>Guest post by: Amanda Meyer
Beach weddings can be a fun way to celebrate your marriage with friends and family. A day at the beach is great for everyone and we would love to share our helpful beach reminders and tips with you to make it extra special!
The most important part of planning a beach wedding – start early!! When planning any destination wedding, it is important to give yourself as much time as possible to get ready. Remember, you will be working with vendors who are far away and venues you probably cannot visit. It may also take longer to apply for a marriage license or the permits necessary to hold your wedding on a beach.
If you want to get married on a public beach, begin your research with a call to the city’s Tourism or Parks Department. Ask whether you will need to compensate the city for use of the beach, as well as laws about open containers, clean up and blocking off the area where your ceremony or reception will be held. Likely the workers in the public office will be able to answer these and other questions about the best place to hold your ceremony and reception.
Next, get in touch with a reputable wedding planner in the area. This person will help you find and work with caterers, DJs, photographers, videographers and anyone else you will need. Since you cannot be there, think of your wedding planner as an on-site “maid of honor” – visiting venues, making suggestions and keeping you informed while you are in another city. Be sure to ask whether this person is comfortable organizing a beach wedding.
Get all vendor contracts in writing before you send any checks. Confirm all vendor duties ahead of time and in writing so there are no questions on your wedding day. This is especially important with a beach or destination wedding, as you may be meeting these people for the first time mere hours before your ceremony.
Planning a beach wedding comes with a unique set of elements – sand, wind, water and sun. Remember when you went to the beach as a child? When you came home, likely your mother asked whether there was any sand left on the beach or if it was all in your beach towel and bathing suit. Sand will get into everything, so make sure your dress is easy to manage in these conditions. Sand is an unusual ground material and is not friendly to spike heels. Make your wedding day easy on you and your bridesmaids by wearing a low, flat heel or flip flops. Don’t forget to remind your guests of the tricky terrain when sending out invitations. Consider placing the wedding guest chairs on moveable flooring. If this is too expensive, you may just want to put the altar on flooring to help the wedding party and prevent any lost rings!
Another beach element, and a possible guest at your wedding, is wind. Make sure you hold everything down – from the table cloths and wedding guest book to the chairs and your bridesmaids’ up-dos. Try to hold the ceremony around the middle of the day, as this is the time when the ocean water and the beach are closest to the same temperature, thereby reducing the chances for high winds. Consider moving wedding candles or a unity candle ceremony inside to avoid an open flame being knocked to the ground.
The ocean makes for a beautiful backdrop for your ceremony, but remember to ask your wedding planner when the tide comes in and make sure your altar and guests are further up the shore at that time to prevent an underwater wedding ceremony.
Consider placing baskets of suntan lotion, fans and parasols at the entrance to your wedding ceremony to keep your guests comfortable. For your bridesmaids and groomsmen, hand out personalized water bottles as wedding attendant gifts. This way, the group will stay hydrated while they stand in the sun. Make sure everyone lathers up with sunscreen and sprinkles on some baby powder before they head into the sun.
Most of all – have fun! A destination or beach wedding offers a wide variety of fun wedding accessories and supplies, including beach themed wedding favors and specialty flip flops. With little early planning and flexibility, your beach wedding will be a great memory for you and your fiancé, as well as for your family and friends.
About The Author: Amanda Meyer, Sales Associate at Bridal Elements, your source for all wedding accessories including wedding cake toppers, bridal jewelry, personalized wedding toasting flutes, and much more.