How to Choose the Perfect Summer Wedding Dress

Payton posing in her blue summer wedding dress

Summer is without a doubt the peak of the wedding season and offers brides a wide variety of different styles to choose from. In this article, I’ll discuss some of the most important considerations you’ll want to make to choose the best summer wedding dress for your bridal vision.

Consider the Season

Summer is the season of warm weather and abundant beauty – from blooming flowers to golden sunsets – and your wedding gown should harmonize with this natural splendor.

Payton posing in her blue wedding gown
Payton posing in her blue summer wedding dress

Consider incorporating nature-inspired elements into your dress design. Delicate lace patterns reminiscent of trailing vines, intricate floral embroidery, or even subtle sea-inspired motifs can add a touch of whimsy and connect your ensemble with the beauty of the season.

High-low hems, bohemian details, and breathable fabrics ensure a perfect blend of style and practicality.

Consider the Venue

Whatever style of dress you ultimately choose, it is essential that it suits your wedding theme and is appropriate for the venue. 

Payton posing in her custom wedding dress
Payton sipping a cocktail in her summer wedding gown

Outdoor weddings are obviously popular during the warm summer months, so consider sleeveless or off-the-shoulder designs with minimal embellishments for comfort and natural elegance. 

For a garden wedding, you might consider a floral print that matches your wedding theme. 

Back view of Payton's summer wedding dress
Payton posing in her summer wedding gown

For beach weddings, a flowy and simple silhouette would be perfect to match the natural and laidback atmosphere.

If your wedding is taking place in a formal indoor venue, you might want to go for a more traditional and structured dress. 

Choose Breathable Fabrics

Light fabrics help keep you cool and comfortable under the summer sun on your Big Day. 

Payton walking in her blue wedding dress
Payton posing for a wedding portrait

Tulle is a popular choice for its breezy and delicate feel, creating a dreamy and ethereal look. Silk is another fantastic option as it is not only lightweight but also has a luxurious and elegant appearance, perfect for a romantic summer wedding. 

Payton twirling in her summer wedding dress
Detail shot of Payton's wedding gown

Chiffon is also a go-to fabric for summer wedding dresses as it is sheer, lightweight, and drapes beautifully, creating a soft and flowing silhouette. Satin, on the other hand, offers a slightly heavier feel but still provides a glamorous and stylish look.

A linen dress is a great choice for a more casual and relaxed summer wedding, as it is very lightweight and breathable. 

Payton posing in her summer wedding dress

Organza offers a crisp yet lightweight feel, providing a structured and sophisticated look for summer brides. 

Choose a Lightweight Design

Lightweight designs are not only practical for a summer wedding, but they also create a romantic and breezy feel that is perfect for the season. The right silhouette not only flatters your figure but also complements the overall theme of your wedding.

Masha posing in her summer bridal gown
Masha posing in her custom summer wedding dress

One popular option is an a-line silhouette dress, which is fitted at the top and gradually flares out towards the hemline. This style is not only elegant but also allows for easy movement and breathability. 

Another great choice is a slip dress, which is a simple and minimalistic design that flows effortlessly. The light and airy fabric of a slip dress is perfect for summer and can be paired with delicate accessories to create a chic and timeless look.

Masha posing in her custom summer wedding dress
Detail shot of Masha's summer wedding dress

Mermaid or fit-and-flare gowns can add a touch of drama and allure, perfect for a beachy coastal destination wedding.

A leg slit in the skirt is another trendy feature that  adds a playful element to the overall design while still maintaining an elegant aesthetic. Cutouts can add a touch of allure.

Masha posing in her custom summer wedding gown
Masha posing in her custom wedding dress

For those looking for a more casual dress with a relaxed vibe, a summer dress with an open back is a beautiful option. The open back adds a touch of sexiness and allows for some skin exposure, perfect for a summer wedding. 

For a bohemian summer vibe, consider a flowing empire-waist gown that captures the carefree spirit of the season.

Masha posing with a bouquet in her custom wedding dress
Masha posing in her custom summer wedding gown

Lastly, a convertible dress with a detachable train or overskirt offers versatility and practicality, allowing the bride to change up her look throughout the day.

Consider Sleeve Styles, Necklines and Length 

Popular styles for summer bridal dresses often employ shorter hemlines or a sleeveless design to provide some relief from the heat. Tea-length dresses are a fantastic option for more casual summer weddings, exuding vintage charm while keeping you cool.

Veronica walking in her short summer wedding dress
Veronica posing in her wedding dress

If you want a bit of coverage while still keeping cool and comfortable, flutter sleeves are a popular choice. These delicate and ethereal sleeves add a touch of romance and femininity to any dress. They provide a sense of movement and grace, making them perfect for a summer wedding gown.

Cap sleeves add a delicate touch, while short puff sleeves offer a bit more coverage without being too heavy.

Veronica sitting for a cocktail in her wedding dress
Veronica posing in her custom summer wedding dress

Necklines play a vital role in framing your face and showcasing your décolletage. A V-neckline, sweetheart neckline, halter or strapless neckline are popular choices for summer weddings. Just be mindful of your body type and personal comfort when selecting the one that suits you best.

Choose Colors with a Summer Vibe

Classic white and ivory are always timeless and elegant choices that never go out of style, making them a go-to option for many summer brides.

Veronica posing for a wedding portrait
Veronica dancing in her wedding dress

However, don’t hesitate to explore a variety of colors — softer pastel hues like blush, champagne, lavender, or light blue are excellent choices for summer. These colors evoke a sense of romance and freshness that aligns perfectly with the season.

Vibrant hues like coral, teal, or red are bold choices that are sure to make a statement. Ultimately, the color choice for a summer wedding dress should reflect the bride’s personal style and be appropriate for the wedding theme and venue. 

Focus on Comfort

As a custom bridal designer, I always tell my brides that the best dress is the one that fits perfectly. Comfort should never be compromised, especially for your summer bridal look. Comfort is the key to confidence, and you’ll look and feel your best in a comfortable, perfectly fitted wedding gown. 

Veronica posing in her short bridal gown
Detail of Veronica's wedding dress

Choose a dress with a breathable lining that prevents excessive sweating and chafing. Consider wearing a dress with a flowing silhouette that allows for movement and air circulation.

Additionally, select a design with minimal tiers and layers if you’ll be celebrating outdoors. If you choose a gown with a train, consider shorter train lengths or bustling options so you can move around freely.

Veronica posing in her short wedding dress
Veronica posing in her bridal gown

Finally, remember to wear appropriately lightweight undergarments that provide support and enhance the fit of your dress, ensuring you feel comfortable and confident throughout your special day. 

Pay Attention to the Details

Wedding gown features that are often seen in summer weddings include delicate straps, ruffles and intricately ruched skirts. These elements can add a touch of romance and femininity.

For brides seeking a touch of glam, embellishments such as sequins or crystals can be incorporated into the bodice and skirt design. 

Many brides opt for a more minimalist approach to achieve a simple elegance. To incorporate a touch of nature, fresh flowers can be used as embellishments, either delicately placed in the hair or adorning the gown itself. 

Taylor looking lovely in her lace and tulle wedding dress
Taylor showing off her wedding gown

Floral appliqués are another popular choice for summer weddings. Whether it’s a subtle scattering of flowers or intricate floral lace patterns, these appliqués can enhance the overall look of the gown. 

Accessorize Lightly

Summer wedding dresses often benefit from a lighter touch when it comes to accessories. Choose delicate jewelry pieces that complement the intricacy of your dress without overpowering it. Consider natural materials such as pearls, crystals, or even seashell-inspired embellishments to add a touch of seasonal charm.

Taylor posing in her custom wedding dress
Taylor descending stairs in her wedding gown

Enhance your wedding look with a flowing, lightweight veil that adds a touch of ethereal elegance without weighing you down. Consider a floral crown or delicate hairpins adorned with miniature blooms to embrace the romance of the season.

If you’re having an outdoor ceremony or reception, consider wedges or flats to ensure stability and prevent sinking into grass or sand when you walk. If you’re having a beach wedding, embrace the laid-back vibe with dainty sandals or even go barefoot for a natural and carefree feel.

Go Custom

If you can’t find the perfect dress to express your unique style off the rack, think about working with a custom wedding dress designer to realize your wedding vision. Especially if you are already considering designer dresses, you may find having a dress designed just for you to be more affordable than you would expect. 

The bodice of Taylor's dress features hand sewn embroidered lace
Taylor and Ian in a romantic pose

If you’ve never had the experience of having a dress custom designed, now is definitely the right time to do it! You’ll not only be guaranteed a perfect fit, but you’ll also have a fun and luxurious experience that will make your wedding journey truly memorable.

Custom wedding dress designer Angela Kim

Why trust Angela?

Angela Kim has worked in fashion internationally for over 20 years. She created Angela Kim Couture in 2017 and now specializes exclusively in custom wedding dress design.

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