What to wear to a wedding reception: celebrate in style with our guide to the best wedding guest outfits

CHOOSING what to wear for a wedding reception can take weeks, even months to decipher as you  want to look super smart, sophisticated and glam.

There are so many options when it comes to choosing your outfit, but the main rule of thumb, is to look like you made an effort to celebrate.

A wedding reception is the event held after a couple's ceremony AKA the best bit – there's cake, speeches and a whole lot of, very cute, inter-generational dancing.

Often there are more people invited to the reception than the service, so don't be disheartened if that's you.

It's still an elaborate affair with a dress code.

What do you wear to a wedding reception as a guest?

Whether it's in summer or winter, you'll need to adapt your wedding guest ensemble accordingly to suit the season and temperature.

The only reason you should ever sweat is from too much dancing!

To help you arrive both smart and stylish, we've created some fabulous looks perfect for a wedding reception, from summer to winter.

1. Breezy Summer’s Day

Knowing British weather, even during summer you could need a cover-up on cooler days.

But choosing a coat or jumper can make or break a smart dress code. Enter, a sleek linen trench.

A navy dress is always a fail-safe staple – the timeless shade can take you from summer to winter.

Accessorise with neutral nude hues because they work with anything, so it's a fashionable investment.

  • Linen Trench, £59.99 from Mango – buy here
  • Drawstring waist dress, £29.99 from Mango – buy here
  • Heel Strap Leather Sandals, £75 from & Other Stories – buy here
  • Textured Irregular Earrings, £25 from Whistles – buy here
  • Carvela Bleu Chain Cross Body Bag, £69 from House of Fraser – buy here

2. Floaty Florals

Nothing says love like pink hues, floral prints and ruffled chiffon.

Reiss ramps up the romance with this maxi dress, and we think its perfect for spring/summer weddings.

Keep things from looking a little too Lady of Shalott with clean cut accessories – think simple silver jewellery and a ladylike mini bag.

  • Leila Burnout Floral Printed Maxi Dress, £190 from Reiss – buy here
  • Millions Square Toe Two Part Heels, Tortoiseshell, £25 from Office – buy here
  • Twist Snake Cross Body Bag, £27 from Topshop – buy here
  • Sterling Silver Sleek Pearl Drop Earrings, £14 from Accessorize – buy here
  • Beaten Metal Cuff, £12.50 from Topshop – buy here

3. Polka Dot Pastels

Polka dots always bring good vibes.

They feel even more playful on this Next dress with fluted sleeves.

Cover up shoulders and brighten up the monochrome palette with an on-trend pastel cardigan.

And don’t be afraid to make the most of the mini hemline with a pair of nude stilettos – we don’t have to tell you that high heels work wonders on the legs.

  • Phase Eight Grey Adrienne Spot Dress, £130 from Next – buy here
  • Pure Collection Purple Cashmere Cardigan, £125 from Next – buy here
  • Nude Mid Heel Court Shoes, £79 from Kurt Geiger – buy here
  • Olive 'Le Merais' Cross Body Bag, £24.50 from Debenhams – buy here
  • Genie Gold Fan Earrings, £12 from Monsoon – buy here

4. Fur and Velvet

If you’ve got an invite outside of wedding season, don’t let that throw you off when choosing what to wear.

A coat can actually enhance your outfit, especially a faux fur number that nods to old Hollywood glamour.

Velvet is another winter fabric that you can embrace for a wedding reception.

Now you have an excuse to buy this midnight blue devoré maxi from & Other Stories.

Keep it classy with a minimalist suede clutch and heels and let the fabulous fabric combo do all the talking.

  • Oversize Faux-Fur Coat, £83.99 from Mango – buy here
  • Sheer Velvet Maxi Dress, £51 from & Other Stories – buy here
  • Carvela Comfort Ankle Boots, £139 from Kurt Geiger – buy here
  • Basic Metallic Hoop Earrings, £5.99 from Pull&Bear – buy here
  • Black Suedette Clutch Bag, £39 from Kurt Geiger – buy here

What should you not wear to a wedding reception?

We know the excitement of receiving a wedding invitation to a wedding party or a wedding reception.

There are a few things we suggest to avoid: wearing white dresses, uncomfortable footwear, and revealing clothes.

In more formal weddings, men might want to choose a suit with a bow tie, and women can look at full-length dresses.

Sun Selects is here to help you out to find the best products at the best prices.

Can decide what to wear to a special occasion? Check out our dedicated instructional guides section here.

If a wedding will take place during summer months, take a look at our guide of what to wear to a summer wedding here.

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