I don’t know about you but everyone seems to be getting married at the moment. And, thanks to a rather unpredictable and often depressing climate in the UK, more and more hopeless, naive romantics are opting to tie the knot abroad.
With guaranteed sunshine, white sandy beaches and a laid-back atmosphere, it comes as no surprise that places such as the South of France, Croatia and Italy have all become popular wedding destinations.
Marrying abroad also creates the right amount of ‘hassle’ to put off fringe family members, work colleagues and old school friends.
Generally, as I have already mentioned, you can expect warm weather. And a humid climate calls for shirts made of a lightweight linen or cotton-blends. White is advisable for many reasons: it’s smart, offers the possibility of making a statement with other items of clothing, doesn’t show creases as badly as darker shades and, perhaps most importantly, will keep you cooler in the midday sun.
Hopefully, the wedding invitation will specify whether the dress is “beach casual” or “beach formal,” but a good rule of thumb for beach wedding attire is to wear something that you would wear to a nice restaurant on a sunny day. Be mindful of the elements—sun, sand, wind and water—when you’re shopping for something to wear to a beach wedding. Flip-flops are not okay unless provided to you by the bride and groom with many beach ceremonies actually encourage guests to take off their shoes. The sun and sand can make it uncomfortable in a full three-piece suit, so linen and lightweight cotton are your best options for keeping cool. For some midday beach weddings, it may even be appropriate to wear shorts and a jacket. As long as it’s not the week before the wedding, feel free to ask the bride and groom about any specific dress codes.
1. Lose the Tux
A beach wedding tends to be a little more relaxed. And, unless the wedding is black-tie, you will want to wear a lightweight suit made from cotton or linen and ideally unconstructed. Lighter fabrics will leave you feeling cooler than the average wool or silk blend suit. As for colour, blues, pale greys and creams are ideal.
2. No Flip-Flops
This wedding might be on the beach, but flip-flops and even sandals are too casual for any event, much less a friend’s wedding. A tanned lace up shoe without socks works great, as do loafers. With the exception of light coloured leather, make sure you avoid heavy fabrics, like suede, which can throw a winter feel to that airy and cool look you’re going for. Check out my blog What colour shoes should you be wearing with your suit? for tips on what shoes your should go for.
3. Tie or Pocket Square
A pocket-square is a way to dress up a suit when you’re not wearing a tie. While you could usually wear both, a beach wedding beckons a nonchalant atmosphere – and both accessories can sometimes send you into just-a-little-too-formal territory. You’re not George Clooney, but you don’t need a boat in Italy to give the classic open shirt, no tie, and pocket square a try. If you don’t want to leave the tie at home, I’d suggest wearing a knit option like these from Me My Suit & Tie, which will keep your look pulled together, but still casual. For the perfect accessory combinations, you can check out the Style Box range from Me My Suit & Tie.
You don’t want to be left squinting during the “I do’s,” so remember to pack a pair of sunglasses. Again, go with a classic look like aviators or wayfarers. You can’t go wrong with Persols, Ray-Bans, or anything tortoise shell.
Standard Rules Still Apply
The secret to looking good is still a perfectly tailored suit. This isn’t a standard Saturday night at the country club, but that doesn’t mean guests should be dressing down. A great fit – especially with trickier summer fabrics – is a must, which means all the little tailoring rules apply. Aim for a tapered leg with no more than half a break on the hem. Suit sleeves should hit at the crook of the wrist and just a quarter of an inch of shirt should be visible, check out 9 steps to a suit that fits to make sure you are getting it right.