Choosing the Right Dress for Your Hawaiian Wedding

by Lisa Duncan

For brides, deciding on the wedding dress is perhaps the most exciting aspect of planning a wedding. There are so many gorgeous designs and colors to choose from, and it can really be quite an emotional experience, finding that perfect outfit that you’ll be reciting your vows in. However, choosing a wedding gown isn’t always easy, and it can be even more difficult if you’re planning a beach wedding in Hawaii. As well as all the usual considerations and questions such as ‘does the style suit me?’ and ‘should I opt for white or ivory?’, beach brides also have to ensure they find a dress that it suited to the warm and sandy shores of the Hawaiian islands.


While satin dresses have a beautiful glossy shine, and velvet dresses are unique and different, neither are particularly suitable for a beach wedding. The weather in Hawaii is typically warm and sunny, with some slight breezes around the coastline, so you want something quite lightweight to ensure you’re comfortable. After all, you’ll be wearing the dress all day! Choosing materials such as tulle or duchess satin, or other lightweight options like chiffon and charmeuse, will let air through and help keep you cool even on the hottest of days. The last thing you want is to be sweating through your dress! Another consideration when it comes to choosing the right material is to pick something that isn't going to wrinkle easily when it’s packed away for travel. Materials that are naturally creased, such as crepe or pique, won’t show creases as much as a flat and smooth material, such as silk.


If you’re planning to get married at a hotel, or somewhere like the Waimea Falls, you can choose a dress that’s as long or as short as you wish, there’s really no limitations. Of course, you can also choose a long dress if you’re having a beachfront wedding, but you’d have to be very careful not to ruin the dress. Damp sand can become embedded into the fibers of the dress which can be difficult to remove, and the ocean could create water marks that could stain the dress. A shorter dress is a more modern and contemporary look, and it will keep the hem safe from stains. Knee length dresses and those in a tea dress style at good options, but to have the best of both worlds, consider something ankle length, or something with a dipped hem so that you get to keep the length, but the front of the dress will stay clean for the photos.


With destination weddings, it’s quite normal to enjoy some time in the region before getting married. It gives you time to settle in, and to combat jet lag if you've come from afar. The problem with this, especially in Hawaii, is that you’re likely to tan under the hot Hawaiian sun, or even burn! Always be sure to wear a high factor sunscreen, and try to wear clothing that mimics the style of your dress. For example, if you choose a dress with spaghetti straps or cap sleeves, don’t be tempted to wear a bikini or swimsuit with thick straps in the days leading up to the wedding as you’ll have tan lines that won’t match. Keep this in mind when choosing your dress.

Protecting Yourself Against Mishaps

It has been reported that around 20 percent of betrothed couples now opt for a destination wedding to places such as Maui and Oahu, and although many of these go off without a hitch, accidents can happen. It’s so important with destination weddings to find travel insurance that includes wedding cover, as well as organizing financial protection for your limousines, cake, and wedding party outfits should the worst happen. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the risk, especially when it comes to protecting your valuable dress. If you've chosen a lace-based dress that won’t show up wrinkles, you should carefully fold the dress (with as few folds as possible) and place it into a large carry-on case - never put it in the hold of an airplane as it could get lost! If you've opted for a satin dress, or any other material that will crease easily, roll it rather than fold. You could also put your dress into a dress bag which will help keep it well protected. When you arrive at your hotel in Hawaii, the first thing you should do is run a hot bath or shower with the bathroom door closed to build up some steam. Hang your dress in the bathroom and let the steam relax the material, drawing out any creases.

Choosing your wedding dress for a beach wedding doesn't need to be difficult. You just need to be practical about the type of material and style you opt for, you need to make sure you've got travel insurance that includes wedding cover, and you need to take care to transport your dress properly. Destination weddings really are magical, and you’re sure to have a day to remember.

About the Author
After studying Tourism and Hospitality, Lisa began working with a travel company before motherhood changed her approach to life. Now she works from home as a freelance writer and write about topics such as travel destinations, local places, the travel industry, sustainability in travel, and issues in family travel. 


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