Summer Bridesmaids Dress Style Guide

Don’t know how to choose your summer bridesmaid dresses? We can help! Read on for more inspiration.

By Maggy Lehmicke

Summer Bridesmaids Dresses
Photo by Captured By Casey Photography

Summer is the ultimate wedding season, so when it comes to attire, you’ve got an abundance of options to choose from. But, before you start getting particular, it’s important to know the most common styles of summer bridesmaids dresses for your celebration.

Cocktail

Perfect for semi-formal ceremonies, this classic, knee-length number is short enough to work in the summer heat, but formal enough to be beside you in your wedding gown. If you’re looking for summer wedding bridesmaid dresses, the cocktail dress is a great choice.

Midi/Tea Length

This trending bridesmaid dress style is great for both its versatility and its ability to flatter many different body types.

Maxi Dress

Zola - Summer Bridesmaids Dress Style Guide Photo Credit // Kelsey Leigh Photography

A bridesmaid classic, the maxi dress can be dressed up or down by playing around with prints, fabrics, and colors to cater to different venues and dress codes. The maxi dress is great for a summer wedding, if you want a longer style.

Convertible

This style of dress has grown in popularity for those who want a subtle, mismatched look. Plus, it gives your bridesmaids the ability to pick a style that works for them on your wedding day.

Sundress

If you’re hoping to have a less formal celebration, these laid-back styles work anywhere from your backyard to a barn or beach.

Jumpsuit

Growing in popularity, this modern twist on the bridesmaid gown is a great alternative for the less traditional bride, and it helps cater to those who may not feel as comfortable in dresses.

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So, you’ve got the primary styles down, but you aren’t sure what works best with your venue or vision for your big day? Consider the wedding descriptions below to help you decide on what would suit you and your bride tribe best.

For a laid-back, beach wedding? Minimalist maxis.

Though knee-length sundresses can work as well, simple maxis with an empire waist or breezy silhouette are a great pick for seaside weddings because they take the wind into account. Flowy hems, delicate ruffles, and off-the-shoulder styles all look great at the beach. The simpler the better, as you don’t want to detract from the views.

For a black-tie, ballroom affair? Sleek jewel tone or sequin gowns.

If you’re having a black-tie wedding, your guests are going to be dressed to the nines—so your bridal party needs to be, too. Form-fitting styles with ornate details are naturally glamorous, while deep, moody hues give an added sense of sophistication. If you live in a place that’s extremely hot and humid in the summer, consider lighter fabrics and sleeveless styles.

For a traditional, church ceremony? Wrap dresses or sleeved styles.

Whether you’re going full-length or just below the knee, it’s best to stick to classic silhouettes when picking bridesmaid dresses for a more traditional, church summer wedding. Flowy sleeves, high necks, and longer hems are all worth considering. Convertible styles are also great if your bridesmaids want to mix it up for the reception.

For an intimate, backyard celebration? Simple sundresses.

No matter the length, color, or print, sundresses are a great pick for brides who are looking for something simple and laid-back for their backyard wedding. Just make sure that you select something with a lot of movement to fit the relaxed ambience of the day. Consider fun prints such as preppy stripes or painterly florals if you want to add some personality or mix it up.

For an epic, mountainside mini-mony? Mismatched or convertible ensembles. Zola - Summer Bridesmaids Dress Style Guide Photo Credit // CoreyLynnTuckerPhotography

If you’re having a “mini-mony” at a rustic location such as a national park or mountain cabin, it’s a good idea to give your bridesmaids some flexibility and let them pick something that they’ll be comfortable in. Convertible dresses are great for this reason, though you can also go the mismatched route. Consider sticking to natural, earthy tones to bring out the natural beauty of your surroundings.

For a romantic, vineyard wedding? Silk slips.

Though these seamless, midi styles could be worn almost anywhere, they give an added sense of elegance and refinement to semi-formal summer affairs. These work best in muted hues and neutral tones such as sand, blush, and terracotta. If you really want to make a statement, consider hopping on the recent trend of white and off-white bridesmaids gowns.

For a quaint and classic city ceremony? Classic shifts.

Whether it’s at city hall or a historic library, you don’t want anything too fussy or frilly. Think knee-length shifts, streamlined midis, and dresses with cool, art deco details. Sophisticated jumpsuits or satin pantsuits in a neutral hue are also a great way to mix it up and make it a little more modern, if the weather is reasonable.

For a quirky, festival-style celebration? Boho styles in vintage prints.

Eyelet lace, ruffled silhouettes, and pretty, retro florals are all great considerations for an unconventional, weekend-long wedding celebration. If you really want to bend the rules, consider putting your maids in flirty rompers, instead. Two-piece sets are another possibility if you’re looking to have your bridesmaids do a bit of a mismatched look.

When it comes to choosing a beautiful dress for your ladies, the sky's the limit. At the end of the day, it's your wedding. Choose a bridesmaid gown that matches the color palette of your wedding, and choose a style that you think will look good on everyone.

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