A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Wedding Dress for Summer

Nazy Rafaeil
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Last updated 5 months ago.

Wedding season is all year round, and summer is no exception.

From sandy beach weddings to an outdoor garden venue, the opportunities for a gorgeous summer wedding are endless.

As a bride, how do you find the perfect wedding dress for summer? Check out this handy guide to help you look fabulous while staying cool and comfortable on your wedding day.

Wear Something Versatile

Even if you hold your wedding indoors, the odds are that you’ll eventually spend some time outside. If you want to stay comfortable, select a dress with a few options.

A dress with a matching shrug, lace top, or cape looks timeless, and you can easily remove it to expose your arms and shoulders whenever you choose. Dresses with adjustable hem are another wise choice.

With an adjustable hem, you can shorten your dress during the reception so you can dance the night away while keeping cool. Consider a shorter wedding dress if you don’t want to change your look.

There are plenty of stunning gowns that have a slightly shorter hemline. Just be sure your dress sits right at, or below the knee.

Tea-length is a wonderful alternative to the standard floor-length gown. This look gives your legs some breathing room while maintaining a classic bridal dress aesthetic.

Consider Fabrics Carefully When Shopping for a Wedding Dress for Summer

The fabric content is one of the most important elements of your summer wedding gown. Look for dresses made of lightweight, breathable fabrics so you aren’t left sweating at the altar.

More important than the length or sleeve style, the fabric you select will greatly affect your comfort level. Heavy fabrics will make you sweat, especially if your ceremony and reception are outdoors.

Try a flowy dress made of chiffon that has a more lightweight feel to it. Incorporate lace into your dress to allow a little more breathability.

Lace is not only gorgeous and feminine, but it’s also the perfect choice for summer formal attire. Silk is another fabulous alternative.

Thanks to its smooth look and feel and breathable properties, a dress made of silk is a wise choice. This material looks lovely and comes in a wide range of color choices.

Finely woven cotton is a good option, too, but just be sure it has the bridal look you’re striving for. A good rule of thumb is to avoid synthetic fabrics whenever possible.

Some other good choices include organza, dotted Swiss, and rayon. These fabrics add a light and airy look to your dress without weighing you down.

As long as the fabric is breathable and light, you should feel completely comfortable wearing your dress for an extended period.

Silhouette Selections

The silhouette or cut of your wedding dress can make a huge difference in summer comfort. Dresses with a large, billowy skirt of several layers look amazing, but they’re also guaranteed to make you feel hotter.

For a summer wedding, avoiding wearing a ball gown, an A-line dress, or one in a mermaid silhouette may be best. While these gorgeous styles will also make you feel hot and sweaty.

A good alternative to these styles includes a column or trumpet silhouette. Incorporate lace and other lightweight fabrics into the gown; you’ll feel much cooler throughout the big day.

When it comes to sleeves, you can choose anything you like, but spaghetti straps will make you feel the most comfortable. If you’re uncomfortable showing your arms, try something with short, poufy sleeves.

Long sleeve wedding dresses are the epitome of class, but they could also make you feel extremely hot as time goes on. Unless the wedding and reception are in a place where there’s cold air conditioning, it may be best to steer clear of long sleeves.

Off-shoulder looks are ultra-feminine and all the rage this wedding season. You can also try something with an open or plunging back that looks elegant while keeping you cool.

Summer Colors for Your Wedding Dress

Gone are the days when brides were expected only to wear white on their wedding day. Today’s modern wedding dress options include a wide swath of incredible colors that add a personal touch to your look.

If you like white, it works well for any season, but other hues also look incredible for a summer wedding. Consider trying a pastel-colored wedding gown that will add a bit of dazzle to the event.

Shades of peach, pink, and champagne are all beautiful alternatives to the classic white wedding dress. You can even go further with something in a lovely shade of light blue if you choose.

If you prefer a white wedding dress, add your personal touch with accessories. Give your ensemble a touch of flair with shimmering chandelier earrings.

A brilliant stone necklace will add a flashy touch to your gown and draw your guests’ eyes to your face. If you go with a sparkly look, just be sure your necklace and earrings match as closely as possible.

Avoid mixing different metals like silver, gold, and rose gold. Find a look you love and stick with it throughout your accessory ensemble.

Shopping Tips

Finding the perfect wedding dress for summer can be daunting. With an endless array of dresses available, the process might feel overwhelming.

Before you settle on a dress, incorporate these shopping tips into your decision to help you find the one that works for your summer wedding.

  • Plan. Even if your wedding seems far out, it’s best to start shopping for a dress as early as possible. Once you find one, you’ll likely need to attend a few fittings with your seamstress until you get it right. This can take time, so always look for the ideal dress well in advance.
  • Set your budget. The dress is a huge part of the total budget for many brides. Set a specific price and then stick to it as closely as possible. There are endless dress options, so you can find the right one without breaking the bank.
  • Determine your theme and colors. Before you buy a wedding dress, you should already have the color palette and theme planned. Will it be a beach wedding or held in a rustic farmhouse? Are you going for classic or new bohemian? Having your flowers and decor already decided will make picking out your dress much easier.
  • Ask for advice. Of course, you will have the final say regarding your wedding dress. But it also can’t hurt to ask for advice from family and friends who have already been married. They can give you great insight into finding the right dress. And of course, take a few people with you when you try some on so they can help you decide.
  • Don’t count on buying your dress online. If you live in an area with limited dress inventory, don’t be afraid to buy something online. Get fitted beforehand to know your size, and then start shopping! Most online dress retailers allow returns if things don’t work out. Just be sure you read their terms carefully so you don’t end up with several dresses you won’t wear.
  • Remember the extras. From shoes to lingerie, other items go into the perfect bridal ensemble. Be sure to include these things in your budget and determine whether you’ll need items like a bustier or garter under the dress.

Know Your Body Type

Aside from fabric content and silhouettes, you need to know your body type before you buy a wedding gown. Every woman is shaped differently, and the dress you choose should complement your figure.

If you’re petite, choose a dress that gives the illusion of height. A slit up the side will not only look striking, but it will also help you feel cooler throughout the big event.

If you are pear-shaped, try a dress with a high waistline, like an empire dress. Anything that accentuates your waist and takes attention from your hips is ideal for this body type.

For women with an hourglass figure, practically any dress style will look stunning. You can choose from mermaid styles to ball gowns, but it’s best to avoid high-waistline styles when possible.

Other body types include apple-shaped rectangles and sizes. Talk to a local bridal dress shop and see if you can try a few styles on.

Even if you don’t plan to buy right away, simply trying a few gowns will help inspire you to find the perfect one for your body. Feel the different types of fabrics to see what they’ll be like when you wear them.

Explore the endless array of wedding dress options available well ahead of time. This will give you a clearer picture of the ideal dress for your perfect summer wedding.

Remember to Have Fun and Relax

Summer denotes a fun, playful time of year, and you likely want your wedding to reflect that carefree feeling. Of course, you want to find the perfect gown but remember to take a deep breath and make the process fun.

Shopping trips will become much easier once you narrow your color, style, and fabric choices. Please bring a friend whenever you try dresses, and make it a girl’s day out.

If your wedding is on the beach, don’t be afraid to buy something more casual. It’s your big day, after all! The sky is the limit for wedding dresses, so take advantage of the incredible opportunities available.

If the first dress doesn’t fit, don’t despair. There are plenty of amazing seamstresses out there who can help transform your dress into one of your dreams.

As a rule of thumb, buy a gown that is a size larger so the seamstress can take it in. Most dresses cannot be taken out, but they can usually be adjusted to a smaller size that fits your body.

When you plan and make a budget, dress shopping will be a lot less stressful. Select your theme and color scheme in advance to make finding your perfect gown a breeze.

The choices for summer weddings are endless, from a sandy shoreline to a botanical garden. Make sure the dress you wear reflects not only your style but that it’s something you will feel beautiful and comfortable wearing.

Summer Dress Shopping is a Breeze

Wherever and whenever you choose to have your wedding, it’s easy to find the perfect wedding dress for summer. You will surely discover the right dress, from thin spaghetti straps and off-shoulder styles to lacy gowns and shoulder-covering capes.

Try on as many dresses as possible to know you’ve found “the one.” Then, relax and enjoy this momentous occasion with your better half and the ones you care about most.

Shop our incredible selection of dresses and gowns, and visit our blog for information about dresses for the mother of the bride and much more.

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