Need semi formal wedding attire suggestions? Here’s the etiquette for one of the most popular wedding dress codes! See the best semi formal wedding guest dresses 2022 has to offer in colors, styles, and lengths… plus a giveaway! Read on + subscribe for the latest to your inbox!
We have you covered if you’re looking for semi-formal summer wedding attire, fall, winter, or spring! This list of the best guest dresses for semi-formal weddings will delight and inspire you to dress the best and make a beautiful entrance at your next reception.
PLUS, we’re offering a fun little giveaway in this post at the bottom, so after you browse the guest dress suggestions, enter for a chance to win.
For 2022 we’re seeing many new trends and styles for wedding guest dresses; semi-formal attire is right in line with all of them! From midi to maxi, this dress code is one of my very favorites. It’s not too fancy, but it’s not laid-back, either. Let’s kick off this post with a wedding question submitted by a reader inspired this article, Madeline, who wants to know what semi-formal attire is in order to dress for a wedding in a few short weeks.
Semi Formal Dresses for Wedding Guest
“Hi Emmaline Bride, I’m going to a wedding and the invitation has a dress code that says semi-formal attire. What kind of semi formal guest dress do you recommend? Is semi-formal the same as cocktail? Thank you!”
Hi Madeline! Great questions! I like the question about cocktail vs semi-formal wedding attire. I think that is a question many people wonder when they receive an invitation, wondering what the big difference really is. In this blog post, I’ll (hopefully!) answer all of your questions on wedding dress codes for semi-formal attire and dive right into the best semi-formal wedding guest dresses you’ll LOVE to wear in 2022 and 2023.
Is semi formal attire the same as cocktail?
What’s 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 more 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 Wedding Attire: Female
Women should wear one of the following:
• Cocktail dress
• Maxi dress
• Midi dress
Pair the attire with:
• Dressy heels, wedges, sandals, or formal flats
I love these black peep toe booties as one example:
and finish the look with:
• Clutch bag or small purse
Now that you know what the dress code etiquette is, let’s go dress shopping! One of the best places to shop for a semi-formal dress is Lulus. We find they have an incredible selection of affordable attire foe very kind of wedding. Here are some of our favorite guest dresses to wear to a semi formal wedding this year.
Semi Formal Dresses for Wedding Guest
1. Bodycon Midi Dress, $62
This strappy dress fits the bill for a semi formal event! Love the color options available (that deep green shade 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. Blush Midi Dress with One-Shoulder, $78
When in doubt, go with the blush one-shoulder guest dress shown here! It’s cute and fun for dancing! Available 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 2022 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. Slate Blue in Satin, $48
This fun wedding guest attire features a pretty slate blue color that shimmers and shines in luxe satin. Buy it 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. Wrap Dress, $64
Put on this wrap dress and go! It’s the perfect semi formal wedding guest dress and is available in a few different colors here.
12. Cut-Out Maxi Dress, $89
Wear this beautiful dress to the reception and dance the night away! It features a rounded neckline, cut outs on the sides, and a long, flowy maxi skirt. Perfect! Buy 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.
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. Short Dusty Purple Cross Neckline, $48
Wear this short skater skirt dress to your reception in this pretty shade of dusty purple. I like the cross-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 prettiest guest dresses 2022 has to offer and is amazing for a semi formal event! Get it here.
37. Flowy Maxi Dress, $74
What do you wear to a semi formal wedding? This! This dress features a strappy v-neckline and flowy skirt. Other colors are available, too!
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.
46. Cowl Neck Strappy Dress, $112
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.
And there you have it: the best dresses to wear to a semi formal wedding. Which one will YOU wear? Tell us in the comment box below. We’d love to hear from you!
NOW — let’s do a giveaway!
Want to win a $50 gift card to Lulus toward a dress of your own, shoes, earrings, anything you want?! Enter for your chance to win below!
-Enter between 9/12/22-9/27/22 (11:59pm EST)
-Prize: $50 Lulus Gift Card (Delivered Digitally) | Sponsored by Emmaline Bride, not sponsored by Lulus
-Prize value: Gift Card, No Cash Value
-Use entry form below to enter
-Winner randomly selected on 9/28 and announced on this blog post
-Winner must respond to winning email within 3 business days or new winner will be selected
That black jumpsuit is so cute!! #6 AND #23 sooo pretty!
Obsessed with all the dresses! Especially the rare beauty navy blue backless dress!
Lulus dresses are always so classy, yet affordable!
My favorite is definitely the “Darling Daylily Black Floral Print High-Low Maxi Dress”! Definitely the most flattering for my type of figure, and the prints are elegant!
I like the mustard yellow floral dress with ruffles!
I am obsessed with the neckline / fit of the Burgundy Lace Tier Dress (50)!
The blue spaghetti strap like really nice and elegant.
My favorite dress is Cowl Neck Strappy Dress
They’re all gorgeous, but the sage flutter maxi is *it*
So Flirty Burgundy One-Shoulder Cutout Asymmetrical Dress!!!
My favorite dress is number twenty-two (Burgundy Floral Print Maxi). I’m a sucker for a print and that would be perfect to wear to a fall weeding
I’m a sucker for 35 and 38, both classy!
11. Wrap Dress
. Mauve Wrap Dress Love the color
I absolutely love #9 the Dark Green Velvet because I love green velvet and its sexy without being too sexy!
My favorite is the flutter sleeve maxi dress!
Who can go wrong with a little black dress like “The Essential Little Black Dress, $72?” Stylish, beautiful, and sophisticated!
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