For many engaged couples, planning a wedding is a balancing act. You want to create a day that you and your new spouse will remember forever. Increasingly though, couples are also prioritizing the experience of their guests.
Families are spending more money to ensure that everyone at the wedding has as good of a time as the bride and groom.
Destination weddings–and beach weddings in particular–have become popular for that reason. At a beach wedding, guests get to take a mini vacation while also attending the couple’s special day.
There’s a lot that goes into planning a beach wedding. If you want the actual wedding weekend to be as fun and relaxing as possible, it requires a lot of work in the months prior.
Below, we’re sharing ten tips on how to have a beach wedding that everyone will remember and enjoy. Read on to learn more.
1. Shop for the Dress
The kind of wedding dress to wear for a wedding on the beach will be very different than the kind of dress you would wear if you were getting married somewhere else. You want a dress that matches the natural romance of the setting and will allow you to move easily and elegantly down the “aisle”.
Start shopping for your dress at least six months in advance of your wedding date, to ensure you have plenty of time to shop, order, and complete any necessary alterations.
2. Pick a Venue
You can’t really start to plan a beach wedding until you’ve settled on the beach! Picking a venue is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in the wedding planning process.
Keep in mind that not all beach venues are created equal, and just because you’re getting married on the beach doesn’t mean that your event should feel casual. It’s still a wedding, and it should feel special.
Look for a venue like Bonnet Island Estate, which combines the natural romance of the beach with the sophisticated elegance you would expect from a beautiful wedding.
3. Compile a Guest List
Between your friends and family and your finance’s friends and family, your wedding guest list can get overwhelming pretty quick.
Before you even start writing down names, reach out to your venue to get a sense of the maximum amount of people you can realistically accommodate. You certainly don’t have to reach that max, but it’s good to have the number in mind from the beginning.
While some courtesy invites may be unavoidable–business partners and extended family, for example–your wedding guest list should be a reflection of the people in your life you love the most. Whether that’s 50 or 500 is up to you.
4. Plan Weekend Activities
If you’re planning a beach wedding that will require people to travel a significant distance, you want to make it worth their while. Most guests will likely arrive the Friday before and leave the Sunday after, but some may turn it into a vacation and add a few days.
Work with staff at your wedding venue or at the hotel where guests are staying to put together an itinerary of suggested events. You may even want to host a welcome event, where guests can meet and mingle with each other.
5. Set the Ceremony Time
There’s no point in having a wedding on the beach if you and your guests won’t be able to see the beautiful setting. If you want your ceremony to have the most beautiful backdrop possible, there are a lot of timing factors to consider.
Look up when the sun typically sets during the time of year of your wedding. If you’re planning a longer ceremony, time your wedding to start in the afternoon or early evening. You don’t want to be rushing to get everything done before dark.
6. Tour Your Venue
If at all possible, you should visit your venue at least once before your wedding. If you’re working with a wedding planner, see if they can join you.
Being able to map out all the elements of your wedding beforehand will make you feel more comfortable on the day of. You may also be able to identify romantic spots for taking pictures, setting up the ceremony, or having a pre-reception cocktail hour.
If you can’t visit in person, work with the manager of the venue to get detailed photos that will help you visualize and plan.
7. Do a Hair and Beauty Trial
Just like your dress, the way you wear your hair and do your makeup will be different for a beach wedding then it would be in a different venue.
For example, if you’re going to contend with wind or sea breeze, you may prefer to wear your hair up. Since you’ll be in a natural setting, you may want a makeup look that shows off your radiant skin and natural beauty.
Even if you aren’t going to work with a professional beauty team, you should try out any of the looks you’re considering beforehand.
8. Make any Special Accommodations
Beach weddings are beautiful, but they can prove challenging for guests with special circumstances. If you have guests that use wheelchairs or need other accommodations, you’ll want to check in with your venue about that well in advance.
Your beach setting should never be a deterrent for any guest, but alerting the venue staff to any special accommodations beforehand will help things run smoothly on the day of.
9. Have a Backup Plan
The great thing about having an outdoor ceremony at the beach is that the sand and waves serve as the most beautiful setting. The bad thing? That beauty is hard to enjoy if it’s pouring rain or freezing cold.
Wedding weather can be unpredictable, so you want to make sure you have a backup plan for any outdoor events. It may not be ideal to move everything inside, but it’s better than a wet wedding.
Of all the beach wedding tips, the most important one is to enjoy yourself. Your wedding weekend should be one of the most special times in your life. If you’re too stressed over every little detail, it’ll flash right by without you noticing.
After all of your planning, it’s natural to want everything to be perfect for your guests, but they’ll take their cue from you. If you’re relaxed and having a great time, they will be too.
Ready to Start Planning a Beach Wedding?
A romantic beach is a perfect place for you and your fiance to start your new life together. Planning a beach wedding doesn’t have to be difficult. With some preparation and the perfect venue, you’ll be on your way to the wedding you always dreamed of.
For more information on planning, style, and special events, please contact us at any time.