You decided to get married in Hawaii, selected your location, researched the marriage license, and now it’s time to choose your wedding outfit. A general rule of thumb when dressing for tropical “I do”: less is more. After all, it is warm, sunny, and your feet are likely in the sand.
Here are do’s and don’ts that can make your big day as comfortable as it is memorable:
- Choose lightweight styles and fabrics. For the bride, that means simple silhouettes in airy materials: think strapless, spaghetti straps, one-shoulder, or sleeveless dresses in chiffon, charmeuse, silk georgette, crepe, cotton, linen, or organza. For the bride and groom, traditionalists can don a beige or ivory linen suit or crisp chiffon, or forgo a suit for a white cotton or linen shirt and khaki pants.
- Embrace casual elegance . Leave long dresses and jackets at home. Many Hawaiian wedding parties look fabulous in less fussy attire – bridesmaids exude a tropical glow in elegant above-the-knee or calf-length gowns in rich tropical hues like magenta, turquoise, or mango, while groomsmen in Wedding dresses look cool old school in khaki or linen pants topped off with a stylish Aloha floral print shirt in subtle beige or breezy blue (think Tommy Bahama) with leis to match bridesmaid dresses or bouquets.
- Consider going traditional. In traditional Hawaiian ceremonies, the bride wears a loose, flowing white gown that puffs up in the breeze (don’t think muumuu, the same effect is more elegant with an elegant empire waist gown) and a flower crown ( haku ) instead. of a veil. Her boyfriend also wears white, typically a linen shirt and pants, with a colorful sash (often red) around his waist.
- Keep the dress code simple . Not many wedding guests will want to wear a ball gown and tux to Hawaii. As much as you’d like to have a formal affair, relax the rules a bit and inform guests that the dress code is “island chic.” That means elegant sundresses for the ladies and long-sleeved shirts, but not jackets or ties for the men.
- Offer guests flip-flops for a beach ceremony. Walking through the sand in high heels and wingtips is no fun. If your ceremony is on the beach, place flip flop baskets where the catwalk meets the sand, so guests can slip on and off in their seat without ruining their shoes or breaking their ankle. They can also go barefoot if the sand is not too hot.
Not to do
- Enter full princess mode. A ball gown layered with tulle skirts or a fitted satin mermaid dress is over the top. Unless you’re married on the inside (and traveled to tropical Hawaii, why would you want to do that?) You’ll end up sweating during the ceremony and wanting to turn into something cooler and more comfortable before the first dance.
- Exaggerate the shine. If you’re getting married on the beach, some crystals or sparkles at the neckline or waist will reflect the sunlight and look gorgeous, but frankly, too many can be blinding.
- Layer in makeup . Too heavy makeup and bright sunlight and moisture don’t mix. Plan your wedding day makeup to err on the side of natural: a sheer liquid foundation; a blush and bronzer powder; eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara not too dark (or it could look like a raccoon); and soft lips instead of harsh.
- Insist on black. That means there are no black dresses for bridesmaids or guests, no black tuxedos or suits for groomsmen or male guests. Encourage guests to adopt a tropical palette that will create cheery bursts of color in your wedding photos.
- Import your bouquet. Even if you love roses, create a bouquet with native Hawaiian flowers. Flowers like orchids, ginger, plumeria, heliconia, hibiscus, and birds of paradise are vibrant, fragrant, and abundant.