Wedding Dresses for Guests - Under $50!

Boy do I have a real treat for you folks today. We have an amazing guest blogger here to help you think through how to look amazing at your next wedding without breaking the bank. She will help you look like a million without spending a million!

Sydney Lester, is the Founder and Chief Stylist at Chic Stripes, a Richmond, Virginia-based personal styling company that creates wardrobes to reflect your life + style. Here's what she has to say!

It’s nearing the end of June and by now we are deep into wedding season, but more than likely, you still have a few more weddings to attend this summer and into the fall. If you are like most guests, you’ve got dress fatigue, both in trying to rework pieces you already own and in buying new dresses, and spending loads of money, in an attempt to keep things fresh. Today, I’ve done the heavy lifting for you and have rounded up some of my favorite wedding appropriate dresses - for under $50 (or nearly!) - and provided a few easy styling tips to help you choose a dress that looks expensive, even when it’s not.


     Know your setting - the very first thing you should do when searching for a dress is know what kind of wedding you’ll be attending - indoors, outdoors? Morning, afternoon, evening? Grass, beach, or dance hall? These things will help set the tone for the dress you choose and how you will accessorize it.

     Sales count - a great way to snag a dress for less is to shop the sales/clearance sections. Many times you can find a dress that is half the original price!

     Low to high - when searching for dresses online, sort low to high. You’ll come across a gazillion not-fit-for-a-wedding type dresses, but more than likely, there will be a few gems thrown in if you just search, and know what to look for (keep reading for that!).

     Length counts - when opting for a more inexpensive dress, the length will help make it wedding appropriate. Look for hem lengths that hit just above the knee (one inch or less for more casual weddings), right below the knee (for more formal weddings), or mid-calf (perfect for outdoor weddings).

     Avoid juvenile-esque details - baby doll or empire style dresses (dresses with a really high waist) can make you look younger. Pastels and smaller prints can also make a dress appear like it’s for juniors instead of a woman. Never, ever, wear a dress with sheer panels or cut outs. Avoid descriptions like “ribbed”, “body con”, or “tank dress” as those are immediate call-outs that the material will be too snug and casual for a wedding.

     Go for the gold - there are so many things that can make an inexpensive dress perfect for a wedding. Look for details such as a fit and flare dress, bold or graphic prints such as watercolor designs, or go for dresses in rich hues. Lastly, focus on material - a thicker or lined dress will provide structure while a dress in flowy (think chiffon) material will be more dressed up than something in jersey, for example.

     Style it right - solid dresses can often be inexpensive and when accessorized with the right jewelry, shoes or bags, it can look like a million bucks. Helpful hint - a great solid color dress can be worn to multiple weddings simply by switching out your jewelry, shoes or bag!

The dresses:

Lulus is known for their juniors style and array of dresses, but when you take the time to sort through their stock, you will find a few amazing show stoppers that look and feel more expensive than they are. At the time of writing, they had nearly 700 dresses, all under $50.


A PEONY EARNED BLACK FLORAL PRINT MIDI DRESS, $41. Go ahead, click on this dress, zoom in, and take a peek - how adorable! Everything about this dress is wedding perfect - from the sophisticated V-neck, to the longer sleeves, to the multiple ruffles and design of the dress.



EVERYTHING SHE DOES RED MIDI DRESS, $35.  A great fit and flare dress in a vibrant red will have you stand out while not overpowering everyone else. Change up the style of this dress by adding a slim belt and pearls for a dressy wedding, or tone it done by adding a floral blazer and white pumps for a summer, garden affair.



ROYAL LUXE IVORY PRINT DRESS, $47. THIS DRESS - how great is the black and white design? It’s so chic and striking that you could almost get away sans accessories. Black pumps and a handbag for something formal, sandals and colorful jewelry for something more casual.


Mod & Soul is the cutest boutique with a huge following and a relatively new brick and mortar store right here in Richmond, Virginia. All of their unique pieces are $100 or less and they offer some great wedding dress options that will have you looking fresh while keeping your wallet intact.


World Print Dress, $49.99 - this dress can be a very versatile buy as it can be easily dressed up or down. Imagine it with a cardigan or blazer, belt, hair down and curled, simple pumps or dressy sandals and understated jewelry - so chic and different!



Black Print Midi Tank Dress, $52.99. A slightly unconventional dress, the strap and neckline shape make it a great choice for a more casual wedding. Up the ante in your styling by adding a belt, an up-do, and great shoes.



Day to Night Wrap Dress, $52.99. Okay, so at $53, this one isn’t under $50, but I think it’s worth the $3 splurge! This dress would be beautiful for an evening wedding and could translate into a corporate or business setting as well. Double the dress power!


Want more dresses under $50? Shop Sydney’s pics here:

Hopefully these rad selections will help you think through what to wear to your next shindig. And just remember, that not only can you wear these dresses to weddings but they can also serve double duty for work, church, parties, nights out on the town, and so much more!

Thanks again to Sydney for schooling us in the world of fashion!

Happy Planning!

Maggie ♥