Choosing what to wear for your beach wedding can be tricky.
The beach isn’t really the place for a nice tuxedo, but you also don’t want to look like a beach bum while standing next to your beautiful partner if she’s wearing a lovely white wedding dress.
Beach weddings are amazing. But choosing the right clothes is a must to make your pictures capture the essence of the day and give your wedding, bride, and guests the respect they deserve.
Despite the less formal setting, your wedding is still one of the most important days of your life. There’s a lot that goes into choosing the perfect beach outfit. Where the beach is, the time of year, the dress code, and the venue all matter greatly.
Getting married on an Oregon beach in October is much different than a Maui beach at a fancy resort in July.
We’ve put together a list of things you should consider to choose the right outfit to guarantee you look great and make your wedding memorable.
Here’s how you can choose groom attire and help any groomsmen dress the part and feel great on your wedding day at the beach!
Where’s the Beach?
Not every beach wedding takes place on a remote Mexican beach with ten people in attendance.
You could end up getting married at the Four Seasons Hotel in Laguna Nigel, California, which is still a beach setting but incredibly fancy.
If your beach wedding is in a casual setting, like a public beach or a destination wedding with a small group of family and friends, you can dress down.
On the other hand, an upscale beach wedding often demands the same level of formal dress you’d expect to see in a museum or some other exclusive venue.
You’ll look a bit strange wearing linen shorts at your beach wedding if it’s a white tablecloth affair. But conversely, wearing a tuxedo for your ceremony will look off if your bar is a straw hut.
Not all beach weddings are the same, so your outfit will hinge on how formal the event is. Overall, your attire should match the setting of your wedding.
As the groom, you’re setting the tone for the ceremony and the reception, so what you wear is essential to creating the vibe you and your bride want.
What Is the Bride Wearing?
At almost every wedding, the bride cares more about what she’s wearing than the groom does what he’s wearing.
It doesn’t matter if you’re getting married at the beach or in City Hall; the bride sets the tone for what you’ll wear.
So, you should talk to your bride and wedding planner about what you should wear before you start planning any outfits.
Every groom should wear clothing that fits with the wedding dress.
Imagine if your bride is wearing something very formal, and you come out wearing flip-flops. Don’t make the mistake of thinking it will be cool to dress very casually for your beach wedding.
Wearing flip-flops is fine if your bride is wearing a simple dress and it’s a small affair. However, your suit or shorts should always be setting-appropriate.
Base what you wear to the wedding on what the bride will wear on the day.
Beach Wedding Wear: What to Know
A casual beach wedding shouldn’t mean “wear whatever you want.” Even wearing a Hawaiian shirt and shorts, there are still ways to look smart and dress for the occasion.
Here are some things you should consider no matter how formal your beach wedding is.
Make Sure the Fit Is Right
Whatever you do, make sure the clothes you wear fit well. Too often, people wear clothes that are too baggy, whether a suit or a button-down shirt.
Instead, wear things that fit you properly that will look good in photos in ten years despite the latest trends.
Don’t wear an old suit or old shoes to your wedding. It always pays to buy new and pay up for quality, especially for your wedding.
You should feel like a million bucks as you stand there waiting for your bride to walk down the aisle. Go to a nice store or tailor and get clothes that you’ll love wearing when you get married.
You usually have more leeway regarding colors when you get married on the beach. Wearing light colors, blue, green, white, and other non-traditional colors are more acceptable.
Other Ways to Dress for the Beach
A groom can also go outside of the box more at beach weddings. You can wear sunglasses, go sockless, ditch the tie, and make other bold moves.
Formal vs. Semi-Formal vs. Casual
Usually, beach weddings, and weddings in general, break down into three categories: Formal, semi-formal, and casual.
These three lanes make it easier to understand some fashion guidelines, so you’ll always dress the part and look good based on your wedding setting.
Here we break down each wedding style and recommend what to wear.
Formal Beach Weddings
Formal beach weddings typically have to tick many of the same boxes as formal weddings in other venues. For example, you’ll be expected to wear a tailored suit or tuxedo, though not all of the same rules apply.
Your bride will likely be wearing a very fancy wedding dress, so you’ll need to complement her well. Here are some style tips:
Go All Out in a Different Color
You can dress to the nines in a blue or maroon tuxedo.
The change in color dresses things down just enough to fit the beach setting but still matches the formality of your white tablecloth-catered wedding at the Four Seasons.
Lose the Tie
Ditching the tie is a great way to honor the beach wedding and make everyone feel at ease at the ceremony.
Of course, the same thing goes for losing the socks and showing off your ankles. Just make sure your shoes are nice!
And you can also wear a three-piece suit; the vest will make you look formal even without a bowtie.
A white dress shirt is usually the only choice for grooms at a formal beach wedding. Don’t wear some other color that you think looks good.
White shirts are classic. Choose other colors for ties and suits before you consider wearing a non-white shirt.
Roll Up Your Sleeves
Tailored tuxes and suits should have sleeve buttons that work.
If you’re getting married on the beach, you can unbutton your sleeves and roll them up. It’s an excellent way to look more casual while still wearing a nice suit.
With formal beach weddings, you have less wiggle room with what you wear, but the moves you make will have an outsized impact because you’re wearing very nice clothes, shoes, and accessories.
Semi-Formal Beach Weddings
A semi-formal wedding in a traditional setting usually involves wearing a nice traditional suit if you’re the groom. You still want to look nice even though it’s not a black-tie event.
On a beach, the groom will wear a suit or similar clothes. Of course, you won’t look as fancy as in a formal wedding, but you still want to dress so you don’t look like you’re headed to the office or church.
Feel free to wear a tan, light grey, or linen suit. The lighter colors will look fantastic. Just like with a formal wedding, you can skip the tie and socks.
In some cases, you can wear a very nice dress shirt and slacks without a jacket.
Sometimes, you can get away with wearing no shoes at a semi-formal beach wedding. If not, though, wear something new and premium without socks.
If you like the way it looks, roll up your pants to show off more leg.
Show Some Chest
Open up some more buttons to make things more casual despite the fact you’re wearing a suit at a beach wedding.
Opening two or three buttons on your white dress shirt looks great if you’re wearing a jacket. However, it may be too much if you’re not wearing a jacket.
If your clothes are less formal, keep things upscale by wearing nicer accessories like watches, tie clips, belts, or cufflinks.
Casual Beach Weddings
You and your bride may not love the spotlight or obsess for months over every detail of your wedding planning. Casual weddings are great for the right crowd.
Most importantly, everyone is at ease and ready to soak in the good feelings of a lovely wedding without the traditions.
Here are some tips for what to wear as the groom at a casual wedding.
Shorts or Pants
Shorts should only be reserved for the most casual weddings. We recommend pants.
They can be light-colored, linen, etc., but they should still fit well and make you look great. Roll them up to keep them out of the sand and show off a relaxed vibe.
This is when you can wear sandals, go barefoot, or wear something like loafers without socks. Basically, you can do whatever you want as long as it looks good.
You’ll never go wrong wearing white, but casual weddings are the place for floral shirts and light-colored shirts like pink, blue, yellow, and other light colors.
Making sure the fit is good will keep you looking fancy enough for a casual wedding.
Add Some Flair
You never want someone to mistake the groom for a server or some random passerby at the beach.
If you’re dressed very casually, you should find a way to add flair to your fit to make it easy to recognize that you’re there for a special reason.
It could be a nice watch, a special flower lei you wear for the ceremony, suspenders, or some other excellent accessory that sets you apart from the other people there.
Dressing for a beach wedding can be challenging. You don’t want to look too stiff while standing on sand, but you also want to avoid being too casual at what is supposed to be a lovely event.
So, follow these tips to guarantee you’re ready for your wedding and will be dressed appropriately for the event!