Wedding dress codes can be difficult to decode, especially when the bride and groom have left out the level for dress formality on the invitations. In particular, beach weddings have become muddied ground for guests trying to figure out what to wear. No longer are beach weddings as cut and dry as they used to be. You can’t just show up in swim trunks and flip-flops and expect to blend into the wedding scene. At the same time, you have to consider the sand, sun and wind putting a crimp in your wedding guest outfit. To help decode beach wedding dress codes, here is a simple guide to follow for what to wear to your next beach wedding.
1. Begin With Formality Clues
Your invitation might give you the biggest indication of what to wear. While many couples have stopped telling guests the type of wedding dress required, some brides and grooms are still giving those semi-formal, casual, cocktail or formal indications on their wedding invitations. If you are invited to a wedding on a beach and the dress code is given, try to use the couple’s suggestion as a guide. Beach formal might be a longer dress for women and a full suit for men, even if the wedding is taking place in a more casual setting.
If your invitation doesn’t list a dress code, you can ask around to see what other guests are wearing. You can even consult the couple directly to find out if they are having a more formal beach wedding or downright casual nuptials. It is better to ask before the event and avoid looking too dressy on the beach or too casual for the affair.
2. Consider The Season
Beach weddings aren’t necessarily limited to a few months out of the year. Couples are having beach weddings in the spring, summer, fall and winter. Weather can play a huge factor in what you should wear to a beach wedding. It isn’t always sunshine and roses on the beach. Guests should consider the location of the beach and the time of year when deciding what to wear. The season in the locale will give you an ideal of whether to bundle up or adorn breathable fabrics for the heat.
A cool breeze plagues most beach weddings. Women can prepare by wearing or bringing a shawl or pashmina to use if the beach wedding temperatures are a bit cool. Men can easily keep warm by not leaving that suit jacket at home.
3. Put Your Best Foot Forward
Beach weddings can be tricky to get dressed for, mostly in the shoe department. While your five-inch heels might look great with the rest of your outfit, they will be hard to finagle on sand. In the process, you also don’t want to just wear flip-flops with your otherwise dressy threads. The best option is to go with a flat sandal for a beach wedding. You can find dressier options to pair with wedding attire without looking like you just came from your summer vacation in Florida. For men, a loafer type shoe can be useful for sliding off and on if sand gets in your shoes.
4. Figure Out Fabrics First
If you know the season of the beach wedding you are attending and about what the weather will be like, you can plan your wedding outfit relatively easily. However, beach weddings differ from other types of weddings in that the setting can dictate the type of fabric you should be wearing. Heavy satins will make you look out of place and also too warm if the sun is boiling the beach. Just like the bride, you have to select an outfit that won’t look strange on a beach. Fabrics play a huge role as light and airy chiffon dresses and skirts always look right for a beach wedding. For men at a summer beach wedding, linen will help you keep cool. Bottom line, you want to select fabrics that flow with the seaside breezes, not those that work against the gusts.
5. Avoid Wardrobe Malfunctions With Careful Planning
Beach weddings can be playgrounds for wardrobe malfunctions. With all of the wind kicking up by the sea, plenty of skirts and ties can go flying up in between the vows. So that you don’t have a wardrobe malfunction at a beach wedding, you can prepare accordingly beforehand or even bring a few tools to help you.
Men should wear tie clips to beach weddings to keep their ties from flopping up with each seaside gust. Women should avoid short, flowing dresses with fuller skirts for beach weddings. Even if you think you can handle those breezes, you don’t want to be clutching your dress all night to keep it from flying up in a coastal gust. Instead, flowing maxi dresses can lend that peace of mind that your skirt isn’t going anywhere. If you want to go shorter, be sure to wear a dress that fits close to the body or skirts with attached linings to keep things in place.
6. Always Plan on the Sun
What you wear to a beach wedding also involves dressing for the sun. For hot, summer beach weddings, you will want to lather up with sunscreen before the event. Even if the ceremony is expected to be quick, limiting your time in the sun, you don’t want to be as red as a tomato by the time the reception starts. Aside from protecting your skin from the sun at beach weddings, you might also need those sunglasses. Couples often decide to wed when the sun is setting on the beach, hence most of their guest looking into that sunset. Sunglasses can help protect your eyes at those sunny beach weddings.
Are you attending a beach wedding soon? What is your go-to look for a beach wedding affair? Share your ideas with us in the comments below.