What to wear to a spring wedding in 2024


by Nathalie Riddle

Leading fashion stylist Nathalie Riddle talks you through the five most wearable trends and accessories that you need know about if you’re heading to a wedding, or special occasion this spring or summer.


The new collection of Ridley London dresses for spring are perfect for wedding guests and special occasions, and an be made to measure in a selection of beautiful printed and plain silks. (Left) the new statement Amalfi shirt dress in the lime and lavender crepe silk featuring a bold on-trend rose print. (Right) the elegant Lillian dress in romantic sky blue silk chiffon is flattering, easy and on-trend for this season

Having worked as a styling director for numerous well known publications and labels, as well as a private celebrity stylist, there’s nothing Nathalie doesn’t know about dressing for special occasions like spring weddings. Particularly which of this seasons trends should be embraced and which should definitely be avoided. To help take the headache out of researching and shopping for that special spring outfit, Nathalie has analysed and distilled the latest catwalk, front row, social media and editorial trends into five wearable styles, that will work for seasons to come. Take it away Nathalie:


Without doubt, we’re living through some of the strangest and most uncertain of times. It’s hardly surprising that this zeitgeist has transferred onto the catwalks and into the fashion pages and stores for this spring season. More than at any other time in my working memory, the overriding theme appears to be one of dilution and a general lack of clarity. With the UK in recession, it’s not surprising that many retailers have adopted a broad church, data driven strategy of covering all sartorial bases in the hope of driving some much needed sales. 

There are some obvious candidates from this season’s array of trends that chime with the times. the rise of understated luxury for example, think low key, high quality investment pieces in an array of nudes and neutrals. The Shiv from succession wardrobe if you like. Unsurprisingly utility style is a big thing this season, epitomised by the re-emergence of boiler suits, wide legged cargo pants and safari style jackets. And then there's the extraordinary everyday, aka the re-boot of designer denim and sports leisurewear. But could anyone really imagine wearing any of this as a guest to a smarter spring occasion like a wedding? Likewise this season’s trends for virginal white shere dresses (that will go down well with the bride!), extremely short shorts (clearly on every mother of the brides list!), striped polo shirt dresses, transparent skirts, ultra high waisted trousers, fringing or high sheen metallics….let’s face it, are not exactly the stuff of dream wedding guest outfits. Clearly most of these trends are aimed at a younger audience in the midst of a fashion rebellion against season’s of pretty dresses and dainty florals. And they are all clearly much more focussed on everyday-wear. However if you Look hard enough, there is a small smattering of more wearable inspiration out there. And there’s a handful of quality driven boutique labels like Ridley, who are interpreting these trends into chic, wearable collections of clever versatile pieces. If I was heading to a wedding or smarter occasion this spring and was looking for some sartorial guidance, these are definitely the trends I would steer towards.



Ridley London's new wedding guest edit and spring collection feature a number of new dress styles that reflect the latest catwalk trends. (Left) the romantic Carla dress in sky blue silk chiffon features and elegant, wearable cut with paired back ruffle details. (Right) the new statement Marnie dress is pictured here in the gorgeous blue and white floral Delft silk print, and features on-trend balloon sleeves and an easy, flattering cut with adjustable belt tie   


1. Modern Romanticism

This emerging style balances elegant, wearable cuts with just the right amount of ethereal feminine escapism. Think floaty translucent chiffon fabrics, dainty pastels, paired back ruffles, frills and bows meets great quality modern tailoring. In my mind this is the perfect occasion style, understated, great wearability, designed to last and above all flattering to the feminine form. And let’s not forget that pastel shades work wonders with a variety of complexions. Ridley have an array of great new styles that successfully embrace this trend and can be tailored to fit in your choice of colours, fabrics and prints Here are some of my favourites.


2. Coming Up Roses

Catwalks across the four main fashion cities this season have been stuffed with rose motifs. Some of them bold, graphic and modern, some appliqué, others a more classic and feminine interpretation. Alexander McQueen have even created a dress that wraps the wearer in giant rose petals. In my mind floral prints in some shape or form are a fashion perennial. I’ve never done a spring or summer without them, and in northern hemisphere countries with long cold winters like England, we positively embrace and gravitate to floral prints as a sartorial celebration of warmer and brighter times. Floral prints also introduce a level of versatility, not to mention stain management, that plains simply can’t. The difference with this years floral prints is the pretty and ditsy is very much out, in favour of bolder and more graphic interpretations. I love how Ridley have balanced some classic graphic rose motifs with more contemporary styles of dress. 


3. Blue Sky Thinking

This season's pretty palette of sky blue is impossible to ignore and without doubt colour of the season. According to Tagwalk, light blue looks were up 19% from spring/summer 2023, with 54% more blue looks featuring in the most prevalent designer collections in each city. And Lyst reports that searches for blue pieces spiked 125% on their site in the two weeks following Fashion Month. Whether you’re going for plain solids or graphic prints, this fresh shade brings a much-needed dose of calm, serene sophistication to the spring/summer palette, helping your wardrobe feel fresh and spirited. Ridley have embraced sky blue in a number of flattering hues that can be used within any of their styles.


(Left) this season's trend for all things roses and rose prints is perfectly embodied here in Ridley London's elegantly flattering Janie maxi dress in the stunning new azure blue silk satin. (Right) Ridley also offers customers an on-trend collection of tailoring including oversized blazers and feminine Chanel style jackets. Every Ridley jacket can be tailored for your perfect fit and to work with a specific dress, including matching silk linings


4. Masc-Fem Dressing

One of the big styling statements this season matches the unlikely combination of positively feminine layered rara style skirts with unapologetically masculine cut shirts and jackets. While this look has been prevalent among youth brands and is a teen wardrobe staple, on face value it’s unlikely to appeal to anyone over the age of 25. However with a little artistic licence, this idea brings both practicality and a youthful edge to this spring's wedding guest wardrobe. Think more along the lines of pairing a pretty, romantic dress with one of this season’s must have oversized blazers. It’s Perfect for staying warm in unpredictable spring wedding weather and creates a versatile array of styling opportunities matched up with jeans, wide legged trousers, or even this seasons very short shorts (if you prefer)!


5. Who Wears The Trousers?

Trousers have ruled the trends for years now, and that's set to continue as we head into the season with the incredibly comfortable, elegantly cut loose, wide-leg silhouettes we've all become accustomed to staying. At first, a wide leg trouser might not seem like the obvious choice for a wedding guest, but bare with me. Ridley have created some beautifully fluid pieces in some of the most sumptuous silks I’ve ever seen. These really are the queen bee of trousers. And they also come in some amazing statement prints. Now they also have some beautiful tops which can be matched with these to create an entirely seamless look, an on-trend wide leg jumpsuit. With the aded versatility of wearing the two pieces as separates. 


6. Micro Heels

We’ve all been to that spring wedding with the wet lawn, where wearing heels suddenly becomes the least elegant sartorial decision ever made. Everyone is sinking, tripping out and the whole thing becomes an unmitigated obstacle course of potential hazards. And that’s even before consuming our body weights in champagne. So this season’s trend for flats and ballet pumps should get the early spring wedding guest market really excited, not to mention gardeners everywhere. While uncomfortable, we love our heels for their magical elevating quality and I’m just not certain a pump or loafer brings quite the same elegance. Enter the micro-heel. This new kitten style heel gives a lift and great posture, but they’re still comfortable and practical shoes which make them especially suited for summer lawn weddings. In short the perfect footwear to take you from a morning service to carriages at midnight. 


(Left) our role at Ridley, is to help customers step out looking and feeling their absolute best, and their most confident and comfortable. Whether it's matching hats, shoes or bags, investing in the right accessories can completely re-fresh and transform a dress into a coherent on-trend look. this season's must have accessories include (clockwise from top left) elegantly wearable sling back, 'kitten' style micro heels, Slimline clutch bags and the popular 'Granny' bag. (Bottom) Zara Phillips attending a wedding in a beautiful custom statement beret from Camilla Rose Millinery and Margot Robbie pictured on the red carpet with her Chanel jacket and matching 'Granny' bag

7. Bags of Style

A great bag finishes off any outfit, bringing phone and make-up carrying practicality as well as elegance. This season there are two big bag trends to know about. The envelope clutch is a simple and timelessly stylish piece that’s been spotted everywhere on the catwalks and red carpets this season.  It’s a great choice as it's subtle and therefore doesn’t detract. The downside is you’re potentially always holding a clutch bag. Take note from the front row who carry it tucked under their elbow. You won’t just look chic, but will enjoy a better hands free experience. Or for a super versatile option look out for those that have an optional chain strap that can be tucked away if not in use, or more conventionally hung from the shoulder when needed. The second bag to know about is the iconic structured mini bag, affectionately referred to by much of the fashion press this season as ‘The Granny Bag'. And for good reason. This style of bag is probably best associated with elegant twentieth century style icons like Jackie O and her Chanel suits. Although dainty in proportion, It’s invariably larger storage wise than a clutch and has a useful handle.


8. Top Hats

Hats are definitely reserved for smarter occasions, only making appearances at more traditional events like Royal Ascot and of course weddings. As weddings have become more relaxed, hats have moved from mandatory status to a matter of guest choice. On the plus side, They’re a chic way to finish off any outfit and create immediate standout if you’re the mother of the bride for example. But make sure you select something that’s contemporary in style, suits your face shape and helps to modernise your look. The wrong hat can also make an outfit look fusty and old-fashioned. This seasons most sort after styles include sculptural berets and bows are really big with the younger crowd. Ridley work closely with Camilla Rose Millinary, who also make their hats to order, and they can be dyed to colour match any outfit. 


Ridley London's new spring wedding guest collection of dresses, skirts, tops, and tailoring is available to purchase online and in Ridley's Barnes store. Celebrate your individuality with a unique piece that's customised to flatter in your choice of any of our stunning new printed florals or solid silks or luxurious velvets. Or call us to arrange a virtual fitting: 

Ridley London, 82 Church Road, Barnes, London SW13 0DQ T: 01730 823097

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