When you first get that beach-themed Save-The-Date, your thoughts may immediately leap to sandy shorelines, surfers bobbing along the waves, and sporting your best beach wear with plenty of tropical drinks. And while most beach weddings incorporate at least some of those elements, choosing an outfit for such an event can be tricky.
Beach wedding guests, take heart: We’ve pulled 7 stunning beach wedding guest dresses that are sure to wow the crowd while keeping you cool under the sun.
Whether you’re in hot pursuit of a plunging neckline or design that shows off your back, this guide on what to wear to a beach wedding sees to it that you won’t break a sweat planning your wedding outfit—though some onlookers might!
7 Gorgeous Dress Options for a Beach Wedding
When we think of beach events, our minds naturally turn towards the strappy designer bikinis and classic one-piece swimsuits we could wear while sipping mai tais by the water. But when it comes to beach weddings, it’s crucial you don’t show up woefully underdressed—so how do you know which summer wedding guest dresses make the cut?
It all comes down to having your wedding style priorities down pat. We made our wedding guest dress selects based on three key priorities:
- Versatility – The designs featured here can work for most beach weddings, depending on their level of formality. We wouldn’t peg a sexy midi with a sky-high slit as the best choice for a black tie wedding, so our recommendations of outdoor wedding outfits can work for a range of occasions (especially if there’s more than one beach wedding on your horizon!).
- Color – Beach weddings are supposed to be fun—so your dress should reflect that! Many of the designs we pulled come in classic black, but we’ve also made sure to highlight choices that come in a bright color and printso you can style with vibrancy.
- Comfort – As fun as they may be, a summer weddingcan be hot, humid, and sunburn-prone. Every dress option you’ll find here will allow you to move freely without experiencing any pitfalls, from too-tight fabrics to less-than-flattering pit stains.
Now let’s dig into the ViX closet and nail down the perfect beach wedding guest attire.
#1 The Melanie Detail Midi Dress
Everyone loves pink, right? The Melanie Detail Midi Dress is the sundress your closet was missing, and you won’t be missed wearing such an eye-catching ensemble (no matter how long the guest list is).
The Melanie features a delicate neckstrap with knotted details and metal accents for a subtle, nautical vibe that’s right at home by the sea. With a low-cut back to help you ramp up your tan, it’s a win-win.
#2 The Yasmin Midi Dress
Have it all ways with the Yasmin Midi Dress, with a structured bodice and relaxed, breezy skirt. This adaptable dress features a removable belt, a zippered back, and adjustable thin straps that accentuate those gorgeous shoulders you’ve been working on in Pilates class. Choose Agatha pink for a feminine touch, or classic black for ageless elegance.
Also: Did we mention it has pockets? Iconic.
#3 The Luana Detail Long Dress
Sophisticated and sexy, the Luana Detail Long Dress is all about showing off your fun, sultry side. The cross-body halter neck and cinched smocked back are flattering on every figure—wearing this number, you’re sure to lock in the top look at the wedding (besides the bride’s, of course).
With impeccably designed side cut-outs and 24k gold metal hardware, this style is ideal for cocktails, dancing, and celebrating eternal love.
#4 The Nayara Detail Long Dress
Can you say “island vibes”? The Nayara Detail Long Dress can.
Whether you go for the monochrome chic Chilli shade or the bohemian Allena print, this flowy beach maxi dress is a stunner even before you add heels and earrings. A button loop closure around the waist offers maximum comfort whether you’re taking pics or cutting loose on the dance floor.
#5 The Firenze Ingrid Midi Dress
We don’t play favorites, but we think the Firenze Ingrid Midi Dress is definitely worth your consideration.
The Firenze Ingrid’s unique adaptability means you can undergo a transformation from a cute beach babe to the queen of the night in a matter of minutes. It’s an ideal choice if you’re headed to an event that starts off casual by the ocean and gets turned up late poolside. Plus, with a comfy slit hemline and a universally adjustable halter neck, you’ll be able to adapt your fit for touch-ups on the fly.
#6 The Rute Long Dress
The gorgeous printed Rute Long Dress was made for beach wedding season, with a flowing silhouette and bandeau style top. The Rute features glistening metal hardware, twist-style straps, and a sheer print that’s somehow casual and dressed up.
It’s an effortless look on its own, but paired with a jacket and your favorite pair of espadrilles it makes for a polished, anything-goes outfit.
#7 The Gisa Midi Dress
Even at a wedding, girls just want to have fun—and the Gisa Midi Dress’s timeless feminine design says just that.
Choose from three one-of-a-kind prints, each with a luxurious, wrap-tie fit that makes it easy to slip on if you’re getting ready in a dash. This alluring wrap dress plays well with flats or heeled sandals, but you can polish it up with gold accessories and oversized sunglasses.
How to Choose The Perfect Dress: Beach Wedding Attire 101
A few dress styles have caught your eye…so how do you ensure the one you choose is right for the occasion?
In most cases, when couples say I do by the ocean, they’re looking to create an atmosphere that’s on the more casual side. However, “beach wedding attire” is a catch-all that can span three different levels of formality:1
Now, let’s take a look at what these options might look like in practice as you’re putting together your wedding look.
Most of us have been to a formal wedding or two. While men wear elegant suits, most women opt for tea-length or knee-length dresses. Jumpsuits or pantsuits may be acceptable choices here, but only if they’re on the dressier side.
If the dress code at a beach wedding is formal, this will be specified on the invitation or wedding website. In this case, you can dress as you would for a formal wedding back home—with one or two important exceptions:2
- There’s no need to wear black – Black is often the color of choice for many women headed to formal weddings. For a beach wedding, however, feel free to get into the outdoorsy vibe with brighter hues or eye-catching prints
- Choose beach-friendly footwear – If the event will be held overlooking the beach—for instance, on the back deck of a resort or hotel—go ahead and wear the same pair of heels you would’ve rocked back home.
However, if the event will be held on the beach (sand, seashells, beached jellyfish, etc.), you’re going to want shoes that can stand up to the surf. When in doubt, reach for simple sandals with leather straps or a pair of low, espadrille wedges.
What is semi formal wedding attire? Just a step on the fanciness scale, semi-formal weddings permit a bit broader range of colors and prints, and greater flexibility concerning footwear. You can always choose a dress, but a polished romper could work too.
With semi-formal wear, you have the freedom to choose more playful designs: think off-the-shoulder necklines, exposed backs, or subtle cut-out designs around the torso.
Most weddings held on the beach will allow casual wedding attire for guests, which means there are far fewer strict rules to abide by. That said, in this scenario, it’s wisest to plan an outfit with two things top of mind:
- Timing – If vows will be said around sundown with dinner and reception to follow, it’s more than appropriate to add a little more glam to your to ensure congruence with a night of cocktails, dancing, and celebration. This can be achieved with more dramatic makeup (a deep red lip or smokey eye, perhaps?), glitzier accessories, or the style of garment you wear.
- Weather – As with all outdoor events, always prepare for contingencies like rain, humidity, and wind. As all beachgoers know, weather patterns along the coast can change quickly and dramatically. For this reason, always bring a jacket or shawl in case of a temperature change or drizzle. Also, it never hurts to carry travel-size makeup in your purse, for touch-ups on the go.
At the end of the day, weddings—and beach weddings in particular—are an occasion to celebrate. The better you feel in the garment you choose, the more you can relax into the moment, let that spirit shine through, and toast to the happy couple bringing you all together.
Turn Heads at Your Next Beach Wedding with ViX
Whether you’re chasing a formal sophistication or a dressed-down, bohemian wedding look, every ViX piece is inspired by the spirit of vacation getaways and celebration. Our luxury designer swimwear brand is inspired by our Brazilian roots to create playful silhouettes, daring prints, and unrepeatable designs that feel like a dream when worn beachside.
Ready to start curating your beach wedding wardrobe? Get your heart stolen by hand-crafted dresses, resort wear, accessories, and our best selling bikinis. Start browsing ViX’s complete collection now.
- Brides. A Guide to Beach Wedding Attire for Men and Women. https://www.brides.com/beach-wedding-attire-4842339
- TheKnot. A Guest's Guide to Beach Wedding Attire for Every Dress Code. https://www.theknot.com/content/what-to-wear-to-a-beach-wedding