What to Wear to a Beach Wedding

A few little style tips for attending a wedding on the sand…

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The Juice Market maxi | Bag from Cambodia | Quay sunglasses

SHOP A VERY FARFETCH BEACH WEDDING LOOK:

The last time I stepped foot in a church for a wedding was 20 years ago. I was 7 years old and had my tape player in tow, ready to bust out a rendition of Savage Garden’s ‘I Knew I Loved You’ during the signing of the papers. Yes, I was a wedding singer before the world even knew what The Wedding Singer was!

Every wedding I have had the pleasure of attending since has taken place outdoors. I have been to garden weddings, weddings at winerys and plenty of weddings on or by the beach. It seems I surround myself with people who have a penchant for the outdoors.

I grew up on the beach, so it is no surprise that my favourite of the lot to attend are beach weddings. My dream wedding is set on the beach, with picnic blankets, bean bags, fairy floss vendors and fun tequila cocktails. Beach weddings are my idea of the perfect wedding.

The salty breeze, sound of the waves and sand between your toes is quite a different wedding experience to that of an indoor wedding, or even that of a garden wedding.

The beach has some variables you don’t have to contend with anywhere else. As such, it can be challenging trying trying to decide on the perfect beachside wedding outfit. The dress code is vastly different to that of other weddings – something we might already be accustomed to dressing for. Fitted lace dresses are out of place by the ocean, and shoes… well, maybe just forget about shoes. If stilettos and grass are like bickering brothers and sisters, sand is the stilettos ultimate foe.

If you have an outfit to plan for an upcoming beach wedding, here are some handy styling tips to keep in mind:

SANDALS OR NOTHING

As mentioned before, shoes and sand are not friends at all. Trying to navigate shifting, sinking, uneven ground is hard enough barefoot, let alone in any sort of heel (wedges included!). Getting sand in your shoes is not fun either, so going barefoot is the ultimate. I know it sounds odd when you are at a wedding, but if the location allows, why not?! Note: barefoot doesn’t work in any other wedding scenario, no matter how sore your feet are.

If you must wear shoes on the sand, some pretty flat sandals are your best option. They won’t trap too much sand when you leave, and they are dressier than flip flops.

THE MORE LENGTH, THE BETTER

Mid-thigh length cocktail dresses are fine when you are at a wedding at a winery or restaurant, but not at a beach wedding. First of all, the beach is already such a casual venue that anything showing too much leg comes off as being far too underdressed for the occasion. Secondly, if you are going barefoot on the sand, wearing a short dress can give off ‘kick on party at the beach’ vibes. Probably not what you were wanting to go for. Keep it classy and go for something with some length.

FLOATY, NOT FITTED

The ocean isn’t rigid and structural, so your outfit shouldn’t be either. Look for more relaxed silhouettes, and materials that will dance in the breeze. When you are at a location by the water, dresses that are more fluid and relaxed work better than fitted and structural pieces – they are almost too uptight. Think outfits more along the lines of  ‘Hamptons resort’ than ‘A day at Ascot’.

ACCESSORISE TO YOUR HEART IS CONTENT

In the absence of shoes (if you did go barefoot) and the presence of sunshine, accessories are super important.

Whatever you do, make sure you remember your sunglasses! You don’t want to miss the service and hurt your eyes because of the glare. If you are super style conscious, make sure you pick up a stylish pair that goes with your outfit – you don’t want to be caught out wearing dad’s service station sunglasses as a last resort!

It is also entirely appropriate for you to wear a hat to accessorise. Being sun smart is of utmost importance, so nobody is going to see a brimmed hat as being out of place.

COLOUR, COLOUR, COLOUR

I feel like this one goes without saying. It just makes sense to be wearing fresh colours while you are celebrating love in the sunshine, by the beautiful blue of the ocean. Prints or block colours – anything that celebrates colour, works by the beach. You don’t have to go crazy on colour if it is not your thing, just try to avoid black, navy, grey and any really deep, dark colours. Oh and steer clear of white too – especially if you are going to be wearing a maxi! Nobody wants to make that faux pas!

For more wedding outfit inspiration – beach wedding or not – check out this style guide from Farfetch!

2 Comments

  1. Reply
    Kez | acaciasdreams

    Love your advice! I used to work at a wedding venue, the amount of people out there that don’t know how to dress for a wedding is alarming! I really love your dress and clutch in this post, you look gorgeous! Xx

    Kez | acaciasdreams.com

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