Whether you’re the bride or a guest, read this before stepping onto the sand for those waterside vows.
It’s almost wedding season, which means invites to beachside nuptials are being stamped and readied for deployment. Time to start planning your waterfront wedding wardrobe. (Say that three times fast!) But finding an appropriate look for a beach wedding can be tricky. Not to worry—whether you’re a bridesmaid, the Mother of the Bride, a guest, or the bride herself, we’ve got you covered.
The number one rule of the beach bride: Keep it cool. That goes for the weight and the vibe of your dress. If you’re going for a boho style, loose, flowing silhouettes, crochet and cut-outs, and lightweight fabrics (think cotton poplin) are fabulous options. Hosting a more formal event? Silk chiffon or lace makes an elegant statement that still feels completely appropriate on the sand. There are no hard and fast rules for waterside silhouettes, but spring and summer brides can always count on a halter or slip style dress. And while sleeves may seem silly, keep in mind evenings on the beach can be breezy. Just remember to keep the fabric light, so you’re comfortable in the sun’s harsh rays and as you party by the light of the moon.
The Bridal Party
Let’s be real: If you’re in the bridal party, the wardrobe choices are not your own. That said, your bride may want your input. A beach bridesmaid’s dress has to be two things: photogenic and functional. You’ll want a style that holds up to the elements (a short, flowy dress on a breezy day is a recipe for disaster), and that makes you feel fabulous. Fit is key. If you’re not comfortable showing your arms or your legs (we all have our own insecurities), let the bride know. If you’re given the chance to select your own shoes, think about sand. A wedge or flat is a must—just don’t rock a flip flop unless your bride requests them.
The Mother of the Bride
Mother of the Bride dresses can be tricky in any locale, but a beach poses a few specific questions. The first: To sleeve or not to sleeve? Many MOBs would rather not go sleeveless for their baby’s big day. For those who prefer to cover their arms, lightweight, breathable fabrics are key. Length can also be a concern. A long, flowing option is a great way to feel age-appropriate while still capturing the breezy spirit of a more dressed-down day. For a more formal wedding, a shift is a sophisticated and chic silhouette that looks great on any body type. Not a dress fan? A gauzy or silk pant is a perfectly polished style for a waterside wedding.
The struggle of the beach wedding guest is very real. You may have visions of yourself walking the white sands in a flowing ivory frock, the wind whipping your hair and the sun shining on your shoulders, but forget them. Repeat: Forget them. The bride is probably envisioning the same thing for herself, and this is her day, not yours. Instead, go on-trend tropical in a floral maxi dress for a casual, boho beach wedding, or go with a more tailored cut in a beach-friendly shade (think coral, mosaic blue, or biscay green).
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