What’s the proper beach wedding attire for men? We get this question all the time. Grooms ask us about it, groomsmen grill us about it, and guests are always inquiring about new trends and “do’s and don’ts.” We generally tell the groom and groomsmen to ask the bride, because she is the boss, but guests have a different protocol. Each beach wedding we throw at The Sands Atlantic Beach is unique, so we always encourage guests to check the invitation for guidelines. The most important rule is to never dress more formally than the bride, but be careful not to dress too casually either. It can be a difficult balance, but there are several gold standards when it comes to beach wedding attire for men, all of which can help you pick the perfect outfit for this summer’s beach wedding season.
The Formal Beach Wedding
The most formal option is, of course, a suit. But don’t worry—everyone knows it’s going to be hot on the beach, especially the bride and groom, and no one expects you to wear a black wool suit. Instead, feel free to wear a light-colored suit made from lightweight materials. Khaki colored suits are the gold standard here, and we recommend that you try linen or similar breathable fabrics. You’ll also want to wear a white or light colored shirt, and unlike the semi-formal wedding, you should tuck it in. As for ties, it seems to be the custom that most people don’t wear them at beach weddings, but keep one in your car just in case.
The Semi-formal Beach Wedding
These are our favorite because people can get a little creative but still look great. For the semi-formal wedding, we only have two recommendations: button down shirts and slacks or khakis. We want to suggest a new rule, too: only wear one brightly colored item. Salmon-colored khakis with a white shirt will look great, as will cream colored pants a royal blue or lemon-yellow button down, but don’t go overboard with loud colors because you don’t want to outshine the bride. Choose long sleeve shirts, too, and if it gets hot you can roll them up to your mid-forearm.
The Casual Beach Wedding
For the casual beach wedding, we have a number of suggestions: Cuban shirts, Hawaiian shirts, and Polos, plus slacks or khakis. Yes, you still have to wear pants. The casual attire suggestion really opens the door to trying tropical themes, so don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and wear something you never could in the big city or at an indoor wedding or anywhere but the beach. Remember, beach weddings don’t happen everyday (much to our chagrin), so have fun!
Accessories and Footwear
Lastly, there are always questions about accessories and footwear. Concerning the latter, the old standby is boat shoes. They can be classy, they’re built for the beach and water, and you won’t even need to wear socks. You might also be encouraged to wear flip-flops or even go barefoot. As for accessories, we don’t recommend wearing hats or fedoras, but feel free to bring sunglasses as long as you remember to take them off when the bride walks down the aisle.
We hope these suggestions for beach wedding attire for men will help you look great at all the beach weddings this summer. Try a style that’s different from what you usually wear, but also remember our thoughts on colors, pants and accessories. And remember this: No one wants to take pictures with sweaty dudes, so whether the wedding is formal or casual, choose clothes and fabrics that will help you stay cool in the beach sun!