Summer Beach Wedding Style

Q. Jordan,

I am so excited because in a few short weeks I get to see two close friends exchange vows on the beautiful beaches in Aruba…Do you have some suggestions on what to wear to a summer beach wedding? This will not be a casual, “lets be barefoot and have a Corona” type of event, and I’m having trouble treading the line between casual/comfy and fashionable/classy.

Thank you!


A. Absolutely! Beach weddings are actually my favorite ones to dress for, because I feel like you can really go for it with color and sparkle. I actually just bought a dress for $20 at H&M (pictured below) that is perfect for this sort of thing. I think it’s sold out, but you can find it on eBay (it’s part of H&M’s “Bohemian Deluxe” collection).

1. H&M Bohemian Deluxe Dress ($19.99)

2. Jessica Simpson Spring Ruffle Twisted Hoops Earrings ($19.20)

3. Straw Studios Wicker Clutch ($46)

4. Topshop Straw & Square Bangle Pack ($35)

5. Essie Little Brown Dress

6. Gold Twist Toepost Sandals (16 GBP)

For a beach wedding, what I’d do is keep the dress on the ethereal, feminine side (think chiffon, one-shouldered, floaty layers, etc), and then add accessories that up the fancy quotient (sparkles and metallics will look beautiful with the sun and sand) while evoking the beach setting (think jewelry incorporating natural elements like wood and coral).

Go for color and patterns, and avoid informal fabrics like jersey, so that you don’t look too casual. For shoes, you can get away with dressy flats (which work better on the sand, anyway) if you’re wearing a long dress, but I’d definitely go for heels if you’re wearing anything shorter.

More suggestions:

I love this: it’s so ’70s bohemian (oh, those earrings). Expensive, oy…but we’re talking fantasy outfit here, and this is pretty much mine. There’s a lot of sparkle in the accessories, but it’s all muted down by the soft floral dress. Bring a cream knit cardigan or fringed shawl in case the temperature drops.

1. Lulu Frost Art Deco Earrings ($350)

2. Wren Mitsuko Long Dress ($250)

3. Marc Jacobs Glitter-Finish Leather Sandals ($575)

4. Halston Heritage Jenny Clutch ($356)

Here’s a slightly more traditional party look, made beach wedding-approrpiate with the floaty, layered dress in a tropical color, the sunlight-catching sandals, and the gorgeous coral earrings. Add upswept hair and a couple of bangles, and you’re done.

1. Coral Contrast-Blend Dress (40 GBP; BCBG has a similar dress)

2. Carlos by Carlos Santana Gold Heels ($90)

3. Lauren G. Adams Enamel Earrings ($50)

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