how to dress for your beach wedding

From Wendy Laurel “So many couples come to Hawaii or other destinations for their wedding ceremony on the beach. But just because you have having a beach ceremony does not mean you want to dress down for your wedding.

So what does work for a beach wedding? When you are getting married on the beach only a few things are essential.  The must-haves for a beach bride to pull off an elegant but natural look at the beach are…”

Natural hairstyle | Wendy Laurel Photography Rainbow in Maui | Wendy Laurel Photography Bougainvillea and rose bridal bouquet | Wendy Laurel Photography Claire Pettibone wedding dress | Wendy Laurel Photography Double exposure bridal portrait | Wendy Laurel Photography


You need a wedding dress that’s gorgeous but one that moves.  The Claire Pettibone dress in this shoot is perfect.  It’s easy to walk in and move about on the beach, but still is a one of kind over the moon type of wedding dress that lets the bride look elegant on the beach.


Veils are amazing at beach weddings. They capture the sunshine and photograph well. They add movement to the photos and nothing says wedding quite like a veil.


Less is more at the beach.

Drop veil | Wendy Laurel Photography Lavender and pink bridal bouquet | Wendy Laurel Photography Claire Pettibone wedding dress for a beach wedding in Maui | Wendy Laurel Photography Beach wedding in Maui | Wendy Laurel Photography


This is where you can show your colors and personality.  I love a wild disorderly bouquet at the beach. It goes well with the wind and sun and sand and the natural elements.  The pop of pink here offsets the blue/greys of the beach and rocks perfectly.


Wearing your hair down with a natural unmade up sort of make up is perfect for a beach wedding.  The movement of hair down is perfect for the beach and softens the formality of the elegant gown.  The light in her hair adds to the photos.

Full length wedding veil | Wendy Laurel Photography


Your details at a beach wedding most often come in the scenery — the sun, the sand, the water, the rocks, the greenery.  All the natural elements come into play and add to the portraits at a beach wedding.


Plan for your beach wedding ceremony to be at sunrise or just before sunset to capture the golden tones of the beach.  The light at sunrise on Maui is exquisite. The rainbow was just a bonus.

See another beautiful shoot from Wendy Laurel in Hawaii here


Photography & Florals: Wendy Laurel // Dress: Claire Pettibone // Hair Piece: Hushed Commotion // Location: northwestern shores of Maui.

About Sara Burnett

Editor of Burnett's Boards, which she founded to showcase global creativity in the wedding industry. Sara currently lives out of a suitcase while island hopping the Caribbean and beyond. Learn More // Follow on Instagram.


  1. Wonderful suggestions!

  2. These are great tips!

  3. thank you.. it looks lovely


  1. […] shoot was featured on Burnett’s Boards with tips on being a beach bride. The wedding gown is Claire Pettibone and the accessories are […]

  2. […] Want to know how to dress for your beach wedding? Get the scoop here. […]