What to Wear to a Beach Wedding

Wedding season is upon us, which means it’s time to start planning your wedding guest outfits. Of course, different types of weddings call for different dress codes and types of clothing altogether, so be sure to consult a wedding invitation, your date or a member of the wedding party if you have any questions. Wedding venues vary, and that’s especially true as of late. It’s no longer expected of the bride and groom to have a traditional church ceremony and follow up with a reception at a nearby event venue. From backyards to ballrooms and everything in between, pretty much anywhere is fair game. However, a wedding ceremony on the beach is perhaps the most breathtakingly beautiful. It can also be a tricky wedding to dress for, especially if you haven’t previously attended such an occasion. Here’s what you need to know about what to wear to a beach wedding. 

Your Perfect Beach Wedding Outfit

While there are many options to wear as a guest to a beach wedding, the variations are separated by dress code requirements. The dress code for beach weddings is usually termed “beach formal” — a fitting yet vague description that might leave you wondering whether to wear a pair of men’s swim shorts or a full suit. From beachy casual to seaside formal, here’s a breakdown of what you might be expected to wear to a beach wedding depending on the dress code;

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Super Casual: If the bride and groom are notoriously laid back and love jeans-and-a-t-shirt vibes, chances are their beach wedding will reflect these characteristics. Dress codes like “daytime casual” or “beachy casual” mean you’re pretty much free to wear whatever you would on a normal day while on a beach vacation. Having said that, you’ll probably want to look a bit more polished than you would if you were out running errands. For this type of beach wedding, guys should consider a typical beach outfit for men, including items like sandals, loafers, nice swim trunks and a collared shirt. Ladies should wear the equivalent in the form of shorts or a casual skirt. 

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Elevated Casual: Otherwise noted as “dressy casual,” this dress code takes a casual outfit up a notch. If you’re going for a dressy casual look for your next beach wedding, consider a nice pair of shorts in a khaki or muted color. Pair these with one of your men’s linen shirts to tie the look together and make everything look a bit more structured. Choosing a cotton or linen blend allows you to stay true to the beach theme while still elevating your casual look! 

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Beach Formal: When it comes to most beach weddings, this is usually as dressy as it gets. If your wedding invitation asks you to dress in beach formal attire, think about how you might incorporate beach-appropriate garments or pieces into a nicer look. For example, a linen suit for guys is always a beach wedding hit. For the girls, maxi dresses with lots of movement are clear winners. You might even see the groomsmen and bridesmaids wearing something similar. While sandals are almost always accepted at beach weddings and many people end up removing their shoes before they reach their seats, you can also opt for a pair of boat shoes or leather loafers (or flats for the ladies) to take things up a notch.

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