Planning a beach wedding can be a dream come true, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. There is a lot to think about and plan for, so here are some beach wedding basics to get you started on your path to happily ever after. With a little bit of forethought and planning, one of the biggest days of your life can also be guaranteed to be one of the best days of your life. Here’s how you can make that happen.
The sooner you can plan ahead, the better. This goes for pretty much every aspect of your day in the sun. The more you can do ahead of time, the less stressed you’ll be as the big day approaches. This is especially important to consider when planning a wedding on the beach. Unless you have booked a private beach for the occasion, you’ll be sharing your sacred space with the public. Choosing a day other than a holiday or during peak season gives you more intimacy and less worries of uninvited guests becoming a distraction.
You know about Murphy’s Law, right? Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong is how the saying goes. Well, just in case there is a reason why you can’t have your wedding on the beach (because of weather or some other anomaly), always have a backup plan. You need to have an alternative indoor venue that can accommodate your needs to eliminate any last-minute stress or worry on your wedding day.
Dress for Success
If you have your heart set on an elaborate dress with long flowing train, intricate veil and stiletto heels, then perhaps you should reconsider. A beach wedding traditionally is less formal and invokes a feeling of easy breezy and carefree. You have so much freedom when it comes to the style of dress; make the most of it! A dress that is shorter in length, made of breathable fabric, not easily blown to and fro, and not a stumbling block during your wedding photos or ceremony are all considerations. Shoes or no shoes is up to you. If you have a platform in the sand you can wear most anything you’d like, but if you’re walking down the aisle directly on the sand then low-heeled shoes, flats or even flip-flops are great options.
Embrace the Elements
Outdoor weddings offer a world of beauty for special occasions, and beach weddings are no different. However, it is wise to get to know and prepare for as much as you can when it comes to the elements. Know the tide, know the weather forecast, know the location of the sun at the time of your wedding, and know which direction the wind is blowing for planning purposes. Think not only of yourself and your wedding party, but also of your guests to prevent any possible issues. Will the tide wash in and interfere with your beautiful setup? Will the sun be so blinding or hot that your guests will be uncomfortable? Will the sand be blowing in your face? Things to think about.
Local wedding and event vendors are incredibly knowledgeable. They have insight and experience on an intimate level when it comes to event planning in the place they call home. They can be some of your most valuable resources, especially if you are planning a destination wedding. Take advantage of their expertise and put it to good use. Take it up a notch and shell out a little extra expense to hire a local wedding planner who can take the load off of your shoulders. Wedding planners are also a great resource for all of the behind-the-scene action that occurs during a wedding. They can make sure everyone gets to where they need to be on time, organize gift bags, problem solve last minute issues that may arise, and deal with any special requests that need attending to. They are worth their weight in gold!
Focus, Focus, Focus
One of the best things about a beach wedding is the coastal palette that you have to work with. It’s gorgeous as is, but it’s pretty expansive. Create your own space by allowing the decor to have a visual presence and order that offers a clear focal point for your ceremony. Consider the arrangement of the chairs, the placement of the flowers and plants, and the place where the vows will be exchanged. An arch, canopy or chuppah are popular choices when it comes to creating center and focus for both you and your guests.
Timing is Everything
We’ve touched on this already, but it’s worth mentioning again. Think about the timing of things. Is it high tide? Is it high noon when the sun and sand are scorching hot? Is your ceremony early in the day when a lot of your guests have to travel in from out of town? None of those are ideal. Think about the comfort of your bridal party and your guests, the lighting and time of day for your wedding day photos, and the length of your ceremony.
Consideration is Key
Being considerate of your guests and their needs is high priority. They are your biggest fans and are here to celebrate this life event in your honor. Make it as easy and convenient as possible for them when it comes to planning, advance notice, comfort, and accessibility. You can’t please everyone all of the time, but consideration goes a very long way.
The Devil is in the Details
Details, details, details. There are so many to think about with an event like this. But if you have planned ahead, enlisted some good help, and have realistic expectations, then everything will be fine. Will there be a minor glitch in the matrix? Probably. Is it worth ruining your day over? Nope. Try to plan for and organize what you can and be prepared for a few bumps along the way. You can’t control everything, so don’t even try. Maintain a sense of humor, take some deep breaths along the way, keep your perspective, and be present in one of the most memorable moments of your life.
Are you planning or attending a beach wedding this year? If so, we’d love to hear about it! Do you have any beach wedding tips to share?