641 days ago . by Krystian Szastok

The Best Cocktail Dresses for Weddings

641 days ago . by Krystian Szastok
The Best Cocktail Dresses for Weddings

4 women in NFD dresses

Whether it's autumn or high summer, the wedding season is almost always upon us. It can be difficult to choose the right gorgeous wedding guest outfit for you. You want something gorgeous but want to be careful not to upstage the bride.

The great thing about a cocktail dress for a wedding is that they're suitable for almost all types of ceremonies - from a fall wedding to evening weddings. Cocktail dresses for weddings are often smarter than a normal party dress but they're a shade more casual than extravagant evening gowns, ensuring that they can be worn again and again - for weddings, parties and even award ceremonies!

Read on to discover our tips on finding the perfect fit below.

Dress for the season!

model in black dress

Before you pick out your next formal dress, it's important that you know exactly when the ceremony will take place. Whatever you want to put on for a winter wedding might be a completely different outfit for a summer wedding.

In the autumn and winter, a fall cocktail dress for a wedding in jewel tones and velvet and sequins are a luxe and popular choice. You might prefer to slip into a maxi dress in a floral print or a dreamy knee length dress constructed out of floaty fabrics.

Consider the venue

Whatever cocktail dress for a wedding you choose can completely depend on where you're going for the wedding. If it's an outdoor wedding, light and cool fabrics such as chiffon or cotton are a perfect choice.

If the bride and groom are celebrating their nuptials in a historic building or a banqueting hall, fabrics like satin and taffeta will fit perfectly in that setting.

It's also important to consider when the wedding will take place too - if it takes place in the morning or early afternoon, dresses can be more casual than ones you might choose to sport if the event takes place in the late afternoon or in the evening. Dresses for an evening wedding could be more formal, but if you're unsure, ask the bride and groom. 

Don't stress!

It's important not to stress out too much when trying to find the perfect wedding guest dress for you. Weddings are all about having fun and celebrating the love between the bride and groom. You want to be able to dance on the dance floor without worrying if your outfit choice passes muster.

Style your cocktail dresses for a wedding with some statement jewellery, high heels and a cute bag for some added pzazz.

Shopping for Cocktail Dresses for Weddings Dos and Don'ts

model in blue dress

The best way to not turn up to the wedding in a dress that’s very similar to the bride’s is to avoid any light colour such as white, blush pink or cream - unless it's been specified in the dress code.

Choose bold colours instead or soft prints and pastel colours, and let your personality really shine through your outfit!

Make sure that you understand the dress code before you go out dress shopping. A backyard or garden party wedding might suggest something a bit more casual, while if the event is specifically black tie, you might choose something even more formal than a cocktail dress. Dresses for evening weddings may have to be formal too. 

Outfit Ideas for Different Types of Weddings

Best little black dress

The little black dress is an absolute classic piece. Think black is too austere for an event celebrating love? Think again. With our fun and flirty Black Lace Luna Dress or our Black Midi Gigi Cut Out Dress, you'll be ready for both the ceremony and the reception.

Best floral cocktail dress

Perfect for spring weddings, a floral dress can be blooming marvellous. From our Primrose Palma Dress to our retro Floral Tara Dress, check out our shop for more floral cocktail dresses perfect for a wedding guest.

Best maxi dresses

Maxi dresses are an ever popular choice for wedding outfits and at NFD, we've got a wide range for you to choose from. Our maxi dresses come in a wide range of colours and patterns. Our Yellow Maxi Wrap Dress is perfect for summer events, while our Lobster Lorel Dress is perfect for making an impact.

Best midi dress

Great for casual or outdoor weddings, our midi dress collection is bound to make you really stand out. Choose a bright statement dress like our Ombre Liberty Dress or our Riveria Midi Dress or if you're attending a reception that will go on late into the night, opt for one of our multi-wear Vienna Midi Dresses.

How to wear the perfect heels with your cocktail dress

Heels are often thought to be the perfect companion for cocktail dresses for weddings - although if you can't or don't like wearing heels, cute flats can also look equally glamorous.

Whatever your style, we can help you find the best heels for your chosen cocktail dress for a wedding. When picking shoes, it's important to consider both the look you want to achieve and how comfortable you want to be.

You might want to opt for shoes that have a smaller heel if you know you're going to be standing or dancing all day, or you can always bring some plimsolls along with your favourite high heels so you can be comfortable late into the night.

Cocktail Dress FAQs

What is considered to be a cocktail dress?

Cocktail dresses bridge the gap between casual daytime clothes and evening gowns. They're a semi-formal dress that's perfect for an afternoon wedding or a more casual event that doesn't require extravagant evening attire.

What do you wear to a wedding with a cocktail dress code?

If you've been invited to a wedding with a cocktail dress code, the basic principle remains the same - whether you're going to a winter wedding or you've been invited to lots of summer weddings.

A cocktail dress code is a little more informal than evening attire. This means you can sport a chic and elegant mini or midi dress and look perfectly dressed for the occasion.

Can you wear a cocktail dress to a wedding?

Cocktail dresses are surprisingly versatile and can be worn to a wide variety of different events. You can put on these dresses to award ceremonies and wedding events - and often they're suitable for even formal black tie events.

How should you dress for a wedding with a cocktail dress code?

While wedding guest dresses are elegant and classic, if you don't feel comfortable wearing a dress, there are a whole host of options which still tick all the cocktail attire boxes. Try one of our co-ords paired with statement jewellery and heels for a very modern, yet suitable, look.

If you're not a fan of dresses, a trouser and shirt combination can still look just as elegant and suitable for a cocktail party depending on the cut and the colour of the outfit.

Is a cocktail dress long or short?

Cocktail dresses can be any length - but they are most often shorter than floor length gowns - meaning that they can be a more relaxing option for guests.

Often, when we're talking about cocktail dresses, we mean dresses with a hem that sits just below the knee - but these days a whole range of different lengths are suitable for cocktail attire.

Can you wear a floral cocktail dresses to a wedding?

If you're attending a summer wedding, a floral cocktail dress is a fantastic choice. Flirty florals in gorgeous materials like linen or organza will be able to strike the semi-formal chord perfectly.

If you're looking for a perfect floral dress, a floral maxi dress or pastel coloured midi dresses could be a great choice. If you don't think a floral gown is going to be your thing, try one of our floral co-ords or jumpsuits instead!

Can you wear a midi dress to a cocktail wedding?

Certainly! For many wedding guests, a midi dress is the perfect length.

However, that's not to say a midi dress is the only option for you. Cocktail dresses for weddings come in a wide variety of lengths, styles and shapes and you're bound to find the perfect one for you for your next upcoming wedding.