Ultimate Style Guide: What To Wear to a Hawaiian Wedding

Mahalo, brides! If you’re headed to a Hawaiian wedding this year, you’re lucky and I’m insanely jealous! (Take me with you… please.)

Hawaiian weddings are among some of the most iconic and romantic scenes. The warm sand, sunkissed skin, the calming views of the ceaseless ocean waves… what’s not to love? 

You’ve asked, so we’re answering: what to wear to a Hawaiian wedding? Any faux pas or ultimate fashion no-no’s? Is a simple Hawaiian shirt acceptable? Read on to learn more!

Can You Wear a Hawaiian Shirt to a Wedding?

This may be a pretty divisive statement, but I will say it. I think there’s a special place for people who wear Hawaiian shirts to any wedding with literally any stated dress code other than Aloha/Tropical.

There’s a big difference between wearing one because it’s a themed wedding (or a destination wedding) and wearing one because it’s the fanciest button-up you have.

If the wedding theme is anywhere outside the tropical lines, I’d advise not to wear a Hawaiian shirt. There’s casual, and then there’s too casual, and you don’t want to run the risk of being underdressed- or at the very least, you might get looked at as somebody who didn’t read the invite (or the room.) Yikes.

Did you get invited to a Hawaiian wedding celebration? Or maybe it’s a destination wedding in Oahu? Then YES! Vehemently, yes. This is the only case where it’s appropriate to wear a Hawaiian shirt to a wedding. 

What Do You Wear to a Hawaiian Wedding?

If the dress code says something like “beachy attire, ” it doesn’t mean you can show up in swim trunks, a bikini, or a cover-up! That’s a bit too casual. You want to look stylish, classy, and comfortable (so leave the jeans and sneakers at home).

Be sure to double-check your invitation: there might be a more formal part of the wedding that takes place indoors or at a separate venue from the shoreline, so you might need to consider that.

For casual Hawaiian weddings, beach shirts for male guests are a staple; choose from bamboo prints, floral patterns, or a solid color.

And for women, you’ve got a wide array of choices when it comes to beachy dresses…

Bohemian Floral Print Maxi Dress

I love a long, flowing maxi dress for weddings. You’ll stay cool and comfortable with the light breezes, and when else can you rock a tropical beachy dress if not at a Hawaiian wedding?

Men’s Vintage Hawaiian Shirt

This shirt is simultaneously chill and exudes party vibes; that’s peak Hawaiian shirt magic! Rayon material is thin, light, and breezy so you won’t get too hot.

Elegant Tie-Dye Open-Back Maxi Dress

An open-back dress is a good choice for a beachy, summery wedding if you’re comfortable showing a little skin.

I love the adjustable tie straps, which are great for ensuring a perfect fit.

Flowy Rainbow Party Dress

Spaghetti straps give this dress a casual feel. There are so many colors to choose from, so if you’re not feeling the whole floral/frangipani/hibiscus look, your outfit can still pop!

Overall, you can’t go wrong with printed, bright maxis for the feminine-inclined types. An easy tip if you’re still struggling to find something to wear: Hawaiian weddings will typically feature the most stunning tropical array of flowers, so taking wardrobe cues from Mother Nature’s splendor is a surefire way to make sure you look the part.

What is Aloha Formal Attire?

If the wedding invite says “Aloha Formal”, don’t stress! It’s not as complicated as you think. It does kind of sound like a contradiction, no? 

“Aloha Formal” is simply a term that means “military casual.” That typically puts men in a nice button-down shirt paired with khakis, and women can choose to wear a dress with a tropical print, or a nice blouse with khaki pants. 

Hawaii, in general, is pretty casual- which means even a formal occasion such as a wedding, gets a little bit of leeway. You can go more high-end with the type or quality of your Hawaiian shirt, too. 

Tommy Bahama Floral Hawaiian Shirt

This vintage Hawaiian shirt is made of silk, giving it a luxurious feel. Choose a higher-quality fabric if you’re nervous about being too casual; there’s always a time and place for a standard cotton Hawaiian shirt, so why not choose the fancier option that lasts longer?

For men, the rule of thumb is that your Hawaiian shirt should not be tucked in. Most prints are fine, and you’ll find that they all will be collared and short-sleeved (great for the hot Hawaiian weather!) 

Matching Hawaiian Outfit for Couples

Not every couple likes to do this, but matching outfits *can* be cute! Especially when you’re celebrating a couple of friends getting hitched in Hawaii- when else can you pair vibrant colors and patterns with your boo?

Make things easy on yourself by picking up a matching Aloha-styled fit.

What Kind of Shoes to Wear for a Hawaiian Wedding

Comfort is key. If you’re headed to a Hawaiian wedding, you’ll be guaranteed to spend a lot of time on sandy beaches or pebbled pathways, so you probably don’t need to bring those stiletto heels. 

Even if there’s any part of the wedding that’s indoors, Hawaiian weddings typically take place near the ocean. Flat shoes will be the best bet; think sandals, block heels, espadrilles, or mules for women. Flip-flops are also a casual and practical choice!

For men, you can choose from a wide range of shoes. Sandals are appropriate for casual occasions, or even boat shoes or dress shoes if it’s a more high-end affair. Chances are, the couple might be spending some time barefoot on the beach (so you can too!)

Brown Leather Boat Shoes

Boat shoes are super trendy for nautical themed-gatherings! The brown leather is soft, yielding, and easy to slip on or off for a long night of partying on the beach.

I love the white cord details, giving the shoes a clean and neutral look to match whatever bright Hawaiian shirt you’ll be donning!

Hemp Low Wedge Sandals

Ladies, summer wedges are a must! These have a small heel just to give you a little bit of lift and come in various cute, standard colors.

If you’ve got a bright floral dress, you can easily match the colors with your shoes, or go for a natural or nude footwear choice!

Ivory Ribbon Espadrilles

Nothing screams summer more than espadrilles, am I right, ladies? Wedged shoes will give you elegance while ensuring that your feet aren’t uncomfortably crammed into high heels. 

Open-toed shoes are a must for summer in general, but for a Hawaiian wedding in particular, consider the area where you’ll be celebrating with the bride and groom! That will best inform your footwear decisions.

What Do You Wear to a Luau Wedding?

No matter where it’s held, a Luau party is super festive! The biggest thing to remember when you’re getting dressed for a Luau wedding is the location because it’s this that will guide your clothing choices. 

Typically, Luaus held at a home or venue in Hawaii will have casual attire. While you can attend the more traditional Luau shows that are performed in Hawaii, we’ll be talking about the wedding celebration-styled Luaus. 

Floral dresses and Hawaiian shirts are all acceptable, and because you’re at a Luau, you may now remove the shoes! Get those toes in the sand and soak up the relaxed atmosphere!

If you want to go for a more traditional look, ladies can try out a muumuu or sarong wrap dress. Men can rock an iconic Hawaiian shirt with shorts or long pants if it gets chilly on the beach at night.

One thing’s for sure: leave the costume-y coconut bra and grass skirt at home!

Pineapple Printed Tea Length Muumuu

Muumuus are some of the most comfortable articles of clothing out there, so grab one of these in different colors to wear around the house!

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