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Dec, 6 2023

A Complete Guide to Beach Wedding Attire for Men

A couple holding hands in front of the ocean

Whether you’re a wedding guest or have the fortune of being the groom, going to a casual beach wedding will require some preparation. Namely, beach wedding attire for men isn’t the same as the usual wedding wear. There is, of course, a dress code that all wedding participants need to observe, but it’s not as stringent as the regular formal attire.

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If you’re unsure which outfits for men would be most suitable for a beach wedding, this guide will take you through all the ins and outs of men’s attire for the occasion. Let’s look at what makes beach weddings different from the more common occasions and help you prepare for the big day.

Why Beach Weddings Are Different

A bride and groom walking on the beach

Beach weddings have an obvious advantage over other wedding types: they take place under the open sky and feature an amazing view. In that regard, few ceremonies can even come close to the casual beach vibe. Plus, if it’s a destination wedding, the overall impression will likely be downright fascinating.

As a rule, beach weddings are laid back, less formal (albeit not entirely casual), and usually very comfortable for everyone involved. Most occasions will follow a semi-formal wedding dress code. However, certain considerations are necessary when preparing for a wedding day at the beach. For instance, the destination will likely have a hot climate with higher temperatures during the day and evening.

Similarly, the weather can be unpredictable, particularly in tropical areas. Therefore, you can wear cocktail attire wedding clothes, but be prepared for sudden weather changes.

Of course, there’s also the sand and seawater that can make the location additionally inconvenient. Together with the weather, these factors can make the occasion uncomfortable. But come prepared, and you’ll have the time of your life. To that end, here are the must-haves for men attending a beach wedding.

The Essentials of Beach Wedding Attire for Men

A bride and groom walking in front of the bridal party on the beach

The first order of the day when attending a beach wedding is relatively simple: linen. Of course, your clothes don’t have to be made of linen exclusively, but this is the most common and readily available choice of breathable fabric.

Going with a linen shirt and linen pants combo is the safest variant, but nothing’s stopping you from swapping a piece of your suit with a knit option. The main thing here is to keep the materials light and suitable for spending a day under the sun.

Likewise, your choice of colors should lean toward lighter shades too. Khaki, beige, and light variants of blue are always recommendable as they’ll blend nicely with the beach landscape and not attract too much heat from the sun. Considering these colors are quite trendy today, such a choice will be equal parts fashionable and practical. If you’re wondering where to buy a suit for a wedding, you can find some excellent options with suit rental companies like Generation Tux.

Regarding footwear, loafers, slippers, or espadrilles would be excellent choices. In particular, you won’t go wrong choosing raffia or a similar light, natural material. Some weddings might even be barefoot-friendly, although relinquishing shoes altogether might not be the ideal choice. Namely, going around with nothing between you and the hot, coarse surface is not precisely everyone’s idea of comfort.

Outfit Ideas for the Groom

A man in a black suit

If you’re attending a beach wedding not as a guest but as the lucky groom, you’ll be happy to learn that plenty of options are available. A beach wedding suit is among the rare clothing types that don’t have to conform to a specific standard. Instead, you’re free to mix and match different variants – of course, within certain limitations.

Naturally, a wedding suit will be the most important element of the groom's attire. Despite the more casual nature of the event, dressing down isn’t a must, so you can confidently rock a suit or a tux. However, remember that your apparel needs to be suitable for the beach. In other words, dress up as much as you want, but opt for the lightest variants possible. A linen suit or light wool tuxedo will always do the job.

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On the other hand, you could go for a separate combo, although this will be a bigger challenge. Why? You need to mix and match the outfit yourself rather than get a complete solution in a designed suit. On the other hand, separates give you the freedom of mixing colors and – to an extent – materials however you like.

Regarding shoes, the choice will be a bit tougher and somewhat limited. You’ll spend plenty of time on or around sand and may be close to the salty water. For those reasons, you’ll need to give the standard dress shoes a miss. Instead, opt for something that cleans easily or isn’t a big deal if it gets dirty.

You can forgo socks and go for casual or semi-casual variants of loafers, sandals, or even select sneakers. However, you can make up for the simplified footwear by adding accessories. This is where you can experiment freely. For instance, you’re not limited to traditional accessories in the form of jewelry or cufflinks but can try out different looks with bandannas, hats, or scarves.

What Wedding Guests Should Wear

A wedding reception on the beach

Whether you’re the groom determining the preferred attire for men and women at your wedding or a wedding guest, you’ll have plenty of freedom in choosing wedding guest outfits for men. The options here are relatively open and follow a similar convention as the groom’s dress code.

Of course, light clothing will be preferred for practically every beach wedding guest. Lightweight materials and brighter colors are recommended to stave off the heat, and the same applies to footwear. Naturally, as a guest, you’ll need to mind not to outshine the groom.

If the beach wedding guest attire needs to follow a dress code, find out how strict the convention is. As mentioned, beach weddings are usually more relaxed than those in closed venues, so the dress code could be more of a suggestion than a strict rule. On another note, you probably won’t need to worry about matching colors with the other guests, as most will likely be dressed in lighter shades.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Beach Wedding Attire

A denim button shirt, shoes, and a hat layed out

Regarding things you can wear to a beach wedding (and those you should avoid at all costs), matters will be relatively straightforward. Firstly, casual wear is a do, at least if the dress code doesn’t prohibit it explicitly. Mixing and matching are encouraged, so there’s no reason not to rock a dress pant blazer combination if it fits the occasion.

In contrast, strict formal wear will be a don’t in most beach weddings. These events practically never demand formal attire for a wedding, so your favorite black-tie suit jacket can get a day off. That being said, you’ll be justified in following your particular style, and if that includes semi-formal clothes, feel free to create a comfortable combination.

Swimwear is one of the do’s that people don’t always consider with beach weddings. If the weather is nice and the water warm, nobody will mind you taking a swim, so you should come prepared. And if there’s one thing to avoid in beach weddings, it would be uncomfortable clothes. Outside of these guidelines, your options will be wide open.

How to Look Sharp While Staying Cool

A man in a beige suit and peach tie

Looking sharp is usually not an issue in the beach setting. The casual nature of beach weddings will mean you don’t have to go the extra mile in this department. However, if you’re talking about how to keep your cool, the matter is more literal than figurative. You’ll need to keep your clothes as light and breathable as possible.

Materials like linen will go a long way in staving off the heat. At the same time, linen and cotton clothes will look very classy while keeping your body temperature down. This should be a priority since nobody wants to get drenched in sweat at a wedding.

Be Ready for the Wedding Season

A bride and groom hugging in front of the ocean

If you’re attending a beach wedding, you’ll find the clothing choices give you much room for improvisation. Imagine a perfect beach wedding, and you’ll likely come up with an image of a relaxed setting in front of a gorgeous landscape – no room for great formality here.

To that end, beach wedding attire for men won’t present much of a challenge. And if you follow our guide to beach wedding attire, you’ll have no issues getting on the right track.

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