What to Wear to a Beach Wedding

June 15, 2018 by Dale Chong

As a wedding guest, getting dressed for the big day is an exciting yet occasionally stressful time, especially when you’re not entirely sure what the dress code entails. But when that invite says “beach wedding”, the rules are a little different—and to your favor. Of course, evening gowns and stilettos simply do not go well with sand, so there are a few things to keep in mind when deciding what to wear to a beach wedding.

While still a formal occasion, a beach wedding is notably more casual than its counterparts. What you choose to wear to a city chic or a traditional church ceremony might end up being too formal or stuffy (not to mention uncomfortable). With that being said, it’s a great time to start experimenting with bright colors, bold prints, and fun accessories—the perfect storm to play with your personal style. In need of some outfit inspiration? We’ve outlined our favorite ways to dress up for a casual beach wedding.

Here Comes The Sun

Colorful dresses will set the mood for this beachfront ceremony. After all, this is a time to celebrate! Since you’re attending an outdoor beach wedding, use the location as your color palette. Channel the colors of the sunset and wear a romantic red or orange dress. Or, if you’re in a more tropical location, sport a cool green dress to draw inspiration from the nature.

Summer Beach Wedding Guest Dresses:

DRESS: TRINA TURK, DRESS: HUTCH, DRESS: SALONI

Tropical Prints FTW

While you might think of spring and floral prints as one in the same, there’s no better place to wear a floral dress than to the beach. Plus, there’s no time like a vacation to experiment with different prints you wouldn’t otherwise wear. Opt for a pattern with a tropical floral motif to stay on theme with the wedding locale.

Tropical Dresses for Beach Wedding:

DRESS: HUNTER BELL, DRESS: FREE PEOPLE, DRESS: BENJANAN

Get Ruffled Up

We’ve never met a ruffle we didn’t like. Whether you want something with a chic and simple ruffle hem, or want something that makes a little more of a statement, there’s a ruffled dress for you and your personal style.

Ruffle Beach Wedding Guest Dresses:

DRESS: REBECCA VALLANCE, DRESS: THEIA, DRESS: THE KOOPLES

Keep Things Breezy

As we mentioned earlier, a beach wedding dress code typically leans on the casual side, which means you won’t want to wearing anything that feels too stiff. And, while we don’t recommend full length gowns for the beach, it’s best to keep your dresses within between knee-length and maxi dresses, as shorter skirts could potentially catch in the wind. But the wind can also bring movement into a loose fit, maxi dress that will allow it to flow beautifully.

Midi & Maxi Dresses for Beach Wedding:

DRESS: MILLY, DRESS: SHOSHANNA, DRESS: TANYA TAYLOR

What is Beach Formal Attire?

If the invite says the dress code is “beach formal” it’s important to keep two things in mind. Dress to impress but also dress appropriately for the elements. Braving the sun, sand and water should be on your mind when picking your ensemble. For beach formal attire, opt for a sundress in a tea or knee length. Up the formality with a dress in a fancier fabric, like silk or chiffon, that is as lightweight as it is luxurious. Top the look off with statement accessories and a pair of luxe espadrilles for the perfect beach formal attire.

Formal Beach Wedding Guest Dresses:

DRESS: SAYLOR, DRESS: SHOSHANNA, DRESS: JILL JILL STUART

Festive Accessories

Set the tone of your ensemble with accessories that fit the setting. Try out a textured clutch to capture the ambience of being on the beach. Add depth to your ensemble by introducing more colors with fun styles like a pair of beaded drop earrings. Whether it’s earrings, bracelets, necklaces or more, you simply can’t go wrong with the jewelry you choose. Of course, you’ll need a purse to hold all of your wedding essentials, from lipstick to sunscreen (because we know you’ll need it on the beach).

Beach Wedding Accessories:

BRACELET: JULES SMITH, EARRINGS: AREA STARS, CLUTCH: INGE CHRISTOPHER

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone for your beach wedding attire. With these options, we have no doubt you’ll be feeling as festive as ever in these colorful ensembles. And once the wedding’s over, you’ll have some stylish options for a night out along the shore.