What to Wear to a Destination Wedding

What to wear to a destination wedding, starts with the great feeling when you receive an invitation to a wedding event & especially one that takes place in a specific destination. But with the excitement of attending a destination wedding, there come the worries. The one common problem we all experience is the pressure of choosing the perfect attire for the wedding event. 

To save you from this dilemma, here we have picked some tips & tricks on ‘how to dress up for destination weddings’. This guide will help you choose the outfits easily & you will end up experiencing your next destination wedding event in style and can take wedding photos confidently. From formal to traditional, here we will explore some options for wedding guest dress ideas.

But while attending a destination wedding, the cherry on top is exploring a new place as an add-on to the event. 

What to wear to a destination wedding - The Paris Photographer

Before moving into the outfit tips for a destination wedding, I suggest you research the event first. Following are the things you must have knowledge about before choosing the dress. 

If you don’t want to look out of place at the wedding event, you must research the things we have mentioned here. Additionally, you can talk to the bride, groom, and the event planner to clearly understand the event and then choose your outfit.

Bride being greeted by elegantly dressed wedding guests

What to Wear to a Destination Wedding: 15 Outfit Tips

Once you are done researching the destination wedding you are planning to go to, it’s time to choose the outfit. But wait, before jumping into the specifics of what to wear to a destination wedding, read these curated tips from experienced wedding proposal experts at Emotion Events, a renowned wedding management company in Dubai.

1. Tips When Going For Formal

If the wedding outfits for guests require you to wear something formal or you want to dress up formally, you have many choices. While going for formal, choose something with a nice fit. 

Choose a minimal-designed one from your maxi or long gown dresses. Make sure the dress has no wrinkles on it.

While choosing suits, go for the less fancy ones. Even with accessories, keep it as classic as possible.  

2. Tips When Going For Casual

Don’t know how to dress up for destination weddings when it requires casual? If the event is happening outdoors, you might be required to wear casual. Just because it requires wearing a casual dress doesn’t mean you can wear flip-flops or sneakers. 

The midi-length dress, a good quality jumpsuit or a maxi dress can be a great choice for a breezy wedding beside the beach. 

What to wear to a destination wedding for men: formal attire

3. Tips When Going For Traditional

As a guest, you might wonder what to wear to a destination weddings that says: traditional. Actually, dressing traditionally can be a wonderful way to respect the local culture and customs while also embracing the special ambience of the event. 

If you are unfamiliar with traditional dresses, you better learn how to carry them or practice beforehand. Try to enjoy the distinctive setting of the wedding and adhere to the traditional attire.

4. Tips For Choosing The Fabrics

While choosing the dress, go for comfortable yet elegant fabrics. Try to find something in a light, airy fabric that still looks opulent because you’ll probably be invited to an exotic location with a humid environment. Excellent choices include tulle, organza, and chiffon.

5. Tips For Choosing The Prints

For an outdoor wedding event, you can go with vibrant prints. Large floral designs, stripes, and polka dots are among the prints that are acceptable for cocktail and casual dress codes. But try to choose the prints that look subtle on you.

Celebrities at a wedding reception

6. Opt for light-coloured clothing

You can never go wrong with light-coloured attire. A white sand beach will make your neon dress and colours like magenta, aquamarine, and others stand out.  

Even guys can wear these colors along with blue, onyx, navy and some other shades of these.

7. Say Yes to Floral

Recently floral designs have become more famous at wedding events. When you are blank on ‘how to dress up for destination weddings,’ go with blooms. If the bride & groom are wearing bold attires, you automatically get the right to wear floral patterns. In a day event, dresses with tiny florals will make you look elegant. When choosing floral designs, choose the one with fewer color combinations. 

8. Try To Avoid Black

As many traditions consider black a mourning colour, wearing it to a wedding could be regarded as inappropriate or disrespectful of the joyous occasion.

Instead, you could choose cheerier hues appropriate for the setting and time of day. You can also go with softer black hues that are better suited for weddings, like charcoal grey or navy blue.

Guests having fun at party with bride

9. Go With Comfort

Comfortable outfits for wedding guests aren’t very hard to choose. What to wear comfortable to a destination wedding? You can consider flowy, cotton outfits for yourself.

10. Choose The Perfect Shoes

Guests at destination weddings should bring comfortable shoes. You might sit in a green oasis one second and stroll along the coastline the next. Mules, wedges, and other low, block high-heeled shoes will help you maintain your balance (and keep your feet from hurting too much while you dance). Stilettos are an option if the party is at an all-inclusive resort. Men should go with loafers that are casual but includes some detailing. 

11. Consider Customs and Traditions

The culture and customs of the locale where the wedding takes place should be considered when selecting a dress for a destination wedding.

When in doubt, it’s best to wear a modest, respectful outfit. Avert anything too provocative, revealing, or overly flashy. 

Wedding guest wearing elegant hat and dress

12. What Accessories to Wear to a Destination Wedding

It’s best to keep accessories simple. Avoid wearing your most sparkling jewelry unless there is a black-tie or formal dress code. Weddings on the beach are the perfect occasion to wear jewellery and handbags made of rattan and other natural materials.

13. Carry A Small Bag or Clutch

You should have a cute clutch or purse to go with your outfit. A few essentials like a phone, lipstick, and a hairbrush should fit in it! Here are some that I think would complement any outfit.

14. Wear Appropriate Makeup

Dressing up doesn’t only mean dressing as a whole it also includes your overall getup.  You don’t want to outshine the bride, so keep your makeup simple and elegant. Avoid heavy contouring or bold, statement makeup looks.

Consider the weather: If the wedding is hot and humid, consider using long-lasting and waterproof makeup products to ensure your look stays in place.

Celebrity Parisian make-up artist Ayshglamm at a wedding

15. Pack something for the After Party

While looking for solutions on ‘how to dress up for destination weddings’, remember about the after-party situation. It’s always a good idea to pack some casual outfits that are comfortable yet not-so-casual to wear at the after-party. Along with a dress carrying a flat strappy sandal would be the best choice for a destination wedding.

What Not to Wear to a Destination Wedding: Avoid White

When attending a destination wedding, it’s important for guests to be mindful of the dress code. One major rule to keep in mind is to avoid wearing white. White is traditionally reserved for the bride, and wearing it as a guest can be seen as disrespectful or even as an attempt to upstage the bride. It’s best to opt for other light colors or pastels instead.


Getting a wedding invitation during the wedding season is always exciting for so many reasons. You get to meet friends & family, taste good foods, and sometimes you get to experience new wedding cultures as well. The most important aspects for what to wear to a destination wedding, in order to enjoy the event fully, are: consider the location, dress code, fabric, style, and accessories to ensure that you are dressed appropriately and comfortably. Additionally, preparing for unexpected weather and packing a versatile wardrobe is always a good idea.

Additional guides to read: Intimate wedding Paris, wedding in France, destination wedding France.

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