A fresh breeze, soft white sand, the rolling waves—a beach wedding can be a wonderful experience. If you’re planning to host your nuptials seaside, you’ve undoubtedly fantasized about the perfect location. But what about the ideal dress to go with it?
The perfect beach wedding dress will accompany the romantic yet laid-back scene. Light colors and breezy materials are the ideal complement to the sun, surf, and sand. The casual nature of a beachside wedding means you can opt for long and flowing gowns or something short and flirty.
The dress takes center stage in the bride’s look at a beach wedding. Flashy accessories like big jewelry and complicated veils aren’t suitable for the seaside: Imagine losing a diamond earring in the sand or your grandmother’s old lace veil flying off in the breeze! Most beach brides don’t even wear shoes. It’s all about the dress.
That said, you’ll find beach wedding dresses are versatile, with an array of necklines, silhouettes, and lengths. Overall, these styles tend towards more modern looks. Traditional fluffy princess skirts don’t do well when they get wet, for example.
That doesn’t mean that your wedding dress will be boring, however. We’ve rounded up a list of the best beach wedding dresses to showcase your options. From elegant lace to more relaxed boho gowns, there are beach wedding dress ideas for every style.
There is a beach wedding gown to suit every style. Whether you want to show off your legs with a short hemline or keep it classic with a long skirt, we’ve got you covered. The diversity of options also covers a range of price points, ensuring you’ll find something in your budget.
Casual Beach Wedding Dresses
If you’re going for a more relaxed look, a casual beach wedding dress is ideal. These styles tend to keep it simple, without intricate beadwork, lace, button detailing, or embroidery, like this BHLDN dress below.
They may feature simple cap sleeves, spaghetti straps, or a strapless neckline, allowing you to move freely. Casual dresses also keep it simple in terms of fabric—no big tulle skirts, for instance. This gorgeous dress from Lulu’s is even under $100!
A casual beach wedding dress is the perfect pick for brides who want to embrace the beauty of the natural surroundings in their beachside wedding. You might accentuate the natural look using some simple flowers as accessories, for example. Since casual dresses lack the accouterments that up a dress price, like fancy beadwork, they’re great for any budget.
Lace Beach Wedding Dress
If you want to up the elegance of your beach wedding, consider a lace gown, like this stunning dress from Bridally Store, available on Etsy. Lace dresses come in a variety of styles.
You can have lace sleeves, lace cutouts at the neckline, or even a full-body lace gown with a sheath underneath. If you love lace sleeves but you want a lighter lace, check out the Jenny by Jenny Yoo Lourdes gown at BHLDN.
Lace creates a delicate look that can make a casual beachside wedding feel a bit more formal. This lace dress from David’s Bridal is light enough for the beach with gorgeous lace accents.
When choosing a lace gown, look for fabrics that aren’t too heavy. Your beach wedding is likely in a warm location, and you don’t want to sweat through your gown before you’re done saying your vows. If you’re on a tight budget, opt for a dress that isn’t head-to-toe lace. For example, you might opt for a dress that only has a lace bodice.
Simple Beach Bridal Dresses
Simple doesn’t have to mean boring. A minimalist wedding dress can be a lovely way to show off your figure and go with your beachy location’s “natural” feeling, like the dress above from Lover Bridal.
Simple beach dresses have uncomplicated styles and silhouettes. A simple sheath dress with spaghetti straps is a great example. While they might have some embellishments, these are minimal. The dress below is available on Etsy from ReevBridal!
When choosing a simple beach bridal gown, focus on the fabric. Something form-fitting yet flowing in a material like satin or silk is ideal. High-quality material will ensure that your simple dress still looks stunning and doesn’t come across as boring. You can also ramp up the style factor with some accessories, like a sparkling bracelet.
Goddess Wedding Dresses
Your wedding day is all about you. Set the tone with a goddess wedding dress, like the one pictured above which you can buy on Etsy.
To embrace the regal vibe, look for full-length styles that come to the ground. Most goddess gowns show off the neck and shoulders, keeping the arms bare, offsetting the lack of fabric up top with a flowing skirt below.
Think of the ancient Greek goddess style for inspiration, or check out this collection from Chosen by One Day including this gorgeous gown:
Consider accentuating your dress with golden accessories if you want to run with the “Greek Goddess” vibe. A gold-colored belt can cinch the waist, for example. When choosing materials, opt for lighter fabrics that will flow in the breeze. Check out this gown from Bronx and Banco.
Walking down the aisle with a flowing skirt blowing behind you will genuinely have you looking like a Goddess when you enter.
Beach Boho Wedding Dress
A boho beach wedding dress will have you looking effortlessly sexy on your big day. Embroidered embellishments generally characterize these dresses. Check out the stunning detailing on this Amelii Dress, available on Etsy.
They tend to have short sleeves or spaghetti straps, allowing you to show off your arms and flowing long skirts. There are also stunning backless boho wedding gowns, like the gorgeously bohemian Odalis Gown from BHLDN pictured below.
A boho wedding dress is anything but traditional, so feel free to get experimental with your style. Flowing, natural hair—maybe with some beachy waves—complements the boho look nicely. Braids are another option. Consider your dress’ neckline – this off the shoulder Tirdress looks lovely with beachy waves.
As for accessories and makeup, please keep it simple. Bare feet, a natural makeup look, and some simple flowers or greenery are all you need to be a boho bride.
Destination Wedding Dresses
When choosing a destination wedding dress, like this one from Love and Dress UA on Etsy, there are practical considerations to keep in mind. A full-skirt gown with loads of tulle probably won’t travel well, for example.
It’s best to opt for a simple silhouette and wrinkle-free fabrics that will still look fresh once you’ve reached your final destination. Fabrics like crepe and lace are great picks. We love this Coco Dress from Grace Love Lace:
When selecting a destination wedding gown, you also want to consider the destination. Do you want to celebrate it in some way?
For example, if you’re getting married in Hawaii, maybe you’d like to wear a traditional lei or flower crown. In this case, make sure to choose a dress that will match this look.
Short Beach Wedding Dresses
With a beach wedding, all of the traditional rules are off—so if you want to show off your legs with a short wedding dress, go for it! Short hemlines are also more practical, as you don’t have to worry about them getting wet in the sea.
That said, you do have to worry about the ocean breeze potentially blowing up your skirt! For this reason, opt for heavier fabrics, like the full skirt on this dress from Storenvy.
A short wedding dress can have long or short sleeves, allowing you to style your gown in a way that accents your features ideally. For example, if you don’t love your arms, a short hem coupled with long sleeves will draw attention to your legs instead, like this dress from Sposa Bridal!
We love this corseted dress from Love and Dress UA on Etsy, with a tea length hem to ensure it doesn’t get sandy on the beach.
Shorter skirts can be slim-cut and form-fitting or broad and flouncy, depending on your preference.
Flowy Beach Wedding Dresses
There’s always a slight breeze at the seaside, and opting for a flowy dress will make the most of it. Choose a longer style with a train that can billow in the breeze for maximum impact, like this flowy Winslow Dress from Reformation.
Fabrics like silk and chiffon, which are light and airy, will do nicely. You might also opt for dresses with multiple layers of breezy fabric. We love this flowy chiffon dress from a and be bridal shop.
You can tailor a flowy beach gown to your body’s needs. If you want a looser look overall, a sheath gown in an A-line cut can work wonders. Want to show off your figure? Opt for a fitted bodice, but keep the skirt loose and flowing. The Bonaire Gown from BHLDN is perfect for a beach wedding.
Keep the top simple—for example, with spaghetti straps—to draw all the attention to your billowing skirt.
Plus Size Wedding Dresses for the Beach
Think beach wedding dresses aren’t for plus-size brides? Think again. Many dresses on our list come in plus sizes! Make the most of your curves by opting for a graceful, fitted top, like this option from David’s Bridal.
Choose from long or short sleeves. A v-neck cut can look lovely on a more voluptuous bride looking to ramp up her sultry appeal. If you want to accentuate your hourglass waist, look for dresses with a cinched waist. A great example is this dress from Lover Bridal.
Some plus-sized brides make the mistake of hiding under layers of voluminous fabric. This will make you look large and shapeless, however! Instead, look for thin materials, like silk and satin, that drape elegantly over the body.
Gathering fabric at critical points can help create a shape. For example, asymmetrical gathering under one side of the bust balances the shoulders and hips.
Tropical Wedding Dresses
Who says a wedding dress has to be white? Not us! Again, a beachside wedding is an excuse to break all the rules, especially if you’re headed to a tropical location.
A light-colored floral print can make for the perfect accompaniment to a beachside wedding. Keep the colors muted—think pastels, light pinks, peachy oranges, and delicate yellows.
With a tropical dress, keep the focus on the print and avoid embellishments like lace and buttons. A simple cut, such as a spaghetti strap, is also ideal. You can opt for any skirt length, from short to mid-length or long and flowing. We love this dress Marchesa Notte Alesia Gown from BHLDN.
Choose a fabric that isn’t too heavy, as you want something light and breeze to match your tropical vibe.
Long Sleeve Beach Wedding Gowns
If you’re getting married at a beach in a pretty but cooler location—think of a seaside wedding in New England—long sleeves are ideal. This long sleeve wedding gown from Kuraje Wedding Dresses is on Etsy.
For chillier climates like this, opt for thicker fabrics so you don’t freeze. A heavier material will also ensure that your dress doesn’t blow around too much in the wind.
Long-sleeved gowns generally look best with a full-length skirt. If you still want to show some leg, opt for a slit. Are you getting married somewhere warm? A long-sleeve beach gown is still possible.
In this case, opt for lace or chiffon sleeves. This lace dress from Vinio Dress is perfect for a cooler beach wedding. You’ll have the illusion of bare arms without overheating.
Keep your accessories simple with long sleeves—a pair of earrings, at most.
Mermaid Wedding Dresses for the Beach
Mermaid wedding dresses are characterized by their fitted bodices and flare around the knees, like the gorgeous plunge dress shown above. They have longer trains that fall to the floor and may drag behind the bride.
To keep the attention on the stunning train, mermaid gowns tend to have simpler tops, such as strapless or spaghetti straps. We love this dress from Bliss Gown on Etsy pictured below!
Mermaid gowns are designed to be show-stoppers, so feel free to go all out in terms of embellishments. Beading, lacework, embroidery, rhinestones—this is your excuse to go wild. Mermaid gowns are also flattering on various body types since the large flare at the bottom can balance diverse shapes.
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