Destination Wedding Attire

Destination wedding guest attire women
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Beach wedding maxi dress

Destination Wedding Attire

Destination weddings are special because they can be as formal or as informal as the couple wants. But because destination weddings are often so unique, wedding guests may be unsure of proper attire. People attending a destination wedding should select attire that fits with the theme and formality of the ceremony.

What Is Beach Wedding Attire?

By definition,  Beach wedding attire can vary depending on the formality of the event, but it generally calls for more casual and comfortable fabrics and accessories. Color, prints and fun outfits may be encouraged with floral accessories.
Beach wedding attire women
Maxi dress beach wedding

A Guide to Beach Wedding Attire for Women

As opposed to traditional dress codes such as cocktail, semi-formal, or formal, the “beach” element means you can think a little more comfy, cool, and casual when dressing for the event. Naturally, the time of the year, the weather, and the venue will all be deciding factors when choosing your look.
One can say, Beach wedding attire is the same as any other wedding where you dress according to the formality of the event, but unlike a normal celebration, there are some small changes to accessories and fabrics that will make you much more comfortable.
First step would be to do a quick search about how formal the wedding venue is. If the location simply overlooks the beach on a rooftop or patio, then plan your outfit accordingly. However, if the ceremony takes place in the sand, you can dress with beachy vibes.
Beachy dress for destination wedding
Beach wedding guest attire women

Beach Formal or Beach Traditional - Destination Wedding Attire

Traditional Destination Wedding Attire
 If you're planning to attend a destination wedding in a church or are anticipating a formal reception, traditional wedding guest attire is the way to go. Think formal wedding guest attire that is easy to pack and carry.
Dresses for bridal attendants and the mother of the bride should also be simple and easy to pack.
One fashion tip to remember is - Lighter colors are fine for outdoor or daytime weddings and dark colors are more appropriate for an evening ceremony.
Destination wedding dress for guest can be more fun and colorful.
Destination wedding guest outfit women
woman dress beach wedding guest

Beach Casual - Destination Wedding Attire

Destination wedding guest dresses

You won't typically see a little black dress and heels at a beach wedding. The biggest differences between beach wedding attire and other wedding dress codes is the color palette and footwear. Combine breathable fabrics, fun prints, and simple, high-end staples for an effortless-yet-refined beach wedding look.

Choose a simple sundress, or a breezy maxi dress. While dressy sandals are acceptable, avoid standard, beachwear flip flops. Lighter colors and/or bold prints will elevate your casual look. Avoid denim, cargo, and swim shorts. Cotton t-shirts are not permitted. This is the only instance when sandals may be acceptable, but ensure your feet as well-manicured before option for an open-toe look. If not, wear a deck shoe or loafer, never sneakers.

You don't want to wear a traditional wedding gown or a tuxedo. If you shudder at the thought of all that taffeta and lace, the good news is that your attire is limited only by your imagination. For example, if the wedding is in Hawaii, wear a Hawaiian Dress, complete with a lei. If it's going to be a beach wedding, a loose-fitting sundress and bare feet may be ideal.

Keep your destination, climate and theme in mind, and get creative. If the dress code is not too specific, pick a dress that reflects your personality and the ceremony. When in doubt, beautiful floral prints are the way to go.

We have put together a fun article on What you should pack for a Summer Vacation.


mini dress for beach wedding guest

Beach Semi Formal or Beach Cocktail - Destination Wedding Attire

Semi Formal Destination Wedding Attire
For a semi formal look feel free to include prints, or color. A midi or a maxi dress, suit, formal romper, or jumpsuit all work well for semi-formal. If you choose to wear a beachy dress, consider it in either tea-length or maxi to avoid looking too casual. Also style your outfit with dressy sandals, wedge or chunky heels. A hat can be a nice addition for a day time ceremony.


Beachy dress wedding guest


Beach Destination Wedding Guest Dresses - Mother of Bride / Groom tips

Destination Wedding Dresses for the Mother of the Bride
With the popularity of destination weddings, the mother of the bride has more choices when selecting her dress for the day of the wedding. When taking a wedding celebration away from traditional settings, a new set of rules applies, alongside old standards of etiquette that have not gone out of fashion.

Not all destination weddings are casual. Mother of the bride dresses are available in various lengths, cuts and styles. If the wedding is set to be an elegant affair, long dresses, or pantsuits, that include sleeves, jackets or scarves are proper. If the day is to be more casual, tea-length gowns with less ornamentation and exposed shoulders are acceptable.

Beach casual wedding guest dress
Beach formal wedding guest dress

Beach Wedding Dress Code 101

Beach Wedding Attire Do’s & Dont’s

  • No hats for a night time ceremony.
  • Ladies carry a Pashmina for evening / night time ceremonies so you don't get cold, yet look elegant.
  • Guys please, no shorts ever! It is inappropriate wedding guest attire unless it says so on the invitation.
  • Ladies & Gents – If you’re wearing open-toe shoes, please get a pedi.
  • Gals, make sure that you don’t wear a dress that is too short & loose/flared or you might end up inadvertently flashing everyone with just the slightest wind gust.

Read Related-  What is Resort Wear for women?


Resort wedding guest attire

Beach wedding guest dress women

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About the

Sandhya Garg is a Project Runway fashion designer. She studied and specialized in women's fashion at London College of Fashion, UK and has worked at Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Liberty London, Alice Temperley to name a few.

She has her own successful resort wear, vacation dresses, special occasion dresses, wedding guest looks, swim coverups label. While on Project Runway Season 13, she won 2 challenges and was fortunate to show her collection at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. The brand has been featured in Marie Claire US,Workshop at Macy's,, Elle Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Vogue online to name a few. 

She designs limited edition high end printed spring dresses, casual resort attire and swim coverups. Beautiful prints are inspired from around the world to be worn during travel, resort stay or cruise holidays.

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