Nothing is more romantic than a beach wedding! The sand between your toes, the beautiful waves crashing in and the exotic experience of traveling to a unique location will make your wedding very special for both of you.
Even better, celebrating your love with a destination wedding can be an affordable way to tie the knot. From all-inclusive vacation packages to a smaller guest list, having an exotic wedding can actually help you save money. The casual wedding dress you’ll wear at your beach wedding will also be more affordable than a formal ballroom gown.
Choosing the beach wedding dress that’s perfect for your ceremony, style and location is very important. If you end up with a dress that doesn’t suit your travel needs or personal desires then there is no going back.
Take a look at our guide below on how to select the right wedding dress for your destination wedding.
Step 1: Decide on Your Destination Wedding Dream
Do you want to celebrate your love on a cruise ship or an isolated island paradise? Will you be bringing friends and family? Do you want to stay local or fly across the world? These are all important things to consider before you choose your wedding dress.
Here are some key questions to ask yourself and your partner before you start shopping.
- Will you be jumping into the surf after the kiss? It’s important to remember that some fabrics shouldn’t get wet or can really weigh you down.
- Do you want to stroll down the beach shoeless? We suggest shortening the length of your gown slightly (1-2”) so as to not get it dirty in the sand.
- Will you be dancing in your dress? If so then remember to get your dress bustled if it comes with a train.Will the ceremony take place during the day or night? Even in a tropical paradise you can get cold at night, consider one of our wedding jackets or shawls.
- How are you traveling? Carrying a large dress on an air plane can be difficult, but if you’re just jumping on a cruise ship then you can definitely protect and wear a larger dress.
- Is your ceremony just for the two of you or will you have other guests attending? If it’s just the two of you consider going for a short or train-less dress since you won’t have anyone to help you keep it out of the dirt.
Choosing the Right Fabric for Your Beach Wedding Dress
There are many fabrics you can choose from for your wedding dress, but not all fabrics are ideal for beach weddings. Some fabrics are too warm or too delicate for the beach, while others are just right. Here is our recommendations for choosing a beach appropriate fabric for your wedding dress.
Chiffon is a very popular fabric for beach weddings. It’s so popular because it’s lightweight and doesn’t wrinkle easily. Chiffon can be steamed without the risk of damaging the fabric and it drapes beautifully over any figure.
Charmeuse is lightweight and very soft, making it a great fabric for a beach wedding. While charmeuse is beautiful and has a very lustrous shine to it, it’s also clingy and can tear easily when wet. So take care not to get this type of fabric wet in the ocean.
Tulle is another popular material for beach wedding dresses. This fabric is lightweight and relatively inexpensive, so you won’t feel bad about messing it up in the sand. Tulle is also very poofy, which is why it’s used in more traditional wedding gowns. At the beach tulle can give you that princess look while also keeping it casual, cool and lightweight.
Taffeta is a textured or wrinkled fabric that’s made from several different types of fibers like polyester and nylon. It’s made to look wrinkled so you won’t need to worry about getting it ironed, but it’s not nearly as soft or flowy as other fabrics.
Remember that even with the right fabric lots of beading or lace can weigh a dress down. Look for accents like belts, shawls or jackets if you want to dress things up. This way you can ditch the extras if you need too!
Choosing the Right Style for Your Beach Wedding Dress
Going casual with your wedding gown is definitely the right move if you’re off to a beach wedding. Large ballroom gowns are hot and hard to travel with. That being said, you don’t have to “dress down” for a beach wedding either. Here is our guide to the styles of beach wedding dresses:
Quick Tip: Avoid long trains or veils, these will drag on the ground and become very messy.
Short & Cute Beach Wedding Dresses – These adorable and short wedding dresses are a great way to show off your personality! They’re just plain fun to wear and look at. So if you’re looking to show a little leg, dance all night and take a step in the surf then this style is perfect for you.
Short & Classy Beach Wedding Dresses – Show off your traditional style in a fun new way with one of these short wedding dresses. You’ll look sleek and beautiful, but still be free to enjoy the tropical sun.
High-Low Beach Wedding Dresses – Nothing says trendy like a high-low wedding dress! These dresses are fun, formal and stunning. Plus you can show off those amazing legs while still having the romantic feel of a full length dress.
Drop Dead Sexy Beach Wedding Dresses – You’re getting married on a beach, so why not flaunt it? Be ready for the most romantic night of your life in a truly sexy wedding dress. These simmering gowns are sure to turn your beloved’s head.
Super Casual Beach Wedding Dresses – Your off to have fun and don’t take things too seriously. Why not show off your easy going spirit with a beautiful but casual dress that really represents you.
Traditional Beach Wedding Dresses – You’ve always had a picture in your mind of how you would look on your wedding day. It’s that classic photo you saw once in a magazine of a couple who was spirited away to a far off beach to celebrate in style. These beachy styled dresses are sure to remind you of that.
Romantic Beach Wedding Dresses – If your dream wedding is to be a princess on the beach who is swept off her feet by her beloved price, then these truly romantic gowns will be the perfect dress for you.
Flowy Beach Wedding Dresses – Maybe you’re just a free spirit or consider yourself whimsical by nature, either way these dresses will look incredible as they flow through the air.
Making Use of Your Budget
Having a beach wedding can be a great way to reduce the cost of guests, but you need to be ready for lots of incidentals. When you are planning your budget be sure to include the following costs that are related to your dress.
- Cost for adding a bustle
- Cost for any last minute alterations
- Any additional charges for carrying your wedding dress on the plane
- Cost for steaming or pressing your dress upon arrival
- Cost to have your dress cleaned after the wedding
Plan Ahead & Order Early
The last thing you want to have happen is to get on the air plane without your dress. We recommend ordering your dress between 3-6 months before your wedding. If you are stuck ordering a dress at the last moment, consider using Rush Order to make sure you get your dress before you leave.
Never ever have your dress delivered to a resort or hotel. There are so many horror stories where a dress did not arrive or was lost by the staff. Play it safe, order in advance and keep the dress with you as you travel to your destination.
Traveling with your dress
Traveling with a large wedding gown can be expensive and cumbersome. The smaller or lighter your dress the less stressful your travel will be. If you can, try to pack your wedding dress in a separate bag from your luggage or carry on. We highly recommend getting a large garment bag for your wedding gown.
We do not recommend checking your wedding dress in as luggage. If at all possible bring the dress on the air plane with you. This is the only way you can be sure it won’t get lost. Once you are on the air plane make sure you store it on top of other passengers’ luggage in the overhead bins. This will help prevent it from wrinkling.
Quick Tip: If your airline’s crew is nice or if you’re already traveling first class you can ask them to hang your dress in the first class coat closet. Most of the time you can get away with this even if you’re not flying first class.
Make arrangements to have your dress pressed and steamed before you leave. Trying to track down a steamer at an isolated resort can be extremely difficult. Try asking your hotel beforehand if they can handle this service for you or if they can supply your room with a steamer.
As always, remember to bring a little sewing kit with you, this way you can easily fix anything that breaks during travel.
Last of all, remember to relax! You’re off to a romantic and memorable experience, so enjoy it.