10 Tips for Planning your Beach Wedding

It is that time of year again, I talk to a new Bride to be every week.  They are all so very excited and looking forward to the warm days on the beach with friends and family, celebrating their marriage.  I have found that everyone in the planning stages of a wedding run into the same problems.  I wanted to give you a few pointers, from my experience over the last few years with brides, that will help you breeze your way through the rough planning stages. 

1.  Try to avoid a Saturday wedding!  I know Saturday is an easy day for travel but it is a crazy day to try and get in a beach house for a wedding.  Most beach houses rent from Saturday to Saturday during the Spring and Summer months.  So you would either be checking in or checking out the day of your wedding, unless the house was booked for 2 weeks, which is often cost prohibitive during the summer months. 

2.  Be prepared to rent a house for an entire week.  Again during the Spring and Summer months most houses only rent for a week at a time so be prepared for that full week rental. 

3.  Consider picking a date that is off peak season, such as early May or after Labor Day in September, or October.  Usually the weather is better during those months, not so hot, and the rental rates are lower for you and your guests. 

4.  See if the company you are renting with has any wedding packages or specials available.  Often companies will give a little discount for everyone in the group if you rent multiple properties.  They have rentals and you and your guests get a discount.  Everyone wins!!!

5.  Remember the temperature and humidity when picking our your attire.  It can be well above 90 even at sunset in the summer months with 100% humidity and no sign of rain till after dark.  Large satin dresses and tuxedos will make for a very warm evening!!!

6.   Shoes!  Certainly check out the beach in person before you tell your guests that shoes are optional.   Most beaches are better to walk on barefoot and not fill your best shoes, and reception with sand.

7.  Allow for the elements!  You are having an outside wedding, it could rain.  See if the house would allow you to have the wedding indoors, or have an alternate location for your ceremony.    Be sure to let your guests know where that will be and have a plan to get the word to them of the venue change.   Also, Because of the wind and wave noises music is difficult to hear at a beach wedding.   You have a couple of choices running a long extension cord and playing recorded music, or having live music which is beautiful but the salt air and sand can make a difference in the sound of their instruments.

8.   Have a helper!  Destination weddings are tricky, trying to plan everything from a distance.  A trusted friend or wedding planner is always helpful, so you are not dealing with every little detail the day of your wedding.  If you do ask a friend for help be sure to thank him or her with some down time to enjoy the trip too, maybe a massage or a nice dinner out away from the wedding. 

9.  Beaches are considered a National Treasure and should be treated as such.   Remember you are going to someone elses home to get married.  The locals of the area take a lot of pride in their beaches and will not welcome you and your guests destroying local plant life to get the perfect picture or littering by accident.  Remind your guests where they are going and that you want to leave it as beautiful as you found it.  Be sure to ask about local rules or fees for beach use and about overflow parking!!!  If you are getting married in a small closed community maybe make a donation to beach restoration in that area.  It is a great way to leave a positive mark on a beach that means so much to the two of you. 

10.  Finally,  even if you are not on an island the locals are probably on Island time.  Everyone works really hard and want you to have a beautiful meaningful ceremony in a timely manner, but they most likely will not get stressed out or run to get anything done for you no matter what you pay.   They have been here and done this many times and know what it takes to get the job done.   Take a lesson from them, take a deep breath, know your wedding will be amazing, and relax you’re at the beach!

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