What to Wear to a Beach Wedding: Attire By Dress Code
Ahhhhh, summer weddings on the Outer Banks.
Wedding couples spend many hours picking out a perfect beach location and deciding what he/she is going to wear at their Outer Banks wedding. But guests often wonder what to wear for beach weddings. This guide will help you find beach wedding attire that looks good and is still comfortable.
Beach weddings are often more casual affairs than church weddings, however, dressing for a wedding on the beach can take some planning. Here are some tips on what to wear to an Outer Banks wedding - taking time and location into consideration.
Formal Beach Wedding Attire
The most important thing to think about when dressing for a formal beach wedding, whether you're planning to dress more masculine, feminine, or somehwere in between, is the fabric. Even though the wedding calls for formal attire, it's still important to choose breathable fabrics that are loose and light on the skin. This will help with the chill from the wind while also protecting you from any sand that might make its way on the breeze.
For women and people looking to dress more feminine, dresses, jumpsuits, or even a loose-fitting suit can be great options for beach wedding attire for female and feminine guests. Choose bright-colored fabrics (not white - obviously) such as cream or peach and feel free to experiment with length as long as it's not too short. Tea-length dress or ankle-length dresses are always a safe option. Try to avoid anything strapless, as the wind and weather on the beach can be extremely unpredictable. A light shawl, wrap, or scarf is a great way to elevate your outfit without missing the theme. Beach formal is also a great opportunity to experiment with jewelry like a statement necklace or hoop earrings that will give your fit a little bit of flair.
For men or a more masculine look, beach formal attire isn't all that different from traditional wedding attire. You'll want a jacket at the very least with a pair of slacks and a tie or a suit. Still consider the fabric of your outfit and find something that won't be too hot or uncomfortable, but will still keep the theme going. Look for a summer suit or consider linen pants or khakis with a suit jacket. Shorts and short-sleeved shirts are a big no-no, even for beach formal. A seersucker suit is a safe bet while a sportcoat over a pair of khakis is also a reliable option. Don't go for anything too dark or too thick.
Cocktail/Semi-Formal Beach Wedding Attire
Cocktail or semi-formal beach wedding attire is a little bit more fluid than formal, meaning that you have the chance to be just a bit more comfortable while still keeping things classy. Keep the same things in mind regarding colors and fabric as you would with formal clothing. Keep it light and airy and avoid black and white.
Stick with jumpsuits or dresses, but you can feel free to show a little bit more arm, back, or leg. Consider open-backed dresses with top buttons or reverse v-necks. Jumpsuits with loose legs and off-the-shoulder sleeves are also a great way to keep things classy while being a little more relaxed. Cocktail attire also means that you can choose brighter colors or louder patterns that allow you to express yourself. And don't forget to include a fun accessory piece like a scarf or a hat (just be prepared for the sea breezes coming off the water).
For men, you aren't necessarily going to need a jacket but you can always wear one with a bright print or a fun pocket square to liven up your outfit. You still may want to consider a button-down, but feel free to consider a three-quarter-sleeve shirt.
Casual Beach Wedding Attire
A casual beach wedding theme means you get a little more freedom in your wardrobe, but don't take it too far. This isn't the freedom to wear bathing suits or board shorts. Instead, think about what you would wear on a cruise or a photo-shoot for family pictures on the beach.
Maxi dresses, juimpsuits with bright patterns, or boho-style lace is perfect for a casual beach wedding. Don't wear anything super short and plan for the weather to change quickly, but feel free to have fun with it. Floral prints are always a great option as are fun accent pieces with a halter-style top or a free-flowing skirt.
A casual beach wedding is a great excuse to break out the cozy, bright-colored polos or the floral button-up shirts with short sleeves. Khakis or linen pants are a great option and you won't need to worry about bringing a jacket unless you want to. Cinos or loose shorts are also allowed when you're going casual, but don't wear denim or cargo shorts if you can help it.