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Brides-to-be who are planning seaside nuptials have so many options when it comes to finding their perfect wedding dress. The right gown can be anything from casual and laid back to elegant and voluminous—it really depends on the overall style of the wedding. While boho chic is typically the go-to style for beach ceremonies, you shouldn't feel required to stick with that look.
For a no-frills ceremony, you might want to pick a non-traditional beach wedding dress that feels simple and relaxed, like something short that won't be dragged through the sand or something more modern like a sleek jumpsuit. If you're going for a ceremony that is more formal, a ballgown or stylish A-line gown can look unexpected in just the right way. For a more feminine look, opt for gowns with embellishments like florals or beads.
Read on for the best beach wedding dresses perfect for any bridal style.
Best Budget: Lulus Heavenly Hues White Maxi Dress
Size Range: XXS-3X | Length: Floor-length | Material: Georgette fabric
There's no rule that you have to spend a lot on your wedding dress. This maxi dress comes in at under $100 and has a beautiful flowy look that will look right at home against the sand.
Most Feminine: Riki Dalal Joan Gown
Size Range: 0-16 | Length: Floor-length | Material: Polyester, nylon, rayon
Floral lace, a Swarovski crystal belt, a plunging illusion neckline, and an exposed back make this dreamy gown feel like the epitome of romance and femininity. We love the sheer long sleeves.
Most Romantic: LoveShackFancy Sarabi Gown
Size Range: 00-14 | Length: Floor-length | Material: Lace
Tiers of lace, a flowing skirt, and an English bustle at the backside give this gown a decidedly cottage core-meets-beach aesthetic. Wear your hair down and accessorize with delicate personal jewelry for a completely effortless look.
Best Back Detail: Lulus Loving the Moment White Lace-Up Maxi Dress
Size Range: XS-XL | Length: Floor-length | Material: Polyester
From the front, this crepe maxi dress looks fairly simple with a slit up the leg and a pleated bodice. The back features an unexpected lace-up detail that makes this come off as more trendy and modern.
Best Open Back: Galina Signature Floral Applique Open Back Tulle Dress
Size Range: 0-14 | Length: Floor-length | Material: Polyester
The crystal-encrusted bodice of this dress will catch the light reflecting off the ocean in a beautiful way. We love the open back and flowing and delicate tulle skirt.
Best Tulle Skirt: Phase Eight Annalise Beaded Wedding Dress
Size Range: US 2-14 | Length: Maxi | Material: Polyester
Intricate beading in floral shapes makes this gown ideal for spring and summer weddings. The fluttering tulle skirt feels elegant and ballet-chic and creates a dress that is easy to walk (and dance) in.
Best Slit Detail: DB Studio Ruched Spaghetti Strap Jersey Dress
Size Range: 0-14 | Length: Floor-length | Material: Jersey
Between the thin spaghetti straps and jersey material, this maxi dress feels like it was made for an outdoor summer wedding. The lace along the slit is a pretty detail that really stands out.
Best Midi: Show Me Your Mumu Garden Midi Dress
Size Range: XXS-XXL | Length: Ankle-length | Material: Luxe Satin
A midi dress is a less formal choice for a beach wedding because you don't have to worry about dragging the skirt through the sand. This one with a square neckline, a front slit, and a fitted bodice is effortlessly chic and comfortable.
Best Puff Sleeves: LoveShackFancy Ryan Dress
Size Range: 00-10 | Length: Floor-length | Material: Catalina lace
It doesn't get much more classic than a universally flattering A-line silhouette. This one features sweet puff sleeves and is crafted from sheer lace that is sure to catch the sunlight beautifully.
Best Short Sleeves: ASOS Edition Curve Embellished Bodice Wedding Dress
Size Range: US 0-26 | Length: Floor-length | Material: Mesh and chiffon
An embellished bodice and sleeves that hit at your elbows offer a little more coverage without looking like too much fabric for a beach wedding. We love the simple skirt paired with the vine-like accents.
Best Long Sleeves: Willowby by Watters Cameron Gown
Size Range: Standard 0-15, Plus 16W-26W | Length: Floor-length | Material: Strech mesh
If the weather may be on the cooler side, long sleeves are a good option for an outdoor wedding. Mesh offers a breathable and airy feel, and the corseted top is a nice balance that makes this one so romantic.
Best Floral: Willowby by Watters Whitney Gown
Size Range: Standard 0-15, Plus 16W-26W | Length: Floor-length | Material: Swiss dot tulle
Floral appliques are dusted across the bodice and down the light tulle skirt of this romantic and feminine gown. The skirt will look so lovely in contrast to the sand.
For a Casual Ceremony: Dolce & Gabbana Cotton-Blend Corded Lace Maxi Dress
Size Range: IT 36-50 | Length: Floor-length | Material: White stretch-knit
Made with corded lace and featuring a relaxed fit, this maxi dress feels comfortable and breathable on a hot summer's day. A subtle lace trim neckline and fun scalloped hem make this dress feel perfect for a more casual ceremony.
Best Lace: Rish Haleh Gown
Size Range: Standard 0-16, Plus 16W-26W | Length: Floor-length | Material: Knit graphic lace
Lace feels just right for a beach wedding, and this fit-and-flare gown offers a lovely silhouette that doesn't feel too fussy. There is some beadwork for a little added embellishment, and we love the flutter sleeves.
Best Cutouts: BHLDN Marina Gown
Size Range: Standard 0-16, Plus 16W-26W | Length: Floor-length | Material: Cotton silk taffeta
Off-the-shoulder puff sleeves, a full and voluminous skirt, and cotton silk taffeta come together to create a dramatic and unique gown that will certainly stand out. We love the cut-out details along the hem that give this dress a more boho feel.
Best Wrap Dress: Reformation Winslow Dress
Size Range: XS-XL | Length: Floor-length | Material: Georgette fabric
When you're going for a more simple look, you really can't go wrong with a classic wrap dress. This one has a minimalist tone that is beautifully made and will feel incredibly comfortable all day and night long.
Best Two Piece: Reformation Carlow Set
Size Range: 0-12 | Length: Floor-length | Material: Embroidered tulle and pearls
It's hard to imagine a better wedding setting for a crop top and skirt than a beach. This summery and casual outfit will feel just right for seaside nuptials, and can easily be dressed up or down.
For the Casual Bride: Tadashi Shoji Nisa Lace & Fringe Gown
Size Range: 14Q-24Q | Length: Floor-length | Material: Lace
Fringe and lace come together to create a boho-chic gown that feels casual without being too laid-back. The scallop lace trim is a lovely touch, and we think this one is perfect for a beach setting.
For a Daytime Wedding: Galvan Sevilla Cotton-Blend Lace Gown
Size Range: FR 34-44 | Length: Floor-length | Material: Cotton-blend lace
There is nothing casual about this romantic lace gown, with a high front slit with a scalloped edge and a small but beautiful train. Still, the lace design and the elbow-length sleeves make this just right for a daytime ceremony.
For the Afterparty: Mark Arian Bowen Bow Shoulder White Floral Applique Mini Dress
Size Range: 0-16 | Length: Mini | Material: 0-16
Throwing an afterparty complete with a beach bonfire? This mini dress will complete the night. The bow details on the shoulders and the long train in the back are so unexpected in the best way.
For the Minimalist Bride: Sachin & Babi Sabrina Gown
Size Range: 0-14 | Length: Floor-length | Material: Polyester
This dress is simple and romantic, and it's in an off-white shade that will look subtly different. The floral straps and front slit make it anything but boring, but it's still ideal for that clean, minimalist look.
Best Added Sparkle: Jenny Yoo Martina Dress
Size Range: 0-18 | Length: Floor-length | Material: Dahlia sequin lace and luxe chiffon
This soft and feminine gown features a flowing chiffon skirt that will look so nice against the water, as well as a tulle illusion bodice and satin trim. The bodice is studded with clear sequins for the perfect amount of sparkle.
What to Look For in a Beach Wedding Dress
Since beach weddings typically happen in the summer or late spring, you may want to choose fabrics that are more comfortable and breathable for warmer weather. This can include cotton, linen, lightweight silk, chiffon, or lace.
While fabrics like satin and crepe certainly aren't off the table completely, they might feel a little more restricting. You should also consider the hemline of your dress. If you are getting married in the sand, an ankle-length or shorter gown would work best.
What kind of dress should I wear to a beach wedding?
Casual beach brides may opt for shorter frocks, midi-length dresses, or high-low hemlines. If you want to wear something more formal, turn to flowing A-line silhouettes.
Do I need to wear shoes as a beach bride?
For beach brides, shoes are optional! If you envision yourself walking down the aisle barefoot in the sand, then go for it. However, if you prefer to wear shoes, consider flat sandals, sturdy wedges, or block heels.
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Jessica Booth is a journalist with over 10 years of experience and a freelance writer whose work has appeared on sites such as Bustle, Insider, and Refinery29.