What to Wear to a Wedding in Hawaii (For Men & Women)

Attending a Hawaiian wedding is an exciting opportunity, but figuring out what to wear can be a bit perplexing. With the tropical setting and varying levels of formality, choosing the right outfit requires some thought.

For a Hawaiian wedding, opt for breathable fabrics like linen and cotton in styles ranging from maxi to mini dresses. Vibrant colors and tropical prints are encouraged. Footwear should be practical for the venue; sandals are ideal for beachside ceremonies. Always check the invitation for specific dress codes and consult with the couple if in doubt.

Ready to turn heads while respecting the island vibe? Keep reading to discover how to master the art of Hawaiian wedding attire, from the perfect dress to the must-have accessories.

Understanding the Dress Code

When it comes to attending a Hawaiian Wedding, the first thing you’ll want to do is understand the dress code. Unlike traditional weddings, the atmosphere at a Hawaiian wedding is often more relaxed and in tune with the natural surroundings. However, this doesn’t mean you can show up in casual beachwear. The invitation usually provides clues about how formal or casual the event is going to be.

For a casual Hawaiian wedding, think of dresses that are easy to move in and fabrics that breathe. A sundress with a tropical print could be a perfect choice. On the other hand, if the invitation indicates a more formal event, you might want to opt for a Maxi Dress in a solid, light color.

It’s also worth considering the venue. If the wedding is literally on the beach, stiletto heels are going to be impractical. In such cases, stylish sandals or espadrilles would be more appropriate.

In summary, the key to understanding what to wear lies in the details provided in the invitation and the nature of the venue. When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to consult with the couple or other guests to ensure you’re hitting the right style notes.

For the Ladies: Types of Dresses Suitable for a Hawaiian Wedding

When you’re a guest at a Hawaiian Wedding, the range of dress types you can consider is quite broad, thanks to the generally relaxed vibe of these events. However, there are some styles that particularly stand out for their appropriateness and comfort.

Maxi Dresses

Maxi dresses are a go-to option for many when it comes to Beach Wedding Attire. They offer a blend of elegance and comfort, especially when made from breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. The flowy nature of maxi dresses also complements the ocean breeze, adding a touch of drama to your look.

Midi Dresses

Midi dresses strike a balance between formal and casual, making them a versatile choice. They are particularly suitable for semi-formal events and can be dressed up or down depending on the accessories. Opt for vibrant colors or Tropical Wedding Dress Code compliant prints to make a statement.

Mini Dresses

While mini dresses might seem too casual for a wedding, they can actually be a great choice for a laid-back Hawaiian ceremony. Just make sure the dress is made of a quality fabric and the cut is sophisticated. Pair it with elegant sandals for a complete look.



Jumpsuits are an unconventional but increasingly popular option for wedding guests. They offer the comfort of pants and the formality of a dress, especially when chosen in luxe fabrics. A Wedding Guest Outfit in jumpsuit form can be both stylish and functional, especially for beach settings where you might want more freedom to move around.

In conclusion, the types of dresses suitable for a Hawaiian wedding range from maxi to mini dresses, and even include jumpsuits. The key is to choose a style and fabric that aligns with the formality of the event and allows you to enjoy the festivities comfortably.

For the Men: Potential Outfits to Wear

When it comes to Hawaiian weddings, the term “casual elegance” often takes center stage. This is a setting where you can comfortably ditch the three-piece suit and heavy fabrics for something that complements the island’s laid-back vibe.

A short-sleeve button-down shirt made of breathable fabric like linen or cotton is often the go-to choice. Pair this with khaki slacks or even well-tailored shorts if the event is particularly relaxed.

Footwear can be as simple as loafers or elegant leather sandals. The key is to look put-together without appearing overly formal, aligning your attire with the natural beauty and casual atmosphere of Hawaii.

Semi-Formal Wear

If the wedding calls for a dress code that’s a notch above casual, semi-formal is the way to go. In this case, a long-sleeve button-down shirt is more appropriate, preferably in a light color to reflect the sun’s rays rather than absorb them.

Dress slacks are non-negotiable here, and a leather belt will add a touch of sophistication. While a tie is optional, a pocket square could be the subtle accessory that elevates your outfit. Leather loafers or even dress shoes can complete this look, offering a balance between formality and island flair.

The Grandeur of Formal Attire

For those rare Hawaiian weddings that do call for formal wear, think light-colored suits or even a summer tuxedo for evening events. A crisp, white dress shirt is almost always the order of the day, providing a blank canvas to build upon with accessories.

A silk tie and pocket square are practically mandatory, adding that extra layer of elegance. When it comes to shoes, dress shoes are the only acceptable option, preferably in a color that complements your suit.

Fabrics to Consider

Choosing the right fabric is crucial when deciding what to wear to a Hawaiian Wedding. Given the tropical climate, you’ll want materials that are breathable and comfortable to wear for an extended period.


Linen is a top choice for Beach Wedding Attire. It’s breathable, lightweight, and has a casual elegance that fits perfectly with a beach setting. However, keep in mind that linen wrinkles easily, so it may require some upkeep throughout the event.


Cotton is another excellent option, especially for daytime events. It’s breathable and less prone to wrinkling compared to linen. Cotton dresses often come in a variety of styles and prints, making it easy to find something that fits the Tropical Wedding Dress Code.

Fabrics to Avoid

Heavy materials like velvet and satin should be avoided. These fabrics are not only uncomfortable in a hot, humid environment but also look out of place at a beach wedding.

In summary, when it comes to selecting fabrics, opt for breathable and light materials like linen and cotton to ensure you remain comfortable while also adhering to the wedding’s dress code.

Colors and Prints

The color and print of your outfit can set the tone for your entire look at a Hawaiian Wedding. Given the vibrant natural backdrop, you have the freedom to go bold and colorful.

Bright and Vibrant Colors

Think tropical when choosing colors. Shades of turquoise, coral, and lime green can make you stand out while still fitting within a Tropical Wedding Dress Code. These colors not only complement the natural surroundings but also add a cheerful vibe to the event.

Floral and Tropical Prints

When it comes to prints, floral and tropical patterns are your best friends. They blend seamlessly with the setting and are a staple in Beach Wedding Attire. From palm leaves to hibiscus flowers, these prints can make any outfit wedding-appropriate.

Avoiding Black

While black is a classic choice for formal events, it may seem too somber for a Hawaiian wedding. Opt for lighter shades to keep in tune with the joyful atmosphere.

In summary, embrace bright colors and tropical prints to align your outfit with the Hawaiian setting, and consider avoiding darker shades like black.

Footwear Options

Selecting the right footwear is just as important as choosing your dress when attending a Hawaiian Wedding. The venue and the dress code will largely dictate your options.


For a beachside ceremony, stylish sandals are a practical and fashionable choice. They align well with the laid-back atmosphere and make it easier to walk on sand.


If the wedding is slightly more formal but still outdoors, espadrilles can offer a chic yet comfortable solution. They provide a bit of elevation without the instability of heels, making them a smart choice for Beach Wedding Attire.

Avoiding Stiletto Heels

Stiletto heels are generally a poor choice for beach weddings. They sink into the sand and can make walking a challenge, not to mention they may appear overly formal for such a setting.

In summary, consider the venue and dress code when selecting your footwear. Sandals and espadrilles are generally safe bets for Hawaiian weddings.

What Not to Wear

While Hawaiian weddings offer a lot of flexibility in terms of attire, there are certain items you should steer clear of to maintain the event’s decorum.


Although it might be tempting to opt for the ultimate casual footwear, flip-flops are generally considered too informal for a wedding, even a Hawaiian Wedding.


Denim is another fabric that doesn’t quite fit the Tropical Wedding Dress Code. It’s too casual and can be uncomfortable in humid conditions.

Suede or Satin Fabrics

As mentioned earlier, heavy or luxe fabrics like suede or satin are not suitable for the beach setting and should be avoided.

In summary, while Hawaiian weddings are generally more relaxed, it’s important to avoid overly casual or inappropriate items to respect the occasion’s significance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What fabrics are best for a Hawaiian wedding?

The best fabrics for a Hawaiian Wedding are breathable and lightweight materials like linen and cotton. These fabrics allow for better air circulation and are comfortable to wear in a tropical climate.

What shoes are appropriate?

Footwear should be chosen based on the venue and the formality of the event. Sandals are generally a good choice for beachside ceremonies, while espadrilles can be suitable for more formal, yet still outdoor, settings. Stiletto heels are generally not recommended for beach weddings.

Can men wear shorts?

While Hawaiian weddings are more relaxed, it’s best to check the invitation or consult with the couple before opting for shorts. Generally, linen or cotton pants are a safer bet.

Is it okay to wear white?

Wearing white is generally reserved for the bride, so it’s best to avoid this color unless specifically instructed otherwise.

Are floral leis appropriate for guests?

Floral leis are often a part of Hawaiian weddings and can be a beautiful addition to your outfit. However, it’s best to wait and see if they are provided at the event rather than bringing your own.

In summary, when attending a Hawaiian wedding, the key is to balance comfort and style while respecting the event’s formality and cultural elements. By considering these frequently asked questions, you’ll be well-prepared to make appropriate and stylish choices.

Wrapping Up

Navigating the dress code for a Hawaiian wedding doesn’t have to be a puzzle. Embrace light, breathable materials like cotton and linen, and opt for styles that range from elegant maxi dresses to chic minis.

Don’t shy away from bold colors and tropical patterns, and choose footwear that’s both stylish and venue-appropriate. When in doubt, the invitation and a quick chat with the couple can offer valuable guidance.

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