When I was shopping for a beach wedding dress for my oceanside nuptials, the internet was basically of no use. Aside from the caveat that all dresses can be beach wedding dresses if you wear them on the beach (no special rules required), the definition of beach wedding dress, as evidenced by my Google search results, felt super narrow. Everything I found was ultra casual, with no structure. (Which, if that’s your jam, go for it!) I wanted something that felt special, but would still be beach appropriate. And the internet has not changed. A cursory search of beach wedding dresses lands you results where anything beyond a simple white sundress is listed as, “Price available upon request,” aka, “You can’t afford this.”
But here is the thing. There are two general iron clad rules about beach wedding dresses. 1) You want to avoid any kind of serious train, because #sand. And 2) you can’t really wear high heels with it, because again, #sand. And while short wedding dresses are cuteAF, they often require a killer set of shoes to pull off the look. Besides, getting married on the beach basically means you have a moral obligation to get married barefoot, and a long dress is the ideal way to make sure your guests will never know. But beyond that, your pick is just your way of translating #beachvibes to your wedding.
So with that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite beach wedding dresses. Most of these looks take the casual nature of the beach and level it up a notch or two, without looking like you’ve gone full ballroom on the sand. We’ve steered away from dresses with serious trains, but keep in mind that if the dress you pick has a small train, you still might want to pay a seamstress to remove it. Dealer’s choice, but keep that sand in mind.
Before joining the team at A Practical Wedding, Maddie was a sought after wedding photographer and an entertainment industry dropout with stints at the Academy Award-winning independent film house Focus Features, The Montel Williams Show, and Rosie O’Donnell’s documentary production company. She’s been with the APW team going on eight years, and now spends a significant amount of time thinking about internet trends and the future of feminist television. A Maine native, she lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband and their toddler.