A Guide to Beach Weddings

Updated: Apr 12

For some brides, a traditional church wedding isn’t the first location that comes to mind when it comes to wedding arrangements. Some may prefer a more intimate setting with a small group of friends and family, or a low-key registry office ceremony with a big party afterwards.


With restrictions slowly but surely lifting, options that involve travelling abroad have become easier to arrange. Popular countries for a destination beach wedding include Hawaii, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Thailand, Bali, Mexico, Maldives, and Southern Italy.

Why do people choose beach weddings?


With a destination beach wedding the whole holiday is a celebration with your most loved friends and family members. When else would you get to go away with your favourite bunch of people?


The vibe is more casual and carefree, and you’ll benefit from beautiful views and photos, easier wedding planning (when you work with a wedding planner) and plenty of cost savings. Your beach wedding is likely to involve a better climate and will be a unique and fun experience for you as a couple as well as your guests. If you’d be happier with a smaller group of wedding guests and you like a more relaxed event, a beach wedding could be perfect for you.


What should I wear?

Wherever the destination, there will be sea, sand, and sun to enjoy. You have every excuse to reduce the levels of formality and do things your way.


If a beach wedding sounds appealing, you’re probably not looking for a spectacularly ornate dress with a lengthy train. Along those lines, we’d suggest avoiding heavy fabrics and intricately designed details when you choose your dress. Don’t forget, you’ll also need to take it with you on your plane journey so making it heavier and detailed may not help with transportation.


Instead, you’ll want to choose a dress that looks lighter and more airy. In terms of fabrics consider crepe chiffon, skirts, breezy tulle, and delicate lace which is beautiful but also comfortable on the day. Some brides opt for relaxed, flowy silhouettes that cling to your curves. Things like tiered layers, small trains, and patterned lace might be features of your beach wedding dress.


The helpful thing about beach wedding dresses is that you’ll probably skip the heavy, sweaty petticoats, rigid boning, and layers and layers of fabric. This means you could save costs on your dress as well as being more comfortable and relaxed on your big day.


For bridesmaids, some of the favourite brighter colours for beach weddings include sage green, marine blue, peaches, and purples. If you’re feeling bold, tropical brights in particular look fantastic against a sandy colour. Bear in mind that pastel colours can often look washed out with the sunlight so they can appear quite different in photos. Aqua is a popular choice of colour as it reflects the background and brings the whole look together. In fact, blue is one of the most popular colours for a beach wedding as it fits in so perfectly with the sky and sea.


If you’re feeling like keeping things more traditional with your colour choice, remember that paler ivory dresses can make paler skin look washed out, but they can complement darker, olive skin tones. (And please remember to pack your suncream as you don’t want tan lines or sunburn on your big day!)

That said, the dress choice isn’t down to anyone else. What the bride says, goes! So, if you’re ready and willing to break the ‘rules’ then go ahead and choose whatever your heart desires.


What about wedding shoes?

Many brides choose to go barefoot for a beach wedding. If you have a long floaty dress, it’ll largely hide your feet anyway, and if you opt for something shorter it’ll perfectly suit the casual beach vibe.


If bare feet aren’t your thing, you could go for flat sandals, ballet shoes, low block heels, or wedges. You could even look at leather woven mules, espadrilles, or slingbacks to keep the air flowing around your feet. Things like lace and sparkles would also work well here. You ideally want something fuss-free, comfortable, and elegant. You can read our blog about other factors with your shoes here. This is not the time or place for patent sky high stilettos!


What about hair and accessories?

Relaxed, boho looks with low key hair styles and dewy makeup would be perfect for this setting. Think hair half up and half down with textured waves, or simple hair accessories inspired by nature. If you prefer your hair away from your face you could try a minimalist low ponytail, or a statement higher bun with loose pieces of hair pulled out. This is also the perfect time to wear braids including fishtail braids.

Have a look on Pinterest for beach wedding ideas and you’ll see they’re all beautiful. It’s just up to you to decide which type of dress and look suits your personal style, your chosen venue, and your body type.

Not sure or need to look at some dresses for inspiration? Book an appointment with Lily’s Boutique where we’ll be happy to discuss what you’re looking for and help you find the perfect dress.

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