What To Wear To A Hawaiian Wedding

What To Wear To A Hawaiian Wedding

What To Wear To A Hawaii Wedding

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Weddings can be a stressful time for all wedding guests involved, and coming up with answers to questions such as what you should wear can often be complicated by where the ceremony is staged. You might be worried whether your outfit will fit the mood or atmosphere of the occasion, as well as whether you will outshine the bride and her wedding dress on her wedding day. So when you get an invitation to a Hawaiian wedding on a beach, fear not; there are many options and popular choices available to keep you looking good and appropriate for the special occasion.

General Advice for Attending a Hawaiian Wedding

What you wear to the Hawaiian islands will depend on the climate and weather on the day of the formal wedding. If the day is going to be windy or cold, your beach wedding attire wool and other warming materials, plus a sweater if you think you’ll get cold. For the warmer weather, wear lightweight fabrics such as cotton fabric and linen for the best look. If the wedding will be situated on the sand, wear sandals instead of beach formal dress shoes.

What To Wear To A Hawaii Wedding

Bridal Shower

In Hawaii, it is customary for a family member, a best friend, or a coworker to host the shower. The gifts that are presented at the shower do not have to be especially expensive but should be items that the couple will appreciate. The bride will open her gifts in front of guests, so attendees should consider this when choosing a present and give items that are appropriate for everyone to see. Hawaiian wedding etiquette also suggests that it is appropriate to present the couple with a monetary gift at the wedding shower if this will be more beneficial for the bride and groom.

Paper Folding Is One Of The Hawaiian Wedding Customs

In Hawaii, some brides of Japanese-American descent fold 1,001 paper cranes for good luck. In traditional Japanese weddings, the bride folds 1,000 cranes, but the Hawaiian people have added one more for good luck. Banzai toasts are often presented to Japanese brides in Hawaii, as well. “Banzai” is the term used to wish someone long life and happiness, and the sentiment is extended to all the guests at the ceremony.

Money Dance

Hawaiian couples who are of Filipino descent often participate in a money dance, and guests are expected to be part of this tradition. The money dance for a Filipino wedding is called a “fandango.” When the bride and groom dance, guests show their support for the union by giving cash to the couple.


Although it is customary for Hawaiians and those who are visiting the country for their weddings to wear leis for the ceremony, the items can be purchased and worn at any time. It is proper etiquette for the bride and groom to buy leis for themselves, although sometimes friends and loved ones will buy the leis for the couple.

Leis are worn at a wedding to ward off bad luck or spirits–it is not proper etiquette to wear a lei that is intended for someone else, as this is said to bring bad luck. Bows can also be added to the lei–bows are worn on the left for married women, so a new lei can be given to the bride after the ceremony.

What To Wear To A Hawaii Wedding

Hawaiian Wedding Attire And Dress Code

Both brides and grooms can wear white at a Hawaiian wedding. That is the appropriate attire. The bride traditionally wears a flowing dress that is similar to a muu-muu. A haku lei, or a ring of sweet-smelling flowers, is worn in the bride’s hair. Grooms can wear a white shirt that has the same shape as the muu-muu, along with white slacks and a green lei. It is also acceptable to wear a kimono to a Hawaiian wedding, due to the strong Asian influence in the state.

Dressing Tips For Guests At A Beach Destination Wedding

The sun, the sand, and the waves — a beach wedding may be incredibly romantic, but you may be wondering what to wear. First of all, don’t be the one to show up dressed in flip-flops, shorts and a tank top or a Hawaiian shirt. Remember, this is a wedding, a special day, and photos will be taken. While attire is different at the beach, don’t dress in bright colors and tacky.

For Women

Just because the wedding will take place on the beach does not mean you should show up to the ceremony wearing a floral print tube top, shorts and flip-flops. You still have to look elegant, even if you will not be wearing a formal gown. Remember also that today is the bride’s special day; one for which she has planned for months. Let her bask in the spotlight. Refrain from wearing white or off-white colours and avoid anything too skin-bearing, such as tops that show off too much cleavage or very short skirts.

For the wedding, wear a simple floral summer cocktail dress or an outfit with a bold tropical colour to match the beach setting, such as a bright blue or orange. Because beach weddings are more relaxed affairs than those that take place indoors, you can leave your expensive jewellery behind.

Beaches And The Wind

Even though it may be a bright sunny day, keep in mind the wind at the beach. Don’t wear short skirts that may get caught in the wind and embarrass you. Keep your skirt a decent length. Windy days — or nights — may also call for a light wrap. Be prepared instead of sorry while you shiver through the ceremony.


A pretty floral dressy casual dress is the perfect choice for a beach wedding. You can choose a simple cotton floral, or dress it up in satin or fancy shiny material depending on how formal the wedding is going to be for a more formal look.


Consider your shoes carefully. Don’t wear high heels to a beach wedding — you’ll sink in the sand and be miserable trying to walk. On the other hand, no flip-flops or bare feet either. Instead, pick a pretty pair of sandals or flats. There may, or may not, be a path to the seats, but there surely will be lots of sand — so pick your shoes accordingly.

What To Wear To A Hawaii Wedding

For Men

A wedding on a beach does not require you to wear a traditional suit, an expensive black tuxedo and a black tie affair but try to keep some semblance of class in your attire. Refrain from wearing a straw hat and aloha shirts for instance, and other beach-appropriate but not wedding-appropriate items.

Think about wearing a nice pale-coloured suit made out of cotton, or a polo shirt with tan slacks at the wedding ceremony. Because the wedding is on a beach, you are given the option of wearing more casual clothing but vibrant colours are a no-no, so opt for something you might wear to a family reunion, for example. Consult the wedding party if you cannot come up with anything you think would be appropriate.

Linen pants and shirts for men are perfect for beach weddings and are an appropriate option. It’s cool but still looks fresh and dressy. Cotton will also work if it’s clean and crisp. Again, remember how you want to look in pictures. Keep it classy.

If you’ve been invited to a wedding in Hawaii or are planning your nuptials there, it’s essential to be aware of wedding etiquette in the state. Following certain rules and keeping courtesies in mind will make the event more enjoyable for everyone in attendance.

Don’t forget the sunscreen!

One thing people don’t think about when going to a beach wedding is sunscreen. You don’t want to end up red as a lobster. Water reflects the sun and it is easier to burn sitting out in the open at a beach wedding. Apply sunscreen before you go and then you can sit back and enjoy the ceremony.

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