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What to Wear to a Beach Wedding: 6 Guest Outfit Ideas

It’s official—you’ve just been invited to a destination wedding… and it’s beachfront! If you’re not sure what to wear to a beach wedding, you’re not alone. Are you making a whole weekend trip out of it and packing your swimsuits, flip flops, and sundresses? Typical beach attire likely won’t cut it for the actual wedding. Not to worry—we’ve partnered with our sister brand White House Black Market® to put together six beach wedding outfits for a variety of occasions, from casual to formal, to help you get inspired. Plus, there’s a few tips and tricks we’re sharing so you feel appropriately dressed and comfortable while celebrating the newlyweds.

White House Black Market<sup class=st-superscript>®</sup> women’s model sitting on a tree on the beach while wearing a white wedding guest dress.
It's a good rule of thumb to only ever wear white to a wedding when requested in the wedding invite (aka an all-white wedding!).

What Do Guests Wear to a Beach Wedding?

From bare feet and Hawaiian shirts to elegant gowns and updo’s, beach wedding attire can vary. For the most part, beach weddings have a casual flair—but you always want to err on the side of dressing up. Women often wear longer, flowy dresses or jumpsuits based on the level of formality that’s requested. If you do plan on wearing a short dress, be sure to wear shorts underneath. Our Smoothing Short helps prevent static cling and offers coverage—great for a windy day so you feel secure. Keep scrolling for more perfect bra and panty pairings to go with our top beach wedding guest dress looks.

Daytime Beach Wedding Guest Dress

White House Black Market<sup class=st-superscript>®</sup> women’s model wearing a green halter dress and heels. Featuring Soma<sup class=st-superscript>®</sup> nude strapless bra and panties.
Daytime weddings are the perfect time to wear lighter and brighter colored wedding guest dresses.

Do you love wearing color? Daytime beach weddings are often more casual and a great time to wear those seasonal hues you enjoy. The Embroidered Waist Halter Dress hits around calf length which is just right for walking on the sand. The fresh, summer green shade is daytime appropriate and the embroidered waist detail adds an elevated touch. 

To complement the halter neckline, opt for a multi-way bra like our Enbliss® Wireless Stay Put Multi-Way Strapless Bra. This type of bra allows you to wear the straps many different ways including halter, crisscross, one-shoulder, and more. For moderate shaping under this dress, go for a panty like our Seamless Ultralight Smoothing Short. It has excellent coverage in case you have a Marilyn Monroe moment, while also offering light to moderate compression.

Semi-Formal Beach Wedding Guest Dress

Soma<sup class=st-superscript>®</sup> women’s model wearing a teal blue bra dress and black chain sandals. Featuring Soma<sup class=st-superscript>®</sup> white thong panties.
Dresses with built-in bras are perfect for destination weddings—no need to pack a bra since it's built right in.

Are you trying to decide what to wear to a beach wedding that has a semi-formal dress code? Strive for equal parts sophistication and simplicity. Look for a full-length frock with an elegant neckline and soft fabric so you’ll look great and feel comfortable all night long. If you can’t already guess by the name, our bra dresses have built-in bras so you have one less thing to worry about. 

Get a flawless finish with our Enbliss® Soft Stretch Thong that has four-way stretch for peak comfort. The barely-there design eliminates panty lines and ensures a second-skin feel.

Cocktail Attire Beach Wedding Guest Dress

White House Black Market<sup class=st-superscript>®</sup> women’s model wearing a brown printed strapless dress and black heels. Featuring Soma<sup class=st-superscript>®</sup> black strapless bra and briefs.
A classic fit-and-flare dress is a great choice for a cocktail attire wedding.

Let your shoulders shine while attending your next beach wedding in a strapless cocktail dress. The ruching at the bust gives it added interest while the pleated skirt makes it party-appropriate. Since you’re ditching the straps altogether, be sure to go for a strapless bra to keep your look sleek and sophisticated. 

The fit-and-flare style of this frock allows you to wear whatever panty you prefer. If you’re looking to take it up a notch with some light shaping, go for a squeeze-free first layer like our Vanishing Tummy® Retro Brief. Our patented technology will keep them perfectly in place while offering light tummy control, all while keeping you comfy.

Casual Beach Wedding Guest Dress

WHBM<sup class=st-superscript>®</sup> women’s model wearing a black tropical print maxi dress and black heels. Featuring Soma<sup class=st-superscript>®</sup> nude adhesive bra and panties.
Flowy maxi dresses in tropical prints are beach-ready and a spring and summer staple.

For a casual beach wedding outfit, a maxi dress in a fun tropical print is an excellent choice. The dark base of the dress with the pop of color makes this suitable for day or night. Since it’s a halter style neckline, you can certainly go for a trusted strapless bra—or try something new. An adhesive bra like the Nubra Ultralite is not only strapless but also backless. It’s easy to apply, reusable, and guaranteed to stay on. So when you want a barely-there feel without sacrificing support, you’ll love this. 

While you’re keeping your base layers minimal, give a cheeky panty a try. Our cheeky hipster from our Vanishing Edge® collection will ensure there are no visible panty lines and it won’t ride up while you’re tearing it up on the dance floor.

All White Beach Wedding Guest Dress

WHBM<sup class=st-superscript>®</sup> women’s model wearing a white wedding guest dress and brown heels. Featuring Soma<sup class=st-superscript>®</sup> nude bra and panties.
Bras and underwear that are a close match to your skin tone will hide the most under white clothing.

We all know the long-standing rule about wearing white to a wedding. It’s a big no-no and is a traditional color reserved for the bride. With that said, some couples decide to have an all-white (sometimes called a snowball) wedding and ask for guests to join in. The Pleated Utility Dress is just the right beach wedding outfit for the occasion. It comes in a crisp white shade and can easily be dressed up or down. 

For white clothing—especially when they’re semi-sheer—layer a nude bra underneath. Don’t make the mistake of wearing stark white, it’s actually more obvious. When wearing tighter fit silhouettes, do you prefer to wear a bra that smooths you from every angle? If so, try our Vanishing Back® Full Coverage Bra. It’s engineered to provide maximum smoothing without sacrificing comfort. Lastly, keep things light, airy, and breathable with a pair of our cotton modal panties in your preferred silhouette.

Formal Beach Wedding Guest Dress

WHBM<sup class=st-superscript>®</sup> women’s model wearing a black maxi dress and heels. Featuring Soma<sup class=st-superscript>®</sup> pink plunge bra and panties.
Darker hues are an easy way for a wedding guest outfit to feel more formal—little black dresses are a great go-to.

When a beach wedding calls for formal attire, you’ll want to be prepared. Stick with the beachy theme by going for a flowy silhouette but choose a darker hue. A little black dress is a no-brainer and the semi-sheer sleeves on the Long-Sleeve Cutout Maxi Dress adds an elegant touch. Plus, the runway-inspired cutouts will keep you cool on a warm summer day!

For deeper necklines, similar to this stunning beach wedding guest dress, choose a plunge bra. The Lightest Lift Lace Plunge sports a super soft lace fabric while ensuring a no-show look in front. Keep the seamless look going with our Vanishing Edge® panties made with patented no-show technology. Your panties will stay in place and you’ll have a no ride, no roll, no show finish.

What is the best material to wear to a beach wedding?

Close-up image of a light and breathable off-white knit fabric.

When it comes to beach wedding guest dresses, people typically go for a fabric that’s lightweight and breathable. We’re talking linen, rayon, cotton, and seersucker. If you’re worried about wrinkles and creases in your clothing, a soft jersey fabric is an excellent option. In addition to its softness and stretch, it keeps its shape nicely.

P.S. A seaside ceremony can get chilly when the breeze rolls in so be sure to bring a light layer like our convertible sweater wrap!

What colors can you wear to a beach wedding?

Just like any wedding, white shades are off limits (unless it’s an all-white wedding). This includes off-white shades like ivory, eggshell, and cream. Instead, various shades of summery colors like blue, green, pink, and yellow are excellent options. 

P.S. If you happen to know the bridal party colors, be sure to avoid those too! You don’t want to be mistaken for a bridesmaid.

What are the best shoes for a beach wedding?

WHBM<sup class=st-superscript>®</sup> women’s model wearing a white dress and metallic chunky heels.
For walking on sand and soft grass, opt for chunkier heels and wedges—metallic finishes add a nice pop to any outfit.

Dressy flats and heeled sandals are popular footwear choices for attending a beach wedding. Since you’ll be walking on sand, avoid skinny heels so you don’t sink into the ground. Instead, go for chunky heels or wedges for the most comfortable (and stable) option. 

P.S. If you’re still debating about what to wear to a beach wedding, just ask! It never hurts to check in with the bride to see if your outfit is appropriate. Just be sure to reach out far in advance—in other words, don’t text her on the big day.

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