Getting invited to a beach wedding is exciting for many guests. Not only do they get to see two people—they care about—declare their love for each other, but they also get to stick their toes in the sand and schedule a little time for rest and relaxation.
However, a beach ceremony and reception also raises questions about wedding attire. Do they wear heels? Flip-flops? “What should I wear?” may be one of the most common questions a couple will hear from guests before their beach wedding. Nobody wants to stick out in an inappropriate outfit, or worse, draw attention away from the bride or groom.
Follow this guide to beach wedding attire—or share it with your guests!—to ensure everyone at your beach wedding looks amazing in those tagged Instagram photos.
Look for Lightweight Fabrics
Both men and women attending beach weddings should look for lightweight fabrics that will breathe in the Florida heat. Heavy dresses or suits can quickly weigh you down, leaving you sweaty and uncomfortable. Look for linen or chiffon dresses that flow in the breeze. This will help you stay cool and ready to dance the night away.
If you live in a part of the country where sundresses are hard to find in the winter months, start shopping for the wedding when you get the save-the-date cards. This way you can find the perfect outfit with time to spare.
Dress in Layers for a Winter or Spring Wedding
Florida beach weddings are certainly warmer than weddings in other parts of the country, so you may be tempted to break out your favorite summer dress and enjoy the sun on your skin for a few days. However, it can get cool in the evenings during Florida winters. An afternoon breeze can lead to chilly nights.
To prepare for this, bring a wrap with you, or a light sweater that you can tuck away in your purse. When it starts to cool down, you can stay warm while still looking great
Look for Beach-Friendly Shoes
Have you ever tried to walk in the sand while wearing heels? The uneven and unstable surface is a recipe for a twisted ankle. When it comes to beach wedding attire, look for flats or formal sandals that you can wear on the beach. You can always bring a pair of heels in your bag to change if the reception is on solid ground.
Men can also look for beach-friendly shoes without breaking the dress code. Try some dapper, breathable dress shoes that won’t weigh you down as you walk across the sand
Incorporate Sunscreen into Your Makeup Plan
One tip for attending a beach wedding is to wear sunscreen. Even if the beach wedding ceremony is during the sunset, you can still burn if you are outside in the summer or have fair skin. Look for a moisturizer that has a high SPF and sunblock that doesn’t make you feel sticky.
Check the Invitation for Instructions
Listen up, couples! The best way you can help your guests dress appropriately is to give them a little guidance upfront. Are you picturing a barefoot, casual day on the beach, or an elegant and formal affair at sundown? Give your guests advice on what to wear to the wedding in the invitation or Save the Dates.
Your turn, wedding guests. Here’s an important tip: beach-formal still means a suit and tie for men and a floor-length gown for women. Beach semi-formal means button-down shirts for men and short or tea-length dresses for women.
Still not sure? Reach out to the couple directly and ask them. It’s always best to check-in and ask for clarification. After all, you don’t want to be the one guest that shows up in a tux when everyone else is in khakis. (Or vice-versa!)