The Best Beach Wedding Dresses and Bohemian Dress Trends
Having a wedding abroad is a completely different story to getting married in the UK – and your chosen location makes a huge difference. For example, you might think that all beach weddings are the same, but if you’re marrying somewhere like Thailand then it’s likely to be humid, whereas a beach in the Caribbean might be much drier and breezier. Either way, you’ll need a beach wedding dress that you’ll feel comfortable in, and one that will fit the laidback holiday vibe of a wedding by the sea.
You’ve got to transport your wedding dress abroad so, of course, you’ll want something that doesn’t crease, and you’ve got to wear it in the heat so lightweight fabric is key – but, when it comes to styles, the world really is your oyster.
What’s the best wedding dress style for a beach wedding?
It’s all about your location. Your first thought may be a full lace A-line gown but this simply will not fit in with a laid-back celebration on the beach. Equally, wearing a simplistic chiffon, shift dress would look out of place in an elegant European castle.
For a breathtaking beach wedding we would suggest a bohemian wedding dress, which will move beautifully in the sea breeze. Or why not try something with a statement lace or keyhole back.
Think ahead and choose a material for your wedding dress which is going to breathe and keep you cool on your big day. Loose fitting fabrics such as chiffon and organza are perfect for a Caribbean climate. But keep in mind that generally things get much cooler in the evenings abroad and so pack matching boleros for you and your bridesmaids just in case.
Our round-up of the best boho wedding dresses for a beach wedding are ideal whether you’re walking in sandals or a barefoot across the white sands of your wedding destination.
If you’re looking for something short for your beach wedding, check out our pick of the best short wedding dresses.
W419 by Alexia
The lace detailing at the shoulders and waist is what elevates this simple column dress by Alexia into something really special.
The soft cowl neck is super feminine and is low enough so that you won’t get hot under the collar.
F171011 by Jasmine
This sophisticated Alencon lace gown by Jasmine has delicate beading in a cascading vine pattern – the perfect design for sunny climes.
Shoulder straps add interest to the top half and the dress drops down low at the back to keep you cool. The pretty skirt flares out softly from the knee all the way to the floor.
6772 by Voyage
We love the fancy free design of this flirty 50s-style dress from Voyage – a brand that knows a thing or two about destination dresses.
Short at the front and long at the back with a cute jewelled waistband – it ticks all the boxes. Add a pair of sparkly strappy sandals and you’re good to go!
Hartwell by Blue by Enzoani
This is absolutely perfect for a destination wedding somewhere hot. The delicate beaded floral lace appliqués on the straps are perfectly balanced with a figure-hugging low-backed dress with romantic lace overlay.
6045 by Sweetheart
Matte satin won’t glare too much in the sun, so it’s the perfect choice if you’re getting married abroad. This elegant fit and flare gown by Sweetheart has lovely detail at the back with satin-covered buttons and a chapel length train.
Bohemian wedding dresses tend to be more relaxed in their style and shape, but that doesn’t make the details any less significant.
From lace, embroidery, subtle ruffles and even rope detailing – it’s the details that ooze boho charm here.
While Maggie Sottero dresses may be better known for their clever corsetry that complements every bride, this bridal powerhouse also has plenty of options for the relaxed bride.
Here, subtle bands of lace appliqué introduce a soft patterning effect, complemented by the antique ivory fabric.
Layer upon layer of the softest fabrics evoke an undeniably dreamy aesthetic, with off-the-shoulder sleeves and a knotted bodice adding boho flair.
What makes this design stand out from other bohemian wedding dresses has to be the exquisite lace puddle train which is the perfect fit for a beach wedding.
Cherry Williams London
Sleek silhouettes aren’t only suited to city chic weddings. Cherry Williams London gives this gown a bohemian vibe with draping to the sleeves and a relaxed take on the bateau neckline.
Building on the trend for front skirt slits showcased in 2016, Berta reveal a more daring design than ever. The wider slit showcases the semi-scalloped lace edging, drawing attention to it as it cascades to ground level.
Team this dress with crystal barefoot sandals and you’ve nailed boho, beach wedding style.
Grace Loves Lace
Halternecks are still big news in bridal. Delicate straps and large lace motifs give this style a laid-back twist.
Bohemian wedding dresses needn’t always mean flowing fabrics with very little structure. For the perfect balance, try this design from Pallas Couture.
The deep plunging bodice and structured lace interest gives way as the gown flares out after skimming the hips into a whimsical tulle skirt. Although more formal than many, boho brides could still rock this dress with ease.
More often associated with formal wedding dresses, don’t discount sleeves if your style is more relaxed. Here, mid-length lace sleeves softly extend the bodice and neckline detail.
Draped sleeves, intricate lace and a plunging back make this dress utterly beautiful and bohemian.
For a more traditional take on bohemian wedding dresses, try a gown like this one from Temperley London.
The floating fabric, capped sleeves and understated appliqué keep the look laid-back, with the more structured bodice adding a timeless touch. Fancy a floral crown to? Browse our pick of the best wedding hair accessories.
More Beach Wedding Dresses from True Bride
These lightweight wedding dresses from the latest True Bride collection are perfect for a party on the beach. Elegant and timeless, they all share a lasting beauty yet have a casual feel that make them perfect for a wedding abroad.
If you’re tying the knot on the sand, remember that you may not need a traditional train. You may want your hemline to be shorter, and you won’t want lots of heavy underskirts – think floaty fabrics that will blow in the sea breeze and you won’t go far wrong. Here are some of our favourite looks for 2020.
Style W110 by True Bride
Style W110 is an airy, chiffon dress that boasts a Grecian-inspired drape at the back.
The modest train makes this perfect for a beach setting – it won’t weigh you down or hold you back.
Style W138 by True Bride
Style W138 has a light, fluid shape with a sheer illusion neckline, encrusted with sparkly beads and accents of lace.
A gorgeous choice for a low-key bride still looking for a gown with an edge. Check out our round-up of the best lace wedding dresses here.
Style W134 by True Bride
Style W134 is perfect for a country or rustic beach setting abroad.
This is a simple, informal lace wedding dress without all the fuss. Elegant simplicity at its best.
Style W112 by True Bride
For a fashion-forward and unique look, style W112 is a stunning choice for a beach bride.
A short wedding dress with a sassy full A-line skirt and a statement crystal detail at the waist, it is guaranteed to wow your guests.
Style W998 by True Bride
Style W998 is inspired by the glamour of Hollywood sirens and decades gone by.
A lightweight satin gown with a simple cut and low back, making it perfect for a glamorous destination wedding – think ‘private villa in Ibiza’ or ‘the Amalfi coast’.
Style W951 by True Bride
Style W951 is a casual yet super romantic gown perfect for a beach wedding ceremony. It has subtle crystal beading which is sure to catch the sunshine – or candlelight.
This wedding dress can be worn with a sheer tulle bolero for that added evening coverage should you need it.
Top Tips for Buying Beach Wedding Dresses
Choosing a wedding dress is a tricky task at the best of times but when you have to factor in sand and scorching temperatures, there are a few rules that you must consider.
Shorter dresses are perfect for a beautiful barefoot beach wedding although a longer dress in this environment can add a little more romance. If you are considering a longer beach wedding dress try a light and floaty fabric, not only will this keep you cool but it help while sauntering down the beach.
Again, keep it light on the accessories if you’re having a beach wedding – a veil is a good option to keep your hair in place. Alternatively, embrace the sea air with a couple of hair slides among your tousled locks.
Anyway, we asked the team at Benjamin Roberts for their top tips for buying beach wedding dresses, and here’s what they had to say…
Buy a lightweight fabric wedding dress for your wedding abroad
Seek out lightweight fabrics such as tulle and chiffon. Chiffon is very flattering and cool, it won’t crease up after travelling and you can hang it in a steamy shower room and any small creases will fall out after just 20 minutes. Consider silk chiffon if you can afford it as it’s slightly more luxurious.
A good tip is to place tissue paper over any beading or crystals on your wedding dress so that when it’s folded and packed in your luggage, the embellishments don’t ‘dent’ the fabric in flight.
Buy a detailed back wedding dress for your beach wedding
Consider a wedding dress with a low, sexy back, with strings of beads falling from shoulder to shoulder.
This looks beautiful if you’ve managed to get a tan first and the guests will love looking at the back of your dress while you’re saying your vows.
Think about style details where the dress might have tulle or chiffon lengths of fabric that will catch the breeze, too. If your wedding dress does have details like this, you may not need a traditional veil.
Buy a paddle train wedding dress for your wedding abroad
Always try to aim for a puddle train which literally means it sits behind your ankles like a puddle of fabric and doesn’t look too out of place on a beach or at a tropical resort.
Avoid heavy thick satin dresses for your wedding abroad
Avoid heavy, thick satins that will make you look and feel overdressed for the beach. Also, don’t buy a wedding dress with too many layers of petticoats, as they will stick to your legs in hot weather.
Avoid wedding dresses with a heavy corset for your beach wedding
Steer clear of dresses with a heavy corset – they will make you sweat more and you’ll feel awkward and unable to breathe in high temperatures. Get the right underwear and you’ll have all the support you need.
What About Wedding Shoes for a Beach Wedding?
“Getting your wedding attire wrong can really spoil your memories of the big day,” says Robert Benetello of Bestweddingaway, who organise weddings around the Mediterranean.
“Ladies, make sure you follow the advice of your wedding planner – especially when you are advised to include itinerary breaks to allow you and your guests to freshen up.
“Also, it’s important that you know what you’ll be walking on during the wedding event before you buy your wedding shoes. Sand, cobbled alleys, boat trips, green lawns and dance floors can be a nightmare to negotiate in skyscraper heels!”
“Think about wedges or kitten heels rather than stilettos,” agrees Ellie Sanderson, who runs two highly successful bridal boutique shops in Oxford and Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, as well as The Dressing Room. “If you’re wearing flip-flops, don’t forget your posture!”
Ellie also advises on thinking about the weight of your fabric when choosing your wedding dress. Avoid wearing taffeta if you’re marrying anywhere hot – you’d be much better off choosing fabrics like chiffon, lace and silk organza. Natural fibres are better because they ‘breathe’, unlike artificial fabrics.
How to take your wedding dress abroad
Once you’ve chosen your wedding dress style, you’ll also need to think about how you’re going to get the dress to your destination. If you’ve chosen a big meringue with hooped skirts, you’re going to have a job and a half getting it there, and once you do it might look rather crushed on arrival.
The most important factor to keep in mind is how you are going to get your dress to your destination. The more slimline the dress, the easier it will be to transport. Princess-style wedding dresses are a shipping nightmare. Choosing a slim-fitting gown may also enable you to take it with you as hand luggage, instead of packing it into the hold.
Want a dress that travels well, but don’t want to sacrifice style? Plain gowns can be easily accessorised with boleros, belts and brooches. Take Lisette from the Romantica of Devon collection – this is the perfect dress for an overseas celebration.
Another way to reduce the amount of fabric that you have to pack? Opt for a short wedding dress. That way, your dress won’t be dragging in the sand, and you can show off your wedding shoes, too.
Or why not choose a dress from a designer who specialises in creating destination wedding dresses? We love the destination dresses at Wtoo and the MoriLee Voyage Collection, which has some stunning on-trend gowns in pale pink.
Check with your destination hotel or wedding planner before you arrive what facilities there will be for ironing and pressing clothes. To be on the safe side, you might also want to invest in a hand steamer so you can make sure your dress has no crumples and hangs beautifully on you.
What should the groom wear for a beach wedding?
The groom’s outfit is just as important – if you’re marrying on a beach, a formal three-piece suit or tails might look a little odd. Instead, get him to try some lightweight summer suits that he’ll be able to wear again and again.
Dessy does a stylish seersucker number that would be perfect for a beach ceremony, and would look fab if you go out to dinner somewhere smart on your honeymoon.
- Planning a Wedding Abroad: Everything you Need to Know
- Wedding Dress Styles: Your Ultimate Guide
- Best Short Wedding Dresses for 2020