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A Wedding Is a Great Excuse to Break Free of the Boring Black Dress

We’re approaching peak wedding season, and if a fridge covered in save-the-dates with vague dress codes like “beach chic” fills you with panic about having nothing to wear, worry not. The Cut’s devoting a full week to making it easier to get dressed when it seems like you’re spending every other weekend raising a glass to the happy couple.

As much as everyone likes to complain about wedding season being stressful, time consuming, and expensive, it’s also pretty fun. Think about it: How often do you get to dance with all of your friends at the same time? Post-college, it’s nearly impossible to coordinate schedules and it takes a special occasion to rally the group. It’s also a great excuse to go all out and get really dressed up. You could go the route of buying one dress to last you all season, but maybe you just want to splurge on one, fun memorable dress for a particularly special night. Here are 13 fun, festive suggestions for every budget.


While this dress is pretty modest (long sleeves, midi length), the sheerness and oversized flowers keep it youthful.


A daytime wedding is a great reason to wear a fun, summery print like gingham. Add espadrilles and colorful earrings for a low-key but pulled-together outfit.


For the minimalist who wants to dabble in color, forest green is the ideal next step from black.


Just think about the slow-motion Instagram-story opportunities with this swishy fringed dress.

Bold polka dots make this the most versatile of the bunch: add flat sandals for a beach wedding, nude heels for a daytime affair, or try metallic stilettos to take it black-tie.


In a sea of black, lilac is one way to stand out. The ruffles and off-the-shoulder detail make it especially festive and on-trend.

This gold slip dress would make anyone feel like a goddess, but more importantly will get you all the likes on Instagram for under $200.


Sitting through a ceremony in the hot sun is much easier when you’re wearing a lightweight, pleated silky dress. Take a cue from the way Aritzia styled it and try head-to-toe red.


So your friends are doing something low-key like a dinner instead of a big party? Try a breezy off-the-shoulder dress with lace-up sandals so you look appropriate without upstaging the bride.


We’re huge fans of caftans — you don’t need to cram yourself into Spanx plus a too-tight dress to be stylish. Just add gold sandals, some fanciful earrings, and you’re good to go.

For an over-the-top fancy wedding, don’t go too crazy. Try a elegant dress in a beautiful yellow – the color ensures you’re memorable.

Want something a little more fashion-forward? This black-and-navy dress with subtle see-through panels and a ruffled mini skirt is leaps away from your standard strapless mini.


This dress features giant, colorful florals so technically it’s not wearing white to a wedding. Pair it with neutral accessories since it’s so eye-catching.

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A Wedding Is A Great Excuse to Wear a Fun Dress