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A beach wedding is perfect for the couple who wants the serene and romantic atmosphere of the beach. Planning on saying I do on the beach? From the gentle whispers of the water to the feel of the sand between your toes there is nothing more romantic than having a beach wedding.
If you will be tying the knot on the beach, here is everything you need to know to plan the perfect beach wedding.
The location you choose for your beach wedding will depend on your guest list and the style of your wedding.
Public Beach: Most beaches are open to the public that means anyone can use the beach for swimming or events. If you are planning on using a public beach you should start researching the requirements for holding the wedding at the beach including permit requirements of your city or state.
If you are planning on using a public beach for the wedding you might want to have your wedding in the off-season. If the beach has no off-season you should avoid holiday weekends as beaches are most crowded during this time.
Private Beach: If you want a small intimate beach wedding and you, a friend or family member has a property on a private beach then it’s possible to pull this off. If you or people you know have no private beach property you should start searching if you can find owners of a property on a private beach who are willing to late you host your event using their space. You should also look into permit fees and other charges if you are tying the knot on a private beach.
Resort: If you don’t mind the costs you can have the wedding at a hotel, club or restaurant on the beach. You will still have a great view of the waters and it’s easier to pull off since you will have staffs on ground to help with executing your vision.
2. Planning the Beach Wedding
To plan the perfect beach wedding you would want to answer these questions.
Would you like to have both the ceremony and reception or do you want to have just the reception or the ceremony alone at the beach?
How will you setup the wedding? What would be the focal point?
If you are having both the ceremony and reception at the same spot, will you use the seating arrangement of the ceremony for the reception?
What time of the day would you like to have the event? (You might want to have the ceremony in the morning or evening as the afternoon heat can be pretty intense at some locations and you might not get a spot with shade on the beach).
If you are planning on having both the ceremony and reception at the beach you should make sure the beach is equipped to handle the food, drinks and partying during the reception.
3. Weather Proof
We expect that the weather will be cooperative and it won’t rain throughout the event but one thing we’ve learnt is that the weather can’t be predicted. It’s always good to have a backup plan in place. This might be having a tent or canopy on ground in case of rain or a hall/hotel where the party can be moved to in case of strong wind.
Asides from the elements you should also be prepared for those pesky bugs by having bug repellents on ground.
You can also setup a shoe station so guests can swap their shoes for flip flops. You can go the extra mile by having mini tubes of sunscreen, beach blankets, hand fans, bottled water and sunglasses on ground for guests. These items can also double as the wedding favors.
Check with the city officials to see the permits you need to host the beach wedding. Check the city’s website for information on noise ordinances, serving of alcohol and rules for privacy so you can get a clear understanding of the requirements for getting the permits if you need one.
Some beaches prohibit serving of alcohol so be sure to check what you can and can’t do while using the beach.
How accessible is the venue. Is the beach easily accessible for differently-abled guests and senior citizens? What measures can you put in place to make the venue easily accessible to them? Will guests be standing or seated? If guests will be standing are there options for those who will need to sit?
Think of things to do to make the venue better for guests.
6. Beach Wedding Decorations
With a beach wedding you don’t have to do too much when it comes to decorations as the beach already has some elements like seashells, driftwood etc.
Reception: Avoid using ribbons, tall floral arrangements, candles and table elements like glass vases as the wind can topple over the floral arrangements and glass vases and blow out the candles. Use LED candles in place of regular candles. Tablecloths, menu cards and napkins should be weighted so the wind doesn’t blow them off.
7. Food and Drinks
Buffet style food might be the perfect route to go when it comes to beach wedding food and drinks. As the food does not need to be prepared at the reception venue and you don’t require the services of wait staff for serving the food.
When considering food and drinks keep the temperature in mind, go with food that won’t get spoilt in the heat. You might need to use heating and cooling equipment to keep the food from going bad.
Here are some menu options for a beach wedding.
Main: Chicken marsala, Lemon braised chicken, Grilled or broiled fish, Roast pork with lime
Side: Rice pilaf or wild rice, Roasted or mashed potatoes, Pasta with various sauces
Cocktails: Margaritas and other tropical mixed drinks, Fresh fruit juices, Flavored rums and vodkas (make sure to also have plenty bottled water on hand so guests don’t get dehydrated).