5 Tips for Planning Your Beach Wedding

From choosing a venue to picking your color palette and sending out save-the-date cards, there are so many things to consider when planning a wedding—especially a beach wedding. Here are a few additional items that Beach Front Occasions recommends you think about if your wedding day includes sun, sand and surf:

1. Guest list size matters

Decide the size of your guest list as early as possible.  If your vision includes a ceremony and reception that takes place entirely on the sand, a smaller guest list may be necessary as many venues include private beaches of limited size.  You could always take out a permit and host your event on a public beach, but you’ll have to be OK with strangers walking by while you say your I Dos.  Just decide on a guest list early in the process to find a venue that matches your needs.

Small beach wedding in Florida
Photo by Meg Baisden Photography @megbaisden 

2. Consider the weather

Weather is a major consideration when picking a date for a beach wedding.  We recommend checking the weather history for your chosen date going back as many as 10 years.  And, make contingency plans in case of rain or other adverse weather events.  You can always cancel within a few days of your wedding if it looks like the weather is clear.  Remember: Rain on your wedding day is good luck!

Rain on your beach wedding day
Photo courtesy of The Guardian

3. Make guest comfort a priority

Whether you are planning an event during the full mid-day heat, or in the cooler evening hours, the success of your wedding depends on the comfort of your guests.  Advise guests in advance to avoid wearing heels if any part of the reception or ceremony will take place on the grass or sand—or to bring jackets or shawls, if appropriate.  A barrel filled with flip flops, parasols, pashminas or even personalized fans can be a fun, whimsical addition to your décor and make great take-home favors.

Paper Parasol with Bamboo Boning
Paper Parasol with Bamboo Boning – photo courtesy of Beach Front Occasions

4. Prepare for hidden costs

An outdoor event can mean additional costs that are not always obvious at the start.  If any part of your event takes place in the evening, be sure to include a budget line item for lighting.  Of course, this is a great opportunity to get creative with an arrangement of paper lanterns or vintage-looking hanging light-bulbs. You might also need to have a dance-floor installed if the reception is in a grassy or sandy area.

Beach Wedding Lights from Tampa Lights
Beach wedding lighting- photo courtesy of Tampa Lights and Life Long Studios

5. Don’t forget parking

Finally, remember that parking at the beach is usually either very limited or very expensive—or both!  Be sure to include discussions about guest-parking in your earliest conversations with potential venues.  Ask about off-site parking and securing shuttles or buses to make sure your guests are not inconvenienced (see tip # 3)

Beach parking sign
Beach wedding parking sign – photo courtesy of Cardoza Wood on etsy.com

Following these tips should help you prepare for a great, once-in-a-lifetime event.  No matter what happens, a wedding at the beach is always memorable!

Photo credits: Meg Baisden Photography, The Guardian, Beach Front Occasions, Tampa Lights, Life Long Studios, Cardoza Wood on Etsy.com

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