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Heading to a beach wedding? Awesome! There’s nothing more spectacular than a union of two souls celebrated in a dramatic landscape. Keep reading to find out what to wear to a beach wedding!
What to Wear to a Beach Wedding
Beach weddings have always been a classic favorite among couples: they’re laid back, practical, and take away the bells and whistles required by a traditional ceremony. Who wouldn’t want to get married next to cerulean waters and soft, powdery sands?
If you’ve gotten an invitation to one of these events, you’re in for a memorable time! Here’s exactly what to wear to a beach wedding:
Popular Beach Wedding Destinations
First off: the destination. Of course, nuptials can take place at a local beach, but here are the top international spots for beach weddings:
- The Caribbean offers exclusive islands and upscale locations with pristine beaches.
- The Amalfi Coast in Italy features a picturesque backdrop overlooking the coast.
- Fiji sports abundant sea life and lush foliage.
- Tahiti is bedecked with palms, bright tropical flowers, and clear blue waters.
- Bali in Indonesia and Ko Samui in Thailand are favorites partly due to their high-end resorts.
- Hawaii offers a diverse topography and sun-kissed climate.
- Mexico’s beaches are accentuated with colorful architecture.
Start by reading these popular vacation destination guides:
- What to Pack for Hawaii
- What to Wear in Bali
- Thailand Island Packing List
- What to Pack for Fiji
- What to Wear in Playa Del Carmen
- What to Wear in Puerto Vallarta
One of the biggest things to keep in mind when planning what to wear to a beach wedding is that you’ll be outdoors and most likely exposed to the sun. The balmy atmosphere and salty air will be two of your biggest fashion foes. These two factors easily melt makeup and stiffen your hair.
Also: watch out for the wind. You may have spent the whole morning curling your hair, but it will be for nothing if the sea breeze blows it over!
Read these tips on how to style curly hair while traveling!
Best Dress Colors
As a guest, you’re free to wear anything you want (provided you follow the dress code), but if you wish to complement the beautiful tones of the ocean, these hues are your best picks.
Go for a teal number, like the above floral maxi from Free People. A pastel blue lace midi is an edgy complement to the shades of the sea. This seafoam green halter gown is reminiscent of the lapping of the waves at the shore.
Bring two dresses for the wedding day and an additional dress if you plan to attend any dressy pre-wedding events. If you’ll be there for a long period of time, bring just one dress per day. For example, bring seven dresses for one week – that’s only seven pieces of clothing for a one-week trip – easy breezy!
Vacay Style is TFG Approved. Read my full review in my honeymoon packing list!
Best Dress Styles
As you plan what to wear to a beach wedding you’ll want to pick a dress that’s both formal and fun. Our best picks? A floral strappy gown that mimics the lush tropical flowers around the venue. Off-shoulder maxis are comfortable and classy, and midi dresses fit the occasion, too.
Take a look at the latest trends with these cute summer maxi dresses for women!
Choose wide, flowy skirts so you can comfortably move around and enjoy the sandy shoreline. Go for sleeveless dresses or butterfly sleeves. Don’t forget to bring versatile undergarments such as convertible bras you can wear with more than one dress.
Best Beach Wedding Jewelry
Earrings | Necklace | Bracelet
To accentuate your beach-inspired dress, pick statement jewelry with the same motif. Drop earrings are chic (we like filigree drops like this turquoise pair). Bling up with a beach-inspired pendant like this silver shell and drape your arms with a cuff bracelet in blue.
Don’t bring your entire jewelry collection just choose two gorgeous sets you can mix and match and layer on or off as needed from day to night.
Just a reminder: exposure to salt water and sand can damage your jewelry, so choose materials that won’t easily corrode. Avoid items plated with gold, rhodium, and vermeil.
Read these packing tips on traveling with jewelry!
Sandal | Espadrille | Flip Flop
Ditch those sky-high pumps as you decide what to wear to a beach wedding! Your heels may look fashionable, but they’re likely to sink in the sand. Besides, beach weddings are supposed to be fun!
Sandals are your go-to footwear. We like them shiny and studded, so go for embellishments, like this silver pair from Badgley Mischka. Alternatively, you can wear espadrilles (we love this blush suede), high-laced gladiators, or gorgeous flip-flops, like this gold pair from Jack Rogers.
Check out our roundup of beach sandals!
Cat Eye Sunglasses | Polarized Sunglasses
Finish off the entire look with proper accessories. Carry a chic clutch during the day. Make sure to pack a pair of classy sunglasses to block the distracting rays of the sun. A beach-themed hair accessory, like a hair pin or even bright flowers, can add a whimsical touch to your attire.
Find out why polarized sunglasses are a must for beach side trips!
Curling Iron | Hair Comb | Hairstyle Guide
Beach weddings call for beach curls. Let your hair down and go for wavy tresses topped with a flower crown. Or try a fishtail braid, which will keep your hair in place all the time.
If you have a friend with you, ask her to help you create a style! Girls with shoulder length hair can make a messy, low bun with an elegant clip on the side.
Use these cute summer hair ideas for fun and stylish ways to update your vacation hairdo!
Sunscreen | Foundation | Mascara
You’ve got your hair and wardrobe ready; here comes the hard part. Beach wedding makeup is a bit tricky because the heat and humidity can melt (or cake up) your look.
- Tip #1: Protect your skin. Use a potent sunscreen with a higher SPF (try this item from Biore!) so you can hang out in the sun with no worries of getting wrinkles and dark spots. Be sure to blend it well before applying the rest of your makeup.
- Tip #2: Lighten up. Ditch the thick foundation and go for a lightweight primer or a BB cream. Avoid too much shimmer.
- Tip #3: Use waterproof eyeliner and mascara (like this inexpensive but reliable favorite from Maybelline) to keep black lines from smudging.
Here are some tips on the best anti-humidity makeup tricks!
For toiletries, don’t stress about bringing everything you own. Use these travel containers and follow the tips shown in this post so you only pack exactly what you need!
Have fun and enjoy the celebration to the fullest!
What are your tips on what to wear to a beach wedding? Share in the comments below!
For more beach vacation packing tips, please read:
- Bridal Party Clothing Tips
- What to Pack for a Destination Wedding
- Honeymoon Packing List
- Honeymoon Clothes Plus Maldives Packing List
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A Beach Wedding is such a great idea. Thanks for the great advice!