10 Essential Tips for Beach Weddings

FINALLY—it’s here: your beach wedding. The smooth sand beneath your feet. The tropical flowers. The wave and water sounds in the background. The classy but laid-back feel. It should be everything you’ve hoped for—so here are 10 essential tips for planning your beach wedding:

  1. Go for a light, smaller dress—not a ball gown. There will likely be plenty of wind, plus a big ball gown with a mile-long train will just end up with a few pounds of sand in it. Go for something lighter, shorter, and that will flow in the breeze.
  2. Nix the high heels. I promise, you won’t be able to walk in the sand with them. Instead, wear flats or sandals. If you choose to go barefoot, make sure you have a nice thick runner to walk on—that sand can get hot!
  3. Pin your hair up. Your beautiful, loose tresses, like that ball gown, won’t mix well with lots of wind. Go for an up-do to make your photographer’s life easier and you looking polished.
  4. Leave the tuxes for another day. Wearing tuxes on a beach is just a nightmare. The wool fabric will be way too hot, not to mention they won’t really fit in with the beach theme. Consider instead Bermuda shorts or lightweight cotton pants for the guys.
  5. Make sure guests come prepared for a day in the sun. Remind them to wear appropriate clothing and footwear, bring sunscreen or hats, and make sure to have essentials like water, towels, and hand fans available. You should also consider setting up a flip-flop station, where guests can swap their shoes for a pair of sandals if needed.
  6. Keep decorations simple. The beach is already beautiful. Just add a few pops of color here and there—don’t get too elaborate. You’ll thank yourself later for all the time you saved setting up!beach wedding
  7. Consider privacy and permits. Many beaches are public, so if that’s the case, try and plan your big day for a less crowded time of year. You’ll especially want to avoid holidays. Research to find out if a permit is needed to hold your ceremony on the beach, if you have to pay any fees, if there are noise ordinances, and whether or not you are even allowed to set up chairs and canopies.
  8. Microphones. Those wave sounds are nice, but guests will also want to be able to hear your vows and ceremony. Rent wireless microphones and speakers, and do a sound check before everything begins.
  9. Anchor everything. Wind has a mind of its own and likes to blow out all your carefully lit candles, knock tables over, and blow away decorations. Make sure to anchor or weigh down all your tables, canopies, floral arrangements, and more. Consider making your décor as wind-friendly as possible, and try to stay away from tall centerpieces and glass vases. Use LEDs instead of candles to avoid losing light.
  10. Have a “Plan B.” As unpredictable as weather is, it is essential to have a Plan B just in case it doesn’t feel like cooperating. Have a canopy or tent on hand or have a backup location arranged just in case.
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