Top 10 Tips for Beach Weddings

    As the date of your beach wedding draws near, you might be excited and a bit nervous too! Don't stress out any more than you have to! Here are our top ten tips to calm you down before the big day!

    10. Decide on the beach!

    This might seem like a simple task and perhaps it is a beach you have been to since your youth or have dreamed about for years! Be sure to familiarize yourself with the businesses and quality of services near your venue. Learn about florists, caterers and businesses near the location so you can plan the details of your wedding more easily. For example, if you have a large guest list, make sure you can find a furniture rental that can accommodate the number of people you expect to seat. Aesthetics are equally as important as the logistics of seating guests! Communicate with your florist about what your options are for flowers and arrangements. Heat and sun do not work with every type of flower, so be sure to know your options!

    9. Be prepared!

    By checking tide schedules and weather conditions you can stay at ease knowing you've thought through everything! Be sure to be far enough away from the water so that guests aren't splashed by water (unless of course they choose to wander to the shore). Have tents or a nearby banquet hall ready in case of a downpour of rain, which is likely in more tropical areas.

    8. Be comfortable!

    Remind guests that the beach is, well, the beach! Sand is difficult to walk through in heels and make flats or mens' shoes uncomfortable as sand sneaks over the sides. As beach weddings are typically more casual, encourage guests to be at ease in sandals or bare feet.

    7. Remember where you are!

    Even if it is your wedding, you are still at the beach! You and your guests will likely arrive before the ceremony begins, which means exposure to lots of the sun's rays! be sure to wear sunscreen, and mention this to guests, especially those with young children. Nobody wants to worry about a sunburn on such a special day! Many sheer and fragrance free formulas are available on the market. Popular choices include Neutrogena for it's light, non-greasy feel. Peter Thomas Roth has excellent coverage and is available for purchase at Sephora, along with many other dermatologist recommended brands.

    6. Accommodate guests

    If there are elderly friends or family attending? Make sure there is a way they can easily and safely participate in the event. Sand is difficult to walk through, let alone wheel through. Consider having a ramp installed at the location for these guests.

    **Equally important is access to restrooms! Guests may need to use the powder room before, during or after the ceremony. If the reception is also happening on the beach and there is no restroom nearby, you may want to think about splurging on a portable restroom unit, which can be transported to the venue the day of the wedding.

    5. Refreshments

    Depending on what time of year it is, the temperature might be warm, even well after the sun begins to set. Consider having a caterer set up a bar at the ceremony where snacks and beverages can be served while people wait to be seated. The caterer can close up before the ceremony, but be sure to consider the comfort level of your guests.

    4. Think ahead

    If the ceremony is in a remote location, be sure to plan for a generator or electrical source for light or catering, especially if the event is in the evening or into the night. This will help you to ensure safety as well as an atmosphere where guests can see each other and celebrate!

    3. The Reception

    If your reception is on the beach as well, you'll save yourself transportation and the task of booking a banquet hall! Be sure to have all of the legal details sorted out well before your wedding date. Check with the county about the period of time you plan on spending at the venue.

    Should you decide to have the reception at a hotel, banquet hall or other venue nearby, coordinate departures and arrivals from the ceremony to the after party. Timing for caterers is vital so that your wedding dinner can be served at the right time.

    2. Practice good timing!

    In photography there is a time of the day called "the golden hour" where the light is not too bright and complexions and features come out better on film and digital images. Coordinate the timing of your ceremony with the photographer so that you can capture the moments of your big day as best as possible! The beach is a beautiful place to be, and an incredibly romantic venue for a wedding. The trouble with beach photographs is the lighting, which not only reflects off the water, but also the light-colored sand - making pictures hazy and "blown out." It can also be so bright that colors and features are lost in a white haze of light. Ask your photographer to use a polarized or UV filter on their lens to cut out glare in pictures, which will ensure clarity and color saturation.

    1. Have FUN!

    Consider games before and after the ceremony! Guessing the number of sea shells in a clear jar gives guests a chance to try their luck! Kids can build sand castles or play near the water. As for photos, consider taking pictures of the bride and groom before the ceremony to maximize time spent with guests! You can also ask your photographer to take candid shots of guests before the ceremony as the bride putting the finishing touches on her hair and makeup and the groom is straightening his tie. This will let you look back on the ceremony to see how excited everyone was before the "I Do's!"