Wondering what to wear to a semi-formal wedding? You’ve come to the right place! In this blog post, we’ll discuss the best semi-formal wedding guest dresses so you can look your best, while picking appropriate semi-formal guest attire. We’ll cover the essentials to finding a great semi-formal dress, which colors and lengths work best, and make sure you are confident in what to wear to the wedding.
We’ll also show you 50 of the best semi formal wedding guest dresses of 2023 so you will look incredibly stylish. We have you covered if you’re looking for summer wedding attire, fall, winter, or spring: we’re featuring all of the seasons. :)
Let’s get started!
What is Semi Formal Attire?
If you receive an invitation to be a guest at a semi formal wedding in the evening, here’s excatly what to wear. Keep in mind the term “semi-formal” is just a hint less formal than “cocktail” attire.
Semi Formal Wedding Attire: Female
Women should wear one of the following types of outfits to a semi-formal wedding, according to proper dress code etiquette.
You may be wondering the difference between semi-formal and cocktail attire. The main rule of thumb is that semi-formal guest attire is just a hint less formal than cocktail. However, some people do use the term interchangeably so you’ll see many overlapping styles in this space.
You’ll find some slightly laidback or casual attire in semi-formal, like maxi dresses for a beach or outdoor wedding, as well as pantsuits or jumpsuits like these for guests.
Semi-Formal Attire: Men
Men should wear:
It’s easy for men: semi-formal attire means you should wear a dark suit whether the wedding is held in the evening or in the daytime. Pair your suit with a nice shiny pair of dress shoes, a fitted dress shirt and a necktie. Don’t forget a matching linen pocket square!
Now that you know what the dress code etiquette is, let’s go shopping! Here are the top guest dress styles to wear to a semi formal wedding for 2023, all year long.
Best Semi-Formal Wedding Guest Dresses 2023
1. Blush Pink One-Shoulder Midi, $76 (on sale today, $60.80!)
This strappy dress fits the bill for a semi formal event! Love the color options available (that blush pink is calling my name!) Get it here.
2. Exquisite Floor-Length in Plum, $79
Strappy with a cowl neck? Gorgeous! Love this rich shade of plum and the floor-length skirt, both very “of the moment”. See it here.
3. Sage Green Lace Dress, $89
New for 2023 wedding season, this midi-length lace dress is cute and fun for dancing! Get it here.
4. Dark Green Midi Dress, $72
A style like this goes with any theme, any dress code, and any season. I love the length (midi ftw!) and the color is beautiful for this time of year. It’s one of the most popular wedding guest dresses 2023 consistently sees in these lists, so if you want a fan-favorite, this is it! Buy here.
5. Strappy One-Shoulder Dress in Satin, $72
Gorgeous dress for a semi formal wedding! Navy goes with everything and this length is great for an afternoon or evening wedding. No wonder it has so many positive reviews! See it here.
6. The Essential Little Black Dress, $72
Do you have the perfect LBD in your closet? If not, get one — and might we suggest this pretty little number? It’s the perfect semi formal wedding guest dress in every way: it has a sleeveless neckline, squared off neck and backline, straps, and a nice length. See it now.
7. Backless Long Sleeve Guest Dress, $48
For under $50, you can get this affordable semi formal wedding guest dress in black and silver with a rounded neckline and open back. Buy now.
8. Mini Green Dress with Tie Straps, $59
What a cute dress to wear to a wedding! Love this green color for summer and the tie straps. Buy here.
9. Dark Green Velvet, $49
For velvet, this dress is probably one of my top picks ever. I love the strappy neckline and the velvety material, the length, and the way this dress makes you want to get up and rock the dance floor! It is one of the most popular winter wedding guest dresses, too. Get it from here.
10. Floral Print High-Low Maxi Dress, $69
This high-low maxi is perfect for the wedding guest who doesn’t want to wear a solid color, but rather a pretty floral pattern with just the right cut for a semi-formal event. Get it now!
11. Trumpet Hem Hot Pink Summer Guest Dress, $69
Go bright in this shade of pink, one of the top trends this season! This is one of the best semi-formal guest dresses 2023 has to offer and it has a sweet feminine trumpet hem. Buy here.
12. Jacquard Tie-Strap Midi, $72
Wear this beautiful dress to the reception and dance the night away! It has a lovely dusty blue color and stylish jacquard fabric with tie straps and a midi length. See it here.
13. Long Sleeve Floral Print Dress, $59
Here’s another dress to sweep you off of your feet! It has the best of both worlds for a cool fall or winter wedding: long sleeves but a knee length skirt. Perfect! See it here.
14. One-Shoulder Cut Out Asymmetrical Dress, $72
Get compliments when you walk into the room with this on-trend dress! It features some of the best attributes in a semi formal guest dress: a midi length, cut-out neckline, one-shoulder, and an asymmetrical hem. A fan-favorite for sure! Shop here.
15. Off-The-Shoulder Ruffle Midi, $62
Ooh, I love this dress! It is a beautiful choice for wedding guest attire any time of day or year. It has an off-the-shoulder neckline and a feminine little ruffle on the midi-length hem. Buy here.
16. Floral Tulip Skirt, $68
This pretty tulip skirt dress goes with everything and has an amazing color palette set with navy blue in the background. This is one of my favorites for semi formal guest attire. Shop here.
Also loving it in red:
17. Short Royal Blue Dress, $58
This short royal blue guest dress is short, strappy, and a lot of fun to wear! Get it here.
18. Magenta Maxi, $89
Wear this flowy chiffon dress to your reception in this pretty shade of magenta. I like the v-neckline for a unique look!
19. Long Wrap Maxi Dress, $79
Is this the prettiest shade of blue you’ve ever seen?! I think so. I like this maxi skirt length and the short sleeves on this, one of the most perfect semi formal guest dress suggestions on this entire list, IMO! Get it here.
20. Backless Dress with Lace, $70
A short shift dress in lace is a perfect attire option for a semi formal wedding! You can get it here.
21. Long Cut-Out Sleeves Dress in Navy Blue, $50
Dance at the reception in this pretty dress, which features a short length and long sleeves (but with cut-outs for a stylish twist!) Get it here.
22. Burgundy Floral Print Maxi, $72
This stylish dress has a pretty burgundy print with flowers and a long sleeve for fall and winter weddings! Perfect as a guest dress for semi formal weddings. Buy it here.
23. Wide Leg Jumpsuit, $64
Can you wear a jumpsuit to a semi formal wedding? Absolutely! Here’s one you’ll love in classic black. Buy here.
24. Stylish Bodycon Dress with Ruffle Sleeves, $59
Va-va-voom! This dress is a cute option for a semi formal wedding with a short length, ruffle sleeves, and a high neckline. Dance the evening away in this one! Shop here.
25. Elbow Sleeve Lace Dress, $62
This picture-perfect dress has lace elbow-length sleeves and a high neckline. Super stylish! Buy it here.
26. Long Sleeve Wrap Maxi, $78
Ooh, this is a pretty dress! I love the floral print and pop of purple! Long sleeves make it a perfect semi formal wedding guest dress for fall and winter. Buy here.
27. Blue Floral Velvet Tiered Dress, $94
A velvet tiered dress like this one will make a lovely reception dress! It’s brand new and already beloved by reviewers. Get yours here.
28. Short Strappy Dress, $68
Short, strappy, and ultra-flattering! Love it in green. Get yours now.
29. Terracotta Long-Length Dress, $88
This pretty dress has a faux-wrap style and a pretty color in one of the season’s top shade: terracotta! Get it here.
30. Wrap Dress with Maxi Skirt, $79
I mentioned this one in #19 above in blue, but it’s also so gorgeous in burgundy I’m sharing this one, too! Get it here.
31. Cut Out Dress, $48
This has a high neckline and cut outs on the side. Shown in black. Stylish! See it here.
32. Long Sleeve Smocked Dress, $72
Wear this fun dress to your semi formal wedding! It’s so cute with the balloon sleeves and floral pattern. See it here.
33. Smocked Skater Dress, $79
If you want a high neckline, long balloon sleeves, and a smocked skirt, you’ll LOVE this semi formal wedding guest dress! Buy it now.
34. Magenta Asymmetrical Tulip Midi Dress, $68
If you’re looking for a satin wedding guest dress for a semi-formal event, this one is a beautiful choice. It has one strap, one off-the-shoulder, and a unique asymmetrical hemline. Buy here.
35. Dress with Drop Sleeves, $88
An off-the-shoulder dress, flowy chiffon, and maxi skirt makes this dress a dream come true! Buy now.
36. Long-Sleeve Cut Out Mini Dress, $68
This is one of the best semi-formal guest dresses for fall 2023. Get it here.
37. Lavender Tiered Midi Dress, $69
Lovely in lavender! The tiers on this pretty dress and the v-neckline are perfect. See it here.
38. Off-The-Shoulder Bodycon Midi Dress, $58
I want this dress in my own closet! I love the color and the silhouette. The length is perfection. One of my top semi formal wedding guest dress picks this year. Shop now.
39. Floral Ruffly Dress, $84
The dress shown here is in burgundy with floral jacquard and cute ruffles. One strap is ruffled and the other is thin for a fun unique twist! Get it now.
40. Scalloped V-Neck Bodycon, $49
A little black dress for a semi formal! The scalloped edges make it extra unique. Buy now.
41. Floral Plum Long Sleeve Skater Dress, $72
Cute! Get this dress here.
42. Mustard Yellow Floral Dress with Ruffles, $79
Love this mock neck dress! See this dress here.
43. Flutter Sleeve Maxi Dress, $94
This easy, breezy dress is perfect in sage, as shown, with flutter sleeves and a flowy skirt. Get it here.
44. Navy Floral with Short Sleeves, $59
Love this combination: long sleeves and a short skirt! The floral print is fabulous. See it now.
45. Floral Chiffon Maxi, $89
I’ll file this under one of the dresses I need to get ASAP. :) Cute! Buy it now.
A cowl neck, cowl back, straps, and long length! This dress has it all in brilliant emerald green. Shop here.
47. Mauve Wrap Dress, $64
This cute dress features a pretty mauve color, a chic wrap style, and elbow-length sleeves. Get it here.
48. Glamorous Black Jumpsuit, $82
I adore the rhinestones on this stylish pantsuit! Shop here.
49. Tie-Strap Pleated Midi Dress, $82
This emerald green dress has pretty pleats, stylish tie-straps, and a midi length. It’s essentially perfect! Buy now.
50. Burgundy Lace Tiered Dress, $92
This burgundy dress with lace tiers is one of the best wedding guest dresses for semi formal dress codes! It’s perfectly pretty from day to night and is available in other colors, too. Buy here.
Accessories for the Perfect Semi-Formal Look
To create the perfect look, make sure you complete your outfit with the proper shoes and accessories.
Women should wear:
• Dressy heels, wedges, sandals, or formal flats
A pair of ankle strap heels (these are available in MANY colors here) practically go with everything! There’s a perfect option and they only cost $32!
and finish the look with:
Which Colors and Styles Work Best for Semi-Formal Outfits
When you’re deciding which color guest outfit to wear, choose something based on season. Spring and summer give way to floral prints and patterns, pastels in the spring or bright colors in the summer months. Choose a fabric that is breathable and flowy for warmer months. In the fall and winter, opt for rich hues and jewel tones, longer lengths, and thicker fabric for warmth and texture, like velvet or satin.
Where to Shop for Every Body Type
For every body type and size, we highly recommend Lulu’s: they offer an affordable collection of guest outfits in all shapes and sizes up to 3X. Browse here.
And there you have it: the best dresses to wear to a semi formal wedding. Now… let’s do a giveaway!
Want to win a $50 gift card to Lulus toward a dress of your own, shoes, earrings, or anything you want? Now’s the time to get something fresh for spring! Enter for your chance to win below!
-Enter between 4/3/23-4/18/23 (11:59pm EST)
-Prize: $50 Lulus Gift Card (Delivered Digitally) | Sponsored by Emmaline Bride
-Prize value: Gift Card
-No Cash Value
-Use entry form below to enter
-Winner randomly selected on 4/19 and announced on this blog post
-Winner must respond to winning email within 3 business days or new winner will be selected