So, you’ve been invited to a beach wedding, you lucky duck.
Once you’ve woken up from the margarita-fuelled day dreams and the thrill and novelty of receiving an actual, real-life paper invitation has worn off, the inevitable beach wedding questions will likely surface: Just how casual is beach casual? Will I be sunburnt to a crisp? And do I even have to wear shoes?
Yes, yes you do. Here’s our handy guide to help you rock the notoriously tricky beach wedding dress code.
Beach weddings typically have a more casual vibe than the old mainland variety, but that doesn’t mean that you can schlub it on the outfit choice. While you can get away with a slightly shorter dress than you could for a cocktail affair, keep it classy, opting for an elegant draped shift or halter neckline. If you’d rather go long, go way long in a maxi dress. Kaftans are the cause of much beach wedding debate—we say, if you’re going to go there, opt for a classic block colour and a pair of statement earrings to keep things from moving into just-got-out-of-the-pool territory.
Heels and sand are not friends. A pair of neutral sandals (tan are our pick) will be your saviour at a beach wedding, and will carry you through to a full night of reception d-floor action. If you’re desperate for some leg length, a wedge will also suffice, but don’t go too high or risk a sand dune tumble. We’re mad about Gucci’s Horsebit Suede Wedge.
Sunglasses are an absolute must at a beach wedding. Not only will they protect your delicate peepers from the ravages of the sun but in the likely case that your makeup is sliding off your face, they will give you an air of poised, dignified cool, even if you’re anything but. A classic cat’s eye frame is a flattering and chic, while an aviator in this season’s hot shades of gold or blue will add a flattering pop of colour to your get up. Our picks are Epokhe’s Klara Black Gloss Sunglasses and Valley Eyewear’s Manbrium Small Aviator in Rose Gold.
If you’re pondering what to wear to a beach wedding don’t forget to have a bit of fun with your outfit; this dress code let’s you show your personality in a way you can’t at your typical penguin-suit affair. Your clutch is a great excuse to play with textures and colours: this season we’re loving neoprene, florals, and bejewelled one-handers, but you can never step a foot (or hand) wrong with the classics.
A beach wedding calls for some special products in your arsenal. Blotting papers will keep you powder fresh, SPF moisturiser will stop you from turning into a lobster mid-way through the afternoon, and—don’t be a hero—go for water-proof mascara (it’s a wedding—who you are you kidding, you’re going to blub like an idiot). Keep your eye makeup neutral and subtle; nothing brings out harsh blacks and wonky eyeliner like full-sunlight. A subtle lip and cheek tint should be stashed in your clutch for touch ups, because you’ll probably be doing a lot of congratulatory kissing and lipstick’s not going to cut it.