Tips for Wearing Your Bridal Gown on the Beach

Gather helpful advice for celebrations that take place on the sand.

Here are just a few tips to make this happen!

Photo: Bob & Dawn Davis Photography

Beach weddings make for stunning photos and a beautiful view, but keeping the bridal gown free from damage may seem like a challenge. Even if you are having only the ceremony on the sand before moving indoors, there is still a risk of stains and tears, in addition to other considerations such as the sun and wind.

If you are considering – or already planning – a beach wedding and are concerned about the safety of your gown, know that there are ways to help keep the dress as clean and damage-free as possible. Here are just a few tips to make this happen:

how to wear a wedding dress on the beach, how to keep your dress clean for a beach wedding

Photo by Marisa Homes; Floral Design by White Lilac Inc.

- Take your time walking. There are a lot of shreds on the beach that can potentially harm the hem or train of the gown. Although you can’t control what’s buried in the sand, walking slowly will best ensure that nothing gets caught or snags your precious material.

- Lift your dress periodically. When you aren’t standing or taking pictures, lift the dress to avoid more sand getting stuck on the bottom or in the hemline. Additionally, if you kneel for any prayers during the service, let your bridesmaids know beforehand that you will need their help getting situated. 

- Try to stay away from wet sand. Not only can this stain your dress, but this will make it even harder to clean. If you want your gown to stay as clean as possible, dry sand is the best option. If you happen to get wet sand stuck within parts of your dress, it’s best to consult a professional dry cleaner for guidance; however, for a quick-fix, try drying the sand carefully and gently shaking it out.

- Consider the fabric of your gown. Some fabrics, such as lace or tulle, will naturally capture more sand than others. Unless you do not mind some sand in or on your gown, think about what the outcome of your dress might be once you leave the beach.

- Be cautious of rocks or cliffs. Remember that cliffs and rocks have barnacles and sharp edges that can easily tear the gown. If you’d rather stand on one of these instead of sand, be very careful with the dress or have someone lift it for you as you walk and maneuver on the terrain.

- Water can damage your dress. Depending on the fabric, water may stain or ruin the hem of your dress. Unless you want pictures to capture the water hitting your dress and do not mind its appearance thereafter, ask your designer if ocean water is harmful.

Beach weddings are a beautiful option and offer a variety of areas in which to wed. If you decide that exchanging vows on the sand isn’t your first choice after all, you can always get married beachside as a lovely alternative. Many venues offer ceremony spaces overlooking the ocean on bluffs, decks, or lawns to give your ceremony a romantic, beachy feel without the struggle of dealing with the water and sand. 

Click here to see a romantic celebration at a beachfront hotel, learn more about planning a beach wedding, and discover the pros and cons of hosting destination nuptials.