When planning wedding attire for a tropical beach wedding in the islands, there are some things that you should keep in mind in order to keep yourself comfortable, happy and looking your best.
Beachy Brides: Even if you are having a casual beach wedding, you don’t have to give up on that formal dress you’ve always dreamed of – just be sure that the dress suits the environment. Most Virgin Islands weddings happen about an hour before sunset (the “Golden Hour”), and though its breezy, its still quite warm on the beach.
- Choose strapless, spaghetti straps, halter or wide straps – show some sun-kissed skin!
- Choose natural fabrics like silk or light and flowing fabrics that breathe like chiffons.
- Think about sophisticated, classic and sleek lines.
- Pay attention to the back of your dress – ornate backs, beadwork, open-backs show a little skin and look beautiful in pictures.
- Have a bridesmaid or a family member practice bustling your dress in advance. Every dress bustles differently, and those darn little eyehooks can be hard to find. Have someone practice bustling your dress a few times and be sure to have them on hand before the first dance to hook you up.
- Kick off your heels. Heels just don’t work on the beach (they don’t work well on lawns either). There are so many options today when it comes to flip flops – from beaded and bejeweled to flips that leave a “just married” imprint in the sand. You can even accessorize your feet with some foot jewelry. Be sure to keep your foot attire in mind when fitting your wedding dress – you’ll want it to not drag on the ground when you are barefoot. Fun idea: Have a beachy spa day with your bridesmaids and treat yourselves to pedicures. The day before your wedding, have them help you paint an exotic Henna stain on your feet. You can get kits and ideas (be sure to practice in advance) here: Henna Kits
- Have a second dress. This is a trend that we really love. Have a second white, less formal, lighter and more comfortable dress for after the formalities (usually once photos are done following cake cutting). You’ll be cooler and so much more comfortable when you change and it will signal to your guests that the party has really kicked in. True Celebrity-style!
- Make sure your bathing suit matches the line of your dress! There is nothing worse than big bright tan lines on your wedding day! Be sure that the bathing suit you wear on the beach matches the line of your dress. And give that same direction to your bridesmaids!!
- Wear TONS of sunscreen. The sun in the tropics is strong. Tank tops and other shirts can also create those dreaded tan lines, so before your wedding day, be sure to be kind to your skin. Drink lots of water, wear at least a 30spf and reapply, reapply, reapply, reapply. This goes for your groom and wedding party too! Photoshop can fix your photos if there is a mishap, but try to avoid it in the first place!
Accessorize! A simple and elegant piece of jewelry can really set off your wedding dress. Consider a local piece of jewelry – St Croix is known for its amazing jewelry artisans. You can incorporate larimar (the azure blue Caribbean stone) for your “something blue”, pearls or other beachy elements. We’ve even had couples exchange “Crucian Bracelets” as part of their wedding ceremony! For apres ceremony, paper parasols will keep the sun off add a little flare to your pics.
- Wear a super long train – dragging your train down the beach is sure to pick up “hitchhikers” (pieces of seaweed, stones, etc) as you walk down the sandy aisle. Choose a chapel length or short train if you really can’t go without.
- Get burned!!! I can’t stress this enough. Sunscreen and the shade are your friend. Burns not only look bad in your pictures, but they are uncomfortable and unhealthy. Don’t ruin your wedding day by being over enthusiastic with tanning and neglecting good skincare!
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