Are Maxi Dresses Appropriate For An Afternoon Wedding? (2024)


May 22, 2017

Dear Deborah,

I’m going to a summer afternoon wedding, and I’d like to wear a maxi dress. Is that o.k. and what kind should I choose for a wedding? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Melissa

Are Maxi Dresses Appropriate For An Afternoon Wedding? (1)

Hi Melissa,

A maxi dress is a beautiful choice for an afternoon wedding, but here’s the catch. You have to be careful you don’t pick a maxi that is 1) too casual or 2) too sexy for the affair.

Like this white striped maxi (right), Maxi dresses are more suited to lounging by the pool and would look totally out of sync at a wedding. The tank top style, the casual cotton fabric, and the sporty stripes make this maxi far too relaxed for such an important celebration. The celebration calls for more elegant maxi dresses for weddings, made from flowy fabric silk, jersey, or chiffon.

Are Maxi Dresses Appropriate For An Afternoon Wedding? (2)

Choose a Classy Maxi Dress

Maxi dresses that are too sexy or edgy don’t work either. Steer clear of maxis with plunging necklines, thigh-high slits, or peek-a-boo cutouts. These look like you are desperate for attention and make it look like you are trying to upstage the bride.

Animal prints like leopard or python look tacky at a romantic wedding ceremony. Save an edgy maxi for your next co*cktail party. A bit of beading on this dress is fine, but too much shine or sequins are overkill, especially for an afternoon wedding.

Are Maxi Dresses Appropriate For An Afternoon Wedding? (3)

If you are wearing a sleeveless or bare or one-shoulder detail, think about bringing a wrap to the church. More formal places of worship expect you to cover your shoulders/arms during the service out of respect.

Best Women’s Maxi Dresses for Weddings in the Afternoon?

  • Floral Maxi Dresses for weddings are always an excellent and appropriate choice this time of year. They are feminine and fitting for a wedding.
  • Modern Prints – a Modern graphic print can look lovely, especially in bright colors.
  • Caftans can also work if you are a bigger gal who wants to cover up—just no Hawaiian muumuus.
  • Dresses that Flow and Move – You will be walking and swishing around on the dance floor. Get something feminine.
  • Black and White– When in doubt Black and White is always a classy choice. Keep the White to a Minimum.

Are Maxi Dresses Appropriate For An Afternoon Wedding? (4)

Petite? Keep this in Mind when Choosing a Maxi Dress

Since you are only 5’3″, Melissa suggests you avoid maxis with little or no shape because they will drown you. Petite women need to choose Petite maxi dresses for more proportionate weddings. Look for styles that sit close to the body and have a defined waist. The defined waist can even be higher, such as an empire waist.

Are Maxi Dresses Appropriate For An Afternoon Wedding? (5)

What Type of Maxi Dress to Wear to a Beach Wedding?

If you are attending a beach wedding or an outdoor wedding, you have a little more leeway, and you can go slightly more casual with your maxi and more colorful. Try corals, turquoise, sky blues, and soft shell pinks. You may want to wear pretty sandals and not heels by the beach.

Are you looking for long sleeve maxi dresses for weddings? Check these out!

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Are Maxi Dresses Appropriate For An Afternoon Wedding? (2024)
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