05/08/2012 01:00 pm ET Updated Jul 07, 2012

Shine (But Not Too Bright) At Summer Weddings

With summer wedding season around the corner, I know I have already started to look through my closet and wonder, "What am I supposed to wear?" Whether you have one or 10 weddings this summer, as a guest it is important to be dressed appropriately for each occasion while still showcasing your personal style. Sometimes, it can be a tricky balance between not wanting to overshadow the bride while still honoring the couple by putting your best foot forward. So what do you do?

Whether you're invited to a destination wedding on the beaches of Hawaii or an extravagant affair at a four-star hotel, it's important to be able to determine what kind of style is most fitting for each event. Here are the top three styles I'm seeing for wedding guests this summer at a variety of venues.

Nautical: Whether you're in San Francisco, Myrtle Beach, San Sebastian, Aruba or Hawaii, this preppy aesthetic is the perfect way to showcase clean elegance and smart sophistication. Go bold with navy blues, vibrant yellows, cheerful reds and breezy stripes. Make sure to plan for the weather; if it is a daytime wedding that is going to go late into the evening, bring an elegant wrap or shawl. And remember, avoid those six-inch heels when attending a wedding on the beach or grass; pick a wedge or flat instead.

Black and White: Crisp black and white combinations are a top trend this summer and perfect for more formal, elegant weddings. There isn't a pair more timeless than this. Whether you decide to stay classic or go a bit more edgy, this style is popular on the catwalks and the streets.

Patterns and Prints: Be a little more fashion-forward by going beyond neutrals and solids. Rather than playing it safe, opt for a bold look and mix up colors and patterns. Brights and pastels are both on trend this season and look equally stunning in dreamy floral prints, or more contemporary patterns. If you're opting for a strapless or sleeveless dress, watch those tan lines as the wedding date nears.

Have fun with your style this summer and wear something that compliments both you and the wedding you're attending. Remember, if you are not a member of the wedding party there aren't strict rules, but these guidelines will help you look your best while feeling confident and comfortable.