What to Wear to a Cocktail Style Wedding

January 29, 2019

Cocktail Wedding

It’s the season for weddings here in Australia.  You can see that just by taking a look at all the loved up Anniversary photos doing the rounds on Facebook!  The gorgeous weather & the beautiful light that comes with Summer makes this the perfect season for a wedding!

I have a wedding to attend next month & I’m more than a little excited about it.  Not just because I’m over the moon for my gorgeous friend Marni, but it’s also been a long time between weddings for me & my social circle of late!

So naturally, my thoughts have turned to what I’d like to wear to this wedding, which is of course, entirely different to what I WILL be wearing! 😉

I do have a couple of options already in my wardrobe, I’m also considering hiring an outfit (I’ve never totally gotten over this amazing We The Kindred dress from Frockfinder), both of these options would save me cash & be good ethical choices.

That does not stop me from window shopping however, so I thought I should put all that hard research into something good & create a blog post for those of you who might also be on the market for a new frock!

Looking around online & creating a picture of what you’d like to wear before you head out to the shops is a great idea.  It will save time & allow you to eliminate options that aren’t what you are looking for (the hardest bit!).

Most weddings come with a dress code, it’s pretty important to stick to it, especially if you want to stay friends with the Bride!!!

The wedding I’ll be attending has a Cocktail dress code.

Broken down simply, the etiquette for Cocktail attire is traditionally a suit for men & a tastefully short (how proper!) evening dress for women.  It’s not formal & it’s not dressy casual.

A little black dress is perfect, dressed up with killer heels & statement accessories.

A maxi anything is fine, as long as you don’t look like you just came in off the beach!

A dressy pant suit, sequins & prints are also perfectly fine as long as you’re not overshadowing the bride!

Black & jewel tones are traditionally cocktail style, but during the summer, lighter shades & colours will also work.

Finding out what colour the Bridesmaids are wearing & steering well clear of that is also a handy tip as a wedding guest!

I have a few rules of my own when wearing a Cocktail dress, these are my own hang ups & ones you certainly don’t need to take on board.

  1. Stick to the dress code.
  2. Don’t wear white. Or even cream, even a really light blush might be pushing it….
  3. Don’t show too much skin.  Anywhere.

These guidelines are purely my own, and to be honest baby, if you’ve got it, flaunt it (I would if I could!), but just keep it subtle. And wearing something you love is always the key to looking amazing for any occasion!

So let’s take a look at some of the gorgeous frocks I’ve found – perfect for a Summer Cocktail Wedding!

MLM Dress

Be still my heart!  This is my fave of the lot & it’s literally calling my name, “Shannon, Shannon, come try me on, you’ll only wear me once but you’ll still love me hanging in your wardrobe…” It’s from the Peony Maxi Dress by MLM Label & it’s $399.

Needle and Thread Dress

I’m just a little obsessed with this label Needle & Thread – I’ve been stalking EBay trying to find some of their pieces second hand.  This Embroidered Lace Tiered Midi Dress in Berry is a beauty & is currently on sale at ASOS for $345.

Cocktail Party Dress

I’m loving this length right now – love this dress teamed with these shoes – oh my goodness! This Heather Hem Detail Midi Dress is from Boden & it’s $200.  The shoes although gorgeous cost more than the dress – they’re $260 also from Boden, they are the Flora Mid Heel – might be worth the splurge to get this look though!

Strapless Dress Online Australia

How is the amazing colour of this dress??!! I’m not one for strapless but I might be converted with this sweet ASOS Bandeau Midi Dress in Broderie. It’s $140 & teamed with some silver heels I think you’d just about steal the show in this!

What to Wear to a cocktail wedding

Another gorgeous floral & another pair of sensational red shoes! I’m sensing a pattern here!  Love the exposed shoulder here without being strapless & the pattern is mature but fun! It’s the Elude Midi Dress from C/Meo Collective & it’s $250.

Australian Fashion online

Navy is a brilliant colour for a cocktail theme & I’ve included this one, because I think you’d really get a lot of wear out of it. It’s easy to dress up or down, it’s comfortable & it will suit a wide range of shapes.  It’s the Paris Dress from Adrift & it’s $140.  I think this would be a really smart buy.

What to wear to a wedding with sleeves

Ok, I know this one has long sleeves, but I’m quite partial to a sleeve these days! The fabric is lightweight though & I still think you could make it work on a Summer’s evening. I actually really, really like this one! It’s from Cooper Street, it’s the Floral Fantasy Maxi Dress & it’s $200.

Red Cocktail Dress Australia

I love the structure of this Forever New London One Shoulder Dress.  It’s a great length & again, I think you’d get a lot of wear out of this one. The nude shoe looks great, but you could add some sizzle with a statement clutch & jewels. It’s a great price at $170.

Floral Midi Dress Australia

Another frock I love! In fact, I have 2 varations on this dress in my wardrobe already! Another dress that would transition really well into other occasions & I am more than loving the shade of blue! It will work beautifully with black, nude or metallic shoes.  Winning! It’s the Printed Georgette Dress from Witchery & it’s $170.

Cheap wedding outfit

And just to show you that you don’t need to spend a ton of cash to look great – this Capri Maxi Dress from Dotti is only $90! Channel some Pretty Woman in this spotty number, easy to dress up with some statement bling! It’s also available in a lovely khaki colour.

Do you have a go-to outfit for Weddings?  Or Cocktail parties?  Stay tuned for what I actually end up wearing to the upcoming Wedding!
Photography of my taken by Ashleigh Sky Photography
This post contains affiliate links which means if you click to buy I receive a small commission but you pay no more xx

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