Are you planning to tie the knot on a beautiful sandy beach with the sound of the waves crashing behind you? It doesn’t get any better than a gorgeous sunny beach wedding. Getting married by the ocean doesn’t mean you can’t get your dream beach wedding dress.
There is still a huge selection of dresses, from the more casual and relaxed, to the intricate and extraordinary. Here are some tips and ideas to help you choose the perfect beach wedding dress for your big day.
Decide on what you want to be able to do in the dress
If you are having a beach wedding, then you need to make some practical decisions on what you want to be able to do wearing your wedding dress. As things can be a little harder when walking on the sand.
Do you just want to be able to walk on the sand to your ceremony to say your vows. Or do you want to be able to move around freely, climb the sand dunes, wander the rock pools to get beautiful photos with your photographer after the ceremony.
Or if you are a bit like me, you might want to kick your shoes off, hike your dress up, go knee-deep into the ocean and enjoy the amazing location? Yes, I absolutely frolicked in the ocean on my wedding day… and it was awesome!
There is no right or wrong, it’s your wedding. Although if ask me it would be a shame to choose a gorgeous beach location and then not really be able to enjoy it, because your dress impossible move around in! Which leads me to my next point.
Ditch the long train
The beach is not the place for a long excessive train or a big multilayered princess style dress. Don’t get me wrong they can make for some stunning dresses. But they really don’t suit the feel of a beach wedding and are just down right impractical.
A long train will just drag in the sand, making it harder to walk, while picking up bits of seaweed and shells. Not a fun way to walk down the aisle and even worse for the hour or so after the ceremony greeting guests and taking photos. Not to mention if you happen to get the train wet, then
If you have your heart set on this style of dress and being near the ocean you might want to look at a reserve or clifftop overlooking the beach. Although really it would be a shame to be that close to the beach and not head down to the sand.
Ditch the long wedding veil
Much like the long train, a long wedding veil will be more of a hindrance and annoyance on the day than you probably realise.
If they do drag on the ground, they will most likely pull out from the weight of the sand. The beach can also be a windy place at times and the wedding veil can become a bit like those wacky inflatable men you see at car dealerships 🙂
Style of Dress for location
Choose a dress that suits the location. Some wedding dress styles are just not suitable or practical for the beach. A big heavy ball gown for instance wouldn’t look right on the beach. And lets face it, you wouldn’t be comfortable either.
Think of more whimsical and relaxed styles to suit the location.
Casual beach wedding dresses – You can offer a truly relaxed feel to your lovely beach wedding with a casual beach wedding dress. It offers a simple and elegant look and it should be really comfortable and easy to move in. Think floor length in soft flowing materials, perhaps with a little lace on the bodice or capped sleeves. Nothing to heavy or over the top and keep beading and jewels to a minimum to best suit the location.
Short wedding dresses – Consider shorter dress styles for your beach wedding. They are fashionable, chic and will suit the location perfectly. Medium length dresses, Tea-length dresses or cocktail dresses are great options. They make it easier to move and they will be cooler and more comfortable on the day.
Boho beach wedding dresses – Bohemian brides look amazing at a beach wedding. The whimsical and romantic look of the boho dresses will match perfectly with the free spirit of the boho bride. And it will suit the location to a T.
Backless beach wedding dresses – The backless beach wedding dress is another perfect option for a seaside wedding. A backless dress will keep you cool and will look spectacular. Just be sure to watch out for those tan lines in the lead up to the wedding. And don’t forget the sunscreen on the day, as you don’t want to get burnt!
Choose lighter fabrics
Firstly you need to choose the right fabric. Avoid heavy, thick fabrics.
If you are planning a beach wedding some fabrics are too delicate for the sand and rock and some fabric just shouldn’t get wet. And if you are planning on getting the dress wet, some fabric and dresses get way too heavy when wet and are actually dangerous.
Unless you are planning a winter wedding, then the beach can be a hot place. Particularly in Australia. There is very little shade and it doesn’t take long to start warming up. Some fabrics just get too hot and you really want a dress a wedding dress that doesn’t overheat you .
Choose a dress with lighter, more breathable fabrics. Some fabrics to consider include:
Chiffon – The word Chiffon is of French origin, meaning cloth. It is a lightweight plain-woven fabric with a mesh-like weave that gives it a transparent appearance. Chiffon can be made from silk (very expensive) or from rayon (more affordable). But polyester Chiffon is the most common type used for wedding dresses as it is cheaper, sheer and lightweight. It is a beautiful flowy material but it does wrinkle quite easily. This sheer fabric is but is a great fabric for warmer months and it is a very popular choice for summer and beach weddings.
Tulle – Tulle can be made from various fibres including silk, nylon and most commonly, polyester for wedding dresses. It’s a very fine, lightweight stiff netting that is relatively inexpensive and hides wrinkles quite well. It is also used for wedding veils and is the sort of fabric you see in tutus. Tulle is light and gives the wedding dress more volume. It is ideal for a beach wedding where you are looking for a more Princess look.
Charmeuse – Is a lightweight fabric woven with a satin or synthetic weave. The front of the fabric has a smooth and reflective finish and the back has a dull finish. It drapes beautifully on the body, following the contours and has a delicate and luxurious feel. It is ideal for warmer months but the fabric can tear easily when wet. So careful if you get it a little wet and then walk over rocks.
Organza – This lightweight fabric is woven from silk or synthetic fibres. Organza is quite similar to chiffon but much stiffer. It is a sheer material that gives volume to a dress and resembles a very fine net that shimmers beautifully in the light. It is an expensive fabric and it can wrinkle quite easily. But it is the perfect material for those warmer months.
Taffeta – Taffeta is Persian in origin and means ‘twisted woven’. Made from fibres like polyester and nylon it is a fabric with a wrinkled look. Considered a high-end fabric, it is made to look wrinkled, so don’t stress about trying to iron it!
Plan to wear your dress with flats
It is pretty much impossible to wear heels on the sand… although I have seen some brides try. So factor in the fact you will likely be wearing flats or be barefoot when doing your fittings and deciding on the length of your wedding dress.
In conclusion you ultimately want to find a gorgeous wedding dress that is light and easy to move around in. No one wants to be a sweaty mess in a super hot and heavy dress on their wedding day. And it is no fun dragging along and enormous train that collect sand and debris as you are walking down the aisle. I hope these tips help you in your search for the perfect beach wedding dress 🙂