Wedding Attire 101: Garden Edition

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, but what’s the appropriate guest attire? When it comes to the perfect outfit for a garden setting, think dressy but more casual and laid-back than other types of gatherings and ceremonies. 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.

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.

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

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.

Themes

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

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.