7 Practical Tips to Help You Choose Your Beach Wedding Dress

What dress to wear for beach wedding

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It’s easy to see why beach weddings are an extremely popular option for couples – they’re stunning, affordable and have a natural, bohemian vibe that people tend to love. The blue sky and sea become your backdrop, the sand is your carpet and the sound of the waves your soundtrack.

But while it’s all romantic and lovely, there are practical considerations that come with a beach wedding, especially when it comes to your wedding dress. Picking a dress to suit your beach wedding can be a pain with several factors to consider.

Here are 7 practical things to consider when choosing a wedding dress for your beach wedding.

1- Choose Your Dress Style

There are so many wedding dress styles out there but not all look good on the beach. For example, ballgown or mermaid dresses have a more formal look, ideal for traditional weddings, whereas a sheath or A-line dress suits a beach wedding more.

Pick a style that suits your body type and personality and one that’ll not look out of place on the beach. Dresses along the lines of the bohemian style are especially ideal for the beach – these are flowy, casual, incorporates lace and natural elements all of which look right at home at a beach ceremony.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Bridal Separates: this is one of the trendiest ways to wear a wedding dress and gives you a lot of versatility. Bridal separates are perfect for the beach because you can customize the two pieces of your outfit to suit your venue.
Bridal separates wedding dress style

A two-piece wedding dress by Anna Skoblikova. See it here.

  • Short Wedding Dresses: Short wedding dresses are versatile and can be cute and princessy or formal and classy. They’re practical, comfortable and while not traditional, they can make you feel oh so bridal!
Bride wearing short tulle wedding dress

Short tulle wedding dress by Blush Fashion. See it here.

  • Sexy Beach Wedding Dress: If you want to reveal a bit more skin or to accentuate your curves, a sexy wedding dress might be just the thing for you. Some wedding dress styles include sheath and mermaid gowns, that show off your curves in all the right places.
Sexy wedding gown

Sexy trumpet wedding dress by Milamira Bridal. See it here.

  • Boho Beach Wedding Dress: For the free-spirited and the creative, a bohemian wedding dress is perfect for the beach. Bohemian dresses typically incorporate lots of lace, layers and crochet and can come in a variety of styles.
Bride wearing boho wedding dress

Boho wedding dress by Chic and Crochet Shop. See it here.

These are just some of the dress styles out there. Don’t forget to factor in your body type, personal style and budget when picking out your dress style.

2- Choose Your Fabric

Boho style wedding dress Rustic Simple wedding dress image 2

Lace and chiffon wedding dress by Valery Dress. See it here.

Beach weddings are associated with sunny weather and the last thing you want is to be sweating through your ceremony. Avoid heavy, thick fabrics like satin or taffeta and instead focus on light, breathable and flowy materials. These are comfortable to wear and because they have a lot of movement, they’ll be moving in the breeze, perfectly matching the waves and wind. Some perfect fabrics for your wedding dress include tulle, lace, georgette, chiffon, crepe and charmeuse.

3- Choose Your Length

Yes, there are brides who brave the sands with a long dress because their love for a dramatic length took the upper hand but while it looks stunning, it will be inconvenient not to mention annoying. Beaches are sandy, wet and sometimes muddy – hence, a long dress with a train is impractical in this scenario. Think sand getting stuck and making your hem dirty, damaging the dress and looking grimy in photos.  Instead, consider a shorter dress, either knee length or above. If this doesn’t sound bridal to you, why not an asymmetrical hi-low dress that doesn’t quite touch the ground or drag in the sand?

One point to consider – a short dress is sexy and casual but beware of unexpected breezes that could cause some serious embarrassment.

4- Consider Your Shoes

Barefoot sandals for beach wedding

Barefoot sandals by Fancy Feet Team. See it here.

You might be a heels type of bride, but as everyone would agree, heels just don’t pair well with a beach wedding. The best type of shoe for a beach wedding are flats, wedges, flip flops, sandals or, the most comfortable and effective – going barefoot. There are also innovative new designs like barefoot sandals that add a touch of bling and dress your feet up while remaining completely practical.

But how do your shoes relate to your dress? Well, when you go shopping for your wedding dress, it’s important to have an idea about the type of shoe you will be wearing on your wedding day. Most brides wear heels when they try on wedding dresses to accentuate their figure and height. But the problem with this is that on your wedding day on the beach, you might look dumpy and the dress might not look as gorgeous without those heels. Find a dress that looks great with the type of shoe you’ve set your sights on.

5- Consider Your Destination

Beach wedding setup venue

Yes, we know you’ll be at the beach, but consider the destination in general and what you plan to do there. Here are some points to consider:

  • Will you be taking photos on the surf? Some couples take their photos on the water, but while this makes for gorgeous wedding photos, a damp wedding dress can be heavy and annoying to lug around and takes a long time to dry.
  • How will you travel to your destination? A dress that creases and is too big can be a pain to transport around.
  • Will you be on the sand or on grass? Some beach venues stop short just before the sand, giving you the comfort and ease of a grassy ground with the beauty of the beach venue.
  • Do you have a bridal party? If not, a long dress and veil can get difficult to manage on your own so pick either a short dress or one without a veil and train.
  • When will you be having the beach ceremony? A sunset ceremony will look magnificent but consider that it can get cold and you might need a jacket or shawl to keep you warm.
  • What’s your hairstyle going to be? Beaches are windy places and no one really wants to end up with whipped frizzy hair on their wedding day.

6- Consider Your Wedding Style

Your wedding dress should ideally align with the style of your wedding. Beach weddings are typically casual and relaxed but they can also be traditional affairs. If your wedding is an elopement, you might be leaning towards something more casual whereas if there’s going to be 100 guests there, with all the frills and furbelows, you might consider a more traditional wedding dress.   

7- Consider Ditching the Veil

Bride with fresh flower crowns

Veils are gorgeous and immediately transform you into a bride, but they can be unsuitable for a beach wedding. Your veil could fly, catch on things and be annoying altogether and if it’s too long, it can get dirty, trap sand and get wet. Most brides opt out wearing a veil when choosing a beach wedding, but it can still be incorporated for a magical look. consider a shorter, sheerer veil and ensure it’s perfectly fixed to your hair and won’t be dislodged by the wind.

Wrapping Up…

Here’s how some of our readers put it:

Marianne: There’s no right or wrong when it comes to choosing your beach wedding dress. The most important thing is that you feel fantastic in it. Because if you do, then everything else falls into place.

Jo: I found my wedding dress among the bridesmaids’ dress collections on a popular retail store. It wasn’t as dramatic or full-length as a traditional wedding dress and I loved the more pared back style.

Anna: I always wanted a veil to feel like a bride, but in the end I decided against the veil and instead chose a flower crown. I didn’t want my veil to take a life of its own in the wind! I know people who’ve worn full length cathedral veils for their beach weddings and didn’t have an issue.

Choosing your beach wedding dress is fun and exciting but always consider the details of your venue when choosing. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to feel comfortable and gorgeous in your chosen dress.