On a typical summer beach outing, you make sure to take along all the essentials including sunscreen, cool beverages, sunglasses, and a good book. The beach is the perfect place to relax, but you have to be prepared in order to make the most out of it because if you don’t, it could mean sitting in the sand sunburnt, wet, cold, and hungry. The same goes for a beach wedding. With the proper preparation, saying your vows on the sand against the sound of the waves is an ocean breeze.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
If you’re planning a beach wedding, one of the first things on your mind is probably what you’re going to wear, as it’s usually different than what couples wear who are getting married in more traditional venues.
For clothing, you will want something semi-formal as opposed to a full-on wedding dress and tuxedo. Large, heavy dresses will suffer from the sand and spray and will simply be too hot for comfort in most beach weather. For men, the same goes for a tuxedo and even traditional suit. Instead, consider a more minimal dress in lightweight fabrics and maybe even shorter lengths. For men consider ditching the jacket altogether in favor of a simple buttoned shirt or vest combination. This will give you both less sweat and stress, as well as less complicated clean-up later.
Usually, it’s better for a bride on the beach to wear an up-do if she has longer hair, or at least pull the hair back away from her face. This will eliminate hair tangling as a result of the ocean breeze and the constant need to brush it out of your face for photos. For shoes, sandals are almost always a good choice, or consider staying barefoot! Typical “wedding” shoes can slow you down in the sand and just feel awkward.
Consider Public vs Private Beaches and Accessibility
Depending where on the beach you go and when, you might notice a lack of parking spaces for you and your guests. Make sure during planning that you take this into account. Sometimes, it’s better to choose to be wed at a tropical resort over a normal beach to avoid this problem completely. Or if you do choose to have the wedding take place on a public beach, consider a low season date. This way parking and space are ample, while people are not. It also helps to pick a spot you are familiar with instead of a completely new place, so you know what to expect the day of.
A public beach is just that: public. So, when you arrive on your wedding day (or rehearsal day) you might see that other people have already snagged your location. With a beach wedding, you risk having strangers in close proximity to your ceremony and guests. If you’re choosing to have your wedding ceremony at a public beach, this is something you’ll just have to accept.
When considering your wedding guests, be sure to take accessibility into account. Chairs, rails, and helpers can make a beach wedding possible for people who may have trouble getting around. Speaking of helpers: if you are able to hire a wedding planner, look specifically for someone who has experience with beach weddings. Their advice during planning could be priceless and save you from many headaches.
Realize that Beach Weather Can Be Unpredictable
When setting your date, do some research to plan around the weather. But since beach weather can be completely unpredictable, do what you can to prepare. If the weather was supposed to be one way but turns out another, know it is out of your control and don’t let it ruin your fun! If you do get the ideal conditions, ensure that guests aren’t facing the sun during your nuptials. If there is no way of avoiding the rays or you just want to be extra careful, provide pairs of sunglasses and / or sunshades.
If you enjoy spending time at the beach as a couple, such a location can be the perfect wedding ceremony venue—if you leave make the right preparations. Allow yourself to remember why you chose to have your wedding at the beach, and it will be pure bliss.