How to dress for weddings abroad this summer

Published by Claire Gould on

A guest blog by NEXT // Header image by Cambridge wedding photographer Damien Vickers

Wedding season is officially here which means many will be getting ready to watch their nearest and dearest tie the knot in the coming months, with some jetting off to warmer climates to attend the big day.

Google searches for ‘destination wedding guide’ have increased by 199% since last year and as we reach peak wedding season, searches for ‘summer wedding guest dress’ are up 25%. Deciding what to wear for a wedding can be a tough task but factoring in high temperatures and humidity requires another level of consideration.

NEXT has partnered with wedding expert and editor of Hitched Zoe Burke to provide advice to those either hosting or attending a destination wedding this summer, with tips and tricks on how to stay cool in hot climates to ensure the big day goes off without a hitch.

What to wear to a destination wedding

When it comes to dressing for a wedding abroad where the climate tends to be hotter, there are a number of things to consider.

Zoe says “The first thing to do should always be to take note of the dress code and follow it as closely as possible while still ensuring you’re comfortable. For example, “smart casual” has different meanings to different people, but covers a whole host of fashion trends and styles.

“Second on the list is to think about how you’ll keep cool in your chosen outfit – you might love a three-piece suit or bodycon dress, but if it’s going to make you pass out from the heat then it’s probably not worth it, prioritise your comfort!

Zoe also explains which materials and colours to look out for when picking out your wedding guest attire,

“Linen is well known and well-loved amongst holiday goers for how light and breathable it is, as is a classic cotton fabric.

“Avoid materials with a plastic blend (viscose, polyester etc.) as they won’t allow for as much circulation and will keep the heat quite close to your body. Dark colours can also make you feel hotter, whereas pale shades tend to reflect sunlight rather than absorb it. Go for lighter shades, in floatier, breathable materials and avoid anything too thick or fitted”

With this in mind there are many styles of dress to opt for when it comes to wedding guest dresses, a flowy maxi dress is great for air circulation but for those who prefer something shorter, a breathable linen midi is a great choice. As for men, a linen suit is ideal for hitting a smart casual dress code whilst also keeping cool.

Zoe adds “You’ll know how your own body reacts to hot weather, so keep that in mind. If you’re prone to water retention, choose loose-fitting clothes that will ensure you stay comfortable whilst still looking fabulous. And if you’re prone to hot feet opt for open shoes or sandals that will allow your feet to breathe.”

How to keep your outfit looking its best when travelling

“If you’re travelling with checked luggage, I would always suggest taking all the important parts of your outfit with you in your cabin luggage where possible, just in case there are issues with baggage arriving at the destination.

“I recommend checking ahead to see if your accommodation provides an iron. If they don’t, or your outfit isn’t one that you can iron, rolling it up carefully within your luggage instead of folding it can minimise creases, and a handheld or travel steamer is always super useful for finishing touches.

“If you don’t have a handheld steamer, hanging your clothes up in the bathroom whilst you run a hot shower will help any creases to drop out.”

How to keep your guests cool on the day

Having a destination wedding means you already have plenty to think about, but if you’re spending thousands on a wedding abroad you want your guests to have the best time possible. Factoring in the potential weather conditions is a key part of ensuring the day runs smoothly.

Zoe advises “It’s worth considering having your ceremony earlier in the morning or later in the day to avoid having guests standing around during the hottest part of the day – especially if you’re having an outdoor wedding.

“It’s a nice touch to provide things like hand-held fans and reusable bottles of water for your guests – they could even double up as favours – to ensure everyone stays cool and hydrated throughout your big day.

“Talk to your venue ahead of time about how to avoid too much direct sun on the day; a shaded area where people can congregate will be gratefully received by your guests.”

Zoe’s tips for guests attending a wedding abroad
  1. Don’t rely on the couple to keep you cool – pack a fan or whatever else you rely on to cool you down in hot climates in your bag or pocket.
  2. Take a mini deodorant or bottle of scent too if you’re worried about perspiring.
  3. Make sure you drink plenty of water and stay hydrated – it’s tempting to just go for fizz at a wedding but you’ll dehydrate much more quickly in a hot place.
  4. Don’t skip on the suncream, or reapplying it regularly. There are some great SPF face mists that can be applied over the top of makeup, so your glam doesn’t have to suffer.
  5. Use a hat or shawl to cover up any exposed skin that will be in the sun for a long period of time.
  6. Use a light dusting of talcum powder to absorb any sweat and avoid unsightly marks on your dress.
Destination wedding trends on the rise this year

For those inspired by the thought of jetting off to tie the knot, Zoe has provided some insight as to what destination wedding trends we can expect to see this year and next.

“The wedding weekender and ‘buddymoon’ remain big trends amongst couples this year, and can be really ramped up for destination weddings!

“Celebrations that last over a few days mean that couples can have a welcome party with all of their wedding guests upon arrival, and if the destination allows for it, a pool party or barbecue on the beach the day after to recover and catch up with everyone!

“With ‘buddymoons’, we’re seeing a select few of the newlyweds’ inner circle staying on after the nuptials to enjoy a few extra days with the happy couple, to really celebrate their union with a very special group holiday that everyone is sure to remember for years to come.”

For more destination wedding inspiration and to shop wedding guest outfits, visit the NEXT website.

Categories: wedding blog

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
New wedding brochure and more from beautiful Kent wedding venue The Ferry House

We love showcasing our favourite wedding venues, and since the lovely folks at Kent wedding venue The Ferry House have...