Ahhh, back to our summer wedding theme installment of Shopping with a Purpose (SWAP)! Y’all – this one is SO MUCH FUN. And since I was totally plagiarizing from my fashion back and forth with my girlfriend who recently renewed her vows in Hawaii for their TWENTY YEAR ANNIVERSARY (she was a child bride), I asked her to write the S.W.A.P. instead.
She’s been featured here once before writing about leadership, but I think we can all agree that the chance to wear a wedding gown again is way more fun. (Anyone want to talk my hubby into letting ME renew our vows on our ten year anniversary next spring???)
So here’s my buddy Brandy with her S.W.A.P. perspective: Tips from a beach wedding at Shipwreck Beach, Kauai.
1. THE GOWN!!!
Get a loose, flowy gown, and not a big stiff or heavy gown. Why? Many reasons.
One, you gotta fly it there. Do you really want one entire suitcase taken up by your gown?
Two, beaches have wind. A breezy gown looks nicer in the photos and gives you a bit of motion around your ankles.
Three, ahem, beaches can be warm. My gown from 20 years ago still fit (Gindi note – how cool is that?), but it was hot and heavy and made for an indoor ballroom wedding. I’d have been sweaty and uncomfortable outdoors in it. No one wants a sweaty pink faced bride. Not to mention my fashion sensibilities have changed over the years.
Four, a heavy dress will literally drag you down if you do in the water or “trash the dress” shots (more about that below). Many designers have a specific destination wedding or beach wedding gown collection, and my gown was one of those.
This is harder than the dress. Do not wear normal high heels. You will sink into the grass and fall over in the sand. Promise, I tried it out to check.
Also don’t wear flip flops. As we all know, they tend to kick sand up the back of your legs and in a long gown you’ll be throwing sand onto and under your dress and on your guy. Not comfy, plus it doesn’t look good in the pics!
You need pretty wedges. And lucky you they are all the rage right now. They still give you some height, if you want it, and you do not sink in the sand or kick it up. After much looking, I got mine at DSW for $40! If you simply must have stilettos, get your wedding planner to build you a little wooden “aisle” to walk down, and then scatter sand over it so no one can tell.
This tip applies to any family beach photo shoot also. Get the local salon to do your hair. They know what products will hold up to the level of wind and humidity at your particular beach. Why sit there stressing for an hour over getting it right when the pro can make it perfect and make it last while you sip tea and chill!
Also, wear your hair up. You’d hate to have your perfect shot ruined by wild hair in your face, lipstick, etc. An up do is cooler as well and, in the case of my wedding, having an up do kept it from getting tangled in my lei. Finally, skip the veil. They just tend to fly away and get in the way of your photos.
4. THOSE WATER SHOTS (and the undergarment shopping)!
You really should do water shots.
First, they are SO fun! When else would I get to splash around the Pacific in a wedding gown!?! I felt like a mermaid.
Next, the photos looks stunning and are so much more memorable then standard posed wedding pics.
Finally, contrary to the phrase trash the dress, the dress doesn’t get ruined! At least mine didn’t, nor did my friend Patricia’s dress. I just rinsed it out after, then sent it to the cleaner, and you would never know!
I will recommend you ask your wedding planner or beach photographer how crowded the beaches are and go with the lightly trafficked one. We had no one in our shots which was really nice and private.
And in a related crucial fashion tip, you need very like-color-matching underthings. If your gown turns a bit see through when wet, that’s ok (as you can see, it actually looks good around the calves – you can tell the fabric is a bit sheer when wet which makes it look real), but the color of your undergarments must match perfectly. And it’s better if they’re minimal. Spanx or the like would really show when wet. (I dieted before hitting the water in my wedding gown…)
5. The Groom’s Clothes (I mean it does take two to vow renew).
We went local, meaning I got my hubby and son matching Aloha shirts, linen pants, and sandals. They were so comfy and happy, and they looked great! And revisiting the comments about being hot and sweaty; the same goes for your man, if not more so.
Why stuff your guy in a suit? If you are doing a beach wedding, I say look like you are at the beach! Hilo Hattie online sells tons of grooms and kids matching beach wedding attire for men.
6. The Second Dress/Clothes.
If you are going to do in the water shots, you might want a second DRY dress to go out dinner or the reception after. That’s what I did. It also gives you a fun excuse to buy TWO wedding gowns. My second one only cost $70 so it was less than a festive sundress. And don’t forget to buy the love of your life two sets of clothes too because he’s going to want to be fresh and dry.
So who’s ready for a beach wedding? Whether it’s vow renewals or your first time around, this S.W.A.P. will have you saying I, Do in style!