When you decide to have a beach wedding, your sandy location dictates many of your wedding elements from the type of invitations that you send out to the flowers that you choose. One of the most important aspects to any wedding is the wedding dress. A beach wedding calls for a romantic gown, but one that isn’t over the top. The relaxed environment requires careful wedding dress shopping.
While selecting the beach wedding location is perhaps the most important step, the right dress can make or break the big day on the beach. With no shortage of sand, sea and wind, you need to consider a number of factors before you decide to purchase your beach wedding dress. Before you commit to a formal princess ball gown for the beach, follow this easy guide for selecting the best beach wedding dress.
Factor in Your Fabric --
Many brides have a certain vision in mind when it comes to their wedding dress. However, a beach wedding can squash a few of those dreams. Before even looking at shapes and styles, you must think about your beach wedding dress fabric. Heavy fabrics will weigh you down on the beach. You need to look for flowing fabrics that are ideal for those sea breezes. Lightweight fabrics lend that airy, cool and comfortable feel.
Brides should look for gowns composed of fabrics like organza and chiffon that are known for their lightweight quality. Especially in more humid climates, as most beach locations are, you don’t want anything too heavy. You will not only look out of place but also you might keel over due to heat exhaustion during the vows. When you first meet with your bridal consultant, be sure to let them know that you need a fabric that will breathe well for a beach wedding.
Keep the Skirt Simple & the Fit Loose --
Once you have decided to only try on wedding dresses in lighter fabrics, you can then begin figuring out what kind of shape of dress you want. While a beach wedding dress can come in all sorts of shapes that will work, one general aspect to avoid on your beach wedding dress is a full skirt. Fuller skirts can get blown around on the beach. You don’t want your skirt blowing up in your face right in the middle of the “I dos”.
Trains can also be problematic on the beach. They drag in the sand and can end up looking dirty by the time dinner and dancing rolls around. For a beach wedding dress, you should look for shapes that are more streamlined and lean.
You also want to consider how tight your gown will fit. Wedding dresses that are very form fitting can be somewhat impractical on the beach, especially in tropical locations. Empire waist wedding dresses are often popular for beach weddings for this very reason. They are form fitting in the bust area, yet they have that flow that seems ethereal on the beach. You can have a hint of the form-fitting look but still stay comfortable on your wedding day.
Lose the Straps --
There are many types of weddings where you need to cover up those shoulders as can be the case with church weddings or winter affairs. However, a beach wedding is ideal for brides to lose the straps on their gowns. Strapless wedding dresses always work well for a beach wedding.
These gowns allow the bride to have their arms and shoulders free. In breezier beach locations, you also won’t have to worry about straps falling in the wind or being too hot on the body. A strapless beach wedding dress eliminates extra fabric that can simply wear the bride down on the beach.
Go Short --
If you plan on splashing around in the waves on your wedding day, a long dress isn’t always the best idea. Brides who are open to short dresses should try them on if they are having a beach wedding. A short dress works well at a beach wedding, as you don’t have to worry about sand on your dress or water drenching the bottom of your train during photographs.
By going with a shorter dress, you avoid the hem getting in your way. When you shop for wedding dresses, at least ask your bridal consultant to show you a few tea length or cocktail dresses for your beach wedding. Short dresses tend to work well with more casual beach weddings.
Think Goddess --
Brides planning a beach wedding have the opportunity to play the part of a goddess for their wedding dress. While you can go with a strapless dress, one without a full skirt or even a short wedding dress, the important thing is to keep a set look in mind. Goddess style gowns often come in lightweight fabrics in a style that works well for the beach.
One shoulder, draped wedding dresses suggest the bride might have fallen out of a Greek myth. If you worry that your beach wedding dress is limited in detailing, you need to create a striking look. Shopping for a beach wedding dress should involve thoughts of goddess style gowns and accessories in order to avoid those nightgown style dresses or plain Jane frocks.
Bottom Line --
While your wedding dress should be the dress you have always dreamed of, a beach wedding can be more limiting in the dresses that look right on sand and by the sea. However, you need to find a dress that suits your comfort level and style. If you can’t resist the princess ball gowns with long trains, you can always make your beach wedding venue work for such a look with a platform aisle rather than just sand. If you want to work with your beach location, it is best to keep things light, airy, soft and romantic when you shop for your wedding dress.
Have you had a beach wedding or are you planning one? What dress did you pick?
Share your ideas with us in the comments below...