No one wants to mess with a taffeta ball gown on the beach—so, naturally, seaside brides tend to gravitate toward less cumbersome shapes and materials that feel more at home with bare feet and lapping waves. If you're infusing your coastal celebration with rustic elements, achieve that effortlessly beachy look with a corded French lace, which on this Christos Fall 2012 gown combines with a rouched organza bodice for a fit-to-flare silhouette. The look offers more old-world appeal than a slip style while still feeling fresh and sexy.
Lyla, $4,900, Christos
—Phillip B. Crook