Traditional weddings call for a fairly formal dress code. However, when it comes to beach wedding guest dresses, the rules change a bit. A beach wedding is far more casual and you have your guests’ comfort to consider. Conversely, it’s natural for brides to want to control the dress code to some extent in order to maintain the spirit of their wedding theme and facilitate a great photo album.
Leaving your guests to their own devices will result in drastic variations in attire. Setting a strict dress code will leave them feeling emotionally and physically uncomfortable. Full gowns, heavy fabrics, and dark colors are off the table. But, that’s not going to be a hurdle. You can still create a theme-friendly sense of cohesion with matching colors, matching silhouettes, or similar prints and patterns.
Whatever your vision, the examples and advice you will find below will help you strike that perfect balance between comfort and theme for your beach wedding guest dresses.
Brides Often Ask
What do you wear to a beach wedding as a guest?
All variations of styles are acceptable at beach weddings. Short skirts, long dresses, and even jumpsuits have a home on the sand. Solid colors are popular, and it’s always a good idea to suggest light, breathable fabrics like khaki, linen, or the increasingly popular seersucker. It’s highly recommended that guests dress in layers to better deal with the weather as it changes throughout the day.
What should an older woman wear to a beach wedding?
Provide older guests with a framework such as a list of examples or a short description of the desired theme. This lets them know what the limitations are but still allows them to make their own decisions that fall within your ideals. Common suggestions include tea-length or cocktail dresses composed of organza, lace, or chiffon. These are all both gorgeous and comfortable.
What should you not wear to a beach wedding?
Beach wedding brides should suggest that guests not wear white or lighter hues, to avoid competing with the wedding gown. Guests should also avoid black and other dark colors so as to not absorb too many rays. Brides should also specify that, although this is a casual event, it’s still a formal occasion. Ill-fitting shorts, jeans, or ripped clothes aren’t welcome.
Best Beach Wedding Guest Dresses
The best dresses for beach wedding guests usually boil down to 2 distinct options. The first is a clean-line fabric with bold, vivid patterns. The second is a single, muted hue on a modestly textured fabric. The most common color choices are pastels. However, bright colors work just as well with the right theme.
Dresses By Length
Maxi Beach Wedding Guest Outfits
Maxi beach wedding guest dresses are tremendously popular for weddings on the beach. Flowing fabric captures the gentle beach air, and they just feel right when shoes are optional. Maxi dresses for beach wedding guests also add a little formality to balance off the casual nature of the beach.
- Floral Maxi Dress: Choose a flowing and romantic maxi dress with a beautiful floral print. Look for soft and feminine colors, and opt for lightweight fabrics like chiffon or silk for an ethereal look.
- Solid Color Maxi Dress: Opt for a solid-colored maxi dress in a vibrant hue or a classic neutral tone. Select a dress with an elegant silhouette, such as a halter neck or off-the-shoulder style, to create a sophisticated and timeless look.
- Bohemian-Inspired Maxi Dress: Embrace a boho-chic vibe with a maxi dress featuring flowy fabrics, intricate embroidery, or lace details. Look for dresses with a relaxed fit, open backs, or tiered skirts for a free-spirited and effortless style.
- Formal Maxi Dress: Choose a formal maxi dress for an evening or black-tie wedding. Look for designs with embellishments, such as sequins, beading, or draping, for an elegant and glamorous look.
- Wrap Maxi Dress: Select a wrap-style maxi dress that cinches at the waist for a flattering and versatile option.
Short Beach Wedding Guest Dresses
Short is often the best word for summer beach wedding guest dresses. This adorably cute option is the best way to beat the heat and allows you to break from tradition in a big way. Here are some examples of what to wear for a short wedding as a guest:
- Fit-and-Flare Dress: Embrace a flirty and fun look with a fit-and-flare dress. This style cinches at the waist and flares out, creating a flattering silhouette. Look for bold patterns, textured fabrics, or unique necklines to make a statement.
- Shift Dress: Consider a chic and versatile shift dress for a modern and effortless look. Choose one in a solid color or with minimalistic patterns. Add accessories like statement jewelry or a stylish belt to elevate the outfit.
- Skater Dress: Opt for a playful and flouncy skater dress with a fitted bodice and a flared skirt. Look for dresses with interesting necklines, cutouts, or embellishments for added charm.
- Wrap Dress: Choose a wrap dress that cinches at the waist and flatters your figure. This timeless style works well for a variety of body types. Look for prints, solid colors, or a flowing fabric that suits the occasion.
Dresses By Dress Code
Formal Guest Dresses For Beach
Typically reserved for evening events, formal beach weddings call for elegant and sophisticated attire. Here are some examples of what to wear for a formal beach wedding guest dresses:
- Floor-Length Gown: Opt for an elegant, floor-length gown in a rich fabric like satin, velvet, or silk. Choose sophisticated colors like black, navy, burgundy, or deep jewel tones.
- Embellished Cocktail Dress: Look for a cocktail dress with embellishments such as sequins, beading, or embroidery. Go for a tailored fit and choose luxurious fabrics like lace or chiffon.
- Formal Jumpsuit: Consider a sleek and tailored jumpsuit in a formal fabric like crepe or satin. Pair it with statement accessories and heels for a chic and modern look.
- Black Tie Dress: Choose a dress specifically designed for black tie events, featuring luxurious details like draping, pleats, or an off-the-shoulder neckline. Opt for refined colors such as black, navy, or deep red.
Semi-Formal Beach Guest Gowns
Semi-formal beach weddings strike a balance between formal and casual. Choose cocktail dresses, dressy jumpsuits, or tailored separates in lightweight fabrics and stylish designs. Here are some examples of what to wear for a semi-formal beach wedding guest dresses:
- Cocktail Dress: Choose a knee-length or tea-length dress in a chic and flattering silhouette. Opt for elegant fabrics such as chiffon, lace, or satin. Consider playful patterns or bold colors that suit the season and the wedding theme.
- Dressy Jumpsuit: Select a stylish jumpsuit in a tailored cut. Look for designs with interesting details such as a wide-leg silhouette, statement sleeves, or a plunging neckline. Choose a jumpsuit in a luxurious fabric like silk or crepe for an elevated look.
- Dressy Separates: Pair a dressy top with a midi skirt or tailored pants. Choose separates in complementary colors or mixed textures like lace or sequins for added interest. Opt for sophisticated and polished accessories to complete the ensemble.
Casual Guest Wedding Dresses
Casual beach wedding guest dresses have a relaxed and carefree vibe. Here are some examples of what to wear for a casual beach dresses for wedding guests:
- Maxi Dress: Select a flowy and relaxed maxi dress in a casual fabric like cotton or linen. Look for a dress with a relaxed fit, fun prints, or bohemian-inspired details. Pair it with flat sandals or espadrilles for a laid-back vibe.
- Midi Skirt and Blouse: Create a chic and casual ensemble by pairing a midi skirt with a blouse. Choose a flowy skirt in a fun print or solid color and pair it with a complementary blouse. Add some statement accessories and comfortable shoes to complete the look.
- Dressy Shorts and Top: For a more casual and playful outfit, try dressy shorts paired with a dressy top. Look for tailored shorts in a fun print or solid color and pair them with a dressier blouse or a stylish crop top. Complete the look with sandals or sneakers.
Dresses By Wedding Themes
Boho Bridal Guest Outfits
Bohemian Beach wedding themes embody a free-spirited, boho-chic vibe with flowing silhouettes, lace accents, and earthy tones. To dress for a Bohemian Beach wedding, consider the following:
- Flowy Silhouettes: Opt for loose and flowy dresses with empire waists, maxi lengths, or boho-inspired silhouettes for a relaxed and carefree look.
- Lace Accents: Look for dresses with lace details, crochet inserts, or delicate embroidery to add a touch of femininity and vintage charm.
- Earthy Color Palette: Embrace earthy tones such as ivory, blush, or sandy hues to complement the beach surroundings and enhance the bohemian aesthetic.
Tropical Wedding Themes
Tropical beach wedding dresses guest are characterized by vibrant colors, exotic flora, and a lively, tropical atmosphere. To dress for a Tropical Paradise beach wedding, consider the following:
- Vibrant Colors: Embrace bold and vibrant colors like fuchsia, coral, or tropical hues to capture the essence of the tropics.
- Floral Prints: Opt for dresses with large, vibrant floral prints or tropical patterns to mirror the lush surroundings.
- Flowy Silhouettes: Select flowy silhouettes like maxi dresses or A-line skirts for an effortless and breezy look.
Nautical Wedding Guest Dresses
Nautical dresses for beach wedding guests draw inspiration from the sea, incorporating elements like stripes, navy blues, and anchor motifs. To dress for a Nautical elegance beach wedding, consider the following:
- Nautical Color Palette: Opt for classic nautical colors such as navy blue, white, and pops of red to create a timeless and elegant look.
- Stripes and Nautical Patterns: Incorporate striped dresses or outfits with anchor-inspired details for a nod to the nautical theme.
- Elegant Fabrics: Choose dresses made from refined fabrics like silk, satin, or lace to add a touch of sophistication to your ensemble.