What to Sew to Wear to a Wedding

Are you going to a wedding this spring or summer? One of our Twitter followers suggested we write a post on what to make to wear to a wedding, and we thought that was a pretty good idea, since we’re heading into peak wedding season.

The biggest thing to consider when deciding how to dress for a wedding is what type of wedding it is. Most spring and summer weddings fall into one of these four categories: daytime informal, beach or casual, semi-formal, formal or black-tie. Scroll down for our pattern suggestions for each category.

What to sew to wear to a wedding. On the McCall Pattern Company blog.
Butterick B6349, McCall’s M7350, Vogue® Patterns V1499

Daytime informal wedding: Think sundresses in lightweight cottons, linens, georgettes and jerseys for summer weddings. Pants, especially wide-leg styles, look chic in silks and crepes; pair with a matching tunic top.

What to sew to wear to a wedding. On the McCall Pattern Company blog.
Vogue Patterns V1502, McCall’s M7384, Butterick B6344.

Beach or casual wedding: Sundresses or maxi dresses are perfect for more relaxed weddings. Again, choose lightweight cottons, linens, georgettes and jerseys for summer weddings. Jumpsuits and pants are also appropriate, especially when you go for a loose and flow-y look rather than tailored.

What to sew to wear to a wedding. On the McCall Pattern Company blog.
Vogue Patterns V1486, McCall’s M7318, Butterick B6129

Semi-formal weddings: Cocktail dresses are in order here. Look for silks, shantungs, satins, laces and crepes, and allow yourself enough construction time in case you need to sew linings or more advanced details. “Black tie optional” weddings also can mean cocktail dress attire.

What to sew to wear to a wedding. On the McCall Pattern Company blog.
McCall’s M7047, Vogue Patterns V1474, Butterick B5987

Formal or black tie weddings: Wear your dressiest cocktail attire (short dress) or opt for a long dress. Use the same kinds of fabrics as for semi-formal attire, but think about adding beaded trims or appliqués for extra glam.

Looking for more pattern suggestions? Check out our “What to Wear to a Wedding” pin board:

Follow The McCall Pattern Company’s board What to Wear to a Wedding on Pinterest.

8 comments
  1. Afternoon wedding in June in Jacksonville, Florida. The bride advises all the female family members to wear “a sundress and a fabulous hat. It’s Florida. It’s summertime. It will be steamy hot.”

    Am certainly not going to wear any pantyhose to this wedding!

  2. Thank you! I have a wedding in August to go to and I love the excuse to make an extra nice dress.

  3. Great suggestions, I have informal wedding to attend this summer, I will just have to whip a dress for the occasion.

  4. You know I’ve been thinking about this topic too – but I’m thinking what fun cocktail hat am I going to wear with the dress I’m going to sew? Brits are known for wearing hats to weddings, Americans not so much. Next wedding I’m going to I’m going to have a little fun with hats. 🙂

  5. Thanks for the dress ideas

  6. I’m not sure I’ll get away with any of them. Suggestions for us chaps?

    1. As long as you don’t accidentally wear what the wedding party is wearing, you could always do a seersucker suit in blue or gray, in a classic cut. Put on a colored Oxford-cloth button-down shirt, and a bowtie, and find some spectator shoes that don’t make anyone’s eyes bleed to see you wearing.

  7. Loved this post! Please, please do something similar for fall/winter weddings.

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