A beach wedding is a great experience for both the couple and the guest. It can be considered as a vacation for everyone. The beach is a very romantic spot to say your vows but there are things you need to consider before planning a beach wedding.
Here are some tips for a perfect beach wedding:
“As much as you think the rain is your enemy at a beach wedding, it’s the wind you need to worry about,” advises Michelle Rago “Once the sun drops below the horizon, the water goes black — and unless you have a full moon, the sea is lost.” To avoid the heat (and the crowds), consider a early morning or possibly sunset ceremony. Can’t schedule your ceremony at one of these times? Go ahead and have it in the afternoon, but find a shady spot on the beach that’s likely to catch a cool breeze. Check what the weather will be like, and inform guests on your wedding website so they can dress accordingly.
Also check the tide schedule online: Tides coming in are noisier than going out—not to mention the risk of water creeping up on you. So make sure your ceremony start time won’t be engulfed by ocean. Because having guests washed away to sea is a super bummer. And while we’re on the subject, don’t forget to check the seasonality of rain in your area.
“The ocean presents one of the most beautiful settings so I always encourage couples to consider having their wedding during daylight hours,” says Rago. “Once the sun drops below the horizon, the water goes black — and unless you have a full moon, the sea is lost.”
But having a daytime wedding means you need to consider a few things. “SPF 50 is sexy,” laughs Rago. “You don’t want to get a crazy sunburn on your wedding day.”
To avoid too much heat (and the crowds), consider a morning or sunset ceremony. Can’t schedule your ceremony at one of these times? Go ahead and have it in the afternoon, but find a shady spot on the beach that’s likely to catch a cool breeze.
Flowers also don’t like the hot sun and can be tricky to work with. “Choose a ceremony design and flowers that can hold up in the heat,” advises Rago. “A few options that work well are freesias, calla lilies, orchids, and succulents. Steer away from hydrangeas and roses, which have a tendency to wilt quickly.”
“Between the wind and the waves, there’s a lot of background noise at a beach wedding,” Rago explains. “I always suggest using a microphone for the ceremony. Also, make sure you use a windscreen cover for the microphone so that your guests are not frustrated by the fact that all they hear is the wind and not your vows!”
Unless you bought the property, you might have to share your wedding venue with hotel guests. You can never control children that might be yelling and screaming around during the ceremony. Make sure you ask the resort if privatizing the beach for your wedding is possible before you book.
There’s a big difference between a ceremony on the beach with a reception to follow at a more traditional reception space (hall, restaurant, etc.) and a full-on beach blanket with a hundred of your nearest and dearest. So before you start researching anything, figure out what kind of beach wedding you’re asking for.
Sure, it might be lovely to get married with your toes in the sand. But can your wheelchair-bound Grandma make it to the ceremony to see you put said toes in the sand? Will your guests be standing? Are there options for those who will need to sit? Like any other outdoor ceremony space, the beach can add a layer of difficulty when it comes to accessibility. So consider your guest list and figure out if any additional accommodations will need to be made so that no one misses out.
Typically, beach brides leave the ball gown at home. Seaside weddings call for lightweight attire—anything else and you’ll be weighed down and hot. Grooms often sport linen suits, but if it’s really hot, guys can forgo the jacket and wear a loose shirt and pants. For the ladies, light, airy fabrics are key; for comfort, try cotton, crepe or linen. We think nothing says beach wedding like a simple sarong or white sundress blowing in the breeze.
A barefoot beach wedding is raw and gorgeous, but it’s not realistic to expect every bride to ditch her shoes. “One solution to get you down the aisle in heels is to bury a wooden walkway that leads to the ceremony under the sand,” says Rago. “It still looks like a sandy beach, but makes it possible to walk in heels.”
A beach wedding in Hawaii will be quite different from a seaside ceremony in the South of France, and your menu should reflect that. Incorporate foods and customs of the area. Hawaiian weddings, for example, usually involve local delicacies such as poi and roast pig. Similarly, Caribbean choices include jerk chicken and fresh seafood. When selecting your menu, also consider the temperature—many foods will spoil in the heat (for your wedding cake, for instance, fondant is a better choice than buttercream, which will melt in the hot temps).
Plan your wedding carefully because nothing beats a flawless beach wedding celebration!