It seems more and more people are heading off to destination weddings. For a few reasons. I think a lot of people use it as a great way to have a smaller more intimate wedding. You’re less likely to have a ton of people when travel comes into play. Plus, it’s a great way to spend some more quality time with the guests that do make the trip. When thinking of what to pack for this kind of a journey, you have to keep in mind the destination and vibe of the event. Plus, is the couple traditional? More casual and relaxed? Does the invite say beach formal or beach casual? These are all things to think about when beginning to pack.
A good friend of mine was supposed to have a destination wedding. As in, we booked flights and hotels before getting the invitation (lesson learned) and then they ended up eloping instead. Thankfully we were able to cancel everything without being out of any money, phew! I was bummed for a few reasons, though. I couldn’t wait to head to Jamaica with my closest friends to see one of them get married. It was going to be a total blast with a whole lot of tears. I’m that girl crying her eyes out at a wedding by the way. And two, I’ve never been to Jamaica! The second we bought our tickets my friend and I started figuring out what to wear to a destination wedding.
Destination wedding attire can be a tricky one and today I want to talk all about what to wear. You’ll be spending days among family and friends and packing a great suitcase of fabulous outfits from a lazy morning around the resort, to rehearsal dinners and the actual wedding is important. Here’s all the things you’ll need to check off your packing list for a destination wedding trip whether it’s beach formal or beach casual.
What To Wear To A Destination Wedding
First and foremost, let’s chat beach formal or beach casual. I think the only big difference here is the length and color of the dress and accessories. If the event is beach formal, opt for maxi or tea length dresses, or jumpsuits in more darker traditional colors but keeping in mind lighter fabrics still. You can definitely wear floral prints, but maybe choose something like this that feels a little fancier. And as always, glam it up with great accessories like a beautiful clutch and statement earring. Then there’s beach casual, which can be any of a beach formal piece, or a cocktail length, skirt and top or romper. These pieces can definitely be lighter in color if you like as I think any color goes (except for white!) when it comes to more casual pieces as a wedding guest.
Formal Dresses & Jumpsuits For Rehearsal Dinners & The Wedding
Whether you’re in the wedding and have to attend the rehearsal dinner or just need a great outfit for the wedding itself, having a few options for more nice dresses and jumpsuits are great. For formal events, opt for maxi dresses like the one today, or a jumpsuit. Keep your accessories more dressy as well. You can reach for darker colors to satisfy that formal feeling. I’m loving this navy flowy tea-length dress, or something like this wide-leg jumpsuit is great options. Statement earrings and a beautiful straw clutch make for easy accessories that you’ll wear at home as well.
Shop beach formal dresses & jumpsuits
No matter what you choose to wear, always look for lightweight fabrics as typically destination weddings are in warm climates. And keep in mind your footwear. Most weddings at the beach happen ON the beach. Swap out the heels for a flat sandal like these to make sure you can walk easily. You can always swap them out for a heel for dinner and hitting the dance floor if you like.
Shop my favorite clutches & bags
Swimwear & Coverups – for the beach if it’s in a tropical or beachy location
Most destination weddings are somewhere beachy or tropical so your suitcase will definitely need some swimwear and coverups. I always recommend finding a great coverup that can easily take you from the pool to lunch so you don’t feel overexposed while dining.
Casual Day Dresses – if the wedding is less formal or for brunches
Even if the invite says beach casual, it’s nice to be dressed up. You don’t want to be showing up to the wedding in a cover-up. Great casual day dresses and sundresses are exactly what you’ll want to wear for a beach casual wedding. They’ll also work for the day after brunches and just out and about at the resort. There are so many wonderful maxi dresses and cocktail length dresses that you can 100% wear to a casual beach wedding and dress up to feel event ready. Take this pretty floral maxi dress with ruffle details. Add these earrings and this festive clutch and it instantly feels wedding ready. Swap out the accessories for a beach bag and sandals and you can wear this to lunch too. So versatile!
Shop beach casual dresses and jumpsuits
Workout Clothes – for the hotel gym, if the couple has you doing anything active like hiking, site seeing, etc.
If you’re active, or the couple is active, activities may be a part of the itinerary. I also just always recommend packing one workout outfit whenever I travel. It acts as an extra emergency outfit and also in case you find yourself with the opportunity to go do something physical. I’ve never regretted bringing a workout outfit, only regretted forgetting one.
My Favorite Destination Wedding Attire Ideas
For Beach Formal
Beautiful flowy fabrics and pretty floral prints are exactly what a beach wedding calls for. Both of these can work for beach formal. You can also totally wear these for beach casual since they’re a maxi.
For Beach Casual
When I think beach casual I think about the dresses and jumpsuits I’d wear in my day to day summer life. Casual yet put together dresses like this hunter green one from American Eagle is perfection. Swap the tote out for a clutch and it’s great for a wedding. This striped jumpsuit is also a great option with the light flowy fabric.
For Around The Resort
You’ll want to have great dresses or shorts and top combos to grab for lunches and dinners with friends. Keep it casual, but put together. You want to feel a little more elevated than your everyday beach vacation. SIlky floral shorts with a blouse is a great way to elevate your shorts and a tank without sacrificing comfort.