For when the dress code isn't laid out in black and white (tie).
There are few things we love more than a romantic backyard wedding. While we can admittedly be sticklers for tradition—even to a fault—when it comes to weddings, there’s simply something irresistible and charming about a laid-back evening of wedding festivities in your own backyard. An intimate evening spent beneath string lights and among bare feet padding through fresh sod on the way to the patio cocktail bar adds just the personal touch that Southerners love so dearly.
However, if there’s anything we’ve learned about attending a Southern soiree of any kind, it’s that the dress code isn’t always laid out in black and white. The conveniently descriptive words “black tie” or “business casual” are music to a wedding guest's ears as they leave little room for anxieties of coming over or underdressed. However, for a more casual affair, discerning exactly what to wear to a wedding can feel like quite a feat.
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Although we love a casual backyard wedding for the very reason that it’s no cookie-cutter Southern soiree, unfortunately, there is often no cookie-cutter dress code to match. Meaning, you’ll see a little bit of everything and hopefully can land somewhere in the middle with your ensemble. Our style experts at Southern Living have crafted the perfect formula to help you hit the sweet spot with your wedding guest attire every time—sans the risk of upstaging anyone. Here’s what you’ll need:
A floral frock
No matter the time of year, a romantic, floral dress is a wedding season staple, which you can fine-tune seasonally with the right accessories. It’s tempting to opt for one of the many gorgeous floor-length floral dresses on the market these days, but when dealing with a no-fuss, low-key couple, you’ll never want to chance upstaging the bride who very well may opt for herself or her bridesmaids to wear cocktail-length dresses.
Buy It: $106; asos.com
Comfortable flats or wedges.
Nobody likes retiring from a fabulous night out only to find that the heels of their favorite pair of stilettos are irreparably coated in mud after getting stuck in the grass. Additionally, there’s no better way to knock style points off your carefully crafted ensemble like less-than-gracefully wobbling around in too-high heels all evening. Instead, opt for a fun pair of flats or a trusted pair of wedges—but we’d advise not to agonize too much over this detail as they’ll likely soon be tossed to the edge of the dance floor.
Buy It: $190; shopbop.com
A casual, on-trend straw bag.
One of our editors’ very favorite summer trends has been the basket bag, which can be found in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Nothing exudes understated style sense like a straw bag in a modest size. Leave the beach bag at home and opt for a small circle bag—after all, you don’t need room for much beyond your cell phone, keys, wallet, and a smart shade of coral lipstick for touch-ups.
Buy It: $59; urbanoutfitters.com