What Is Beach Formal? Here's What You Should Wear To A Sunny & Sandy Wedding

Share

Like it or not, wedding season is coming fast. Whether you're staying local and only attending one wedding or criss-crossing the country all summer to celebrate, chances are you're struggling with wedding dress codes. One of the most confusing out there? The beach formal wedding dress code. It seems pretty simple, but then you look at it a second time. Beach? And formal? Isn't that kind of an oxymoron? Well, it's actually a legit wedding dress code, and if you're heading to Nantucket or Florida for a warm-weather wedding sometime soon, chances are good it's the dress code you've been given.

So what do the experts say? The Knot is always great at deciphering cryptic dress codes, and its advice is solid: "This suggests an elegant beach wedding — so dress to impress, but also dress for the elements (sun, sand, and water)," it writes. "Think tropical and elegant," wrote Wall Street Journal columnist Teri Agins in a 2015 column about the dress code.

Both are right, and reading "beach formal" on an invitation doesn't need to unnecessarily freak you out. Choose a dress or jumpsuit that's breathable, comfortable and won't show sweat in case it's hot out (aka no grey suede). Here are 11 of my favorite options.

1. Muted Floral

http://go.redirectingat.com?id=86205X1538674&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.anthropologie.com%2Fshop%2Falana-dress2%3Fcategory%3Dwedding-guest-dresses%26color%3D000

Alana Dress, $260, Anthropologie

Like the idea of florals but don't love the bright colors that normal accompany a flower-printed dress? This muted floral maxi dress from Anthro is perfect for you.

2. Tie Front Jumpsuit

http://go.redirectingat.com?id=86205X1538674&xs=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.marahoffman.com%2Fready-to-wear%2Fjumpsuits%2Fplunging-tie-front-jumpsuit

Plunging Tie Front Jumpsuit, $325, Mara Hoffman

I love all of Mara Hoffman's gorgeous prints, and this breezy jumpsuit is made for a beach wedding.

3. Faux Wrap Dress

http://go.redirectingat.com?id=86205X1538674&xs=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fshop.nordstrom.com%2Fs%2Fcity-chic-floral-print-faux-wrap-dress-plus-size%2F4558430%3Forigin%3Dcategory-personalizedsort%26fashionsize%3DPlus%25200X%2520(12W)%26fashioncolor%3DBLACK%252F%2520WHITE

Floral Print Faux Wrap Dress, $99, Nordstrom

The flowy sleeves of this faux wrap dress are so gorgeous, and they're perfect for a beach wedding.

4. One Shoulder Mini Dress

http://go.redirectingat.com?id=86205X1538674&xs=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.marahoffman.com%2Fready-to-wear%2Fdresses%2Fone-shoulder-ruffle-mini-dress-1

One Shoulder Mini Dress, $325, Mara Hoffman

Another Mara Hoffman option (I can't help it), but I love the shape of this one shoulder shift dress.

5. Tiered Tassel Dress

http://go.redirectingat.com?id=86205X1538674&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.anthropologie.com%2Fshop%2Ftiered-tassel-dress%3Fcategory%3Ddresses-maxi-midi%26color%3D030

Tiered Tassel Dress, $199, Anthropologie

This solid-colored dress from Anthropologie is perfect if you typically don't wear prints but still want to look festive.

6. Cold Shoulder Lace Dress

http://go.redirectingat.com?id=86205X1538674&xs=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fshop.nordstrom.com%2Fs%2Fbardot-karlie-cold-shoulder-lace-midi-dress%2F4415050

Karlie Cold Shoulder Lace Midi Dress, $119, Nordstrom

I love the color of this sky blue dress, and it's perfect if you want a more fitted option.

7. Printed Maxi Dress

http://go.redirectingat.com?id=86205X1538674&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.modcloth.com%2Fshop%2Fmaxi-dresses%2Ffeeling-serene-maxi-dress%2F100000051351.html%3Fgclid%3DCjwKEAiAirXFBRCQyvL279Tnx1ESJAB-G-QveW73Avl9e6rbL9CgzUX0ir_VHlZR2oG4CM8Oliv-ahoCkZ7w_wcB%26utm_campaign%3DG.PLA.US_NB.X_Catch_All%26utm_medium%3Dcpc%26utm_source%3Dgoogle

Feeling Serene Maxi Dress, $90, Modcloth

I love the shape of this kimono-style printed dress, which is a perfect option if you want sleeves.

8. Blush Wrap Dress

http://go.redirectingat.com?id=86205X1538674&xs=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fshop.nordstrom.com%2Fs%2Fastr-selma-floral-print-wrap-dress%2F4510579%3Forigin%3Dcategory-personalizedsort%26fashioncolor%3DBLUSH

ASTR Wrap Dress, $120, Nordstrom

This blush option looks so flowy and comfortable, and I think it'd look gorgeous blowing in the breeze at a beach wedding.

9. Tie Front Midi Dress

http://go.redirectingat.com?id=86205X1538674&xs=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.revolve.com%2Fmisa-los-angeles-domino-tie-front-midi-dress-in-mint%2Fdp%2FMISA-WD18%2F%3Fd%3DWomens%26sectionURL%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.revolve.com%252Fdresses-midi%252Fbr%252Ff6932f%252F%253Fnavsrc%253Dleft

Domino Tie Front Midi Dress, $180, Revolve

I absolutely love the shape of this midi dress, and it comes in a bevy of color options.

10. Strapless Maxi Dress

http://go.redirectingat.com?id=86205X1538674&xs=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fshop.nordstrom.com%2Fs%2Fcity-chic-tulip-time-floral-print-maxi-dress-plus-size%2F4202201%3Forigin%3Dcategory-personalizedsort%26fashionsize%3DPlus%25200X%2520(12W)%26fashioncolor%3DBLACK

Tulip Time Floral Print Maxi Dress, $149, Nordstrom

I love the shape of this black and floral dress, which has flattering front pleats.

11. Striped Midi Dress

http://go.redirectingat.com?id=86205X1538674&xs=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.revolve.com%2Fbcbgeneration-faux-midi-dress%2Fdp%2FBGEN-WD700%2F%3Fd%3DWomens%26page%3D1%26lc%3D39%26itrownum%3D13%26itcurrpage%3D1%26itview%3D01%26plpSrc%3D%252Fr%252FBrands.jsp%253F%2526aliasURL%253Ddresses-midi%25252Fbr%25252Ff6932f%2526s%253Dc%2526c%253DDresses%2526sc%253DMidi%2526color%25255B%25255D%253Dblue%2526color%25255B%25255D%253Dblue%2526sortBy%253Dfeatured

BCBGeneration Faux Midi Dress, $88, Revolve

This striped dress will blend perfectly with the water, and the side slits keep it breezy.