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All Dressed Up With Somewhere To Go -- 4 Wedding Dress Tips For A Destination Ceremony

If you're planning a destination wedding -- whether on a beach or on a mountain top -- you likely have a lot of arrangements to make. Some of these plans are affected by the fact that a destination wedding has some unique challenges. But, you may not have thought about how it affects your bridal party's dresses. Before you head out wedding dress shopping, keep these 4 tips in mind.

Match to Your Environment. You've probably decided on a location for your ceremony before you start dress shopping, so keep that in mind when looking at dresses. If you're getting married on a beach, for example, you may not want to opt for a formal or heavy dress or one with a long train. On the other hand, a dress that's too flimsy or flowing may be an issue if the area tends to be windy. It can be a balancing act, so research your destination's weather, climate, and ambiance before settling on a dress that works within those parameters.

Start Early. Having to travel to your wedding location means that you'll need to build in a little extra time when creating a wedding timeline. When working with all vendors involved in your dresses, alterations, and shipping, use your travel date rather than your wedding date. Remember that you won't have access to local stores to do last-minute shopping, so prepare your bridal party's clothes and accessories -- and have everyone try everything on -- well in advance. 

Buy Local. There are many parts of a destination wedding that should be purchased or arranged locally; your dresses probably shouldn't be one of them. The risk of creating extra problems is higher when you can't handle the dress details in person. If your bridesmaids are coming from some other locations (or locations), look for widely available dresses that can be picked up by each attendant in her local area. This will allow everyone to have the dresses fitted and be sure they are safely in hand before the wedding.

Remember You're Traveling. When choosing dresses, keep in mind that you'll need to transport them to the ceremony location. This usually means packing and hand-carrying them. Try to avoid checking any dresses in checked cargo when flying or having them shipped to the venue. So, in addition to being conservative about the weight and size of the dresses, look for fabrics -- such as polyester, cotton, microfibers, cashmere, or heavy silk -- that don't wrinkle easily and keep their shape well. Pack some accessories to deal with travel wear, such as a steamer, small sewing kit, and a wrap.

By following these few tips when shopping for bridal party dresses, you'll be able to better enjoy both the process and the result. And then, you can sit back and relax, knowing that you and your attendants will look fabulous wherever you get married.