An average of 2.4 million couples are married annually in the United States. Many of them are getting married on the beach. Brides-to-be who desire a wedding at a beach location often have unique questions compared to brides who choose a traditional site for their wedding. Here are the top seven things beach brides need to know when planning a beach wedding.
- Expected Attendance
Of course, you want all of yours and your groom’s friends and family to watch you getting married on the beach and share in your happiness. If your beach wedding will also be a destination wedding, it is crucial to understand that you may not have as many guests in attendance as you might if your wedding was local.
As a general rule, a 50 percent attendance rate for your destination vows is to be expected. To help with this dilemma, some couples will have an engagement party or reception in their home town either before or after the wedding.
- Ceremony Time of Day Matters
At most beaches, afternoons are prone to high temperatures. Although you may be okay with facing the brutal heat to have your dream wedding, your guests, especially the oldest and youngest guests may not be. You can avoid both the crowds and some of the heat by scheduling your beach wedding ceremony either in the morning or at sunset.
- Hire a Beach Experienced Photographer
Not all wedding photographers are experienced at capturing these special moments on the beach. You will want to do your research and ask to see a portfolio of weddings, including beach weddings that the photographer has completed.
Be sure to make a list of must-have shots in advance and share it with your photographer. Take advantage of the natural beauty in your surroundings; the sunset, the waves, and driftwood or shells. Be spontaneous by sticking your toes in the sand, turning a cartwheel, or stroll barefoot on the beach.
- The Schedule for the Big Day
Many brides get so caught up in the more important details of getting married on the beach, and they forget to plan the logistics of what they will need to do and when on their big day. With a wedding at the beach, the timing of hair, makeup, and putting on your gown is critical to ensure you look and feel your best. Create a schedule for the day so that you and the entire wedding party know what to expect and are ready on time.
Be sure to schedule a minimum of 2 hours for getting your hair styled before your ceremony. Additionally, it is best to wait until 30-45 minutes before the wedding ceremony begins to get dressed.
- Select a Beach-Ready Gown and Veil
Ball gowns are usually not the dress of choice for getting married on the beach. For your comfort, opt for a gown crafted from a light-weight fabric. You do not want heavy materials or layers of materials that will weight you down and heat you up. Light-weight short veils usually work best to keep you cool and avoid fabrics that could potentially blow in your face.
- Hire a Wedding Planner
Contrary to what many brides may initially believe, getting married on a beach is not always a breeze. A wedding planner can help with a lot of the little details you may not even think of. Wedding planners can be especially helpful if you are not local to the beach as they can handle logistical details and be prime sources of information.
Wedding planners can:
- Obtain any necessary permits
- Find and oversee local vendors
- Help in sticky situations like sunbathers in your ceremony location
- Assist with finding hotels for guests
- Help keep everyone on schedule
- Always Have a Backup Plan
Any type of outdoor wedding should always have a backup plan. You may want to rent a tent to protect you and your guests from light rain or the sunshine. If other weather conditions exist, it is a good idea to have a nearby hotel or hall booked for an alternate location. Some brides even build extra time into the schedule for the day to allow for any weather delays, in hopes that they can have their dream ceremony on the beach.