Choosing a beach bridesmaid dress can be tricky because there’s so much to consider like the weather, the formality (or lack of), and of course the overall theme you’re going for. So in today’s post, I’m sharing six tips & ideas to help you choose a beach bridesmaid dress style that will help your BFF’s look shapely in the sand, remain cool in the heat, and will allow them to kick up their heels (or flip flops in this case!) and dance the night away in style!
To see our gallery of designer beach bridesmaid dresses in all styles, lengths and colors, click here.
Beach Bridesmaid Dress Tips & Ideas
Choose a light weight fabric
Chiffon is a light weight fabric that is highly sought after by brides and bridesmaids for beach weddings. It is soft, silky (without being clingy), structured, and can be worn in every color imaginable. Sand will easily brush off of this smooth fabric and a dress composed of chiffon will blow gently in the ocean’s breeze. It will keep your bridesmaid cool without soaking up unsightly sweat like silk or jersey cotton tend to do.
Choose the Right Length
Short, knee length or tea length are ideal hemlines for a beach bridesmaid dress. It won’t leave you feeling weighed down, over dressed, and will not drag in the sand or get wet in the surf. Purchasing a dress that has a short, staggered hemline ensures movement, while a short sheath or A-line silhouette ensures a figure friendly shape. You can even shop for a short dress style with a lace, beaded, or satin ribbon embellished hemline to accent these beach friendly lengths.
Choose one defined embellishment
The biggest mistake some brides make concerning their beach bridesmaid dress style is selecting gowns that are too formal. A beach wedding is a completely peaceful and casual setting, where an overly embellished dress can look out of place very quickly. If you are looking at styles that have embellishments on them like bows, flowers, pearls, rhinestones, or feathers; be sure to stick to one embellishment only and keep jewelry very simple and clean.
Mix and match silhouettes
Modern brides-to-be are allowing everyone in their bridal party to select a beach bridesmaid dress that best complements their individual body type. When it comes to dresses and body types, one style does not always fit all.
If some of your bridesmaids are top heavy, be sure to select a style with straps. If they’re pear shape, a fit and flare dress looks best.
If your friends are very tall and thin, a ruffled tulip or bubble hemline dress can help create volume and curves. I really believe it’s important to select a style that your girls will feel comfortable, confident, and beautiful in as they walk down the sandy aisle.
If you’re a little more on the traditional side and insist on having a semi-uniform look, you can choose an almost identical dress style for each bridesmaid, but all with different necklines to accommodate their individual “assets”. The dresses pictured below, are identical except that the one on the far left has a halter top, the middle one is strapless, and the one on the right has straps.
The Twist Wrap Dress by The Dessy Group is also an awesome way to get a coordinated look while still allowing everyone in the bridal party to choose a beach bridesmaid dress that best fits her body type.
Mix and match colors and prints
Consider not only mixing and matching style silhouettes, but mixing and matching colors as well. Each bridesmaid may wear different hues of one tone. If you love blue, each bridesmaid can wear a different shades of blue like midnight blue, pastel blue, periwinkle blue, or even navy blue.
You can also have them wear two toned complementary colors such as black and white, pale yellow and navy blue, or pink and purple. Or how about a solid or patterned print in one defined color? Recent bride, Molly Simms, had each bridesmaid wear solid, printed, or two toned dresses that each featured black, white, and pink in a unique way. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
All White Beach Wedding
White bridesmaid dresses are a popular trend for beach weddings, but I have to admit I was never a fan…until I saw this next photo. My jaw literally dropped. I see tons and tons of wedding photos every day, but this is so unique that had I not already been married, I might’ve had to steal this idea.
These bridesmaids are all dressed in short white dresses but they’re each wearing some killer shoes in different bold tropical colors, and a bouquet to match her shoe color (nice!). The bride is wearing a staggered hemline bridal gown with white shoes and a bouquet that pulls in all the colors of her bridesmaid’s shoes/bouquets. How cool is that?
Now, it’s pretty obvious that you can’t pull this off if your ceremony is taking place on the sand. But this is simply stunning for a gazebo wedding in a tropical location overlooking the beach (just not on it).
If you are tying the knot on the sand, just have your gals wear flip flops or sandals instead of heels. You can even throw in a few pashmina shawls to match. The Dessy Group has some really pretty sandals and pashminas in nearly every color under the sun, so you have no excuse to not try this super modern, edgy and unique look.
Want more eye candy still? Check out my pinterest board on beach bridesmaid dress ideas below (and don’t forget to follow it) to see tons of photos that will help inspire you!
What’s your favorite beach bridesmaid dress style?
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Cynthia is the founder and editor of Destination Wedding Details.She has over 15 years experience in the Marketing and Event industry and launched Destination Wedding Details in 2010, shortly after planning her own destination wedding. Cynthia uses her experience and genuine passion, to inspire brides who are planning their dream wedding away from home.