Bright, clear blue skies, warm temperatures, and tropical scenery are—for most of us—the perfect backdrop for a wedding. So, if you’re lucky enough to receive an invite to one such affair, you’re in for a fabulous adventure. As you anticipate the idyllic beauty of the sandy beach next to gently crashing waves, one nagging concern might make it’s way to the forefront of your vision… What do I wear? We can answer this in two words, “NOT flip-flops”. Need us to elaborate? Keep reading.

Beach weddings tend to be more casual than those hosted at a church or indoor venue, making tailored suits and long gowns seem a bit overdone, and undoubtedly uncomfortable in the Caribbean heat. But, while your typical beach apparel might consist of shorts, Hawaiian shirts, and sarongs, don’t assume any of this is appropriate to attend a ceremony unless expressly conveyed by the couple.

The cardinal rule here is to be sure you’re tastefully dressed for the occasion, as well as the location. Lighter colours and loose, natural fabrics (cotton, seersucker, silk, linen) are advisable, choosing midi and maxi length dresses that are not only elegant but comfortable, and pair well with a pashmina or cardigan for those ocean breezes that can be surprisingly cool after sunset.

Image 2 1080x1080.jpg

Roberto Cavalli Resort Collection 2018 | Adrianna Papell Cold Shoulder Draped Shift Dress, Nordstrom

Since you’ll likely be walking in sand, think dressy wedges or flat sandals, stilettos will make you look clueless in this setting.

Image 4 1080x1080.jpg

Loeffler Randall Harper Metallic Leather Espadrille Wedge Sandals | Monique Lhuiller Clarke Jewelled Metallic Mesh Ankle-Strap Flats

Men can look appropriate yet comfortable by opting for a vest or Cuban style guayabera in lieu of jackets, going sockless with loafers or sandals.

Since skin protection is justifiably a concern, in addition to wearing sunscreen you may want to see this as a delightful opportunity to sport a stylish, sophisticated wide-brimmed hat or choose a dress with sheer, lightweight sleeves to prevent skin from getting scorched.

Couples put a considerable amount of time and money into making this their perfect day so be careful not to disregard style and etiquette in an effort to manage the heat. As these examples demonstrate, you can have both.