The Best Autumn Wedding Guest Dresses And Jumpsuits

These choices will see you through the darker seasons.

autumn wedding guest dress

by Hannah Banks-Walker and Megan Doyle |
Updated on

From tropical destination weddings to a three-day festival - for every couple opting for an alternative wedding, there are dozens of perplexed, stressed-out guests unsure of what to pack as their wedding guest outfit, especially when it comes to a winter wedding or for an autumn wedding guest dress. The wedding industry is in a constant state of flux, but even the experts agree that in the last few years, there's been a major shift towards less traditional celebrations of marriage.

'Brides tend to opt for more effortless, comfortable looks rather than structured princess gowns,' explains Kate Halfpenny, the designer behind wedding dressmaker Halfpenny London. 'Guests are no longer expected to wear their favourite fancy floral frock or an oversized hat.'

autumn wedding guest dresses - gettyimages
©getty images

In terms of colour choices, Lucy Hume ofDebrett's believes that certain shades are still off-limits. 'It doesn't matter how casual the wedding, white and cream are still no-go colours for guests,' she says. 'Black can look too sombre, so should generally be avoided unless combined with lighter colours.' While monochrome is still a wedding no-no, green wedding guest dresses have seen a revived interest for spring and summer, and there's no reason why we won't see them for autumn or winter. Although for the change in season, you may want to opt for a richer palette when choosing your autumn wedding guest dress.

What should you wear to a wedding in September?
©getty images

Grazia's Top Autumn Wedding Guest Dresses At A Glance:

Best velvet autumn wedding guest dress: Net-A-Porter, RIXO Simone Lace-Trimmed Velvet Dress (£189) - Buy on Net-A-Porter

Best satin autumn wedding guest dress: Net-A-Porter, Button-Embellished Ruffled Satin-Piqué Gown (£1,194) - Buy on Net-A-Porter

Best midi autumn wedding guest dress: Sister Jane, Earl Grey Midi Dress (£89) - Buy on Sister Jane

If you're looking for the perfect autumn wedding guest dress or a winter trouser suit wedding guest outfit that you can wear throughout the season, shop our recommended pick below. Classic choices for autumn and winter wedding guest dresses include velvet, of course - as well as deeper tones we wouldn't usually see in spring or summer. Accessorise with a statement bag or shoe, possibly incorporating the current trend of pearls and bows - and you're well and truly good to go.

SHOP: The Best Autumn Wedding Guest Dresses And Jumpsuits

Best velvet autumn wedding guest dress

The Simone dress takes vintage elements totally up to date, featuring a fresh steel blue hue. This RIXO Simone Lace-Trimmed Velvet Dress is highly sought after, and it's clear to see why.

Best satin autumn wedding guest dress

Reem Acra's Button-Embellished Ruffled gown is at once elegant and refined, making it a perfect choice for your next formal event. Cut from magenta satin-piqué, it fits slim through the bodice before falling to a floor-length skirt with generous side splits.

Best midi autumn wedding guest dress

Ideal for an autumn wedding, this Earl Grey midi dress from Sister Jane features a high neckline, ruffled sleeves and a high low hem. The shimmery woven fabric is sure to brighten up any grey day.

Best dark autumn wedding guest dress

Made with a satin blend finish, the Elle dress from Ghost in this deep shade of orchid bloom would be fitting for a winter wedding - there are also duck egg and soft blue shades to choose from.

Best autumn wedding guest jumpsuit

Olive is a colour we'll be seeing everywhere for autumn/winter 2023, so this Paisie velvet knot-waist jumpsuit is a perfect choice. Inspired by vintage glamour, this suit will have you feeling comfortable throughout the day.

SHOP: The Best Autumn Wedding Accessories

Looking for the perfect pair of earrings or mini handbags to go with your autumn look? Here's our edit of the best accessories, including wedding guest bags and shoes, to match perfectly.

These earrings from Anissa Kermiche have a shell-shaped post with a straight spacer bar, then suspend statement unique baroque pearls. Choose them to bring subtle movement to your daily edits.

Accessorise your outfit with a delicate velvet hair bow from Jennifer Behr. In classic shades of black and rouge or more unique colour choices of moss and Prussian - you could really make this the focal point of your outfit.

Le Monde Beryl's Italian-made dark green Mary Jane pumps are exquisitely crafted from plush velvet and then set on a statement block heel. One to snap up and wear again and again.

With a head-turning sculptural midi-heel and straps encrusted with gems, these versatile Charles & Keith black slip-on mules are both easy on the eyes and your feet.

You shouldn't have to sacrifice warmth for style, so finish your outfit with an oversized faux-fur coat to drape over your shoulders. Classic, timeless and elegant, this Farfetch Notched-Collaar Faux-Fur coat will be a winter staple for years to come.

Pearls are just perfect for a wedding, so why not complete your look with the Gitta headband from Jennifer Behr? Made by hand in New York from glass pearls on a thin and flexible steel headband wrapped in Japanese ribbon.

What Should I Wear For An Autumn Wedding Guest Dress?

Lucy Hume of Debrett's explains: 'For casual, I read smart-casual – so cropped, floaty trousers or a tailored trouser suit would be perfect,' says Young. 'I also like a shirt with rolled-up sleeves tucked into a skirt – but wear flats or block mid-heels rather than high heels.' When paired with flats or a kitten heel, even the fanciest dresses become casual wedding - and dancefloor-friendly. Look to contemporary brands like Malone Souliers or Charles & Keith for a variety of options.

Casting director Holly Scott Lidgett found herself in this situation - unsure of how to balance the fine line of casual and over-dressed. 'Weddings are for feeling fabulous, so I struggled to achieve this and remain casual,' she says. 'In the end, I nailed it with a crisp white tee tucked into a flowing, satin midi skirt sitting high on the waist.'

If you're running short on shopping time, get creative. Adding accessories to a simple white shirt and midi skirt can elevate a simple outfit. 'You can repurpose something you already own by adding statement accessories,' says Halfpenny. Mini bags for a wedding have been all the rage for the last few seasons - thanks Jacquemus - which means there are so many great alternatives to the battered satin clutch you've had since your teens. London brand Shrimps has got you covered with its pint-sized, pearl-covered bags.

The experts agree that for outdoor or day-to-night occasions, a well-tailored blazer or light jacket is a must to be both comfortable and venue-appropriate. 'If it's a church wedding, shoulders should be covered,' says Hume. 'So take a jacket that you can drape over your shoulders if your dress is strappy or strapless.' Lidgett agrees: 'A chic, well-cut blazer can effortlessly dress down even your most fabulous dress.' she says.

Hannah Banks-Walker is the Head of Fashion Commerce for Grazia, where she waxes lyrical about midi dresses and tries not to collect any more red lipsticks.

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