If you’re having a destination beach wedding along the coastline, it’s only natural that you’ll want to select beach bridesmaid dresses that bring out the romance and allure of your surroundings on your special day. With venues ranging from national parks to beach resorts, there are a lot of factors to keep in mind when choosing the perfect beach bridesmaid dress for your crew to complement your own perfect wedding dress.
It’s always best to start with your vision for your big day and go from there. Are you looking to create a laid-back, bohemian atmosphere? Or, do you want to incorporate a bit of vintage glamour? Below are some tips and tricks for picking the best bridesmaid dresses for your beach ceremony, no matter your style.
One of the easiest ways to echo your natural surroundings in your beach wedding location is to pick light, airy fabrics that shift with the ocean breeze. Heavier choices such as velvet, satin, and dense cotton often feel out of place at a sandy beach ceremony (and might be uncomfortable as your maids try to trudge through the sand). Linen, gauzy cotton, and even jersey knit are all great choices for a bridesmaid dress. If your beach wedding venue is a little more upscale, a lightweight silk or chiffon can also work really well.
Form-fitting gowns can look awfully glamorous, but if you’re having a beach wedding, you’re likely looking for something a little more relaxed. To achieve this look, look for an A-line or strapless, flowy silhouette that grazes the body, but still has a lot of movement. Draped, low backs and “cold shoulders” are another great way to incorporate the ethereal elegance that you’re likely looking for. If you’re giving your bridesmaids some freedom to pick their own gowns, provide them with a few photos or fabric samples as guidance, so that you’re confident that they understand your vision.
Beach weddings are generally less formal affairs, so maxi dresses aren’t necessary if that’s the look you’re going for. This means not being afraid of picking bridesmaids dresses with a knee length or a higher hem. Just beware that it’s best not to go too short if you don’t want your maids holding their skirts down all day, as there’s likely to be a bit of a breeze on the beach. Knee-length, mid-calf, and high-low hems are often the safest options, as well as maxi dresses that graze the ankle, instead of the floor.
Since your natural surroundings play a big role in your wedding day, bohemian accents such as flowy sleeves, tiers, and ruffled hems often feel like a natural choice for your bridesmaids. Whether you decide to do a mismatched look or keep it consistent with a specific color palette, empire waist, neutral colors, and/or subtle draping there are a few simple ways to get the same free-spirited appeal of the boho look without going full hippie. Retro prints or dainty florals also give off major boho vibes.
While not totally off limits, a color scheme such as fuchsia or burgundy might be jarring or off-putting for a casual, summer beach affair. Consider hues that blend well with the natural surroundings. This could be anything from sand or blush, to dusty blue or deep teal. If you’re having a sunset wedding, coral is another great option, if you want something that’s going to stand out to your guests, yet still complement the seaside setting. In summary, any color you can find in the ocean is fair game for a gown.
For a casual beach wedding, simple sundresses are the way to go if you’re looking for a long bridesmaid dress. Either pick a classic style that will appeal to all of your maids, or consider letting them pick a variety of styles, colors, and fabrics for a laid-back, mismatched look. Striped prints, lace, shoulder ties, button-fronts, and canvas styles with pockets all give off an easygoing appearance that works well for more relaxed celebrations. If you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated, consider solid, neutral colors in retro styles.
That’s right, forget everything we just said and do your own thing. Aside from the key pieces of advice that keep comfort in mind (no mini dresses, please), there really are no rules when it comes to picking bridesmaids dresses. If you love the idea of flowy, white gowns with flutter sleeves, or strappy, red wrap dresses, then go for it. Whatever your vision, you can make it work with a little creativity and help from your bridal party. If you’re worried about staying on theme, it’s a good idea to run some of your ideas by your wedding planner or day-of coordinator, too.