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Beach Blanket Bridal

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Zoom to Zuma and be a beach babe bride. Image via The Sunset Restaurant

Although we're nowhere near certified wedding planners, we do try to stay atop what's trendy and fresh these days. Consider this a mood board for a wedding theme, a place for you to get your creative juices flowing and make your big day as unique as you are.

Want to conjure that destination wedding feeling without making your guests hop on a plane? Just head west and enjoy any of hundreds of miles of Southern California's gorgeous coastline. A beach wedding favors a more laid-back vibe, removing the fussiness from your nuptials and expanding the options for dress and decor. But just because the atmosphere is a bit more relaxed doesn't mean your special day will be bereft of style - just channel a little glam Gidget and turn that beach bunny cas into beach bridal chic.

Dresses: If you've had your heart set on a tailored trumpet gown or ballerina-skirted Vera Wang since you were a little girl, then knock yourself out: it's your day, after all. But, if you're so inclined, a beach wedding allows you to get away with a breezier, more effortless look and to explore lengths, cuts and fabrication that might otherwise be taboo. We're not suggesting that you rock a string bikini à la Pam Anderson, but go ahead and wear a traditional silhouette made out of something breathable or show a little extra skin - maybe even a cocktail-length dress - to highlight your (fake) tan. Added bonus: opting for a summer white dress that's not part of a bridal collection cuts way down on price! We've got several picks here from ASOS to Michael Kors to Halston Heritage, with most for under $500.

For both bridesmaids and guests, the current maxi dress trend has got you covered. Don a solid or print in hues inspired by the natural scenery, be it the ocean or the sunset, then pile on a wrist-full of bangles or an architectural cuff and you're ready to roll. Another option is to tie on a sarong-style skirt (we love the one above from Alice + Olivia) with a simple tank and a bold statement necklace. Either way, this kind of easy-going elegance will take you seamlessly from a sunset ceremony into a moonlit reception. In addition to our suggestions here, hit up reasonably priced year-round beach and resort-friendly lines and retailers, like Roxy, Planet Blue and Calypso St. Barth.

Shoes: Ever try walking down the beach in a stiletto or a heavy platform? Not so cute - or comfortable - is it? Even if the only thing taking place on the sand is the ceremony, we still recommend flat sandals, embellished with crystals or jewels, in a metallic or an eye-popping color. Mystique is a mid-range line with loads of styles that fit the bill. Also, a great gift for guests is customized flip-flops, which make for a practical party favor and will take care of those who wear inappropriate footwear - imagine how thankful all the ladies will be when they're not dancing barefoot into the wee hours on a champagne-sticky dance floor! Speaking of going barefoot, the one instance where we can imagine this without cringing is for a bride walking down a beachy aisle, perhaps in a pair of barefoot sandals.
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Michael Kors

108 N Robertson Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90048 310-385-8350 Visit Website

Planet Blue

409 N Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210-4601 310-385-0557 Visit Website

FOREVER 21

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