Sun, sand & beach…the perfect wedding attire…

As I flew into the Halifax airport last week I was reminded how beautiful the fall colors really are. The beautiful yellows, ambers and reds popped out of the forest below.  It reminded me of the several wedding parties I had the privilege of working with over the years. The fall theme of those weddings was amazing, not one bridesmaid had the same color, instead, they choose from nature’s palate.  Can you picture it now?   How naturally beautiful!

But as it sit today writing this bog I am resigning myself that Fall has arrived and has brought it’s chilly temperatures and crisp days and crispier nights that threaten to freeze us! Can we wait until April to meet the heat again? Some of us will decide to find our own warmth and plan a trip to a warm climate to escape the cold temperatures.  Sun, sand and beach…Can you picture that setting … oh yeah! Some couples can see this as well…wedding and honeymoon all in one, sounds good hey?

It’s all about choice and there are so many decisions to make when planning your wedding. Like when to get married, what type of wedding, type of ceremony, what kind and color of dress and where will the wedding take place. Over the years I have made every type of wedding gown for every type of setting you can imagine; cold or warm, indoors or out, small or large, and fancy or not.   Destination weddings are very popular as they can give you the sun, sand and beach as the setting for your wedding day.   So if you have decided on a destination wedding then there are considerations to keep in mind when choosing what you and your bridal party will wear. Dressing for this occasion and setting can be a challenge but with some planning all will be perfect.

Start dreaming about how you want to feel and look.  Do you want a soft romantic look where the wind gently moves the fabric around you? Do you want a dress that you can wear ‘in stages’? By this I mean you have a base dress that has pieces that you can take away and or add to have a different look. (One of my specialties!) Are you looking for something traditional or contemporary?

When shopping for a dress, look in different places than you normally would.  Sometimes the most appropriate and beautiful dresses can be found in other sections of the store. Look in the eveningwear and prom sections of the store if they have one. Most times these dresses are lighter weight and are simpler. Most dresses can be ordered in a white or off-white.  Check out non-bridal wear stores, there are hidden gems out there that may not break the bank. Remember, whatever you get married in is your wedding dress and it doesn’t have to come from a bridal store.  Another option is if you have a favorite dressmaker you may have more choice and can design your own dress, the most perfect dress for you! Of course I am a little biased here… !!

Here are a few of my must-do “what to wear and be-prepared” suggestions:

  • Research the average temperatures. Will you need a shawl or wrap for the evening?  Or to keep the sun off your shoulders? This may impact the type of dress you buy or have made.
  • Look at pictures for ideas of what you like. Long vs. knee length, off the shoulder vs. small sleeve, veil vs. flowers…you get the idea.
  • Think about how you want to feel in your attire…sexy, romantic, or elegant.  You can be all three!
  • If you have decided the groom is not going for the tuxedo option than you have more choices in what you can go with …less formal with more personality…be open minded!
  • Consider a lighter weight dress that will not weigh you down or make you sweat.
  • Think about fabrics with polyester. They wrinkle less and are easily pressed or steamed out.  Acetate and rayon fibers will wrinkle, sometimes permanently.  If you decide to get your dress made then work with your dressmaker to choose the most appropriate fabrics.
  • Get the correct under garments, check out my first blog about bra shopping.
  • Invest in a small hand held steamer and bring it with you (they can be pretty reasonably priced, maybe $30) – make sure you have the right voltage and adapter with you. Become proficient with the tool before you leave for your trip!
  • Footwear. Chances are you may opt for barefoot for the beach and will need something for inside or on a patio for the reception.   Keeping this in mind you will need to hem accordingly…work with your dressmaker to figure this out. No tripping ‘up’ the isle! PS: have you ever tried walking in heels on a beach?
  • Carry your dress on the plane with you – even though it may be a nonstop direct flight…if you bag doesn’t show up you will at least have your dress!
  • Have a sewing kit. Bring a needle and thread, small scissors, snaps, hook and eye, safety pins etc. Just in case.
  • While I am not an expert on makeup or hair styles you may want to think about what you can bring with you to make sure you get what you want that day. Keep temperatures in mind.
  • Think about umbrellas…to provide a shade from the sun if getting married midday or – heaven forbid – it rains!
  • For all of you former girl guides out there … be prepared!.

As always have fun and make the planning process memorable.  Your experience in finding or making that perfect dress should be fun and pleasant experience…if not walk away and start again another day and remember it’s your choice, your day and your memories.  So here’s to the next time we see 25+ degrees again.



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Destination Weddings…for more information on destination weddings, check out one of my favourite Destination Wedding Specialists – Lois Barbour from TPI International


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