What to Wear to a Civil Ceremony

January 31, 2024
What to Wear to a Civil Ceremony

Question: Our daughter is getting married in a civil ceremony in San Diego at the end of May. There will be a full wedding in the future. What is appropriate attire for a civil ceremony in a warm climate? The bride is wearing a white sleeveless jumpsuit with detachable full length skirt. It is likely that the wedding will be at our lake home so perhaps the same dress for both?

This feels like a major shirt dress moment. Timeless, yet right on trend. Dressed up, yet buttoned up for a courthouse, where you likely wouldn't want to go strapless. Here are a few springy picks. 

Rickie Freeman for Teri Jon Bold Floral Print

Teri Jon Bold V Border Print Shirt Dress

Colorful and classic. A vibrant print with a flattering A-line hem and tea length. It's special, but with a daytime vibe that will turn heads for the right reasons. Sizes 0 to 22. $600. Buy from Teri Jon.

Rickie Freeman for Teri Jon Puff Sleeve Floral

Teri Jon puff sleeve shirt dress

The floral pattern on black gives this shirt dress range. It could fit in at a brunch, but still look right at a wedding. The puf sleeve gives it a modern edge while the flt and flare silhouette makes it timeless. Sizes 0 to 22. Buy from Teri Jon.

Tuckernuck "Chloe" Dress

Tuckernuck navy chloe dress

Special, without trying hard. We love the short wing sleeve, adjustable belt and collar. The textured fabric gives this dress structure and form. The tea length is especially ladylike. Also available in prints and bright colors. Sizes XXS to XXXL.  $298. Buy from Tuckernuck.


Frances Valentine "Lucille" Wrap

Frances Valentine Lucille Wrap Dress

Springy, yet long sleeve. The wrap style gives it a flexible fit; the shantung fabric sheen and bow dress it up. Sizes XS to 3X. $398. Buy from Frances Valentine

Kay Unger Floral A-Line Dress

Kay Unger Marlene Floral Dress

Okay, the "Marlene" isn't a shirt dress, but it has that similar sensibility: special enough for a wedding; but approachable enough that you won't feel overdressed at a civil ceremony. We love the print on the bottom half only. Sizes 0 to 18. $318. Buy from Nordstrom.

Mother Of independently curates the dresses we recommend. When users buy through our links, we may earn a commission.
Back to Blog Posts

Join the discussion

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.