Wedding Season What-to-Wear: Daytime Wedding

Let’s cover the daytime wedding for the second installment of the Wedding Season WTW series, shall we? (Click here for the post on outdoor weddings.)

In my world, daytime weddings and outdoor weddings are quite close on the How Dressed Up to Get? Scale. The main difference is you can/should get a smidge more formal for a daytime (i.e., indoor) wedding. The step up comes from the likelihood that while the ceremony itself happens during the day, the dinner/dancing often blend into the evening and nighttime hours.

Leave the super breezy fabrics (linen, anything gauzy, etc.) for the outdoor events, but still steer clear of something too heavy (tweed, for example). While a floaty cardigan works for an outdoor wedding, choose something more tailored as a layering piece for a daytime wedding (a blazer, a fitted cardi, etc.).

Jess and Ash

A few weekends back, I attended my first (of three) wedding of the season. Daytime event moving into dinner and dancing (I taught my boyfriend the Electric Slide; how he has lived 26 years in America and not learned it is completely beyond me). I grabbed a short, belted, watercolor print chiffon dress, nude platforms peep-toes and a black cropped tuxedo blazer.

I’m pictured here with my sister, who chose a tribal print halter dress. The look might have been a little too casual (read: beachy), but she wisely dressed it up with deep purple satin heels and a fitted black cardigan (which she took off; the dance hall got a bit hot).

Let’s see some other examples, yes?

Daytime Wedding

1. Victoria’s Secret ($98)
2. Delia’s ($45)
3. Victoria’s Secret ($48)
4. Banana Republic ($130)
5. Calvin Klein ($120)
6. Victoria’s Secret ($88)
7. Nanette Lepore ($300)
8. Banana Republic ($110)
9. Nanette Lepore ($350)

Feel free to get a little loud (print-wise) with your dress for a daytime wedding. Bright florals are classic (like this option from Delia’s [2]), while a palm tree print is punchy (Victoria’s Secret [1]). Your print options are pretty much endless– from polka dots with puff sleeves (Victoria’s Secret [3]), to vibrant brushstroke strapless (Calvin Klein [5]), to multicolored confetti (Nanette Lepore [7]).

Color-blocking in a shift dress (Banana Republic [8]) is another way to incorporate a pattern. The easy part about prints is that the print becomes the focus– you don’t need a funky hemline or an asymmetrical sleeve to make the dress interesting. All the print dresses featured above are simply and classically cut, which makes them easy to wear for a range of body types.

A dress with embellishments ups the formal factor. Maybe a studded neckline, like in the navy Victoria’s Secret dress (6), or a grommet detail, like in the lavender Nanette Lepore (9). Little touches like this toughen up airy fabrics, and make the whole look more interesting.

Belting a dress can both add a little individuality and highlight your waistline. The Victoria’s Secret (1) and Nanette Lepore (9) options use a fabric belt to add a wrap-feel, while the purple and white floral Banana Republic (4) gives great contrast with a tobacco leather belt.

I’m a stiletto girl, so my Internal Shoe Default always chooses heels. But for a daytime wedding, feel free to slip on a chic ballet flat or a cute (but dressy) gladiator sandal if sky-high isn’t your thing.

Thoughts? Which dress is your favorite?


  1. REALLY like the Calvin Klein [5] dress, may be a purchase in my near future! 🙂 Fun and flirty; love it.
    Love these posts! Cute pic of you and Jess! Keep ’em coming!
    You should do a WTW for tropical weddings, beach style! (We’re leaving for Jamaica in 3 weeks…)

  2. The #9 Nanette Lepore dress is sooo pretty- what a great color! And it looks comfortable too- like you could actually eat/drink without worrying about your dress suddenly getting too tight!

    Great post! I love this blog!

  3. Holle- you could totally rock a cute, airy strapless jersey dress for a beach wedding (I think I have few options in the WTW Outdoor Wedding post.) It’s going to hot and sticky in Jamaica, so you want to be comfy. Anything tight that doesn’t breathe is going to get real ugly real fast!

    Olivia- thanks for supporting the blog! I love that Nanette; wish it would go on sale… 🙂

  4. You and your sister look SO GORGEOUS in the picture! Great outfits, both of you!

    I really like this series- it’s so helpful! My favorite is dress 2- simple, great print, and great price!

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