Everything You Need to Know About Planning a Beach Wedding

 In Advice, Destination Weddings

Whether you are planning to say your vows on a tropical beach thousands of miles from home or on a shoreline closer to home, planning a beach wedding is a bit different than planning an event at another venue. The sun, sand, and surf create a beautiful and romantic environment, but they can also pose some challenges.

If you love being near water, saying “I do” on the beach is a great way to start your marriage. Beach weddings are fun and memorable, and they can be as unique as the bride and groom themselves. Planning a beach wedding? Here are a few things you need to know.

Everything you need to know about planning a beach wedding.

Location Matters

Decide on a location based on the style you visualize for your wedding and your non-negotiable guest list. If you absolutely have to have your great-grandmother at your wedding but she has health problems and is unable to fly, you may need to nix the idea of getting married in Fiji and opt for a beach closer to home, for example. A destination wedding works best when your non-negotiable guest list is small and consists of people willing and able to travel.

Think about the specifics, too. You can get married on a public beach, a private beach, or at a resort. Weddings on public beaches are the most affordable option. It’s possible you may be able to reserve a section for your event. Keep in mind there will likely be other people close by, at the very least. If you have a friend or family member with a private beach, this is a great option, too.

Getting married at a resort can be pricey, but this option gives you the most bang for your buck. You’ll have the luxury of saying your nuptials on a private beach, and you’ll have access to caterers, event planners, etc. Though more expensive, getting married at a resort is, by far, the least stressful option.

Beach wedding ceremony space.

The Right Apparel Matters, Too

When you are planning a seaside wedding, a traditional wedding gown may not be your best option. Tuxedos probably aren’t a great choice for the guys, either. Getting married on the beach means dealing with sand, wind, and water. You may also be dealing with high temperatures and humidity.

Brides and bridesmaids are better off wearing lightweight dresses that aren’t overly fussy. Simple sundresses tend to work best. A long veil and long hair can be problematic, too, so you may want to consider an updo. If a veil is a must, a simple blusher veil is a better choice than a longer one. Skip the heels and go with some cute monogrammed sandals.

Lightweight linen suits work well for the groom and groomsmen. The temperature might be soaring so they may need to ditch the jacket and wear a loose shirt and pants instead. Stick with fabrics like cotton and linen.

Bride and groom at their beach wedding.

Laws and Regulations Can Vary Drastically

If you are getting married on a beach in your hometown, you probably won’t need to worry too much about the laws and regulations. You can obtain your marriage license and any other licenses or permits you need locally. Getting everything you need should be pretty easy.

When you get married in another country, though, things can be a bit trickier. You need to, of course, make sure that your marriage will be recognized in your home country. You also need to be certain that you obtain all necessary licenses and permits prior to your wedding date. You may need special permits to get married on the beach, serve alcohol, etc. Make absolutely certain that you have everything you need in advance.

This is another reason why getting married at a resort is easier. The wedding planners at resorts are familiar with all of the local laws and regulations. They will make sure you have everything you need prior to your big day. So you don’t need to worry about last-minute problems or finding out your marriage isn’t “legal.”

Bride and groom at a destination beach wedding.

A Backup Plan Is a Must

In an ideal world, every wedding would go as planned without any major problems. Unfortunately, we live in the real world where things can—and often do—go wrong. Getting married on the beach opens you up to all sorts of potential problems on your big day. There is no way to guarantee Mother Nature will cooperate with your plans. So you need to have a backup plan.

Renting a tent is always a good idea. This ensures that there is protection from light rain and a shaded area if the weather is nice. A tent won’t be enough in the event of severe weather, though. If you get married at a resort, they will likely have an indoor area that you can use if needed. When using a public beach to wed, make backup arrangements with a local event venue or hotel.

Wedding arbor in front of the beach.

Beach Wedding Summary

Getting married on the beach is a fun way to start your new life as a couple. Whether you are tying the knot close to home or planning a destination wedding, though, it’s important to plan ahead to ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises on your big day. Choose your location carefully, and make sure you have everything you need to legally get married there. Carefully consider your wedding apparel, and always have a backup plan.

Be willing to be flexible. There are a lot of variables that can pop up, but there’s no reason why they should ruin the event. A beach wedding should be a fun, laid-back experience. Take the challenges as they come, and enjoy your big day.

What do you think of these tips for planning a beach wedding? Share with us in the comments.

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Destination Wedding Tips for Bridesmaid on a Budget. Bride and Bridesmaids on the beach.