So you want to get married on the beach? Have you read the benefits of planning an outdoor wedding?
Whether you are planning a destination or local beach wedding, here are 7 tips for planning a beach wedding.
Do you have the rights to go ahead and get married on the beach? Most likely there are a few rules when it comes to using the beach, even if it is a public beach. There is also a good change you may even need a permit. Check with the town to find out the rules and regulations and do this early! You don’t want to assume it’s OK to get married on the beach and then later find out there are restrictions. And if you do end up needing a silly permit, this can be a lengthy process.
When planning your beach wedding you will need to know when the tide is in and when the tide is out. You will also want to think about where the sun will be shinning. This may seem minimal, but the position of the sun has a major impact on your wedding photos. You also don’t want to be squinting as you say I Do. I would suggest a late afternoon, early evening wedding if you are getting married on the beach. This way the sun won’t be too hot and the lighting will be perfect for pictures (check with your photographer on an exact time as it varies month to month).
Odds are you will not be able to set up the ceremony site until right before your wedding. Don’t even think about doing this yourself! Hire some help to set up your chairs, arbor and any other decorations you are incorporating. Draw out exactly where everything should go and if possible do a trial run. Doing a trial will not only ensure your ceremony site looks exactly as you had planned, but it also ensures everything can be set up in the time allotted.
If you’re getting married on the beach you can bet there will be a bit of wind. Keep this in mind as you plan your wedding ceremony decorations. Also, plan your hair style, dress and veil accordingly. That cathedral length veil probably will be more of a headache as it blows around, tangling in the sand…same goes for your hair. If you insist on having your hair down for you wedding, consider doing an up-do for the ceremony and then taking it down for your reception. Hair in your face is distracting, you are going to want to be focused on your vows not your hair.
Remember you are on a beach, which means uneven sand is your aisle. Might I suggest setting up a hard surface aisle? This would be a great DIY project. Hit up your local hardware store for some paint and wood and build yourself a runway. Just make sure it is wide enough for two people and that it is smooth, you don’t want your dress to snag. If you’re feeling extra creative, paint your monogram on it!
Besides having enough seating or least enough for your VIP guests (parents and grandparents), consider providing your guests with a cold refreshing beverage to sip on during your ceremony. At the entrance, set up a station where guests can serve themselves fruit infused water. Also, have a basket for guests to help themselves to a parasol to block the sun, sunglasses in case they forgot their own and a few pairs of flip flops so if they want to kick of their high heels they’ll have something to slip on. Most of your guests will come prepared with these sort of things, but the ones who forgot or didn't put two and two together will really appreciate this gesture.
I hate to break it to you, but when planning a beach wedding you have to have a plan B. Rain is your worst enemy! Your back up plan can be as simple as providing umbrella’s for all of your guests to having a second, indoor location. Of course this is just in case, but I’m a firm believer in planning for the worst and hoping for the best!
Tip: Give your guests a heads-up, let them know your wedding is actually ON THE BEACH. This way they can be prepared. I know this day is about you, but you do want your guests to be comfortable and having a nice time.
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