These Dresses Really Want You to Wear Them to a Summer Wedding

At every single wedding this summer, every single human who prefers a dress to pants will be wearing the same exact things. They’ll be in the same pretty dresses that caught your eye in April and May, the ones they purchased early to get it out of the way. They’ll be in the same frocks you considered at the beginning of June; the same silhouettes you’ve seen on the matrimonial circuit since Memorial Day. They’ll be in the trendy colors, the ubiquitous patterns, with the same ruffles, the same ribbons. They will be wearing the dresses you were this close to buying because they were cute and flattering and you’d wear them again.

But you didn’t go through any of these, did you? Something felt off. You knew deep inside that they were not The Ones.

Plus, you had seven other dresses haunting you, their voices riding on a far away wind that has just now reached you:

Wear meeeeeeeeeeee. Wear meeeeeeeeeee!!!

Spooky! But so chic.

Try a dramatic take on the wrap dress — show a little leg, risk a little white (I mean, know your bride or groom, know your audience, but I think this is fine?). Try a Fran Drescher Pink silky two-piece for day or night. Try a couch-print floral with sleeves that will remind all the wedding aunts of their 1980s bridesmaid heydays. Try a tea dress, then step it up with a belt that doesn’t go and add wrap-around-the-ankle sandals (no dance floor flip flops for you). Try a dress that’s as tiered as the wedding cake and, if you can, make it match the sorbet. Try a polkadot frock in unexpected-for-a-wedding crayon colors like “hunter green” and “burnt Sienna.” Or why not try a dress that may very well play it safe, but add thick-soled, thick-strapped sandals to make it weird?

You certainly won’t look like anyone else, but even if you do, the most important thing, I think, is that you’ve gotta be able to dance.

Modeled by Havilah Tillmon, follow her on Instagram @havuni. Photos by Edith Young. 

Get more Fashion ?
  • Abby

    These are v. cute but I always want to ask people who wear patterned white dresses to weddings: Is that dress not still white? Like I get that no one is going to mistake you for the bride, but do you really think that’s cool? Let’s err on the side of extreme tact, maybe?

    • bb222

      Is this really a thing? I cannot remember a single thing any person wore to my wedding. I was obsessed with myself 🙂

      • Abby

        While I personally would not have cared if someone wore white to my wedding, I think it’s best just to be overly cautious and courteous. It doesn’t harm you to leave the white to the bride, right? And I can tell you exactly what people were wearing at my wedding, because it’s in all the pictures!

        • Caitlin Crow

          I personally don’t think it’s a big deal or a serious breach of etiquette–the bride is the bride and will stand out no matter what…that being said, i didn’t wear white for my wedding, so perhaps i’m not the best one to ask about this. 😉

    • Abby

      I have accidentally mistaken the wrong person for the bride. She was wearing a very pale pink dress that was white in the light and sort of looked like what I *thought* the bride looked like. Top three most mortifying moment for sure

  • Oh my gosh these women looks SO fabulous, I can’t even! That Rhode dress is awesome!

    I didn’t mind if anyone else wore white – it wasn’t a big deal for me, but that might not be the case for other brides, so it’s good to know who they are before wearing anything that might upset the bride. My cousin wore an embroidered off white dress with flowers and I loved it!

    Another cousin of mine and his wife wore matching deep blue outfits, and they looked SO good standing next to each other – Man Repeller needs to talk about that kind of wedding guest: couples matching! I just posted photos from my wedding on my blog, so you can see for yourself!

  • I think wearing white (unless given explicit permission or added to the dress code) for a wedding is extremely rude even if its white with a pattern.

  • Jennifer

    Love all these looks for any occasion! The best styling here!!

  • Babs

    You know you need to start reading other websites when you guess the writer without reading the byline!

  • Alison

    I just clicked the link to the Rosie Assouline dress; it looks lifeless on Net a Porter (

    Amazing job, Havilah!!! Great styling by the whole MR team.

  • tmm16

    I love love the creative direction here. Such a unique set idea!

  • Merrynell

    Can you please please please do one for brides who don’t want to wear a wedding gown? Something appropriate for a fall, outdoor, Catskills wedding with a guest of 50. Think tipi, campfires, and a looooong communal table for dinner. LOL, I just basically asked you to find me my wedding dress. Oh, and nothing over $1K!

  • Harling Ross

    this set design rules

  • Kelly

    That Protagonist 2 piece is everything I need in my life.

  • Selena Delgado

    Sorry, but the aforementioned dresses
    would literally outshine most brides these days…(which is probably a “no-no” but in my opinion a “why not?”)

  • Catie Marie

    SOS can we get another of these but for fall weddings??