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When deciding what to wear to a beach wedding, men and women may find it difficult to pin down just the right outfit or know just how formal to dress for beach weddings. How to dress for a beach wedding is a little different than how you would for a traditional church wedding. You’ll need to consider the fabric, color, and cut to pick out the perfect beach wedding attire, but with this guide to decoding the dress code, you’ll arrive at the ceremony ready to celebrate. 


Probably one of the most important things to consider when picking out beach wedding outfits is the material so that when it comes time to stand up as the bride walks down the aisle, you’re not covered in sweat stains. For ladies, light fabrics like linen, chiffon, organza, and even lace won’t cling to the body but can still look elegant for beach formal dress. As the evening cools off, having a pashmina shawl or cardigan as part of your beach wedding attire will keep you warm as the cool breeze from the ocean blows. 

Having a dress that doesn’t cling will help keep you cool, but short, flirty skirts in a light material can easily be swept up in the breeze and reveal a little too much. Unless your dress is a sturdy material, having a longer cut will save you from an embarrassing moment. If the invitation requires a beach formal dress and you want to go with a short cut, choose a dress with elegant details and quality fabric. Full-length elegant dresses are a classic choice for beach formal dress, but you’ll still want to choose something in a lightweight material that won’t make you sweat through the ceremony or get covered in sand, especially since how to dress for a beach wedding is more laid back than for a traditional church service. 

Whether you’re looking for what to wear to a casual beach wedding or a more formal affair, choosing colors that reflect the tropical environment is a fun choice for these unique weddings. Vibrant yellows, verdant greens, or ocean blues will mirror your surroundings, and bold prints for beach wedding outfits are a perfect choice. 


For ladies, the final thing to complete your beach wedding attire is your shoes. Plastic flip-flops are only appropriate for an extremely laid back event, but at the opposite end, stilettos are going to make walking in the sand a nightmare. When it comes to how to dress for a beach wedding, strappy pumps or stunning sandals will complete your look, especially after you’ve treated yourself to a pedicure!

When considering what to wear for a beach wedding, men can make the mistake of showing up looking like a tourist who wandered in off the beach. Very rarely should shorts make an appearance at beach weddings. Instead, slacks and a button-down shirt is more appropriate for what to wear to a casual beach wedding. For a more formal affair, a traditional suit and tie is the classic choice, but for beach weddings, linen suits in beige or navy are also appropriate, and the bold can opt for a brightly patterned blazer or tie to complete their beach wedding outfits. With these options for what to wear for a beach wedding, men can have a little fun while still being respectful with their choices. 

Whether you’re looking for what to wear to a casual beach wedding or a formal seaside affair, you don’t want to show up looking touristy or end up sweating through the material before they say “I do.” Dressing for beach weddings opens up some fun and bright options, but following these tips will help you feel confident, comfortable, and elegant all night long.

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