If you’re planning a beach wedding, you’re no doubt looking forward to having your ceremony on the sand with the ocean as a backdrop. What could be better than that? Even if you’re hosting a very casual beachside ceremony, every wedding includes all sorts of planning, from location to flowers to clothing. Since beach weddings provide a luxurious yet casual setting for a wedding, it makes perfect sense to pair them with the light, causal clothing that seems appropriate to beaches.

For the Men

Guys you have quite a few options, and most of them are a lot more comfortable than pulling on a tuxedo or a stiff business suit. You’ll have the luxury of having a suit that makes you look good and feel relaxed. Consider a linen suit in a white or off white color. These suits are comfortable and earth friendly. Best of all, these suits are lightweight and breathable, so you won’t be sweating from the heat. Hemp is another alternative, and these suits are often similar in appearance and price.

Other bridal parties create a festive atmosphere with Hawaiian floral shirts, which come in an array of color palettes from bright to subdued shades. Pastel colored shirts are also a possibility, as are ties, although ties are certainly not a requirement for beach weddings. For an added flair, you might consider a Panama hat or a fedora, as well as a colorful floral lei. Sandals are appropriate depending on the overall feeling of your wedding, but you can also go barefoot or look into lighter shoes that will be easy to move in while you’re on the beach.

If you’re not part of the bridal party, take a cue from the wedding invitation and the location. For most weddings on the beach, slacks and a polo shirt would be acceptable. Depending on the theme or style of the wedding, you may want to venture into the realm of something a bit more fun, such as Hawaiian print shirts.

For the Women

As with weddings held indoors, the bride is the center of attention at a beach wedding. Both she and her bridesmaids should look for dresses that are suitable for the environment and the overall mood of the ceremony. Beaches call to mind light and breezy afternoons and a certain carefree attitude. Most brides opt for a light, gauzy dress, though others decide upon a more traditional and formal wedding gown. It’s probably a good idea to avoid a long train, since it’ll probably only get sandy or wet. Off the shoulder dresses are always popular for beachside weddings, and they provide a nice element of style and class while keeping you comfortable and looking spectacular. Many women opt for colorful dresses for a beach ceremony, rather than the traditional white, to take advantage of a tropical color palette.

As far as shoes, you might consider some of the same options as the men. Sandals, bare feet, and low shoes are all good choices. You’ll want to avoid anything that is too high or has too much of a heel, as these options are quite formal and perhaps a bit impractical for beach environments. Add a floral lei instead of a veil for a particularly festive and tropical touch.

If you’re not in the wedding party, wear a light and airy dress, perhaps one with a summery print. Again, linens and pastel colors seem to be a natural choice. And if you’re heading off to a destination wedding in a tropical locale, don’t forget your bathing suit!

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