Going to the beach is always a special occasion, but when you arrive with a group of friends or family to dance, sip champagne and celebrate love, it’s same better. Yeah, I’m talking about that beach wedding you were invited to this year.
Sure, you’re thinking about all the fun you’re going to have celebrating your favorite bride and groom, but you might also be wondering what you’re supposed to wear as a guest at a beach wedding. Well, the good news is that beach weddings tend to be more low-key, so you’ll want to opt for more casual choices – think boho chic floral flowy maxi dresses and fun and playful tropical print dresses. .
You will also want to think about fabrics. Chances are you have sand in more than your toes, and you’ll want something lightweight like cotton, satin or chiffon to keep you cool and dry in the sun. Just stay away from thick velvets and embroidered fabrics, they will trap both sand and heat.
Of course, not all beach weddings are created equal. Some are small, casual, barefoot gatherings, while others can actually be formal and indoors, just overlooking the water. Others fall somewhere in the middle, but there’s a beach wedding guest dress (and sweater option!) on this list for any type of wedding you might be attending this year. There’s a wide enough range here that you can feel free to pick up a few beach dresses to wear while you’re on vacation. You can even consider wearing most of the options on this list to any non-beach summer weddings you might attend.
And, since you’re probably also spending a lot on flights, hotels, and gifts, you’ll be happy to hear that most of the dresses on this list are under $100 — tons are also under $50.
See below for 20 of the best beach wedding guest dresses for every style, budget and type of wedding in 2022.
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Best beach dress overall
Floral maxi dress with plunging neckline
Consider this dress your go-to: wear it in the evening with your favorite jewelry and heels for a formal wedding or bracelets and sandals for a more laid-back vibe. It’s so versatile, you could even pair it with a light denim jacket (or your bikini) for brunch the next day.
Best Affordable Beach Dress
Frill Hem Ruffle Dress
The ruffled sleeves and hem give it a more playful vibe than your classic A-line dress, and even if it looks as if there is a sleeve, it does not wrap around the armpit. Translation? You are guaranteed to be spotless.
For under $40, thousands of reviewers say they can’t believe how nice the fabric is despite its low cost.
Best Maxi Beach Dress
Floral Chiffon Maxi Dress
The print, strappy sleeves, bright colors and gorgeous chiffon fabric of this dress are practically begging to be on a beach. Given the strappy back and plunging neckline, you’ll want to take some tape if you have a larger bust.
Bonus: Pregnant reviewers love wearing this comfy, airy number for their growing bellies.
Best off the shoulder beach dress
Off-the-shoulder dress with a high slit
My favorite choice in this list is not only watch great – reviewers also love the comfort of the stretchy fabric. Just note that while many items on Amazon may run small, this one runs true to size, so you’ll want to order your regular fit.
Best Comfortable Beach Dress
One Shoulder Bohemian Maxi Dresses
This one was dubbed the most comfortable option on our list for three reasons: the super airy fit, lightweight fabric, and stretchy waistband. The best part is that it’s so cute (and available in nine other pattern options) that no one will ever know you’re feeling like you’re in your favorite nightgown.
Best Short and Formal Beach Dress
Lace floral dress
Ok, so maybe your candle friends are having a wedding closer to the beach than on the literal sand. For a more formal feel that still has a bit of a beach vibe, this pink lace floral dress is super versatile for day-to-night dressing.
Best Long and Formal Beach Dress
Long off shoulder dress with slit
Life doesn’t give us (most of us) many opportunities to wear lots of long, formal dresses, so if you get the chance, I say grab it. This classic off-the-shoulder maxi dress with a slit and beautiful ruffle details is also perfect as a bridesmaid dress.
Best Hot Weather Beach Dress
Long dress with cutouts
Between the two side slits, waist cutouts and jersey fabric, this dress will keep you totally ventilated if you’re heading particularly close to the equator. Sure, you can get it for the wedding you’re going to, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself wearing the versatile and on-trend cutout dress to every pool party and BBQ you’re attending this year.
Note: Stretchy fabric means that while this *technically* comes in sizes 6-10, it’s designed to fit sizes 2-12.
Best beach dress with pockets
Lily Pultizer fans, rejoice – your favorite handbag now comes in dress form, with a cute criss-cross strap back to match. And, like the bags, it comes with pockets. Yes, it’s pretty much obvious whether you’re going to weddings this year or not.
best size beach dress
Spaghetti scuba midi dress
It’s no secret that fashion has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to size inclusion, especially when it comes to formal wear. This scuba dress from Good American is made with the softest fabric and runs up to size 4x. In addition, it is very easy to dress up and down. I wouldn’t blame you if you bought one in each of the three neutral shades it comes in.
Best Halter Neck Dress
Backless Halter Maxi Dress with Belt
Red polka dots aren’t just a bikini accessory anymore thanks to the classic beach print of this belted maxi dress. It comes in several different prints and colors, but regardless, you’ll want to get a good strapless bra since the dress is backless (or goes au natural).
A halter neck like this is great for warmer weather if you want neck/chest coverage without having to worry about sleeves, and the belted waist adds a good level of customization depending on what size you want it to be on your size.
Best Splurge Beach Dress
Off-the-Shoulder Chiffon Dress
Fashion lovers will find their happiness in this off-the-shoulder chiffon maxi dress from Dessy Collection, and for good reason. It’s pricey, but if you have the budget or plan to wear it to several upcoming weddings, you’ll love everything from the asymmetrical sleeves and ruched waistline to the luxurious chiffon fabric and high slit.
Best Bodycon Beach Dress
Ruffle Bodycon Slit Dress
Made with a soft, stretchy and breathable fabric, a sexy bodycon dress is ideal for your super fun friend’s wedding that you know will involve a lot of partying. The ruffle detail adds a bold and elegant touch.
Best High-Low Beach Dress
Asymmetrical dress in chiffon and lace
The up-down trend is not going anywhere, and thank goodness for that. The silhouette really shows off your sexy legs, and this elegant dress elevates the style with a fabulously chic blend of chiffon and lace, separated by a gorgeous silk ribbon at the waist. (No one will believe you only paid $50 for this.)
best indian beach dress
Customizable Raz Lehenga
Your Indian friend is getting married, and while it’s Great exciting, you may not know where to start your search for lehenga (Indian traditional wedding guest attire). Sister brand Sani makes this beautiful lehenga that is totally customizable to your size, desired sleeve length, and even any color you might like.
If you think this might be the last time you’ll wear it, you can even pick up one of the brand’s designs at Rent The Runway.
Best Beach Wetsuit
Chiffon Wide Leg Halter Neck Jumpsuit
The “you can have your cake and eat it too” of jumpsuits – it has the sleek silhouette of a jumpsuit but the airy, airy feel of a long dress (stand with your legs together and people can actually think you’re wearing a dress). You’ll also love the sleeveless halter neck on a particularly hot day.
Best Ombre Beach Dress
Ombre Slit Dress
I don’t know about you, but the colors alone on this one are giving me some serious beach vibes. And no, ombre isn’t just for your hair – dress it up with flip flops or pair it with heels, a gold belt and your favorite jewelry for a more formal look. (Bonus: it doubles as a cover-up, so you can wear your bikini right underneath.)
Best Slip Dress
Floral jacquard satin slip dress
Strappy dresses are a true modern-day staple for lovers of minimalist fashion. Throw on a sweater and tights over this one with a floral jacquard twist for winter, a turtleneck underneath for fall and, of course, just strappy sandals for beach nuptials.
Best Printed Beach Dress
Amarante midi slip dress
…or maybe you want to experiment with something a little less classic. Tie-dye is super trendy right now – paired with the elegant silk fabric and lace trim, it gets a fun upgrade in this gorgeous dress that’s also super versatile.
Best High Coverage Beach Dress
Long-sleeved knit dress
Hey, beach wedding guest dresses don’t always have to be limited to cutouts and strappy necklines. For those who want something more modest and more covering, you’ll appreciate that the sleeves and turtleneck are fully mesh and breathable so you don’t suffocate while covering up.
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