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Buying the Perfect Beach Wedding Dress

One of the top considerations when planning a beach wedding is, of course, your dress. Whether your beach wedding calls for a formal, destination wedding dress or a casual wedding dress, selecting your beach wedding gown is a matter of personal taste – and a few practicalities. You will likely want to coordinate your beach wedding gown with the style and theme of your wedding. Beach weddings in the past were almost always casual, and many still are.

Many brides-to-be don't realize that a beach wedding dress can be formal. They can, but should you choose a formal style, your dress will be lighter and simpler. Should you have your beach wedding at a posh beachfront resort or on a deserted stretch of sand on your favorite island, the attire and decorations can be quite formal to suit your tastes.

To buy the perfect wedding dress, for a formal or casual wedding, you will need to be sure the gown is beach-proof, that is you will want to do prevent natural elements such as sand and wind from detracting from your appearance. With these things in mind, consider the following tips:

1. Long wedding gown trains fit big church weddings more than beach weddings. A long train just isn't practical with all that sand and sea breeze. A short train with a finger hold or no train at all is best when exchanging vows on the sand.

2. Remember that formal doesn't necessarily equate to fussy and fancy, and it shouldn't for a beach wedding. A beach wedding, whether formal or casual, calls for a lighter touch. For example, a Cinderella gown wouldn't work, but a strapless satin sheath would. The slip dress is a popular choice for beach weddings, as are halter, strapless and sarong style dresses.

3. The beach wedding dress can be short or long, but if it is to be long, have it hemmed up enough to allow for your feet sinking into the sand. The Hawaiian holuku mu`u mu`u is cut higher in the front, is figure hugging and flares out at the bottom, making this a perfect choice for Hawaii destination wedding.

4. Whether you are saying "I do" on the sand or in a beach front gazebo, it is likely to be quite breezy, so to buy the perfect beach wedding dress, shop for straighter lined gowns rather full.

5. Keep your comfort in mind. Stay away from heavy fabrics and hose. If you feel you must cover your legs, wear a long, yet cool, dress. The perfect beach wedding dress will also be perfectly accessorized. If you have your heart set on a veil, have it weighted at the bottom (after all you don't want to look like the "Flying Nun" in your wedding photos). If you are wearing a casual beach wedding dress with a summery hat to match, be sure to have the hat pinned down well so a gust of ocean wind doesn't carry it off.

Many beach wedding brides opt for flowers instead, such as an orchid pinned behind the ear or a wreath of flowers worn like a crown (known in Hawaii as a haku lei). Shoes are another important consideration. High heels and hose just don't work for beach weddings. Choose dressy sandals, or if the wedding is casual or Hawaiian, barefoot works!

Popular places to buy classy yet casual beach wedding dress are: Nordstrom, JCrew & Ann Taylor. Popular places to buy a more formal, beach wedding gown are: David’s Bridal, Alfred Angleo Destiny Collection, and Dessy Collection.You can find more links to bridal shops on our wedding links page.

Finally, as mentioned above, the style of your gown should reflect your personal taste. Whether you choose a resort destination wedding dress or a casual beach wedding dress, the best choice is one that fits your personality and sense of style, as well as the style and theme of the wedding. With these tips in mind and your own good instincts, you are sure to buy the perfect beach wedding dress.