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What to Wear to a Beach Wedding

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Deciding what you’re going to wear to a wedding on the beach can be a bit of a tricky one. Obviously it’s more important than any other beach outing you’ve ever been to, so unfortunately you can’t just turn up in a bikini – well at most beach weddings you can’t, anyway. Some beach weddings are a lot more casual than other whilst others are decidedly more formal, so it can be quite difficult to choose what you’re going to wear. If in doubt, the best thing that you can do is get a dress code from the bride and groom – that way, you’ll know what kind of outfit you should have in mind.

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Photo by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at

Formal Beach Wedding

If the beach wedding that you are attending expects you to dress up in formal wear, a long dress is your best option. Maxi dresses come in all different styles from the more casual to formal occasion wear decorated with embellishments. Pair a maxi dress with some sturdy wedge sandals – choose your shoes carefully, as even though it’s a formal affair you’ll still need to walk on sand – and minimal jewelry. Complete the look with a matching clutch bag. When it comes to colors, think summer and opt for bright hues such as pinks, blues, and bold floral patterns.

Cocktail Attire

If you’re attending a beach wedding that calls for cocktail wear, your best choice is a cocktail dress paired with bold accessories. You really can’t go wrong with a little black dress, and match it with a bold, statement necklace in contrasting colors. Although you’d probably pair this outfit with a pair of heels, remember that you will need to walk on the sand, so you may want to opt for more casual footwear such as flat shoes or sandals. Wedged sandals are also a good option if you don’t want to completely ditch the heels.

Casual Beach Wedding

Although the dress code is casual, you still want to look nice, so wearing a vest top and shorts might be out of the question – casual or not, you’ll probably still stick out like a sore thumb! Flowery and printed kaftans are great options for a casual beach wedding, or you could opt for a cotton tea dress or even a maxi dress. Bright, floral patterns look great at a casual beach wedding. Try to stay away from floaty white cotton dresses – they may look great on the beach, but you don’t want to get mistaken for the bride! Complete your outfit with matching jewelry and a floppy sun hat, and when it comes to footwear, a casual beach wedding is a great excuse to get your new summer flip flops out.

Have you been a guest at a wedding on the beach? What was the dress code, and what outfit did you choose to wear? If you’d like to leave any helpful style advice for those attending a beach wedding for the first time, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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