightweight frocks at any length not only appeal while celebrating in a warmer locale, but bright colors and playful prints work well against tropical landscapes. 

Christopher Esber’s Deconstructed Knit Maxi Dress

2021 Wedding Guest Dress Trend: Christopher Esber

Christopher Esber’s deconstructed knit maxidress  Christopher Esber/Moda Operandi

Charo Ruiz’ Camille Guipur Lace-Trimmed Printed Cotton-Blend Voile Maxi Dress

Charo Ruiz dress Net a Porter

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

Staud’s Corsica Dress in Tomato Wild Orchid

2021 Wedding Guest Dress Trend: Staud

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

2021 Wedding Guest Dress Trend: Jonathan Simkhai

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

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

Alaia dress at Net a Porter

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

2021 Wedding Guest Dress Trend: Brock Collection

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

Markarian’s Ashton Sage Floral Brocade Smocked Dress

2021 Wedding Guest Dress Trend: Markarian

Markarian’s Ashton sage floral brocade smocked dress  Markarian

Tory Burch’s Handkerchief Patchwork Dress

Tory Burch 2021 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

2021 Wedding Guest Dress Trend: Galvan

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

2021 Wedding Guest Dress Trend: LoveShackFancy

LoveShackFancy’s Kalani maxidress  LoveShackFancy

Khaite’s Felicia Dress

Khaite's Felicia Dress

Khaite’s Felicia dress  Khaite

Sleeper’s Brigitte Linen Midi Dress

2021 Wedding Guest Dress Trend: Sleeper

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 Andrea Dress

2021 Wedding Guest Dress Trend: Cara Cara

Cara Cara’s Andrea dress  Cara Cara

Sea New York’s Varsha Dress

2021 Wedding Guest Dress Trend: Sea New York

Sea New York’s Varsha dress  Sea New York

Matteau Tiered Floral Organic Cotton Maxi Dress

2021 Wedding Guest Dress Trend: Matteau

Matteau tiered floral organic cotton maxidress  Matteau/Moda Operandi