What to Wear to a Summer Wedding – Formal Church

This is the first in a series of wedding blogs as I know so many women panic when that invitation drops through the letterbox. If no dress code is enclosed our immediate thought is “what do I wear?” usually followed swiftly by “how much is going to cost?” When I owned my boutiques dressing someone for a wedding was always fun; getting the complete look from dress or suit to accessories absolutely perfect. But I always recommend buying something that can be split up and worn again in different ways to get maximum cost per wear.

Your first consideration should always be to still be you whilst being appropriate for the occasion. Buying a dress that doesn’t feel comfortable will mean you will spend the day fidgeting and unable to really enjoy the occasion. Don’t go for high heels if you never usually wear them – you are likely to spend some time on your feet and the pictures shouldn’t have you with a pained expression because your feet are killing you!

For a traditional church wedding the dress is likely to be more formal especially if the men will be in morning suits. I would suggest either a suit (it doesn’t have to be matching) or a dress and jacket and a hat or fascinator. If you are the mother of the bride go for a hat – as a wedding guest you could do either.

If you aren’t used to wearing hats I would recommend trying on lots of styles in a department store to see which you feel the most comfortable with. Alternatively visit a hat hire shop if you don’t want to buy. Think about scale if you are petite a big full brimmed style will be too much for you, equally if you are a statuesque a tiny fascinator will look silly.

Below is a church wedding option for mother of the bride and a guest:

what to wear to church wedding

The blue floral dress can be worn again for a summer part with silver shawl and sandals, or under a navy jacket for a smart lunch. The silver jacket is a great basic in a neutral colour that could be worn for work or with sleeves rolled up with casual trousers for the weekend.

The white pattern dress would work for a summer garden party as well as for dressy holiday evenings.

cost per wear

So don’t despair if you have a wedding coming up – it is possible to buy an outfit that won’t be a one off wear. Future posts will include country house, beach, registry office and black tie.

If you have an outfit dilemma and would like me to find it for you contact me at Capsule Wardrobes.

Where to buy:

Blue floral dress from fenn Wright Manson, Silver grey jacket by Phase Eight, Blue suede shoes by L.K. Bennett, Clutch bag by Coast and Hat by Jacques Vert additional pieces for blue dress – pashmina by Pure Collection, Silver sandals by John Lewis, Navy jacket by Fenn Wright Manson

White dress by Vivienne Westwood Anglomania, Jacket by Ted Baker, Fascinator and Bag by Phase Eight, White court shoes by L.K. Bennett additional outfit pieces – Bolero by Phase Eight and Suede wedges by L.K. Bennett.


  1. May 10, 2013 / 5:02 pm

    Great post on Weddings – just attended one myself – lots of nude shoes! Some of your great outfits posts would work well for any special occasion.Thanks for the newsletter – I know the feeling re exam time of year re off springs. – been there and done it – and now they are studying Mandarin. …My son should be home soon from Berkeley uni in Cal. U.S.A.. Oh how to be young and starting out. Love your blog tips, so informative , and well laid out. Julia

    • Maria
      May 10, 2013 / 6:20 pm

      Thanks Julia for your support, sounds like we need to dare to be different if everyone else is wearing nude shoes! Wow how fantastic for your son I bet you will be glad to have him home. I’m dreading the day mine go.