Destination weddings are hugely popular and a wedding on the beach can be magical. If you are in a dilemma about how to pick the right dress, jewellery, hair style, footwear or menswear, here are our top tips for the bride, groom and guests. The perfect beach wedding look is within easy reach.
Your guests’ comfort and style
Your wedding in Thailand will be a big affair for all your guests who are flying in to watch two of their favourite people get married. Make sure you keep recommendations on their wedding attire as simple as possible. Clothes should be non crease, simple to pack items. Perfect beach wedding attire should be cool enough to wear in the heat and easy to layer up and down as the daytime cools into evening. Shoes are a nightmare to wear on the beach so encourage tan or black leather sandals for the men and make sure everyone knows it is okay to go barefoot.
Encourage your guests to integrate a colour you select
Beach weddings can be a little dull without a strong swathe of colour to contrast the pale surroundings, so perhaps encourage guests to incorporate orange, red or a vibrant blue for a tie, a hairpiece or a shawl? Just a hint of colour can make the perfect contrast. Many people go for a white linen theme for everyone attending and it can look a bit washed out.
A wedding dress, not a beach dress
Yes, it’s a beach wedding but don’t under dress. While you need to look in harmony with the beach, your outfit needs to be distinguishable from a regular sundress. Wearing a sundress with a flower in your hair will look fun on the day but later, you may realise that you didn’t look anything like a bride. However, don’t be afraid of trying a coloured option.
Make sure that your dress is light and breathable since not all fabrics work for a beach wedding. An airy sheath is most beach friendly, but if you want to wear a full skirt, make sure you choose a dress constructed of a lighter fabric that allows for movement. If you really want to go all out for a large ballroom type dress, make sure it can bustle easily. Dresses with lace trim can be difficult because they pick up debris from the beach. Instead, choose a lightweight fabric like chiffon or charmeuse so your gown flows in the breeze and drys quickly if you take a paddle.
Hair style and decoration
While choosing a hairstyle remember that beaches tend to get windy and hot. Wear a braid or bun that won’t get messy in the wind. Perhaps you could decorate your hair with flowers and wreaths made from local flowers? Tropical arrangements can be understated and still be stunning. Choosing to wear your hair down or wear a veil is a bit risk because of the strong gusts of wind that occur on the shore. Also, if you wear your hair down, you might get a sweaty neck.
Do not go for heavy makeup as the humidity won’t support it and you will look smudged in no time. Go for softer eye shadows and keep lip colour to softer pink or nudes. Have a plan in place for mopping up perspiration and adding a light transluscent powder throughout the event if you tend to perspire//shine a lot
Your jewellery needs to be in harmony with the views around you. Refrain from large ethnic jewellery and go for delicate statement pieces. Intricate silver or pearls look beautiful with the tropical light of Thailand.
Flat shoes, bare feet or foot jewellery
There will be lots of sand, so let your feet breath in summer flip flops, sandals or barefoot. There are also some wonderful foot jewellery that you can buy from sites such as Etsy. They look like bejewelled shoes but in fact you are bare footed and they can be a perfect addition to nailing the ‘beach wedding’ attire look. A French manicure on your toes will make your feet look totally vibrant on a Thai beach. If you and your guests are barefoot, have a runner made of fabric or thick flower petals to help keep the soles of your feet cool. Flower petals won’t be the best option if there is a strong breeze.
High heeled shoes are possible
I would recommend going barefoot on the beach and then wear flats elsewhere. If you switch from barefeet to heels you may worry about your dress looking too short. If you insist on heels, keep them on throughout and have your wedding planner arrange for a little runway for you to walk down along the sand so that the heels won’t sink.
It’s always advisable to carry a light wrap or summer shrug with you in case the weather cools, or it turns to night before all the elements of the ceremony are done. You can opt for a light weight pashmina in natural tones or go for a bolder cotton scarf. If you love florals, a pashmina with flowers will be lovely too and will help to keep the sun off your shoulders and keep you warm as the evening kicks in.
Time of day
Plan on having your wedding commence as the sun is beginning to set, or an hour before if you have lots planned. This will give you the best light for photography/cinematography and a good level of coolness for you and the guests. However, even at 5pm you and your guests will need sunscreen. As a side note, if you sunbathe prior to the wedding, watch those straplines!
Flowers also don’t like the hot sun and can be tricky to work with. Choose a ceremony design and flowers that can hold up in the heat. Orchids, chrysanthemums, and plumeria are surprisingly hardy and hold up well in almost any kind of weather, but consult with someone who has organised many Thai weddings and they are sure to offer the best advice.
Grooms often wear linen suits, but if it’s really hot, men can forgo the jacket and wear a loose shirt and pants. Tan sandals or flipflops look just fine as long as they are matching for all men involved in the main ceremony. If you expect your groom to turn up in a full tux, be prepared for most of it to be removed in under an hour. Unless you are not bothered about those all important keepsake photos, don’t have your fella show up in boardshorts to get married! On a final note, men don’t like sweat marks either, so cool, light coloured, loose fitting pants and shirts are ideal.
Make sure there is plenty of shade on the beach for you and your guests. You can make a simple cover with 4 wooden poles and a white cotton cover. Make sure any little ones running around are wearing sun screen and are well hydrated, in fact that goes for you and all your guests. Sending round trays of water every 20 minutes will be well received. Keep the ceremony fairly short and always, always have a back up venue very close by in case of a downpour. Source as much as you can locally to save on money and on the environment. And finally, be very wary of having an elephant in your ceremony. Elephants are treated very badly in order to ‘break them in.’ and get very hot on the beach too. Let them live as free as possible.
That’s it! I hope you enjoy your wedding in a Thailand paradise!
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