Whether local ocean side or island destination wedding, beach nuptials are increasingly popular for a variety of reasons.
“Dress” the Part
Keep it simple. If you have your heart set on a ballgown or other ornate dress, a beach wedding may not be the best choice for you. Simple lines, with a hemline high enough to avoid dragging in the sand is the preferred dress style for this type of wedding. Ruffles and lace can pick up sand and other debris that are part of the beach backdrop.
Skip the Veil & Opt for an “Up Do”
While getting married on the beach can provide stunning views and tranquil sounds of nature, it is typically breezy. To keep your guests (and the photographer) from struggling to capture a full view of you, avoid a veil which may be blowing into your face, or your groom’s. For these same reasons, it is typically better to have an updo that will stay put in the wind.
Toes in the Sand
No heels for sure, unless you want to fight your way through the sand. The best choices for your feet during a beach wedding are flat sandals or going bare foot. Depending on where you are getting married, the temperature of the sand may be a factor. It can get quite hot! Once you decide on sandals or bare feet, have your dress hemmed accordingly.
Keep the Guys Casual
While tuxedos or suits work very well in many indoor venues, the beach calls for something less formal. Depending on your specific taste, linen suit or lightweight slacks and shirt can be less formal but still “dressy,” or you might even consider going for a completely casual look with a pair of Bermuda shorts and bare feet.
Public or Private
Unless you want to invite the general public to witness your vows, you may want to consider the level of beach access the public will have to your wedding spot. There are private beaches that may be available for such an event. Another great alternative is to secure a waterfront rental property, which will also serve as a relaxing refuge in the days and hours before the wedding.
Protect your guests
The sunshine and sea breezes are the reason so many people choose to have their wedding on the beach. Too much of a good thing can be overwhelming or sometimes even harmful. Remember, the elements can be brutal, so prepare welcome bags or stations for guests to pick up the essentials in sun protection. You can include items such as sunscreen, sunglasses, flip flops, personal misters or mini-fans, and tropical themed hats or visors. Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water! You may also consider setting up a water station for guests to grab a cold beverage before and/or after the ceremony.
Maximize Local Resources
This is especially important when planning a destination wedding. Research the local businesses and community to find out what resources are available to you: the local entertainment and accommodations, traditions, customs and holidays (as they may impact availability of certain items, including staff) and the native cuisine. As much as possible, plan your wedding around what will be available and will not require you to import or over-pack. Local caterers, musicians and more may be just the right elements for an authentic island wedding.
Plan for the unexpected
Since outdoor weddings of any kind are always at risk of weather fluctuations, it is important to plan for the worst. It is impossible to predict “Mother Nature” and even the sunniest of beaches and warmest islands can experience unseasonable weather. Unplanned rain storms, hurricanes, wild fires, and even flooding could severely impact your ceremony. Work with your event planner and the venue to come up with an alternate plan should anything unexpected occur.
The biggest thing to remember is that traditional wedding and reception techniques may not be appropriate for the beach. In addition, being one with nature often means that anything can happen, and therefore probably will. For the best tips, ideas and cautionary tales, it is best to consult with a wedding planner or coordinator to avoid mishaps and eliminate the worry of the unknown.