Topic of Conversation

Beach Wedding

Q: My cousin is getting married this summer on the beach. She says that she wants a really casual wedding and for everyone to be comfortable. Does this mean I can wear flip-flops?

A: From destination weddings in exotic locales to uniquely themed nuptials, the shift in weddings from traditional affairs to more personalized events has left a lot of wiggle room for what is considered “appropriate attire.” (To wit, how many brides initially gasped at Pippa Middleton’s perceived faux-pas of wearing white at Kate’s royal wedding? Fast-forward a month later and it is all the rage to have bridesmaids don white as well on the Big Day.)

Although the rules of formalwear have become more lax over the years, you still want to look your best while respecting the couple’s request for dress. In this instance, your cousin wants you to be comfortable on the beach so sandals are an obvious choice. However, we’d nix the rubber flip-flops which are a little too flimsy for a wedding. Opt instead for a flat leather sandal which has a bit more polish and looks more substantial than its rubber counterpart. In terms of shape, if you’re planning on hitting the dance floor, a sandal (think a gladiator or t-strap sandals) with an ankle strap will help keep your moving and grooving feet secure.

Style your flat sandals with a maxi dress, an ideal way to keep yourself covered if any sea breezes blow through the beach ceremony. If your ensemble is still looking a little more formal than you (or the bride) hoped, swap your evening clutch for a casual petite cross-body to relax the look.