Beach Wedding Dresses

Audrey M. Jones
Beach bride

If you're considering a wedding with an ocean view, you'll likely have to think about buying a wedding dress suitable to wear on a beach. The variety of dresses offered means that you won't have a hard time finding the perfect dress to wear on your wedding day.

Dress Styles for Beach Weddings

Beach weddings are considered more informal than their church counterparts. Full formal skirts and large headpieces aren't required at a beach wedding and, in fact, might become a hindrance - long dresses and veils can catch sand and move around in the wind, making it difficult for a bride to move or to take photos. Usually, to avoid these problems, a bride marrying on a beach is better suited with a sleek, casual wedding gown.

Many styles combine several details in one dress, like spaghetti straps on a flowing gown. Options for beach wedding dresses include:

One Shoulder

You can look like a goddess in a long chiffon dress with a straight skirt and one shoulder strap.

  • The After Six Bridal Style 1064 offered by Dessy is formal enough to portray your status as a bride, but suitable for a beach ceremony because of its light, flowy fabric and draping.
  • The Grecian One Shoulder Gown from Fox Gown has beautiful draping at the waist and no train, making it easy to walk on the sandy beaches.

Cocktail Length

A knee-length white cocktail dress can take you from your wedding ceremony to a local bar for drinks afterward.

  • The cocktail-length dress offered by David's Bridal contains draping that will move slightly in beach breezes but the dress is still formal enough for a wedding. The short hemline of this dress makes it easy for brides to traverse an aisle made of sand, while its simplicity will not detract from the already beautiful surroundings of the beach.
  • Alfred Angelo's Style 8529 is a short dress with a light long skirt over the shorter cocktail dress. This flows down into a short chapel train and would look beautiful blowing in the breeze.

Short Trains

You don't need to forgo having a train on your dress just because you're marrying on the beach. However, having a shorter train means that there's less for you to have to look after in terms of your dress coming in contact with wet sand and waves.

  • The lace Mermaid V-Neck 15007 dress from JJ's House features a short train that'll fulfill your desire for a train without forcing you to have to deal with a cumbersome load of extra fabric. This dress's simple yet elegant flowery lace and sash also make it suitable for a beach ceremony.
  • From JJ's House, the Empire Sweetheart Chiffon Wedding Dress is a beautiful option for bridal beach wear. It has a short train that will just sweep the sand. The appliqués across the strapless top and flowing fabric make the rest of the style suitable for seaside nuptials.

Casual Styles

This type of dress reflects a bride's relaxed mood and the calm atmosphere of the beach.

  • The strapless chiffon bridal gown from contains no embellishments except the ruffles on the skirt. The dress is light, breezy, and relaxed, making it the perfect casual beach wedding gown.
  • Hi Bridal's hiwdt18 dress has cap sleeves and not-too short flowing body that looks casual enough for a day on the beach but still bridal enough for your ceremony.


Tea-length gowns are a great option for brides who don't want their hemlines in the sand but aren't comfortable with choosing a short skirt.

  • The tea-length gown by Pisarro Nights offered by Nordstrom takes the form of a traditional wedding gown without the length. Its mesh-overlay design is dressy and flowy, making it perfect to wear on a beach. Additionally, its rayon fabric will resist dirt, smudges, and creasing, making it even more suitable to wear in beach breezes.
  • For a little more formality, consider the tea-length cap sleeve dress offered by David's Bridal. This gown's shorter length means that brides will have less trouble walking on unsteady sand, but its lace detailing indicates that it is designed for a wedding.

Flowing Dresses

A flowing dress is suitable for a beach wedding because it will billow slightly in beach breezes. Additionally, the dress's easy appearance reflects the calming and natural movement of waves.

  • The flowing chiffon dress offered by is made of a lightweight fabric that will move with ocean breezes. Additionally, its loose shape and extra fabric draped over the bride's back will flow as the bride or wind moves.
  • Cara Lynette by Maggie Sottero has a flowing dressing that highlights a stunning Swarovski crystal neckline and backpiece. The beautiful neckline means little other jewelry needs to be worn, and it is emphasized by the draping of the rest of the dress.

Hawaiian Gowns

Traditionally, Hawaiian brides wore loose, straight dresses to their weddings. Jade Fashion offers this shape of wedding gown for brides who want to include this Hawaiian tradition into their nuptials.

  • The Aloha Cotton dress is a loose, straight dress with spaghetti straps. Its white embroidery is of Hawaiian flowers and its cotton fabric will keep you cool under the hot Hawaiian sun.
  • The Hanalei dress is a halter style that pulls over your head and ties at the nape of the neck. The print is reminiscent of Hawaiian florals.

Summer Beach Styles

A summer beach dress is usually lighter and more flowy than one worn during other times of the year. This is to accommodate the heat normally found on beaches during the summertime months.

  • The chiffon fabric of the one shoulder floral applique from David's Bridal will blow in beach breezes, thereby keeping you cool, while the dress's shape and style make it clear that you're the bride.
  • The lace gown style 1774NT from Alfred Angelo is a perfect beach style for any summer wedding. It's casual for an informal ceremony and the strapless style will keep any bride cool.

Spaghetti Strap Options

A classic sundress with spaghetti straps and lace accents works well on the beach and allows you to show off your great tan in wedding photos.

  • The spaghetti strap high-low dress from David's Bridal contains a high-low skirt, which is shorter in the front and longer in the back, making it perfect for a beach wedding.
  • Pick up the sheath spaghetti strap dress from David's Bridal if you want a dress that will turn heads. It features a lace covered bodice that extends to the top of the thighs and a sheer lace skirt.

Finding the Perfect Dress for Your Beach Nuptials

While you can find informal wedding gowns suitable for a beach wedding in traditional wedding dress shops, you can also look for your gown in other stores. In spring or summer, you can probably find an array of appropriate dresses in clothing boutiques and department stores. However, if you are shopping for a beach dress during cooler weather, you may have better luck online. Try these sources for your beach wedding gown:

  • Hawaiian Wedding Shop offers several Hawaiian-themed wedding gowns. Dresses are usually flowing and made of light fabrics. For example, the Princess Kamamalu dress contains a short hemline, spaghetti straps, and coconut buttons, all of which evoke images of the Hawaiian islands. Items are all made in Hawaii, meaning you'll get a true representation of the islands.
  • Wedding Tropics offers long and a short wedding dress that can be customized in any color of your choice. Gowns are simple and several, such as the Angela, are made from flowing fabrics that'll swing in beach breezes. Shipping is a low flat rate and most dresses are ready in three to four weeks.
  • Impression Bridal's Destiny collection has a wide variety of dresses suitable for a wedding on the beach. From simple and strapless to short and sassy and long and flowing, the options offered allow brides to choose one that fits their style and body type. Style 11782 has a lovely lace overlay and no train for an elegant wedding. Use their store locator to find gowns in your area.

Bridal Wear and Beach Weather Tips

Wind, weather conditions, sweat, and sticking sand don't typically come to a bride's mind when envisioning her fairy tale beach or destination wedding. However, it's important to consider how Mother Nature may act on the day of your nuptials. Planning what to wear to a beach wedding requires consideration of the time of year:

Spring or Summer

Sun and humidity can cause you to overheat during a mid-summer afternoon wedding. To avoid this, consider a dress with light, flowy fabric. This will allow the beach's natural breezes to cool you. Fabrics you may want to consider for a spring or summertime beach ceremony include:

  • Duchess satin, which is lighter than traditional satin
  • Charmeuse, a soft, lightweight satin created from silk or rayon
  • Chiffon, a sheer, billowy fabric
  • Georgette, a crepe-like fabric whose flowy design won't be bothered by the wind
  • Organza, a transparent fabric that can be used as an overskirt
  • Dotted Swiss, a lightweight fabric with dotted designs perfect for a casual but feminine look
  • Tulle, which is light but can be layered for a full skirt

Fall or Winter

Lighter fabrics are still suitable for a beach wedding occurring during cooler months, but those fabrics don't necessarily need to be as light as those you would wear in the summer. In the fall or winter, cottons or lightweight satins will protect you from cooler breezes but still fit in well with your surroundings. Additionally, you can always use a wrap or bolero jacket over your shoulders when the weather turns cooler.

Ordering and Costs

Beach wedding dresses don't normally take as long as a more formal gown to create. Therefore, they usually take less time to come into a store after ordering. In many cases, these dresses can be purchased off the rack. Additionally, alterations to most beach wedding dresses are usually minimal or not even required.

Due to their simpler style and lighter fabrics, beach wedding dresses are also typically less expensive than a traditional wedding gown. Sometimes, a casual beach wedding dress can cost hundreds of dollars less than a more elaborate gown.

Choosing Your Beach Wedding Gown

All brides look lovely in their wedding dress, but beach brides look especially stunning when they keep their location in mind when choosing their gown. The many options available mean that you are sure to find the most flattering fit for your nuptials in the sand.

Beach Wedding Dresses