9 Beach Wedding Attire Dos and Don’ts for Female Guests

by Bisma Khan
A man is standing on a beach holding a woman's hand in a beach wedding attire

If you’re invited to attend someone’s beach wedding, you might be wondering what type of attire you should wear. After all, when attending an event at the beach, it’s especially important to dress in a way that shows respect and consideration for your surroundings—especially if the ceremony or reception will take place outdoors in sunny weather! In this article, we’ll go over some do’s and don’ts of beach wedding attire for female guests that will help you choose the perfect look for your wedding day.

Do Let Your Hair Down

A woman standing in a beach wedding attire holding flowers in her hand

In keeping with beach wedding attire dos, you may want to keep your hair down (so don’t get caught up in a bun or ponytail). If your hair is naturally curly, try leaving it natural to help you better pull off casual beach wear for ladies.

Always remember that less is more when it comes to attire for a beach wedding so try not to overdress; always err on side of caution as even a nice-looking swimsuit can look out of place at such an event. Play by its rules – walk barefoot, wear an open-toe sandal that has straps—and if you’re headed for some serious partying later, choose one simple accessory (one bracelet instead of five or a necklace) because only those who really know you will notice anyway.

Do Pick a Comfortable Outfit

Choosing clothes that are both flattering and comfortable is a must if you’re headed to a beach wedding. But not all beach wear is created equal, so make sure you choose something that works with your body type as well as how you’ll spend your day (will you be in a chair or doing lots of walking?). If there are any activities planned like boating or swimming, take those into account too. Do be mindful of footwear—slip-on sneakers are great because they give your feet a rest while still looking polished.

Do Check the Dress Code Details

friends are standing on a beach side having fun in a particular dress code

Once you know what type of wedding it is, check out pictures on Pinterest to see if there are a lot of casual beach wedding dresses or other festive attire. By looking at pictures from previous weddings, you’ll get an idea of how dressy to go with your own outfit choice.

Regardless of what is expected, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed—as long as it isn’t too formal. It can be helpful to ask a friend who has been to similar events in your area what she wore and if she was happy with her selection. But ultimately, wear something that makes you feel good!

Do Keep it Simple

A great casual beach wedding dress doesn’t need to be too formal or complicated. Find a simple white summer dress that’s comfortable, preferably with a little bit of stretch to accommodate breastfeeding later. Bring along a cardigan or light jacket if you think you’ll get cold during any outdoor activities.

Choose sandals or flats that aren’t too high—you don’t want your heels getting stuck in wet sand! For jewelry, try simple dangling earrings and a bracelet that won’t slip off when you’re on a paddleboard. And remember: it’s okay to wear sunscreen—it won’t ruin your look (or make your makeup run)!

Do Wear Comfortable Shoes

A lady trying to wear shoe with two hands

If you think you might be dancing at a beach wedding, wear comfy shoes. You don’t want to end up blistered or in pain, which will make your time at a beach wedding less fun and can take away from your enjoyment of an otherwise great event.

Choose shoes that have lots of cushioning and low heels, as these are more likely to work with your chosen outfit. If possible, bring a second pair of shoes just in case yours start bothering you during dinner or while you’re out having fun on your evening on the town.

Do Wear Sunscreen

Everybody is free to wear sunscreen. There are a lot of reasons why you should wear sunscreen, but if your reason is that you want to look fabulous in your photos, it’s not a good one. Wearing sunscreen won’t ruin your tan—you’re not really tanning anyway—but it will help prevent skin cancer.

What’s more, sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 can even make you look better in pictures by reducing redness and blemishes. And there’s no excuse not to wear it because everyone needs to protect themselves from sun damage: Whether or not you intend on staying all day (or night), slather on some SPF.

Aside from keeping you looking great in pictures, wearing sunscreen is also very important when you’re at a beach wedding. Sunburns can happen quickly and easily at a beach wedding or even during an outdoor ceremony, so you’ll want to take extra care when choosing your attire. You should be prepared with plenty of sunscreens—and I don’t mean only sunscreen for your face! Be sure to use lotion on any exposed areas, whether that’s your legs, arms, hands, or feet.

Don’t Forget an Umbrella or Cover-Up

A woman in standing on a beach with an umbrella

It might seem like a good idea to wear your favorite, tight-fitting dress to a beach wedding. Unfortunately, when you’re walking along a sandbar, feeling uncomfortable in your dress isn’t going to be your top priority—especially if it has plunging necklines or high slits. Make sure you pack an umbrella or cover-up that you can throw on if necessary. You don’t want to show up to someone else’s wedding looking like a drowned rat!

Don’t Get too Glammed Up

A lady posing on a rock

Weddings are formal enough as it is—saves your high heels, fancy dresses, jewelry, makeup, and updos for another time. Instead, dress comfortably so you can take off those shoes to dance all night. If you want to be a bit more special than sandals but still feel comfortable, consider a pair of wedges or fun flats in an eye-catching color or with unique embellishments. The brighter they are, however, the more conservative they should be; that means no fishnets!

Don’t Pick an Offbeat Color Combo

In addition to coordinating your dress with your date, it’s also important to coordinate your dress with any other female guests who are attending. You don’t want to stand out or clash with others in a way that distracts from wedding photos, so play it safe by wearing something simple (black is always appropriate) and tonal.

As an extra layer of precaution, make sure to check out what other ladies will be wearing when you go shopping for your outfit—you don’t want to show up at a casual beach wedding in formalwear! By keeping everything on the theme but low-key, you’ll ensure that you look great—and also won’t draw too much attention.


Though there are many aspects of beach wedding attire, it can be boiled down to a few simple rules. No matter what, wear something that will flatter your figure; avoid colors or prints that conflict with each other; remember that you have to be comfortable while dancing all night long; get a great pair of heels if you don’t like flip-flops; do not wear unflattering garments even if they match your invitation. While men’s beach wedding attire is generally laxer than ladies’, they still need to pay attention to color combinations and patterns. Casual beach wear for ladies offers plenty of options in every department! Finding cocktail dresses that complement casual beach wedding attire is as easy as spending some time online—you’ll likely find one very quickly, if not several. Happy shopping!


Image Credit: Getty Images

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