Your Ultimate Outdoor Wedding Dress Guide


Authored by Kate Beswick in Wedding
Published on 05-31-2009

Planning your wedding is one of the most exciting times in your life and when it comes to the show-stopper of wedding planning, the wedding dress takes the cake! You have no doubt spent hours thinking of your perfect wedding dress and pouring over pictures in magazines seeing which styles you love best. But if you’re planning on having an outdoor wedding, there are even more things that you need to think about including your own comfort and the setting you’re in, to name just a couple. It can be overwhelming, but with this outdoor wedding dress guide you’ll handle it all with ease and look just as beautiful on your big day as you’ve always imagined!

The Weather

Of course, when you think about your outdoor wedding dress, the first thing you’re most likely to think about is the weather. While you may automatically assume that you’ll be wearing a strapless dress that flows for an outdoor wedding, this doesn’t always have to be the case and there are also different considerations to think about if your wedding will be in the cooler months.

When thinking about the weather choose a wedding dress that makes sense. If you’re getting married on a beach, a long and formal gown probably isn’t appropriate as you’ll be hot and uncomfortable and may look out of place. Generally flirty, short, playful dresses with lots of chiffon and organza are popular for beach weddings however you should always incorporate your own personality as well. Play up the season and yourself by adding a wide-brimmed sunhat or huge, Jackie-O like shades!

Cooler weather will call for you to cover up some but don’t think this means that your outdoor wedding dress can’t shine through. Drape your shoulders in a wrap or shawl that’s bejeweled in sequins or for an even more dramatic look, incorporate a faux-mink wrap into your dress!

The Setting

If the weather is the first thing you’ll consider when thinking about your outdoor wedding dress, the setting is sure to be the second! When you think about your wedding dress in relation to the setting, you’ll definitely want something that blends in nicely and complements the surroundings rather than detracts from them and you definitely want to make sure that your dress doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb!

The setting you choose for your wedding will also usually decide on the tone and formality of your wedding. This is no different with outdoor weddings and there are some general guidelines you can follow:

  • For beach weddings short, layered dresses with lots of movement and no straps or spaghetti straps are usually recommended.
  • Garden weddings will generally call for a more formal look and so long dresses with sleeker bodices and a more sophisticated and elegant look are usually more appropriate.
  • Mountain settings can be tricky because there are few dresses that blend in with this scenery. Keeping it simple is key here and also choose a dress that falls just below the knees.

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