This is the ultimate guide to beach wedding attire for guests! After reading this, you’ll know exactly what to wear to a beach wedding whether it’s casual, semi-formal, or formal. Not only are we decoding the dress code, but we’re also sharing the best colors, fabrics, and shoes to complete your beach wedding guest outfit! After you read these tips, make sure you check out this gallery of gorgeous beach wedding dresses for guests to get ideas of what you can wear, and find retailers that sell affordable beach wedding guest outfits.
Have you just opened up an invitation to learn that you’ve been invited to a beach ceremony? While this may be exciting, it may also leave you scratching your head wondering what to wear to a beach wedding? There are a few ground rules you should follow in order to look great, remain comfortable, yet formal enough for this non-traditional wedding.
Beach Wedding Attire Tips: Best Fabrics
Light fabrics that do not cling to the body are best. There is nothing worse than sweat marks on the back and front of a gown. Materials like linen, chiffon, organza, and even cotton blends or lace are light but can still look luxurious. If the ceremony or reception is taking place during the evening, bring a lightweight shawl in case some cool air moves in from the coast.
Guys, you should consider wearing linen or cotton. Whether you wear slacks and a button-down shirt or a suit depends on the dress code, which we get into later in this article.
Beach Wedding Attire Tips: Ideal Colors
Black attire looks completely chic, but it conducts heat so if you are attending a ceremony in a tropical environment; you may find yourself completely cooked!
- Why not embrace the sights and sounds of the surf and turf around you? Mimic those delicious, tropical tones with your attire. Colors like aquamarine blue, turquoise, sand, terra cotta, fuchsia, lime green, tangerine, and even sunflower are all unique but appropriate tones.
- You may also wish to wear a pattern or print in these bright hues. Polka dots, stripes, and bold floral prints are all great options.
- Any color linen shirt or jacket paired with white or beige slacks will look great and keep you looking and feeling cool.
- A tan, grey, blue or cream-colored linen suit with a white shirt is also appropriate beach wedding attire for men.
Beach Wedding Dress Code 101
You can gauge the expected level of formality by looking at the invitation to the beach wedding. Attire tips are usually included somewhere on the invite (i.e. formal, semi-formal, casual).
What to Wear to a Beach Wedding: Women
- If the invitation indicates that you should wear beach formal attire, then a long, elegant gown is perfectly appropriate.
- Semi-formal beach attire calls for short or tea length dresses, which are great because they won’t drag in the sand, plus they transition beautifully to a reception venue held at a restaurant or oceanfront hotel.
- Are you wondering what to wear to a casual beach wedding? Our advice is a nice Maxi dress. A maxi dress is loose fitting, especially around the bottom of the dress so you can easily sweep it across the sand and brush it clean on land for a seaside reception.
What to Wear to a Beach Wedding: Men
- If the dress code is beach formal, you should wear a traditional suit and tie, especially if the reception is being held near the beach in a restaurant, resort ballroom, or on a yacht.
- If semi-formal beach wedding attire is required, then you should wear slacks and a button-down shirt. You can also wear a suit jacket or vest, but you can forego the tie! It is not needed since the venue is non-traditional and can make you feel restricted and overheated in warm/tropical weather.
- Long pants and a light color button-down shirt with short or three-quarter sleeves is appropriate casual beach wedding attire for male guests.
Wear shoes that you can easily slip on and off. For the ladies, sandals are a great option as long as they’re on the nicer/dressier side.
Beach Wedding Attire Do’s & Dont’s
- Please guys, no shorts ever! It’s not appropriate wedding guest attire unless it explicitly says so on the invitation.
- Ladies & Gents – it should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway just in case it slips your mind…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.
Beach Wedding Attire for Female Guests
Below is a collection of beautiful beach wedding dresses for guests. We love all of these dresses because they are the ideal length, colors, and fabrics to keep you looking and feeling great as a beach wedding guest. Click the arrow on the right to see more images. When you find something you like, click on it for more details.
Beach Wedding Attire for Male Guests
Check out these beach wedding outfits for men. There’s a lot of variety here, so make sure you click the arrow on the right to see more photos. If you see an outfit you like, click on the image for more details.
I hope these tips on what guests should wear to a beach wedding were helpful. Just consider the sights, sounds, and temperatures that will surround you on the beach (or next to it) in order to select an outfit that will not only make you look great but feel great too. Do you have more tips or questions about guest beach wedding attire? I’d love to hear from you in the comment box below.
- A collection of beach wedding guest dresses
- Beach wedding attire for men
My niece is getting married on Dayton beach in June…the invite lists the attire as “beach dressy” would That be more like semi-formal tea or knee length dresses or could a maxi still work?
“Beach dressy” is another way of saying “Beach Formal”. You can wear the same type of attire you would to a nice restaurant on a summer evening. That just means dressy attire that is appropriate for the elements (sun, sand, water, humidity) — so think of fabrics and cuts that would make you feel comfortable but still elegant and dressed to impress.
I love the recommendations! I was surprised to learn that my fiancé’s father wants to wear shorts. I strongly disagree; after all, he IS the father of the BRIDE! let’s put on some nice slacks or khaki pants for the occasion.
What if I don’t want to wear a dress? I’m not a dress kind of girl. What else can I wear?
Actually, nevermind. I just saw some really cute wide leg jumpsuits and maxi overlay rompers (which is the closest I’m getting to a dress). Beach wedding attire decided!
I see that you figured this out on your own but that’s exactly what I was going to suggest– a jumpsuit. There are so many cute ones out there in different styles and lengths. And I also some really cute rompers with a Maxi skirt (like this one: https://www.lulus.com/products/gone-with-the-whirlwind-mustard-yellow-romper/457782.html). There are tons of them out there. Have fun at the wedding! 🙂
Can I have information about the dress on the homepage. It’s green paisley with a wide waist ribbon
That is a picture of a guest at a wedding, so, unfortunately, we don’t have any information on the dress. You can find some really nice dresses that are similar in style here.
These are some great tips, and I appreciate your advice to wear light fabrics that don’t cling to the body to a beach wedding. My sister is going to be getting married, and most of the event is going to take place on a beach. I want to make sure I’m comfortable while looking nice, so I’ll definitely look for a lighter fabric and color to wear. Thanks for the great post!
For a wedding in octuber in cancun; around the beach at 7:00 pm; dress code said formal (long dress for women).
I found a very cute strapless chiffon, airy, fresh, peach color, but it has some sparkling stones (not as shine) making a V from the strapless Neckline to the belly button. Is it appropriate to use stone kind of shiny…???
I am invited to an August wedding in Monterrey, Mexico and don’t know what to pack. Please help! I’m a “youthful” 66 years old, wear size petite 10, and will be in Monterrey August 11 through 15. They tell me it gets very hot and most of the celebrating will be at night.
It does get hot that time of year! Pack dresses in lightweight fabrics like linen, cotton and chiffon. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with a nice maxi dress for the wedding itself.