Decision making when planning a beach wedding

Are you considering a destination wedding? Nearly one-quarter (24%) of all couples who are tying the knot travel to do so. It’s safe to say that many of these choose a beach wedding venue, for its beauty and simplicity.

If you intend to get married while feeling the sand between your toes, here are some tips to help you locate the perfect venue!

You’ve won the wedding venue lottery if you are going to have a beach wedding. Whether held at an exotic destination or your summer getaway home, it’s like a mini-vacation for everyone involved spending the event next to crashing waves and a stellar view.

While a beach wedding provides you with plenty of natural scenery and décor, pulling off a flawless celebration at the shore isn’t without its unique challenges. As if it is not stressful enough to be organising catering for functions and the bridesmaid’s dresses, beach weddings present additional challenges. There are many beautiful Melbourne wedding photo locations and ceremony locations, and the beach is one of them. Here is our expertise on the essential things to know when developing the perfect plan for your sandy beach dream wedding.

Things To Think About When Planning a Beach Wedding

Wedding Planner vs. Going it Alone

It’s possible to arrange your wedding on a public beach, but it’s not ideal. You can’t just show up, plunk some chairs in the sand, and get hitched. Instead, you’ll have to pay for a permit to use the space.

Other drawbacks to going it alone? First and foremost, it’s – well, it’s complicated. You’ll need to arrange everything yourself, from the trellis and seating to the photographer and sound system.

When you choose a beach wedding venue where you can work with a wedding planner, you have a bit more assurance through their experience. You’ll also be able to hand off some of the logistical considerations, like furniture, to the venue.

Factor in the Elements

A beach wedding can be extraordinarily beautiful, as long as the weather cooperates. Have a backup plan in case the forecast for your wedding day is stormy.

You’ll also want to take into consideration the time of year, and time of day, for the ceremony. Getting married when it’s 90 degrees and sunny isn’t ideal unless you and your intended are true beach bums. Choose a sunset wedding and consider getting married in a shoulder season when temperatures are usually more moderate.

Keep it Casual

Opt for a more casual ceremony if you’re getting married on the beach. Elaborate wedding gowns and high heels might fulfil your vision of a fairy-tale wedding, but they’re not especially compatible with a beach wedding.

Some venues will provide walkways so that you and your guests don’t have to slog through the sand. If any of your guests have mobility issues or use a wheelchair or walker, a temporary walkway is an absolute must.

Parking can be an issue, as well. A venue that offers tram service to and from the site can be a boon.

Beach wedding

Use a Sound System

Remember that a beach wedding venue can be windy, too. Therefore, it may be hard for guests to hear you exchange vows. You will want to use a portable sound system and microphone, to make sure that every word, and every note of the processional, can be heard.

Again, many venues will provide this as part of the package.

What’s It Going to Cost?

The average wedding in Australia now costs just over $25,000 – and that figure doesn’t include travel costs. Unless you live within driving distance of a beach, your guests will have to fork over money for airline tickets and accommodations.

Don’t let that discourage you from having the beach wedding of your dreams, though. Compared to some indoor venues, a beach wedding venue can be inexpensive, so you and your intended can help offset guests’ travel costs.

Hotels often offer discounts for group rates. An off-season wedding can also keep costs low.

Time of Year

The time of year you decide to do a beach wedding can change things a lot. Price, availability, weather, tourists, and the guests you desire to attend should all be considered when deciding what time of the year to get married at the beach. It’s your wedding, but if you want the people you love there it is courteous to consider their travelling expenses (as well as your own), and time of year does play a part in vacation planning in regards to the budget.

Time of Day

When planning an outdoor or beach wedding, you need to know what time of day is best for the ceremony when it comes to light (for photos and video) and temperature (for the comfort of you and our guests). Even on a perfect day, there are less desirable times to be outside (unless you’re in a bathing suit). 

Private or Public

If you want privacy, you need to make sure you pick a venue that can accommodate. Not all destinations or accommodations have private beaches.

Ceremony Length

Being on the beach takes people away from shade, drinking water, and bathrooms, so keep that in mind when planning out the ceremony. Even if you do create shade or offer water and restrooms, you don’t want all of your guests and wedding party standing and sitting in the sun, heat, wind, or rain for too long.

Sound for the Ceremony

Depending on when and where you decide to do a beach wedding, it could be a bit noisy. The natural sound of waves crashing and a breeze is wonderful – unless you’re trying to hear people you love saying their I Do’s. We recommend using a professional sound system with wireless microphones and speakers to make sure that your guests don’t miss the vows while sitting at your ceremony. Your wedding coordinator should be able to help you secure with ease.

The Guests

Sand isn’t the easiest to get around on so if your wedding is on the beach, identify guests who won’t do well on the sand (grandparents, wheelchairs, etc.), so you can come up with a way for them to attend safely and comfortably. In addition, make sure to let all guests know the ceremony is taking place on the beach so they can dress accordingly.

The Photographer and Videographer

It’s important to choose a photographer and videographer who have plenty of experience in documenting beach weddings. The weather and lighting on the beach are always unpredictable, so you need to have hired someone skilled and prepared to preserve your best moments no matter what curveballs Mother Nature may throw. The photos and wedding video are the only thing you get to take with you in addition to your new spouse. We want to love them just as much as you love your partner!

beach wedding venue

Tan Lines

If you are getting married on the beach, you’re either a local (and probably in the sun a lot), or planning a destination wedding (and coming for a long weekend or week). Brides-to-be need to wear plenty of sunscreens and make sure their swimsuits and wedding dress have similar straps. You don’t want to end up burned or with bright tan lines on your big day. We recommend the same thing for bridesmaids.

Having a Backup Plan

Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate. What are you going to do if it’s too windy/rainy come the big day? The golden rule says that those who have a backup plan rarely need it – so look into it and think of it as an insurance policy!

Public vs. Private

Most coastal resorts are adjacent to beautiful beaches, so if you want an exclusive, it is best to rent the entire property to prevent other resort guests from sharing the venue. If the possibility of other people enjoying the beach and looking on is a concern to you then it is a good idea to ask the resort to close off the beach for you for the ceremony when you book.

But if You Have to Wear High Heels

Though a barefoot beach wedding is lovely, not all brides would want to go unshod. A way to get around this dilemma is to have a wooden walkway buried under the sand down the aisle, that way, the aisle looks like a sandy beach, but you have the stability to walk on in your heels. That being said, choose appropriate stable heels that you are confident at walking in.

Furniture for Your Guests

Don’t forget that your guests will need to sit somewhere during the ceremony. Consider looking into outdoor coastal furniture to complement the whole aesthetic.

Prepare a Wind Plan

Rain may be your biggest concern for a beach wedding, but it is really the wind that could cause the most trouble. Windy days can be chilly, sandy and noisy, completely destroying the vibe of the ceremony. Be ready by monitoring local conditions and choose a resort with multiple beach locations, so you have a backup plan. Most resorts are good at accommodating weather changes as well as prepared meals for guests. If you plan to hold the ceremony on a beach without a resort, it would be best to reserve an alternate backup venue just in case.

Dress Accordingly

Leave out the big gowns. A ball gown belongs in, well, a ballroom. You may be able to get down the aisle in a full dress and long train, but walking on the beach and taking photos won’t be easy. If a large dress is a must, make sure it can bustle easily. Think light. Dresses with lace trim can be difficult because they pick up debris from the beach; instead, choose a lightweight fabric like chiffon or charmeuse, so your gown flows in the ocean breeze.

Consider an updo. Think of the elements when deciding on a hairstyle and true updo will keep you looking polished all night. Engaging the services of a stylist who can do touch-ups throughout the day if wearing your hair down is the only option.

Ditch the heels. Sand and high heels are just not compatible. Wear flat-soled sandals, espadrilles or wedges shoes that won’t sink into the sand. Put a hem on your gown and go with shoes or barefoot, depending on what you prefer. Remember, sand can get hot. Have an aisle runner made of fabric or thick flower petals to help keep your tootsies cool.

Unique Summer Beach Wedding Ideas

Wedding Dresses

Super-romantic without all the fuss, these glamorous wedding dresses with flowy fabrics that move with the sea breeze are perfect for a beachside celebration. From strapless and sophisticated to short and flirty, I’m sure there’s one perfect wedding dress to fit a sand-strewn aisle.

Barefoot Bridal Sandals

Sand and barefoot sandals are perfect for a barefoot walk down the beach aisle while making your toes and feet much tempting looking. You can DIY it or purchase one that suits your budget. 

Wedding Accessories And Headpieces

Polished and flawlessly done hair looks amazing on its own, but if you want to up the stake on your special-occasion wardrobe, accentuate your bridal look with one of these gorgeous wedding headpieces to complete your look and bind everything in a blink of an eye.

Groom And Groomsmen’s Attire

Ensure that your groom and groomsmen remain comfortable, and look amazing in every one of their wedding photos. Take note that a jacket or blazer is not necessary during warm temperatures or you can also opt by unbuttoning the top 2 buttons of a white shirt for a sophisticated, classic touch.

Bridesmaids Attire

Choose a beach bridesmaid dress style that is simple and comfortable. Make your girls look shapely in the sand and remain cool in the heat while dancing the night away in style!

Wedding Styling Brighton Beach

Wedding Invitations

Your guests will have an unforgettable experience at your perfectly planned beach wedding. Set the stage for this one of a kind lifetime experience by sending beach or seashell themed wedding invitations to give guests the first and lasting impressions.

Wedding Program

Make double use of your wedding program by creating fans for guests to use to keep the heat at bay. That’s a fun idea that would create an impression that you care for your guests’ joy and comfort!

Wedding Bridal Bouquet

Use those seaside elements custom made to get gorgeous bouquets to match your style, theme, and personality. It isn’t exactly easy, but seashell bridal bouquets are worth the effort!

Wedding Ceremony Decorations

Add a personal touch and twist to tradition with personalised wedding ceremony decorations! Nothing beats a customised decoration that has your touch of unique artistry!

Wedding Card Display

Welcome your guest in a warmth paradise style that is sure to bring a spark of your seaside festivities. These wedding card display ideas will lead the way of your guest to their chairs.

Wedding Centerpieces

Your wedding centrepieces are a great way to tie your style and theme in one. And because there will be so many of them, they’re a great way to get that wow effect!

Wedding Gift Tags

Express your gratitude and appreciation to the attendees of your special day in the most memorable way in these wedding gift tags ideas. These are a perfect token of your appreciation to your guests.

Wedding Favors

You may want to consider sending your wedding guests home with favours that bring out the waterside atmosphere. I’m sure they’ll be thankful for the thought!

Wedding Confetti

Add more festivities to your celebration by throwing some wonderful confetti—dried or fresh petals confetti for perfect colour and nature-based option. Or you can opt to ask your guest to blow some bubbles for a no-mess option, and it also looks great in pictures.

Wedding Napkin Holders

Being keen to details plays a great role for a perfect wedding. Take a look at everything, which means including wedding napkin holders. Gorgeous seashell and coral napkin rings can help in creating a wonderful beach table look.

Wedding Candle Holder

Romantic beach wedding candle holder, there is really nothing more soothing and festive than the warm glow of candlelight.

Wedding Garlands

This a great beach wedding garland idea that uses scallop seashells to complement your wedding theme. It adds that total beachy warmth in your wedding celebration.

Wedding Lanterns

Adding some lanterns to your beach wedding décor brings warmth to both the daytime and nighttime events. Consider putting some at the ceremony and reception venue.

Wedding Guest Book

Have your guests write their well wishes on one of these fun river rock stones and save your collection in a beautiful vase, box or holder.

Money-Saving Tips for Your Beach Wedding

Your wedding should be the happiest day of your life, but it can also be one of the most expensive. Here are a few ways you can keep your wedding day costs manageable.

Look for packages. Many venues offer a package of services, and may even have special rates if you book the ceremony and the reception in the same place.

Think about days, times, and seasons. Weddings have a season, and venues fill up fast during this time. If your wedding date isn’t set in stone, you should see how changing the month, or just the day of the week or time of day affects your wedding budget.

Save money with a little DIY wedding fun! Decor and flowers are two options for your possible DIY list. Enlist the help of crafty friends and start a Pinterest board of ideas. If you’re looking into doing your flowers, perhaps take a local class on arranging.   

With some careful planning — and immaculate record-keeping — you can have a beach wedding to remember that won’t break your budget.

Beach weddings are absolutely popular all year round because they are the most relaxing and romantic. If you are planning to hit a destination beach for your love summer affair and want to make your beach wedding extra special, we will hope you find these summer beach wedding ideas helpful. Best wishes!

 

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