Plan A Beach Wedding
by Judith Rivers-Moore
Publisher of "Best Style Wedding & Honeymoon" digital magazine
There are thousands of beautiful settings along the coastline of the USA and other parts of the world. Couples plan wedding ceremonies and receptions every day of the year in this beautiful areas. Consider what you have to work with ...
East Coastline 28,673, The Gulf Coast 17,141, the Pacific Coast at 40,296 miles and Alaska's 2,521 miles and glorious Hawaiian Coastline. You may want to do something fun and different and have a memorable beach wedding. Couples today want to do something that isn't anything like their parents did years ago. Many couples seek "same day weddings, renewing their wedding vows and desire special settings for their marriage.
A beach wedding is the answer to these scenes and many other great occasions for partys and reunions. In addition to the rules regarding the use of beaches from the State and Regional agencies, you will find there are many other considerations you will need to take into account when planning this type of wedding. Here are some additional questions you should answer when planning out your beach wedding theme:
Time of Day, Weather, Tides, Comfort, Alternatives, What To Wear, Traditions or Themes What time of day do you wish to have your wedding - sunrise, sunset, or early morning? I would suggest you do not have a beach wedding during the heat of the afternoon. Not only would it be uncomfortably hot for many people, beaches tend to be crowded during this period of the day. Remember, it also cools down a lot in the evenings when on a beach. Remind your guests to bring sweaters, jackets and some blankets just in case they are needed.
What is the tide schedule? How high does the tide get at that particular beach? You will need to plan your wedding time around the tides. The last thing you need is having to suddenly pack up and leave because the tide is coming in and you didn't foresee this.
As you'll probably be planning your wedding several months in advance, you'll need to determine the type of weather that normally occurs around your wedding date. Create an "Alternative Plan." What will you do if it rains or if the day is unusually cold or extremely hot? You will need to prepare a back up plan for these situations. Be sure to supply this information on your wedding invitations so guests will know where to go if there is a sudden change in plans or place people giving directions to the alternative site. On the same note, the day may be beautiful for the most part, and then a sudden storm may crop up. Where will you and your guests go? Are there any facilities nearby that you can use to continue with your wedding festivities?
Make sure you take a trip to the beach at the time of day you wish to have your wedding. Check on the noise at the ceremony location. How loud is the traffic from the road? Are there a lot of seagulls around? What about the sound from the crashing waves? All of these can drown out the ceremony and speeches said at your wedding. Things to find out about:
- Are there mosquitoes or sand fleas or seaweed at that time of year and how bad are they on the beach area?
- Some beaches smell bad during certain periods of the day or certain times of the year. Check to be sure that this is not the case during the time period that you've chosen.
- How windy is it on that particular beach? Does it get a gentle breeze or fairly heavy winds? A breeze is nice to keep the bugs away and cool guests off…a steady wind can cause many problems, like sand in the teeth and eyes or billowing veils.
DYNAMICS OF THE CEREMONY
How will you serve your guests and what will be the set-up for? Ceremony, refreshments or a full course dinner/barbeque beach party? Are you thinking of setting up tables or just use picnic blankets on the sand? How will you keep sand and other debris out of your food? Will there be chairs set up at the ceremony for the guests? Who will you hire to do this? Who will you get to take everything down and clean up the beach after the wedding? Some couples love the "Blessing Shells" This involves giving each wedding guest a seashell after the ceremony. Everyone walks down to the water's edge, says a personal blessing or a prayer for the new couple, then each person tosses their shell into the ocean. Guests can be given sand dollars or starfish as wedding favors. A Hawaiian tradition is for the guests to place a lei around the bride or groom's neck.
Tips To Remember
There are things to remember when planning a beach wedding. Here are a few tips that are sure to help! First and most important of all is to purchase your marriage license before the day of the wedding!!! Keep it in a safe place until you can give it to the person officiating the ceremony. Tip number two--remember you are at the beach. Most beaches are public but when you are housed at a hotel, inn or cottage rental, they can offer a bit of privacy. There will be people watching and people are extremely curious about such things. A good beach wedding service will do all that they can to keep the public away.
Also, flat shoes or no shoes is the best footwear for a beach wedding. Walking in the sand in high heels is not easy! Save the beautiful shoes for later at the reception! Brides, a classy swept up hairstyle is a must unless you want to fight with your hair from the breeze when it comes time to taking photographs.
Tip number three--try to schedule your wedding in the morning or in the late afternoon during the spring and summer months. The heat is too overwhelming and the beaches will be crowded with sunbathers during the middle of the day. Also, when you have your day picked out, consider looking at the Farmer's Almanac to see what your chance of rain might be.
Tip number four--resist the urge to feed the seagulls! Believe me, they can be very aggressive and have no manners! If you must have a photo with them flying all about you, then try to make it right before you leave the wedding. Their droppings can ruin a pretty dress or your hair.
Tip number five---relax and have fun. This is your special day and since you are on the beach, everything is a little more laid back. They'll remember it as a good time and certainly as something very memorable!