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The simple silhouette of Stella McCartney mini gets a formal boost with rich lace brocade and an elegant satin sash, plus the conservative neckline balances out the high hemline.
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Stand out in a sea of to-the-floor gowns and minis with a high-low dress. The flowy chiffon train on Jenny Packham number drapes gracefully around the star’s stems, giving it a youthful yet sophisticated feel, while the color is appropriate for everything from a beach ceremony to a formal nighttime wedding.
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Navy has long been a less-staid black substitute, but for an unexpected (though equally chic) alternative to the LBD, we like a Little Olive Dress. shows the skin-flattering, head-turning power of the sedate shade in her utterly sexy draped Alexander Wang halter.
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Bright, bursting flowers on a sleek black background look just as appropriate in church as on the dance floor. As seen on Michelle Trachtenberg’s Oliver Tolentino dress, the neon hues keep it from looking like the kind of floral dress the bride’s grandma would wear.
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HERE COMES THE BRIGHT
Once a no-no for nuptials, neons are now perfectly acceptable in small doses. Jennifer Nettles’s bold yellow belt is a fresh complement to her lovely, traditional watermelon-colored Max Azria gown.
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If you’re puzzling over a “black-tie optional” invite (and don’t feel like wearing a gown), take a cue from Alexis Bledel, whose shimmering Alberta Ferretti tea-length number is spot-on for a formal affair but also interesting and edgy (and lets you show off your gams!).
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NO BOUQUET NEEDED
Another fun way to wear florals: in a subtle, abstract print on a flowing mermaid-silhouette gown, as seen on How I Met Your Mother’s Cobie Smulders. She pairs her Alberta Ferretti gown with a fun fuchsia clutch that pops against the muted print – a great way to add personality to more reserved ensembles.
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Black is now standard for wedding guests – so much so that an LBD can get lost in a roomful of similar styles. Flirtatious ruffles and fabulous kicks (modeled by Nina Dobrev in a Rachel Zoe Collection dress and Jimmy Choo heels) will help your classic look stand out.
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HIGHLIGHT(ER) OF THE NIGHT
Yellow is the hottest color of the summer, and one we think every girl should dare to wear. The keys to keeping your notice-me shade from going over-the-top are a classic cut and understated styling (think minimal accessories and natural hair and makeup); Gabrielle Union (in Bill Blass) perfects the look.
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YOUR PLUS-ONE ... SHOULDER
Demonstrating a universally flattering cut, Kelly Rutherford stuns in a one-shoulder, empire-waist gown. Pay close attention to the fit to ensure you’re not drowning in fabric (or squeezing into a too-tight bodice), and embrace rich tones like this glamorous green hue.