5 Floral Dresses Perfect for a Summer Wedding

Plus—tips from wedding planner Emily Butler on how to put together a pretty (and comfortable) ensemble.

Photograph by Jeff Elkins
The attire requests on wedding invitations run the gamut these days, and Emily Butler has seen them all. As one half of the bicoastal event planning company Karson Butler Events—which she owns with her twin sister, Amber—she has worked on more than 100 weddings in the course of her career.

When she attends a wedding as a guest, color and comfort are her main priorities—no matter the dress code. “You’ll definitely see me on the dance floor, so something that can move and allow me to have fun is a must,” she says.

Butler looks to playful, ladylike brands such as Trina Turk, Alice and Olivia, and Ted Baker for her ensembles. She likes to keep hems at knee length or below—“nothing too short or too tight”—and says sticky outdoor celebrations definitely call for breathable fabrics. With the arrival of Rent the Runway in Georgetown last November, Butler is pro-rental when it comes to special-occasion dresses, with a caveat: “DC is small—someone might have the same dress on as you.”

One thing you’ll never see her in? White.

“Cream should be very carefully considered, and even lace can be tricky,” she says. “Better to save it for a fun girls’ night out.”

What She’s Wearing: The next wave of crop tops is boxier and isn’t meant to show midriff. Butler says this Two-piece Kate Spade ensemble is “the most comfortable thing I own.” She accessorizes with gold bracelets regardless of the occasion. Her nude pumps with special detailing—Butler loves this rose-gold heel—work for a variety of celebrations.

5 bright and bold dresses—and fun accessories—that are perfect for a summer wedding:

Rebecca Taylor “Flowerpress” dress, at Bloomingdale’s, $350

Photograph by Jeff Elkins.

Milly “Serena” dress, at Saks Fifth Avenue (Chevy Chase), $995

Rebecca Taylor floral organza dress, at Bloomingdales, $750

Bonded Squared Party Dress, at Cynthia Rowley, $395

“Stelli” dress with keyhole back, at Kate Spade, $448

Stone starfish bracelet, at Fornash (Arlington), $38

Marlyn Schiff tassel earrings, at, $50

Pretty Sequin Pouch, at Boden USA, $88

Louise et Cie “Hermosah” pump, at Nordstrom, $118

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This article appears in our May 2015 issue of Washingtonian.

Sarah is the Editor-in-Chief of Washingtonian Bride & Groom, and writes about weddings, fashion, and shopping. Her work has also appeared in Refinery29, Bethesda Magazine, and Washington City Paper, among others. She is a Georgetown University graduate, lives in Columbia Heights, and you can find her on Instagram at @washbridegroom and @sarahzlot.

Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.