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What to Wear to a Beach Wedding?: A Beach Wedding Attire Guide

In this guide, we are searching through your closet – or favourite store – to find the perfect clothing for a beach wedding. One of the many benefits of a tropical destination wedding is that it doubles as a dreamy celebration and idyllic vacation. However, that means there are more attire considerations at hand, so it’s time to sort out exactly which style you want to shine in.

What is the Proper Attire for a Beach Wedding?

We have all been relaxing on the beach and looked over to see a gorgeous bride preparing to walk down towards her beach ceremony. While she is shimmering in a stunning gown, some of her guests have taken the relaxed vibe of the vacation a little too far – wearing swim shorts, t-shirts and flip flops covered in salt, sea and sand.

Now, we understand a big part of the appeal of a tropical destination wedding is the time you get to spend sipping cocktails on the beachside. We happily invite you to fully indulge in all the most relaxing elements of your time away, but when it comes to the wedding day, it’s important to respect – and reflect – the bride and groom’s stylistic wishes. Proper clothing for a beach wedding attire is very similar to traditional weddings, it largely depends on the formality of the event. Let us help you navigate the muddy waters and pick out the perfect wedding guest outfit.

Bride and groom after getting married on tropical beach surrounded by guests in semi-formal beach wedding attire at Adventure Weddings

What to Wear to a Beach Wedding

The short answer: wear what you normally would to a traditional wedding, such as a dress, suit, or jumpsuit — but in bright colors to match the scenery. Your best bet, however, is to follow the dress code the bride and groom have set out — whether it be casual, semi-formal, or formal.

Some beach weddings are extremely casual affairs, but the bride and groom will likely make that clear via the invitations or word of mouth. Otherwise, it is safe to assume, you should follow the basic dress code you would at any other wedding. Except, you never have to worry that you’ll be shivering away in the special outfit you choose. Both men and women may be able to push the boundaries a little further in terms of colour palette and patterns because, that way, you will compliment your breathtaking surroundings.

Formal Beach Wedding Attire to Look Stylish on the Sand

Maid of Honour and Best Man walking down the aisle at formal beach wedding hosted by Adventure Weddings

Women’s Formal Beach Wedding Attire

Girls, an elegant beach wedding is a great time to bring out those fun colours. Pull out your bright and breathable jumpsuits, dresses or matching sets to look elegant while keeping the tropical vibes. Maybe leave the stilettos at home as it is hard to maneuver through the sands. A chunky heel or stylish sandal is your best bet to look good and feel great.

Men’s Formal Beach Wedding Attire

Men, keep it simple with solid colour, avoiding the traditional black, cream or white. Summer suits are a great option but so is a dress shirt, tie and pants. Fabrics like linen or khaki will keep you looking and feeling cool as the celebration goes on. Don’t be the one who shows up in shorts and sandals, instead opt for a nice pair of dress shoes to complete the look.

Regardless of who is choosing their wedding outfit, when it comes to a tropical destination, we highly suggest breathable fabric that can survive a little sand and sea spray.

Groom and groomsmen in beach wedding attire upon the Adventure Weddings boat prior to casual wedding ceremony

Semi-Formal Beach Wedding Attire for Cocktail Style Events

Women’s Semi-Formal Destination Wedding Attire

Women may consider more flowy options, a romper or different length dresses to ensure they are comfortable during this cocktail style affair – but please, no bathing suit cover ups. May we also suggest leaving your best little black dress at home? Tropical weddings give you such a great opportunity to play with semi-formal wear and accessories that pop with colour. As for footwear, stick to flats, wedges or even gladiator sandals for maximum comfort and style.

Wedding guest in semi-formal maxi dress ready to attend at tropical destination wedding at Adventure Weddings

Men’s Semi-Formal Destination Wedding Attire

Gentlemen can get creative with chinos or slacks and a button down shirt. Emphasis on creativity here because there are so many amazing brands that are stretching the limits of normative men’s formalwear to create stunning shirts, bow ties and other accessories that are perfect for a semi-formal beach wedding.

Casual Beach Wedding Attire Ideas

Bridesmaids in mixed and matched sundresses for casual beach wedding with Adventure Weddings

Sundresses, stylish and strappy sandals and adorable rompers are perfect for female guests at casual weddings. Men can keep looking sharp in short-sleeved shirts such as polos and well fitting shorts topped off with a belt. All guests can keep it light and bright or push the envelope with a bold floral print. Please leave the cargo shorts and swimsuits in your suitcase. There is plenty of time to wear them as you enjoy the rest of your vacation.

Attire Etiquette for Tropical Destination Weddings

When receiving an invite to a destination wedding it can be hard to know what to pack as a guest. Often the first place to turn to if you are looking for guidance on the formaily of the event is the invitation. Many couples will state the style of dress directly on their invite or on their wedding website with additional details. If there is no indication of appropriate attire then it is always better to dress up rather than dress down.

Bright and colourful groom and groomsmen attire for casual beach wedding

The rest of your vacation, you can wear whatever makes your time “beachy” keen

We know you’re excited to kick back and relax during your getaway, and beach wedding fashion certainly should not be stressful or limiting. There are endless opportunities to choose the perfect clothing for a beach wedding that you will feel good in, while also adhering to the fashion do’s and don’ts that will keep you out of grandma’s bad books.

Leading up to and after the wedding, you can wear whatever makes you the happiest. From a bathing suit 24/7 through to your tilly hat and favorite pair of flip flops, the vacation is your oyster. So, enjoy the chance to put on your beach best and take advantage of the unforgettable photo and video opportunities created by a destination wedding.

Bride and groom celebrating their wedding surrounded by guest in colourful formal beach wedding attire


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