Can I wear a ballgown on the beach?

We all know that Destination Weddings are more and more popular every year, and the appeal is clear — run off to a beautiful beach somewhere with just your nearest and dearest and enjoy a romantic ceremony and a relaxing getaway at the same time!  But destination weddings present some unique fashion challenges, too. Especially for a more traditional bride who has always envisioned herself in a long white dress.  Today’s guest blogger — Ashle, from Helene’s Bridal Shoppe in East Providence, RI — gives us some expert advice on how to “marry” a beachside ceremony with an elegant gown:

Destination Weddings are the up-and-coming bridal trend.  Brides feel that the sand between their toes and the wind in their hair is a romantic setting for the beginning to the rest of their life.  Bridal gowns for destination weddings are usually soft flowing chiffon, and a new style is three dimensional flowers with a slight train.   Designers mainly focus on the back of the dress because this is what most of the guests see throughout the ceremony.  If a draping chiffon gown is not ornate enough, brides can use a simple lace gown.  Alencon and chantilly lace are light weight but give off a very elegant and sophisticated look.  Also, lace is easy to pack and does not retain wrinkles while traveling.  Therefore your gown will be ready to wear without additional pressing once you arrive.

Another side of the spectrum is the light weight ball gown.  Usually made from organza or tulle, these gowns will give a traditional bridal look without the heaviness of satin.  These ball gowns usually have slight beading which catches the sunlight during the ceremony and gives that glistening effect in pictures.  A main design from Liz Fields gives a traditional look with a tulle ball gown with a lace bodice.  However, the tulle skirt is detachable and the lace bodice continues into a cocktail style silhouette. This is a great compromise between the traditional and trendy bridal gown. 

Let’s not forget the bridal party.  When looking for bridesmaids, try to stay with a tea length style to ensure that the bridesmaids will be comfortable and cool.  A new fabric trend is linen and cotton — these fabrics are light and are more youthful in style.  If a more flowing, dramatic look is desired, a chiffon one-shoulder gown would be perfect.  The silhouette will be flawless for all shapes and the flow of the fabric will be ideal. 

Here at Helene’s Bridal Shoppe we can help you with all of your destination bridal and bridesmaids questions and concerns.  Our trained bridal consultants will be able to help you and guide you with your selections.  Remember, when deciding on your bridal gown, no matter if you wear a tea-length or ball gown, it will be a day to remember and you will look and feel beautiful. 

What to wear?

Ever wondered what you’d wear for a destination wedding?


I know I have. I love the idea of running away to the tropics to get married (though I missed that boat about 18 years ago when I said “I Do” to my college sweetheart) but I know that I would still want to wear a fantastic gown.  I would just worry about the heat, the train getting caught up in the sand, and what the poor guys would be wearing (probably not a tux, on a Caribbean beach)

Not to worry!  I was fortunate enough to attend a special bridal fashion runway event by Kleinfeld’s last night, and they had a whole collection devoted to destination wedding attire.  It was absolutely gorgeous!  Everything was light and cool, and even looked like it would survive being packed up and transported on a plane.

The gowns included a lace sheath, a strapless silk chiffon, and even a full ballgown with a jeweled tulle skirt, but my favorite one of all was a pale pink silk charmeuse that I could totally picture at sunset, on the pink sand beach in Bermuda. Not to be outdone, the guys were in varying combinations of khaki and linen, with rolled-up cuffs and fun, casual loafers and driving mocs. Of course, everyone wore sunglasses.


So, that’s one worry that we can all cross off our list. There ARE plenty of gorgeous destination wedding gowns to be had, at all price points, and there’s no reason to hold off on planning that fabulous beachfront wedding. 

Just be sure to let me take care of the travel arrangements, while you go shopping 🙂

You provided excellent guidance for us. I appreciated that you really had us think about what was most important to us when we were selecting the right cruise – and not to totally focus on what other people had to say. THANK YOU for helping to make this a memorable trip for our family! It really was a trip of a lifetime!

Clare and Mark (family cruise to Alaska)

The level of service we experienced was out of this world (and we did NOT make it easy on Ann). We weren’t quite sure where we wanted to go, when we would be able to go, or what “vibe” we were going for. After asking us some key questions (what we liked, didn’t like, why, etc.) Ann helped us narrow down our trip details and planned the honeymoon of our dreams. She helped book some of our excursions, answered some emergency questions while abroad and was always available/willing to help. I think it’s safe to say we won’t be using anyone else for future travel planning – Ann is a rockstar!

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