How to pick bridesmaid dresses for a destination wedding

Somewhere sunny with a beach is the most popular type of destination wedding –the guaranteed weather is a huge pull for those of us who are used to rain-soaked summers. While the weather has its obvious advantages, it does mean you've got to plan what your bridesmaids wear carefully. To take some of the pressure off, we've created this guide on how to pick bridesmaid dresses for a destination wedding.   

The best colours for a beach wedding 

While colours like red, coral, and turquoise go hand-in-hand with the bright summer sun, some brides prefer more muted tones. We like the idea of taking inspiration from the things around you – the lush greenery, blue ocean, and golden sand. Blending into their surroundings effortlessly, these colours are popular choices for destination weddings:

Blue and green bridesmaid dresses 

From aqua to powder blue, it's easy to imagine the shades of blue and green that work well on the beach. We love the Heidi dress in cloud blue – this chiffon wrap dress is one of our most popular designs, and it's the perfect shade of blue for a seaside palette.

Light peach bridesmaid dresses 

Pale peach and pink bridesmaid dresses are reminiscent of sun-kissed skies at the end of the day, and they make a pretty addition to any setting. For a laid-back beach wedding, we love the Gigi dress in blossom pink with spaghetti straps and a floor-length skirt.

Cream bridesmaid dresses

Champagne, taupe, and even gold, blend perfectly with the beach, and these neutral colours are on-trend for 2022. Consider how formal you want your day to be – gold adds glamour, but if you're looking for something less glitzy, go for cream soda instead.

Picking the right dress fabric

To keep your day on track, you'll need your bridesmaids to stay cool, calm, and collected under the glare of the sun. Choose the fabric of their dresses carefully – avoid clingy, non-breathable materials, like nylon and polyester, that can make you sweat.

For bridesmaids on destination, we recommend chiffon. This fabric is lightweight and soft, which makes it both flattering and easy to wear in the heat. It's also easy to transport and available in a wide range of colours, making it a practical choice.  

The Tansy maxi dress in chiffon is one of our most contemporary designs with a stunning tie feature at the back. Sleeveless with a scoop neckline and long, fluid skirt, this dress is perfect for wearing in the sun, whether you're at home or abroad.

The Tansy dress comes in a range of colours, but for summer weddings, we like it in blossom pink and misty green. If you love the style but yours is a winter wedding, try this dress in midnight blue or burgundy for a rich, warm colour that suits the cold weather.

Organza and tulle are both lightweight fabrics that make beautiful bridesmaid gowns, and because they are crumple-resistant they are easy to transport. For fitted bridesmaid dresses, steer clear of silk which can easily show up sweat patches.  

How to choose the right style

We've talked about keeping your bridesmaids cool in the sun, but if you want them to feel comfortable on the big day then giving them some choice over the style of their dress is definitely the way to go. Before you hand over the reins to your bridesmaids, we have some top tips on picking the right style for a destination wedding.  

  • Short or midi dresses might seem like the obvious choice if you're getting married on the beach, but don't forget about that ocean breeze. A floor-length dress in chiffon is less likely to cause an embarrassing Marilyn Monroe moment, and what's more the breeze rippling through the fabric makes a great photo.
  • Consider what length sleeve your bridesmaids feel most comfortable wearing. Sleeveless dresses or thin straps are great for staying cool, but some people prefer a longer sleeve – and for practical reasons too. If your bridesmaids feel more secure wearing a bra, then you'll need to factor this into your decision.   

Planning for the heat (and the breeze) is just as important when you're looking for flower girl dresses. We recommend going for something less formal and more playful, because lets face it, it's likely to get covered in sand and sun cream. Jumpsuits are a great compromise, they're easy to wear and you can pick a colour to fit your theme. 

We like this cold shoulder culotte jumpsuit in a pretty floral fabric from Lipsy at Next. It's the perfect combination of delicate pattern and robust style, and when you get home, it makes a great alternative to a party dress for soft play and trampolining!

Finding the perfect bridesmaid dress  

Googling things like 'cream bridesmaid dresses long' or 'short sleeved dress' will leave you frustrated at the number of results you've got to wade through to find the perfect bridesmaid dress. Instead, why not look for a boutique or dress shop you like and let their stylists guide you through their bridesmaid dress collections.

We offer personal appointments at our Maids to Measure headquarters in London. In your one-hour slot, your bridesmaids are welcome to try on as many different styles and colours as you need to help you narrow down your search. If you have more than six bridesmaids, we recommend booking two slots.  

Our 2022 diary is now open and rest assured that we are following all the right Covid-19 guidance to make your visit a safe one. It's quick and easy to book your personal stylist appointment using the calendar online.

Your destination bridesmaid dresses

When it comes to picking your destination bridesmaid dresses, there are three things to keep in mind – colour, fabric, and style. Opt for colours that mirror your surroundings; blue and green bridesmaid dresses are popular for beach weddings. Look for dresses in a soft, lightweight chiffon, and give your bridesmaids the option to pick their own style.

There's no doubt that planning a wedding is stressful, but just like finding your wedding dress, trying on bridesmaid dresses is a memory you'll cherish forever.