How to Plan a Beach Wedding: Tips and Advice

Your wedding day vision: turquoise blue water, crashing waves, toes in the sand, that intoxicating ocean breeze. A beach wedding is timeless and never fails to be one of the most popular choices for couples every year. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s gorgeous! But, as with any kind of wedding, planning a beach wedding takes some time. Whether you live near a beach or you are having a beach destination wedding that requires travel, there are top tips to keep in mind to make your seaside dreams come true!

Set a budget

Setting a budget is at the top of any wedding planning list, and a beach wedding is no different. Seaside nuptials give way to a smaller budget if you plan a local gathering, or a much larger budget for a full-on destination wedding. A larger beach wedding has expenses that others may not, as you will see below.

Compile your guest list

Getting your guest list in order will help you decide on your beach wedding location. For example, if you are a fan of small or micro-weddings, a destination location is probably more realistic and affordable than if you have a large guest list. A bigger wedding equals a larger guest list, so travel may not be practical or affordable for all involved.

Secure the date and venue

 Booking your venue well in advance will give you the chance to send out save the date cards and invitations. Whether you have a destination wedding that requires travel or opt for a local ocean side venue, you want to give your guests ample time to plan and make travel arrangements if need be. Plus keep in mind that if you pick a seaside resort, popular venues book well in advance, so don’t waste any time–if you know your dream location, inquire immediately. Local beaches may also require permits or permission, and again, may be book quickly, so do your research.

Find your perfect beach
wedding dress

Most brides go for a softer and more simple wedding dress, with boho dresses being super popular amongst the beach bride–think flowing, lightweight materials with an organic feel. But, the truth is, you can wear any style of gown you want! There are no rules, so if you have always loved the look of a ballgown, go for it! If you want a more modern, minimalist look, no problem! The most important thing is to give yourself time to find YOUR perfect gown–Preferably about a year in advance. Below are a few styles we love–and be sure and check out our blog: Beach Wedding Dresses that Break the Rules.

Secure your vendors

Depending on what venue you choose, your vendors need to be set in place. If you are having a destination wedding, most venues will provide the seating, some decor and of course, the food. If you are having a smaller wedding at a nearby public or even private beach, you will need to provide everything. For example, think of your florist, music, officiant, videographer, bakery for the cake, and caterer. Details can be dealt with a little later, but booking them for your wedding is the first step. And just like popular venues, vendors book fast!

Beach decor

On the beach, you are not going to need much décor for the ceremony—most couples like to let nature speak for itself. You should concentrate more on the reception. Some like to keep it simple, some like to go for the glam. This is all you! Also, beach weddings are perfect for the DIY bride, and there are so many whimsical and elegant possibilities.

Important Tips

— ALWAYS have a plan B. Beach weddings are outside, and you can’t control the weather. Make sure you have a go-to plan in case of the dreaded rain. Tents are great and you can rent them in different sizes to suit the size of your wedding. Plus, it is not a bad idea to have an area of shade for your guests to retreat to if the day turns out rather warm.

— At your chosen beach location, especially if it is a public or private area, be sure to check for adequate restroom facilities!

–Provide your guests with beach must-haves: sunscreen, hand-held fans, access to water and bug spray. They will appreciate the gesture.