25 Dreamy Dresses for a Beach Wedding Guest of 2023

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beach wedding guest attire

PHOTO BY REBECCA YALE PHOTOGRAPHY

If you were invited to a beach wedding this year, consider yourself lucky. There's something about the salty air and the crashing ocean waves that feels a little extra special. As a wedding guest, though, you might feel a bit lost on what to wear. Logistically, heels don't really work in the sand, and a sweeping formal gown might feel out of place. But at the same time, you don't want to lean too casual in a printed sundress.

The first step to figuring out what to wear as a guest is to understand the dress code. Beach weddings are typically casual, so in most cases, wearing a fun print, a bright color, and a shorter hemline will do. If the wedding is more formal, opt for a slightly longer dress or a jumpsuit and look for solid, lighter colors.

While black might be a dress color staple for most weddings, try to avoid it for seaside nuptials. Instead, go for vibrant colors like pink, coral, turquoise, or purple. In terms of fabric, look for pieces that are breathable and light, especially if it's a hot summer day. Linen and cotton are great options, but you'll want to avoid fabrics like satin and velvet, which will look and feel heavy.

To help you find the perfect outfit for your upcoming coastal event, we've researched and selected the best options with these features in mind. A few of our top picks include the Rococo Sands Emi Long Dress, the Lulus Thinking Out Loud Backless Jumpsuit, and the FARM Rio Sweet Forest Pink Maxi Dress.

Read on for the best beach wedding guest dresses.

Best Slip Dress

Reformation Marguerite Silk Dress

Reformation Marguerite Silk Dress

Reformation

Size Range: 0-12 | Length: Tea-length | Material: Silk charmeuse

This silky slip dress comes in a range of solid colors, including a few floral prints. The spaghetti straps and the airy fabric make it the perfect piece for hot days outside.

Price at time of publish: $298

Best Jumpsuit

Lulus Thinking Out Loud Hunter Green Backless Jumpsuit

green jumpsuit

Courtesy of Lulus

Size Range: XS-XL | Length: Floor-length | Material: Polyester, spandex

Mix comfort and style with a sleek jumpsuit in a deep green hue. A plunging neckline, a criss-cross back, and a streamlined fit provide a formal flair to this solid-colored jumpsuit.

Price at time of publish: $59

For a Casual Beach Wedding

Lulus Joyful Red Orange Multi Stripe Tie-Back Mini Dress

colorful dress with bow back

Courtesy of Lulu's

Size Range: XXS-XL | Length: Mini | Material: Polyester

The back of this dress is the real star of the show, and the multicolor straps give this look a nautical feel. We love this dress for a casual wedding, a rehearsal dinner, or any laid-back affair.

Price at time of publish: $55

Cutest Mini

Hemant and Nandita Rhea Side Cut Out Mini Dress

Rhea Side Cut Out Mini Dress

Courtesy of FWRD

Size Range: XS-XL | Length: Mini | Material: Cotton, linen

This youthful dress comes in a unique lime green shade, embroidered with a pretty purple paisley print. The subtle cut-outs and scalloped hemline add a feminine touch. However, what we love most is the comfortable and versatile shape.

Price at time of publish: $399

For a Destination Wedding

FARM Rio Sweet Forest Pink Maxi Dress

maxi dress

Courtesy of Shopbop

Size Range: XS-XL | Length: Maxi | Material: Viscose

If you're headed to a destination wedding, this unique maxi is perfect. Vibrant colors, an interesting pattern, and a flowing skirt make this Farm Rio gown equal parts trendy and tropical.

Price at time of publish: $300

Best Bodycon

Dress the Population Martine Stretch Crepe One-Shoulder Dress

Martine Stretch Crepe One-Shoulder Dress

Courtesy of Nordstrom

Size Range: XXS-XXL | Length: Knee-length | Material: Polyester, spandex

The electric rouge red color of this dress could not be more fitting for a spring or summer ceremony, especially when it's by the beach. We love the tight crepe fit, the flattering ruching in the front, and the subtle back slit for a bit of sexy flair.

Price at time of publish: $60

For a Formal Beach Wedding

Lulus Moments Of Bliss Forest Green Backless Mermaid Maxi Dress

Lulus Moments Of Bliss Forest Green Backless Mermaid Maxi Dress

Lulus

Size Range: XXS-3X | Length: Floor-length | Material: Polyester, spandex

Beach weddings tend to be more casual by nature, but that doesn't mean they can't be formal. For an event that calls for a more dressed-up look, opt for this maxi. The color is beautiful, the mermaid-style skirt is glamorous, and the open back is a nice touch.

Price at time of publish: $89

Best Maxi

Birdy Grey Gene Dress Curve

Gene Dress Curve

Courtesy of Birdy Grey

Size Range: XS-3X | Length: Floor-length | Material: Polyester, spandex

Simple and sophisticated, this maxi dress comes in a color appropriately called "sea glass." Between the criss-cross back, the halter neckline, and the slit, it would be a great choice for formal and semi-formal dress codes.

Price at time of publish: $99

Most Carefree

Rococco Sands Emi Long Dress

maxi dress

Courtesy of Free People

Size Range: XS-XL | Length: Maxi | Material: 100% Polyester

Stylish and sophisticated, this ruffled dress features an effortless silhouette and a flirty peplum bodice. The shimmering jacquard fabric is beautiful, and the bohemian style works for everything from the beach to a backyard wedding.

Price at time of publish: $459 – $498

Best Two-Piece

Tanya Taylor Polina Top and Hazelle Skirt

two-piece

Courtesy of Shopbop

Size Range: XXS-XL | Length: Tea-length | Material: Cotton

A two-piece outfit can be a good option for daytime, casual affairs. Made of lightweight and breezy cotton, you won't regret wearing this Tanya Taylor look to a tropical destination wedding.

Price at time of publish: Top: $225, Skirt: $445

Most Daring

Foxy Favorite Hot Pink Sleeveless Bodycon Midi Dress Pink Sleeveless Bodycon Midi Dress

pink dress

Courtesy of Lulus

Size Range: XS-XL | Length: Mini Material: Polyester, spandex

If you're looking to make a bold statement, opt for this daring mini dress from Lulus. The hot pink shade will definitely get you noticed. Plus, this vibrant pick will look great in photos against a sunset backdrop.

Price at time of publish: $45

Best Breezy Silhouette

Eloquii Eyelet Tie Front Full Skirted Maxi Dress

eyelet dress

Courtesy of Eloquii

Size Range: 14-32 | Length: Maxi | Material: 100% Cotton

If you want to keep things simple and easy, opt for this maxi dress which is versatile and undeniably cute. The flowing and comfortable silhouette will also keep you perfectly breezy on a hot spring or summer day.

Price at time of publish: $150

Best Pleated Dress

ASOS DESIGN Button Up Pintuck Maxi Dress in Yellow Floral Print

floral dress

Courtesy of ASOS

Size Range: 0-14 | Length: Maxi | Material: 100% Polyester

This yellow floral maxi dress is both romantic and dreamy and would look great on and off the dance floor. Details like frill trim, an open back, and a pintuck bodice make your look undeniably fun and flirty.

Price at time of publish: $79

Best With Puff Sleeves

Collective The Label Curve Exclusive Wrap Midi Dress in 60s Floral Print

floral dress

Courtesy of ASOS

Size Range: 14-24| Length: Midi | Material: 100% Cotton

This wrap-style dress in a fun '60s-inspired print is perfect for those with a bold sense of style. Trendy puff sleeves and a tie-waist make this number equal parts stylish and flattering.

Price at time of publish: $113

Best Lace

Astr The Label Anaya Strapless Lace Midi Dress

anaya lace midi dress

Courtesy of Astr the Label

Size Range: XS-XL | Length: Tea-length | Material: Polyester, rayon

Sweet and feminine, we absolutely love the pink orchid color and lace design on this midi dress from Astr The Label. The sexier details, like the strapless top and the sweetheart neckline, will also help you stand out in a sea of wedding guests.

Price at time of publish: $77

Best Silhouette

WAYF The Ines V-Neck Tulip Gown

The Ines V-Neck Tulip Gown

Courtesy of Nordstrom

Size Range: XXS-XXL | Length: Tea-length | Material: Polyester, spandex

The peachy color (called mulberry) makes this dress look like it was made for a summer night or day. The tulip skirt keeps the silhouette from being too simple, while the deep-V neckline and comfortable fit create an ultra-flattering finish.

Price at time of publish: $138

Most Feminine

SAU LEE Selena Lace Dress

Selena Lace Dress

Courtesy of Revolve

Size Range: 0-10 | Length: Tea-length | Material: Polyester, nylon, cotton

Bustier cups, delicate straps, and a gorgeous lace design make this dress ultra-feminine. We love the bright lilac shade that feels on point for spring or summer.

Price at time of publish: $334

Best Ruffles

V. Chapman Lily Dress

fringe sage green dress

Courtesy of BHLDN

Size Range: 0-14 | Length: Tea-length | Material: Polyester, spandex

The unexpected fringe detailing on this V. Chapman dress is what makes it stand out. The soft ruching, tiered ruffles, and bow details also provide a romantic and chic vibe. Available in several vibrant colors, you'll be able to wear this again and again.

Price at time of publish: $365

Best Square Neck

Camila Coelho Angie Maxi Dress

Angie Maxi Dress

Courtesy of Revolve

Size Range: XXS-XL | Length: Maxi | Material: Polyester, spandex

Featuring a square neckline with intricate strappy detailing, this dress feels utterly modern yet romantic. The textured fabric makes it a little bold, while the gorgeous lilac shade makes it sweet.

Price at time of publish: $60

Best Halter

BCBG Maxazria Xenia Sleeveless Dress

Xenia Sleeveless Dress

Courtesy of BCBG

Size Range: XXS-XL | Length: Floor-length | Material: Polyester, spandex

This flowing, lightweight maxi dress can be a summer choice thanks to its flattering halter neckline. Besides, the deep blue hue couldn't be more on-brand for seaside nuptials.

Price at time of publish: $237

Most Colorful

MILLY Zig Zag Stitch Dress

Zig Zag Stitch Dress

Courtesy of Revolve

Size Range: XS-L | Length: Tea-length | Material: Polyester, viscose, nylon, metallic

Milly's bold striped knit dress is more versatile than it seems. With heels and the right piece of jewelry, this can be dressed up for a bold and eye-catching beach wedding ensemble.

Price at time of publish: $258

Best Floral Print

Lulus Still the One Floral Print Satin Maxi Dress

Still the One Emerald Green Floral Print Satin Maxi Dress

Courtesy of Lulus

Size Range: XXS-XL | Length: Floor-length | Material: Polyester

This flowy maxi dress is versatile enough to be dressed up for a wedding, and the stunning emerald green hue is also perfect for most seaside "I dos." We especially love the wrapped bow detail and the cascading floral patterns.

Price at time of publish: $89

Best One-Shoulder

BHLDN Dylan Satin Charmeuse Dress

Dylan Satin Charmeuse Dress

Courtesy of Anthropologie

Size Range: 0-16 | Length: Tea-length | Material: Satin Charmeuse

The minimalist design of this one-shoulder dress makes it look sleek and streamlined. It comes in a wide variety of hues, so the options are limitless for a variety of formalities and venues.

Price at time of publish: $248

Best Sequin

Saylor Faena Dress

Faena Dress

Courtesy of Saylor

Size Range: XS-L | Length: Tea-length | Material: Polyester, spandex, nylon

This is not your typical sequin dress. Light pastel colors and a botanical design keep it romantic rather than super metallic. Plus, the slip-dress style is flattering for everyone and fits the laid-back vibe of a beachside wedding.

Price at time of publish: $149

Best Cutout

Callahan Mimi Jumpsuit

Mimi Jumpsuit

Courtesy of Revolve

Size Range: XS-L | Length: Tea-length | Material: Cotton, elastane

The fiery red color and a subtle cutout just under the bust give this jumpsuit a little bit of sex appeal. We also love the flattering halter neckline and wide-leg shape that's both breathable and on-trend.

Price at time of publish: $92

What to Look for in a Beach Wedding Guest Dress

Fit and Comfort

When searching for the perfect dress to wear to a beach wedding, find a look that feels a bit more casual than what you might wear to a formal or semi-formal affair. If the wedding is taking place when during extra warm temperatures, opt for a dress that's light, airy, and comfortable, especially if the ceremony and/or reception are taking place outside. While you can definitely go for a more casual option, still keep the dress code in mind (if you're not sure, ask!).

Color and Print

For a more formal beach wedding, choose pieces in solid bright colors, and for something less formal, feel free to look for patterns or even a jumpsuit. Flowy maxi dresses, bright cocktail dresses, and even a fun mini dress can be great for beach nuptials. As for fabrics, avoid heavy materials like satin and velvet.

FAQ
  • Which fabrics are best for a beach wedding?

    Most beach weddings take place during the heat of the summer, so you should stick to lighter fabrics like linen and cotton. Avoid heavier options like cashmere, velvet, or satin, as you'll want something breathable and airy that won't make you feel overheated and uncomfortable.

  • What kinds of dresses should you wear to a beach wedding?

    For a formal beach wedding, opt for long dresses in solid, bright hues. For semi-formal ceremonies, wear a cocktail dress that looks sleek without being too formal. Tea-length dresses are great for almost any dress code, especially if the event takes place in the sand—but feel free to sport a mini or a maxi dress as well. Lastly, jumpsuits are another great option, and for more informal nuptials, rompers work too.

  • What shoes should you wear to a beach wedding?

    If the ceremony or reception takes place on an actual beach, with a lot of sand, you'll want to avoid stiletto heels which will be really hard to walk in. Instead, wear wedges or espadrilles. Sandals will always be your best option for beach weddings, whether they're heeled or flat

  • What should you not wear to a beach wedding?

    While beach weddings are typically more casual in nature, it's best to avoid flip-flops, denim, and other beachwear pieces that are too casual. It's still a wedding, after all! But most importantly, avoid fabrics that could easily get destroyed in the sand, like suede or satin.

Why Trust Brides

Contributing writer Jessica Booth is a freelance writer and formerly served as an editor for seven years. Her work has been featured in Bustle, Insider, Redbook, and Refinery29.

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