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Having a destination or beach wedding is exotic and romantic, but finding the right dress can be anything but. The key to choosing a beach wedding gown is to combine ease with elegance. A basic rule of thumb is to keep the silhouette and details simple.
1. Avoid tons of beading or intricate details, especially toward the hem of your beach wedding dress. Just think: A full skirt covered in crystals is going to be quite heavy on the beach, and who wants walking down a sandy aisle to be an ordeal? Save the details for your accessories or a standout bouquet.
2. A-line wedding dresses are universally flattering and don’t have a bunch of extra fabric that can weigh down a beach wedding dress. Think flirty, floaty, or even flimsy when it comes to fabrics. Cool silks and light chiffon are perfect choices for a beach wedding dress when combined with an ocean breeze.
3. You don’t have to avoid details altogether, though—just keep it simple. Try a bridal gown with detailing at the bust or waistline instead of at the skirt.
4. Long veils are probably a bad idea, given the locale, so try instead a fun crystal hairpiece or shorter cage veil for your beach wedding gown.
5. Since you’ll most likely be transporting your gown to a tropical destination, try to find a fabric that is relatively wrinkle-free or won’t take a long time to steam or flatten out. This means linen, while it evokes a beach-y feel, is definitely out of the question for a destination or beach wedding dress. Silks or satins are a better way to go and can be steamed easily.
6. While a slight train on a beach wedding gown can be pretty, just make sure it’s not anywhere near cathedral-length. If you do have a slight train on your wedding gown, have an attendant help you down the aisle so that you don’t drag sand along with you to the altar.
7. It’s best to avoid mermaid- or trumpet-style wedding gowns because of the restriction they might put on walking. The same goes for ball gown or princess styles—if this is the kind of dress you want, then a beach wedding may not be for you. The good thing is that there are styles available for beach wedding dresses that can give you some of the accents you love about traditional wedding gowns, but are more suited to a ceremony on the beach.
8. Short or ankle-length wedding gowns are becoming more and more popular for the beach wedding set simply because of their casual ease and elegance. Almost all of the bridal designers have jumped on the short beach wedding dress bandwagon. Accentuate these styles with flashier shoes, or go barefoot and amp up the details in your accessories.
9. Grecian-style wedding dresses are also popular as beach wedding gowns because of their slim design. These styles are typically long column gowns with an empire waist that might also give you options for cap sleeves. Put your hair in loose braids to accentuate this style of beach wedding gown.