What To Wear To A Beach Wedding (Without Looking Too Casual)

What To Wear To A Beach Wedding (Without Looking Too Casual)

Ah, summer. The season of countless weddings that can quickly drain one’s budget. Thanks to the bright sun and beautiful weather, couples opt for wedding receptions that are on, or close, to the beach.

The season itself is defined by all things casual and beach weddings are no exception. Still, the question: “What to wear to a beach wedding?!” can leave even the most stylish guests confused. So what do you wear when not only sand is involved, but you’re likely to spend hours beneath a scorching sun?

Don’t worry. Keep the below tips in mind when choosing what to wear to a beach wedding, and you won’t have to worry about showing up too casual.

First, decipher the actual dress code

Usually, a wedding invitation holds the answer. The couple will likely indicate what the dress code is. If you’re still confused, though, look up the venue. Will the reception take place on an actual beach? Will the ceremony be off-site and followed by a reception at a nearby hotel, or resort?

At a casual beach wedding, it’s more appropriate to wear a maxi dress with sandals. At a semi-formal beach wedding, you’re better off with a midi or knee-length cocktail dress that’s better suited for a dance floor that’s indoors.

Then, opt for breathable fabrics

Chances are, the temperature outdoors will be high. Oh, and you’ll also be spending hours under the sun if the ceremony is outside. Consider fabrics like silk-organza, tulle, or chiffon. These are breathable and not likely to raise your body temperature throughout the day.

Choose dresses that are midi or maxi-length

Think about it: When you’re near the ocean, there’s inevitably a breeze. If you’re wearing a dress in a swingy A-line, you risk flashing your fellow guests. Avoid any outfit mishaps with a dress that’s longer in length.

Floor-length maxi dresses are ideal as are midi-lengths that have some movement. You want something comfortable, not too stiff or too tight.

With knee-length dresses, structured cuts are best

With a semi-formal beach wedding, you’ll likely be moving from the sandy shores on the beach to an indoor/outdoor venue. A cocktail-length dress often works better. You’ll avoid getting sand on the bottom of your dress, making it easier to transition to the indoor venue.

If you go this route, be sure to choose a structured design that won’t billow in the wind or move too much. As a test, give yourself a twirl and see how easily the fabric lifts.

Wear flat or wedge sandals—avoid heels

Finally, when it comes to footwear, sandals are your best friend. You want a pair of shoes that aren’t exactly flip flops though. What you want is a sturdier sandal that’s either has a simple, but structured design. Or, you want one that has some embellishments that make it more of an evening sandal.

Whatever you do, avoid heels at all costs. You want shoes you can easily slip on and off. While a pair of stilettos are still open-toed, you don’t know how sandy or slippery the floor might get inside the reception. If you must opt for heel, pair of wedges is a safer bet than a spindly heel.

Now, here are eight dresses that are perfect for a beach wedding. You’re welcome!

This dress hits just below the knee, making it a great piece to transition from ceremony to reception
This maxi is perfect for a more casual beach wedding reception, thanks to its length and colors
This classic style is updated for summer weather, thanks to the chiffon fabric
This maxi dress is formal but still lightweight, thanks to the leg slit
This dress allows for easy movement, thanks to the many pleats
This combination of lace and bright yellow could only work during the summer
This dress manages to be formal but flirty, thanks to its peek-a-boo lace design
This combination of florals, ruffles and open-back make it ideal for any beach wedding