What to Wear to a Wedding in Hawaii: Dress Code Guide

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Wondering what to wear to a wedding in Hawaii? Searching for the perfect dress that embodies the aloha spirit? Look no further than this Hawaii wedding guest dress guide!

Attending a destination wedding in Hawaii is a dream. The breathtaking scenery, beautiful beaches, and relaxed atmosphere create a truly magical setting. Prepare for a great time, whether you’re heading to a formal wedding or a casual beach celebration.

As a Hawaii wedding guest, it’s essential to dress for the occasion while keeping comfort and style in mind. Today, I’m excited to share tips and tricks to help with your dress search. I’ll explore important factors such as dress code, venue, time of year, and time of day. I’ll also share my top picks for dresses to wear to a Hawaiian wedding. In addition to dresses, I’ll explore my top picks for footwear, bags, and accessories that complement the tropical dress code.

This article provides selections for all budgets and occasions. You’ll find affordable dresses (under $300 and under $150) and designer selections in each section. I’m confident you’ll discover a great option, no matter your budget or style. Let’s get started!

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Understanding Hawaiian Wedding Guest Attire

Attending a family member’s island wedding? Watching one of your best friends marry the love of her life? In a Hawaii island wedding party? While there’s no strict Hawaiian wedding dress uniform, understanding appropriate attire is key. As you brainstorm outfit ideas for the special day, here are the most important things to consider:

Dress Code

First things first: let’s chat dress code. Being mindful of the dress code on the wedding invitation and/or wedding website is always a good idea. As a first step, you’ll want to be respectful of the couple’s wishes and select an appropriate option for the big day. Hawaiian wedding dress codes can range from black tie to casual and might differ between the wedding ceremony and reception. Follow the couple’s guidance to select a suitable outfit.

Consider the Venue

Another factor to consider is the wedding venue. Is the couple getting married at a 5-star hotel or in a family friend’s backyard? Get all the facts about the special occasion so you can choose appropriate attire.

Plan For Warmer Weather

Since Hawaiian weddings are often outdoors, you’ll want to dress according to the weather forecast. The weather is usually warm and tropical in Hawaii, but it can also be unpredictable. As a Hawaii wedding guest, be sure to stay updated on the temperature and weather forecast. With the possibility of unexpected weather changes, opt for layers and bring a light jacket or shawl for cooler evenings.

Some key points for dressing in Hawaii’s warm climate are:

  • Opt for breathable, lightweight fabric like linen, cotton, or rayon.
  • Avoid heavy materials that may cause overheating.

Time of Day

Consider the wedding’s timing. Morning or daytime weddings tend to be more casual, so choose lighter colors and relaxed outfits. Evening events may call for a more formal look.

Here are some tips based on the time of day:

  • For daytime weddings, consider wearing sunscreen and a hat for sun protection.
  • Evening weddings may mean cooler temperatures. Plan accordingly by bringing a shawl or light jacket.

Selecting the Right Fabrics

Opt for breathable fabrics to stay cool and comfortable throughout the event. Some of my favorite breathable materials for a Hawaiian wedding are cotton, linen, and silk. Cotton is soft and breathable, while linen has moisture-wicking properties. Silk is a slightly more luxurious yet breathable, making it a good choice for a dressier occasion.

Colors and Patterns

Hawaii’s beautiful landscape is full of vibrant colors. Consider exploring a similar palette for your wedding guest dress with a dress in your favorite bright color. If the event is more formal, I typically gravitate toward solid colors for a more elegant look, but you can also consider a pretty tropical print. Subtle floral prints are popular choices for a Hawaiian wedding, as they echo the natural beauty of the Hawaiian islands.

Traditional Hawaiian Wedding Attire

In Hawaiian weddings, the bride often wears a flowing white dress and a beautiful flower crown called a Haku lei. The groom typically wears white or a modern suit, with a special accessory, the maile lei. The maile lei is made from the leaves of the maile plant. It’s worn as a sign of respect and honor during special events like weddings. Both the bride’s and groom’s outfits show their connection to Hawaiian culture and nature. For more information about Hawaiian wedding traditions, refer to this insightful article.

What to Wear to a Formal Beach Wedding in Hawaii

Does your upcoming Hawaii wedding call for beach formal attire? If so, you’ll want to opt for a long evening dress. When choosing a formal dress, stick to lighter tones and breathable fabrics. Put the finishing touches on your look with beachy accessories like a rattan clutch or themed earrings. Here are my favorite formal wear picks for a Hawaii wedding:

Formal Dresses to Wear to a Hawaii Wedding: Under $150

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Click to Shop Formal Wedding Guest Dresses

Formal Dresses to Wear to a Hawaii Wedding: Under $300

what to wear to a wedding in hawaii

Click to Shop Formal Wedding Guest Dresses

Formal Dresses to Wear to a Hawaii Wedding: All Price Points

what to wear to a wedding in hawaii

Click to Shop Formal Wedding Guest Dresses

What to Wear to a Semi-Formal Wedding in Hawaii

You have options if our Hawaii wedding calls for semi-formal or cocktail attire. You can opt for a beachy cocktail or a casual, flowy maxi dress. If you opt for a long dress, consider pairing it with more casual accessories. Here are my favorite semi-formal dresses for a Hawaii wedding:

Semi-Formal Wedding Guest Dresses: Under $150

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Click to Shop Semi-Formal Wedding Guest Dresses

Semi-Formal Wedding Guest Dresses: Under $300

what to wear to a wedding in hawaii

Click to Shop Semi-Formal Wedding Guest Dresses

Semi-Formal Hawaiian Wedding Guest Dresses: All Price Points

what to wear to a wedding in hawaii

Click to Shop Semi-Formal Wedding Guest Dresses

More Hawaii Wedding Dress Codes

Here are a few additional Hawaii wedding dress codes and what to wear for each:

  1. Casual: A casual dress code in Hawaii usually suggests summer dresses or maxi dresses. Casual does not mean sloppy; keep it classy and comfortable.
  2. Aloha Attire: Aloha attire is a distinctly Hawaiian style. Opt for a tasteful floral print dress, long or short. Think tropical attire and light, flowy, feminine silhouettes.
  3. Resort Wear: Resort wear calls for chic, elegant, and dressy casual outfits. Think high-end beachwear, classy sundresses, and stylish tunics.
  4. Island Chic: This dress code encourages stylish dresses or jumpsuits, ideally with a tropical flare. Sophisticated, beachy accessories like a rattan clutch or shell earrings can add a finishing touch.
  5. Black Tie: Women are expected to wear a full-length formal gown to a black tie wedding in Hawaii. This dress code suggests more elevated, formal attire vs. beach formal.
  6. Semi-Formal: Semi-formal events call for a cocktail dress or jumpsuit in lighter colors or fun prints. Aim for style and comfort.

More Hawaiian Wedding Guest Dresses

Shoes and Accessories

Now that you’ve (hopefully!) decided what to wear to your wedding in Hawaii, it’s time to select shoes and accessories. Here are my top tips and picks for shoes, earrings, and bags to complete your tropical look.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

Selecting proper footwear is almost as important as choosing a dress. Many Hawaii weddings take place on the sand, and you’ll want to avoid sinking in high heels. Instead, opt for comfortable dress shoes like chunky wedges or strappy sandals that provide extra stability. You can even consider packing a pair of flip flops to change into during the reception. Here are a few of my favorite heels and wedges for all-day comfort:

Opt For Tropical Jewelry

Bold accessories are a great way to pull together your tropical look. Floral earrings or a shell choker will mirror Hawaii’s natural beauty. Shop a few of my favorite beach-themed accessories below:

Bags and Clutches

When searching for a bag or clutch, a bag made of natural fabric like rattan or bamboo is a great choice. These bags have a beachy, tropical look that will give you that Hawaiian vibe. Here are a few of my favorite bags for a Hawaii wedding:

I hope this article helped you decide what to wear to your upcoming wedding in Hawaii. Now that you’ve found your perfect dress, it’s time for the wedding day! Throw on your beautiful dress, grab your wedding date, and hit the dance floor! Safe travels and enjoy!

Searching for more affordable wedding guest dresses? Here are a few articles to consider:

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Hi, I'm Lane!

I'm an NYC-based content creator and photographer sharing my favorite fashion finds. I'm so thankful you're here!