Wedding Attire 101: Garden Edition + 15 Outfit Ideas

Attending a garden wedding opens up an array of opportunities when it comes to getting dressed. We’re here to help guide your garden party attire.

By Nilina Mason-Campbell

Garden Wedding Attire
Photo by Cinder and Co

Garden weddings are more prevalent than ever, especially for summer weddings. But what’s the appropriate guest attire for a garden party wedding soiree? When it comes to the perfect outfit for a garden setting, think pulled together and dressy—but more casual and laid-back than other types of gatherings and ceremonies (like a black tie affair). A garden wedding provides the opportunity to approach your wardrobe with a more playful spirit, too. Here are our tips to embrace the outdoors with your wardrobe, while keeping the wedding dress code in mind.

What to Consider when Choosing Garden Wedding Attire

When choosing your outfit for a garden wedding, there are a few things you’ll want to consider, including:

Styles

Since attire for garden weddings tends to be more relaxed than more formal wedding ceremonies in churches or trendy venues, take it as an opportunity to play with hemlines. Try a skirt or a cocktail dress that exposes more leg or a fun jumpsuit. A wrap dress or shirt dress could seem out of place at a different type of ceremony but is perfectly fitting in a garden setting. Khakis and pleats are practically synonymous with what you would expect to wear and be expected to wear as a wedding guest.

Prints

While prints can seem out of place in more traditional settings, anything from pinstripes to florals that play to the theme have a place at a garden-themed wedding. Even bold, contrast-heavy prints can be considered, especially in something as little as a pocket square.

Animal-inspired prints also work. Rather than wearing fur-inspired patterns like leopard and tiger print, lean toward more elegant, less obvious options like an all-over feather pattern or a print that incorporates illustrations of garden-adjacent fauna like birds or butterflies.

Color, Tone, and Hues

Think of the shades you’re likely to encounter in a garden—and coordinate your color scheme accordingly. Narrow down your color choice to specific tones that are most representational of actual flora. Think shades of green to represent foliage or jewel tones that correspond with actual garden vegetables like the deep purple of eggplant or the dark green of kale.

Pastels that give a nod to early spring or the egg hunts associated with Easter are good options, too. Garden wedding attire for male guests may include pastel suit accessories, like a pastel bow tie or pocket square. Incorporating intentional color via a button-up is also suitable. And if you want to go all-in, garden weddings are the perfect setting for suits in colors other than black—think tan, navy, or cerulean blue.

Wedding Attire 101: Garden Edition Photo Credit // Whitney Justesen Photography

Themes

There are specific themes you can channel when dressing for a garden wedding. Especially popular during the Victorian era, tea parties are a good source of inspiration. Think puffy sleeves, lace, pinstripes, buttons, high collars, and long sleeves. There’s no need to represent all of these, though—simply pick a few.

Certain sports are a great source of inspiration for men—for example, the links. Golfing attire works just as well for an outdoor wedding. Think khakis, pleats, and pastel polos.

Footwear

For women, low, chunky heels are just right for a garden wedding. You want a shoe that provides solid footing and doesn’t sink into the lawn. Sandals are also a good option. While strappy shoes would work well for any type of ceremony, a more casual design that wouldn’t fly elsewhere perfectly fits the bill of a garden wedding. Classy wooden shoes work well for men, regardless of what era is being channeled through clothing.

Styling

Typically what works for the country club works for a garden wedding. Draw inspiration not only for specific clothing pieces but also the way they’re worn, like sweaters draped over the shoulder and tied at the neck instead of at the waist.

When it comes to clothing, the garden setting of a wedding widens the canvas. What might not work for a more formal wedding setting is suddenly in play. The wedding invitation you receive will likely specify just how casual or just how formal, but remember to have fun with what you wear. Dress for recreation as much as for a celebration when brainstorming what to wear to a wedding.

Outfit Ideas For Your Next Garden Wedding

Need some fashion inspiration for your next garden wedding? Here are some outfit ideas (for men and women!) to get those creative juices flowing:

Formal

  1. Floor-length floral dress. The interesting sleeves, silky fabric, and open leg make this chic long dress from Showpo elevate it to the “formal dress” category—making it a great pick for a garden-inspired evening wedding.

  2. Sleeveless tulle tea-length dress. If you want to go with a more ethereal look with your garden wedding guest dresses, try a tulle tea-length dress—like this sleeveless green option from Viniodress.

  3. Peacock-inspired dress. With its jewel toned color palette and peacock-inspired print, this mid-length number from ROTITA would be a great wedding outfit for a more formal garden wedding.

  4. Pastel pocket square. At a formal garden wedding, you’ll likely want to keep it traditional with your suit. But that just means you get to capture the garden wedding vibe with your accessories—like a floral print pocket square.

  5. Pastel pink tie. If a floral print feels too loud for you, give a subtle nod to garden wedding style with a pastel pink tie.

  6. Printed socks. Again, if you’re going to a more formal garden wedding, the best place to have fun with your attire is in your accessories—like a bold pair of floral print socks.

Semi-formal

  1. Printed midi dress. Midi dresses, like this bold printed number from Anthropologie, are extremely versatile; depending on how you wear them, they can be dressed up or dressed down—making them a great option for semi-formal garden weddings.

  2. Pastel sleeveless dress. Pastels are a go-to for garden weddings. If you don’t want to blend in with a sea of pale pink or pale blue, this soft orange dress from petal + pup is a unique way to rock the pastel trend.

  3. Floral blazer. If you really want to have fun with the garden wedding theme, embrace florals in a big way—like a floral printed blazer.

  4. Pastel dress shirt and khakis. A dress shirt, dress pants or khakis, and dress shoes are one of the most versatile wedding guest outfits for men—including for garden weddings. Just incorporate some pastel into the outfit, like in the dress shirt.

Smart Casual

  1. Floral print maxi dress. A floral print maxi dress, like this flowy number for ASOS, is the perfect blend of sophisticated, laid-back, and classy—perfect for a more smart casual garden wedding dress code.

  2. Floral print jumpsuit. If you want to rock the florals to your next garden wedding—but aren’t a fan of dresses—this wide-leg jumpsuit (also from ASOS) would be a great option.

  3. Botanical romper. For more laid-back garden weddings, a printed knee-length romper (like this botanical-themed number from Lyst) could work; just make sure to dress it up with dressier sandals or block heels and accessories.

  4. Pastel polo shirt. As mentioned, golf attire makes for great guest attire for more casual garden party weddings—included pastel polo shirts.

  5. Pastel linen shirt. Linen shirts are a go-to for beach weddings—but in a pastel hue, they can work just as well at a garden wedding.

Wedding Attire 101: Garden Edition Photo Credit // Cambria Creative Photography

Garden Wedding Attire FAQ

Still not sure what to wear to your next wedding in the garden? These FAQs may help to answer some of your lingering questions—and help you choose the perfect outfit:

  • How formal are garden weddings? While most garden weddings are on the less formal side, it will vary by event; the formality and dress code should be listed on the invitation.

  • Do you have to dress in a floral print for a garden wedding? No! While floral prints would definitely work at a garden wedding, you don’t have to go with the “garden” theme if you don’t want to. Wear whatever makes you most comfortable!

  • Can you wear heels to a garden wedding? You can wear heels to a garden wedding, but because you’ll be outdoors and walking in grass, you’ll want to avoid stilettos—and opt for block heels or wedges.

  • How casual is too casual for a garden wedding? While garden weddings are generally less formal than other events, you still want to dress for the occasion—which means no jeans.

  • Is it ok to wear the same color as the bridal party? Pastels are an extremely popular choice for garden weddings—but you don’t want to show up in the same color or dress as the bridesmaids. If you can, ask the couple what colors their wedding party will be wearing—and make sure your outfit is different in some way (for example, a different shade).

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