Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

Lindsey Lanquist
Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway
Photo: Cierra Miller.

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Let us collectively acknowledge one simple fact: No summer wardrobe is complete without a serious wedding guest dress rotation. It’s hard enough to curate an array of proper attire that meets the guidelines of any dress code, is genuinely easy to dance in, and is actually cute enough to warrant a spot in your closet in the first place. It’s even more challenging to strike this perfect balance without breaking the bank. But as enterprising wedding guests know all too well, there’s a solution to this seemingly impossible-to-navigate crossroads: Rent the Runway.

Rent the Runway has existed for years now. I was first acquainted with it in high school, when girls I knew would rent their prom dresses instead of dropping hundreds on something they’d never wear again. But as I grew older, my need for prom gowns and homecoming looks all but subsided; I stocked up on a couple no-fail LBDs I could rely on for dinners, parties and other semi-formal evening events. I was set—and then, wedding season arrived.

It was never unclear to me that my LBDs were ill-fit for any bridal occasion. Black may be endlessly chic, but weddings are concerned with happy romance—not sleek edginess. So I scoured the internet for wedding-worthy dresses I could add to my closet and rely on for years to come. But it’s become increasingly clear to me that maybe stocking upon a couple go-tos isn’t the move. Maybe that’s boring and monotonous. And maybe it doesn’t actually equip me to dress for any occasion, any setting, any dress code or any time of year.

Maybe the most efficient move isn’t to buy anything at all—and instead, to score stunning designer finds at serious discounts, and to return them after the wedding has come and gone. Maybe the key to a diverse, chic and truly versatile wedding guest wardrobe is to take each event as it comes—to let the setting and climate inspire your choice of look, instead of letting what you already own do the deciding for you. Plus, who doesn’t want the option to don a red carpet-worthy ensemble for a day, and to not have to pay the full price for it? (You’ll turn heads in person and in pictures, and without breaking the bank—need I, really, say more?)

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

1. Martin Grant Yellow High-Low Dress, $130-$168 at Rent the Runway

Sure to play well with all your favorite statement jewelry.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

2. Derek Lam 10 Crosby Polka Dot Cami Dress, $85-$108 at Rent the Runway

Wearing white to a wedding is typically a no-no, but the black polka dots are sure to keep anyone from confusing you with the bride.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

3. Line + Dot Striped Cruz Pleat Dress, $35 at Rent the Runway

A dress that’s easily dressed up or down, depending on the occasion.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

4. Trina Turk Orange Origami Fold Dress, $35-$73 at Rent the Runway

Everything you love about a mini dress, combined with the comfort (and propriety) of a longer cut.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

5. ba&sh Floral Heren Maxi, $75-$113 at Rent the Runway

So cute you’ll be wearing it long after your friend’s wedding has come and gone.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

6. Cushnie Lavender Twisted Zipper Dress, $250 at Rent the Runway

A formal—but not too formal—option.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

7. StyleStalker Riscal Gown, $60-$83 at Rent the Runway

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say you’re probably less prepared for black-tie wedding season than you are for regular wedding season.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

8. Saloni Grace Polka Dot Dress, $105 at Rent the Runway

An off-the-shoulder cut that feels anything but basic.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

9. Alexis Hiroka Robe Dress, $90-$113 at Rent the Runway

Would wear this every day if it didn’t cost $585 to fully buy.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

10. Jill Jill Stuart Floral Kiera Ruffle Gown, $70-$93 at Rent the Runway

Black is usually wedding-inappropriate, but hey—you need something to wear to the rehearsal dinner.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

11. StyleStalker Quinn Midi Dress, $30-$53 at Rent the Runway

Sleek enough for cocktail parties, dressed-up weddings and other semi-formal occasions.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

12. Elizabeth and James Tangerine Shontae Maxi, $85 at Rent the Runway

Statement-making summer style that won’t steal (too much of) the spotlight from the bride.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

13. Amanda Uprichard Floral Venezia Gown, $70-$93 at Rent the Runway

When it comes to wedding season, florals are always a good idea. And this cut’s pretty irresistible, too.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

14. MSGM Blue Striped Ruffle Dress, $120-$143 at Rent the Runway

Nautical, done the fashion way.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

15. Reformation Winslow Wrap Dress, $40-$63 at Rent the Runway

Go low-key with a loose braid and sandals, or go full statement-making with vibrant jewelry and a fun hairdo.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

16. Slate & Willow Blue Floral Print Midi Dress, $30-$53 at Rent the Runway

A floral for the fan of neutrals.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

17. Reformation Champagne Peppermint Dress, $45-$83 at Rent the Runway

Render yourself a summer princess without taking any attention away from the bride. (Just double-check the bridesmaid dress color first.)

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

18. Vilshenko Black Salma Midi Dress, $185 at Rent the Runway

Surely the ruffles and floral details will keep people from deeming this black dress “inappropriate.”

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

19. Kate Spade New York Heartbeat Midi Dress, $75-$98 at Rent the Runway

Look closer, and you’ll notice those polka dots are actually hearts.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

20. Badgley Mischka Lilac Petal Gown, $70-$108 at Rent the Runway

Look, super fancy weddings happen. And when they do, you’re better off renting a designer gown for $70 than you are buying it for $850.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

21. Alexis Harmonie Maxi, $135-$158 at Rent the Runway

An incredibly fun option—if you don’t mind lots of eyes on you.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

22. Hutch Olive Blair Dress, $30-$63 at Rent the Runway

A no-fail silhouette in a no-fail color. (Especially great for early autumn weddings, too.)

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

23. Badgley Mischka Orange Trapeze Dress, $45-$83 at Rent the Runway

Look chic without stealing the show.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

24. Tanya Taylor Printed Ikatoksana Maxi, $110-$133 at Rent the Runway

An anything-but-average take on the floral maxi.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

25. Badgley Mischka Cobalt Racing Gown, $85-$123 at Rent the Runway

Another classic gown that’s as subdued as it is sophisticated.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

26. Three Floor Lisbon Sisters Dress, $70-$93 at Rent the Runway

For the fan of florals who craves a less obvious option.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

27. Halston Heritage Peony Crepe Gown, $70-$93 at Rent the Runway

Fancy enough for a formal event. Romantic enough for a wedding.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

28. Self-Portrait Red Floral Mini Dress, $60-$83 at Rent the Runway

A go-to you can sport during the summer—and layer over tights during the winter, too.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

29. Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini Yellow Ruffled Ribbon Maxi, $175 at Rent the Runway

Cute enough to stun without overshadowing.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

30. Fuzzi Lavender Patchwork Wrap Dress, $120-$143 at Rent the Runway

For the wedding guest who wants in on 2019’s patchwork trend.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

31. Christian Siriano Leopard Ties Green Sheath, $190-$213 at Rent the Runway

This dress has it all—color, a form-flattering silhouette and a couple of adorable bows.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

32. Jay Godfrey Lilac Alma Gown, $55-$93 at Rent the Runway

Another black-tie-worthy gown that’s equal parts sleek and romantic.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

33. La Maison Talulah Superbloom Dress, $50-$73 at Rent the Runway

Unexpected floral options are absolutely abundant.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

34. Self-Portrait Printed Crescent Dress, $55-$93 at Rent the Runway

Look like you walked straight off the runway and into this wedding (or reception, or rehearsal dinner).

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

35. Elizabeth and James Cavan Midi Gown, $75 at Rent the Runway

All kinds of elegant.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

36. Keepsake Pretty One Mini Dress, $30-$53 at Rent the Runway

Another less-obvious take on the classic floral wedding guest dress.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

37. ba&sh Wanda Metallic Maxi, $105-$128 at Rent the Runway

Just metallic enough to keep things interesting.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

38. Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini Sienna Lace Dress, $165 at Rent the Runway

Sexy without skewing at all inappropriate, this textured dress wants to carry you to every chic event on your calendar.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

39. Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini Floral Crochet Midi Dress, $145 at Rent the Runway

An LBD with enough fairytale appeal to earn a spot in your wedding guest rotation. (Or at least, in mine.)

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

40. Elizabeth and James Pink Trisha Dress, $70-$93 at Rent the Runway

When all fails, you can undoubtedly rely on a millennial pink dress.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

41. Black Halo Davina Gown, $70-$108 at Rent the Runway

Look, if you have an evening gown at the ready, I commend you. I definitely do not.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

42. Tibi Violet Plisse Mini Dress, $105-$143 at Rent the Runway

A blank canvas for all kinds of fun accessories.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

43. ba&sh Multi Weave Maxi, $75-$98 at Rent the Runway

As fit for summer as it is for early autumn.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

44. Cinq a Sept Red Dianne Dress, $70-$93 at Rent the Runway

A neckline that plunges just far enough.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

45. Christian Pellizzari Striped Strapless Maxi, $70-$93 at Rent the Runway

Stripes have never looked so incredibly pretty.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

46. Rochas Odium Dress, $300-$323 at Rent the Runway

An excellent option when the dress code’s too ambiguous to navigate.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

47. Tory Burch Floral Corinne Caftan Maxi, $70-$108 at Rent the Runway

A floral that hardly feels like a floral at all.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

48. Derek Lam 10 Crosby Ruffle Cami Maxi, $95-$118 at Rent the Runway

Ruffles and stripes make for a surprising match made in wedding guest dress heaven.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

49. A.L.C. Margot Gown, $75-$113 at Rent the Runway

Sleek enough to wear to a black-tie wedding. Low-key enough to sport to a regular one. (Just vary your accessories accordingly.)

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

50. Nicholas Black Peony Popover Dress, $75-$113 at Rent the Runway

If someone comes at you for wearing a black, lace-covered, floral midi to a wedding, send them my way. I’ll tirelessly defend this dark-but-endlessly-romantic choice.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

51. Halston Heritage Pink Cut-Out Gown, $70-$108 at Rent the Runway

Because you’ve always wanted to wear a floor-length, vibrant pink anything. And a black-tie wedding is definitely your opportunity to do so.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

52. AMUR Eva Dress, $50-$88 at Rent the Runway

Amazing how much drama one big-ass bow can add.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

53. AMUR Rayna Maxi, $105-$128 at Rent the Runway

Romantic bohemian comfort. (The only aesthetic I’m curating this wedding season.)

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

54. Saylor Silver Myriem Lace Dress, $30-$63 at Rent the Runway

Another great choice when the dress code is ambiguous—and honestly, a cute selection for any event on your calendar.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

55. Emanuel Ungaro Multi Print Maxi, $330 at Rent the Runway

If your friend invites you to go a little high-fashion, take full advantage. I would. (When else will you have an excuse to wear a $2,200 gown?!)

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

56. Amanda Uprichard Ridgely Dress, $30-$63 at Rent the Runway

Cute, classic and just on-trend enough.

STYLECASTER | Designer Wedding Guest Dresses You Can Rent from Rent the Runway

57. Halston Heritage Lilac Disco Maxi Dress, $100-$123 at Rent the Runway

Fit for black-tie weddings and lower-key affairs, alike.

 

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