How to Plan the Perfect Beach Wedding

Summer is upon us and the appeal of a beach wedding is hotter than ever! Like your guests really need another reason to spend some time by the ocean? Whether you’re planning to say your vows with sand between your toes or you simply want to incorporate some romantic, beachy details into your wedding, there are some important things to consider to make sure you do it right. Take a look at 6 pieces of advice we would offer any couple whose dream wedding involves sand, sun and surf.

Think through your time line

If you’re planning to have your ceremony on the beach, you’ll want to really think through the timing of your events. Traditionally, a 4pm ceremony is fairly common. But on the beach, 4pm would be a very hot, sunny and uncomfortable time to have all your guests gather for your vows.

Familiarize yourself with the estimated time for sunset; this is usually a calm, cool and beautiful time of day. Consider having your ceremony right before sunset. You can then capture this moment in your wedding photographs as guests move to the reception. If you’re planning a later dinner, be sure to greet your guests with some appetizers as soon as they enter the reception so that they are not famished by the time the first course is served.

Choose proper attire for your wedding party

A summer beach wedding will be warm; there’s really no way around it. Be mindful of the attire you choose for your wedding party so that they are comfortable. For example, you likely don’t want to put your men in a three piece suit and your ladies in long, heavy dresses. If you prefer the look of long dresses for your bridesmaids, choose material that is light and flowy. Also, consider allowing your wedding party to go shoeless. Not only is this a fun way to embrace the beach theme, it will keep their toes cool and prevent possible spills as a result of walking on the sand.

Make guests comfortable, too

Talking about comfort, provide some small items to keep your guests cool and happy too! Encourage them to kick off their shoes, provide sunglasses or fans and have chilled bottles of water ready to go. Also consider the angle of your wedding ceremony so that your guests are looking into the glaring sun. Finally, have a way for guests to easily remove sand from their feet, clothes and anywhere sand isn’t supposed to be! Some clean paint brushes or baby powder works wonders.

Have a backup plan

You may be picturing clear blue skies and a warm breeze on your wedding day, but Mother Nature may have made other plans. Keep in mind that rain is always a possibility, especially a stray storm that moves in quite quickly. Plan like you know this will be the case so that you have all the details of your Plan B mapped out. A tent, alternative indoor venue or a stash of umbrellas are all smart ideas. Then hope for smooth sailing!

Capture creative photos

With a beach wedding, you have the huge added bonus of a picturesque backdrop—use it! Capture some creative photos that can only be done on the beach so that you have these unique memories forever. Save photos that involve lying in the sand or stepping into the water for later in the evening after your ceremony and other important events have taken place. Also, be prepared to touch up your hair and makeup as sun and wind can undo these things in no time.

Don’t go overboard – literally

Whether you’re getting married on the beach or simply want to incorporate a beach theme into your landlocked wedding, there are endless ideas out there to inspire you with décor. Sites like Pinterest can provide an information overload and it may be hard to narrow down all the options to the few that will have the biggest impact. Our expert advice is…less is more! Your guests are sure to get the “beach vibe” from a few, well placed details. Don’t feel like you need to theme every single piece of your wedding from ceremony programs to napkin ties. Too many decorations can overwhelm the space and cheapen the final result. Pick your favorites and keep the rest understated.

Are you planning a wedding on the beach or with a beach theme? Share your favorite idea by commenting below!

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