How to Wear a Long-Sleeved Wedding Dress in the Summer

Love long sleeves but don't want to overheat at your ceremony? Our expert has tips that can help.

long sleeved wedding simple vneck dress
Photo: Thecablook Fotolab

From Kate Middleton to Kim Kardashian, many high-profile brides have walked down the aisle wearing long-sleeved wedding dresses. If you've been shopping for your gown, then it should come as no surprise that long sleeves are a full-fledged trend, and brides everywhere are favoring this demure, glamorous look. But what if you're getting married in the summer? How can you wear a wedding dress with long sleeves when the average temperature is well above 80 degrees? Here, an expert explains exactly what you need to know if you're trying to wear this coveted style during the warmer months.

Choose Light Fabrics

"For a summer wedding, I would recommend choosing a sleeve that is light and made of breathable fabric," says Kaitlin Nonko, the manager of anna bé bridal boutique in Denver, Colorado. Materials like lace, illusion tulle, or chiffon all help keep a bride cool and comfortable.

Summery Styles

Nonko suggests balancing out the long sleeves with an open neckline or flowy skirt. Not only will these elements keep your wedding dress from looking to wintry, but they'll also help you feel a little cooler. "Thick silks, heavy laces, or large skirts can all contribute to being quite warm on your wedding day," says Nonko. "Consider all the aspects of a gown, and not just the amount of coverage, when planning summer wedding attire."

Accessorize Wisely

Long-sleeved dresses are inherently dramatic and sophisticated, so consider choosing equally elegant accessories, like a cathedral-length veil or a pair of statement earrings, to match the overall aesthetic. But Nonko also warns against over-accessorizing. "Long sleeves are already one of the focal points for your look, so you can easily drown yourself by over-accessorizing. Keep it simple, yet memorable," she says.

Consider an Outfit Change

"Meghan Markle is the perfect example of how to pull off a long-sleeved wedding dress. Aside from the obvious gorgeous style of her Givenchy gown, I love how she handled the logistics of her big day," says Nonko. More specifically, she loved how Meghan wore the more formal long-sleeved look for her indoor ceremony, then changed into a sleeveless halter dress for the reception. If you don't want to splurge on two separate dresses, Nonko suggests adding detachable sleeves (or a sleeved overlay) to your dress whenever you want the coverage.

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