I have to admit, my favorite beach wedding was more Coors and Clambake than Kennedy Classic. The fashions ranged widely: shorts and baseball caps, sundresses and straw hats, not a tie in sight. Almost everyone was in bare feet, having kicked their shoes or sandals off at the edge of the sand. As the vows were exchanged, we could feel the sand beneath our toes, the sun and warm wind against our cheeks. We were glad for the chance to stand there, comfortable and cool, in nature, free of the dreaded cummerbund.
Let’s face it, outfitting the groom is not a difficult task any way you slice it, and a seaside wedding just makes it even easier. As you're deciding on the attire for the wedding, one thing to keep in mind is inherent informality of any event taking place at the beach; this doesn’t mean that you can’t look nice. There are few more elegant looks than the blue blazer and khakis. But it may be a good idea to leave the tuxes at home. Black penguin suits really aren't all that beachy.
Location, Location, Location. When deciding on the groom’s attire for a beach wedding, the precise location of the wedding is a real consideration. Will you be actually on the beach or near a beach? If you'll be indoors in a beach town, your attire could run from the blazer to the tux. Take your cue from the bride. What is her ideal vision of the wedding party? If sand and salt spray aren't really in the picture, more formal attire won't be out of place.
If you’re outside, but not right on the beach, the blue blazer option stands out. If you choose trousers in a color ranging from cream to shale, a crisp white shirt, and an understated tie, the look will be timeless, elegant and not too formal.
A variation of this look is ideal if you decide to conduct the ceremony right on the beach. Feel free to eschew the ties and unbutton the top button of your shirts. You might also choose to shed the jackets. At his resort wedding on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, Cindy Crawford’s groom, Randy Gerber, first planned to wear a khaki linen suit, switched to an Armani suit, and changed his mind at the last minute. He ended up wearing comfortable navy blue trousers and a white linen shirt. Comfortable, casual and classic.
Take The Picture. Project yourself forty years into the future. You and your wife are poring over your wedding photos from long ago. You still look elegant all these years later. The reason? You chose a look, simple and subtle, that stood the test of time. Here are a few looks that we're quite sure will hold up:
- The blazer, white shirt and light-colored trousers (as mentioned)
- The linen suit in a lighter color such as sand or wheat. Avoid white.
- A navy blue, charcoal or black tropical wool suit with a white shirt and dark tie -- a look worn by the late JFK Jr.
- A white linen shirt and dark trousers.
- Stone-colored khaki shorts and a solid-colored shirt, if you've decided to be very casual.
Find more groom resources on our Grooms and Groomsmen page
Look around you. Look at nature's hues and choose outfit colors to complement the beach setting. The look will be timeless.