Do you love the idea of saying “I do” on a sandy shore, as the ocean waves roll gently across the beach? If so, there are many unique options to host your special occasion on the coast. Add to that a beach picnic, and you’ve got an occasion that will be talked about for years to come.
The DIY Approach
Somebody once said, “If you want it done right, do it yourself.” While this approach can be daunting, it can be doable, especially if you’ve got a little help from your friends and family. And there even may be some tasks that you’ll still leave to the professionals—maybe you still want that amazing cake you found on Pinterest, but you don’t have the baking skills to pull it off. For a beach picnic wedding, you can make the ceremony and the reception as elaborate or as simplified as you like. In a stunning setting like this, it is okay to let the scenery take the forefront of your guests’ experience.
The beaches around the USA are abundant, diverse, and budget suitable. Many couples these days are moving away from a cookie-cutter wedding while opting for a more relaxed style. You can choose a beach close to amenities that could service your wedding or are convenient for your own basic DIY picnic affair. You can take your vows under a canopy archway made of driftwood or other natural materials decorated with flowers, chiffon, fish netting, or a beaded crystal curtain. After the ceremony, the guests could throw beachballs instead of rice or flower petals.
For formal picnic dining, try food service that’s blanket-to-blanket, champagne, and fancy appetizers. For casual picnic dining there’s individual picnic baskets, boxed meals, a food truck, catering by your favorite restaurant, potluck, DIY sandwich bar, fresh fruits, BBQ, salads, watermelon, sweets, pies, cookies, or a barrel full of iced beers. You can have lemonade, iced tea, wine, champagne, lots of chilled water bottles, just bring more than enough ice and don’t forget the food netting. To make it more personal, guests can be asked to bring some picnic classics to share. Have family and friends bring cutlery, plates, crockery, or glassware for an eclectic setting, or perhaps use recyclable bamboo utensils and heavy-duty paper plates.
You can borrow or bring enough picnic blankets, and lots of tables and chairs for those who can’t eat picnic style. Also, an overabundance of blankets and pillows could keep all your wedding guests cozy.
Decorations could be as simple as displays of flowers, and you can hang gingham or nautical blue bunting, pinned to tables, chairs, drink stands, napkins, and table cloths. For tabletops, think mason jars with sand, seaside or succulent plants, mini string LED lights, lanterns with fire-lit or flameless LED candles, etc.
Also, in case Mother Nature shows up with unexpected weather like rain, consider renting a marquee-style tent or plan ahead with a close by quick shelter. Also, check with local officials on tent or other restrictions, such as sound ordinances, curfews, etc, and make sure your event is close to restroom facilities or perhaps you’re able to rent some deluxe temporary restrooms. Check if you need to bring your own power source.
Have fun outdoor sand games, such as giant Jenga, lawn bowling, tug-o-war, badminton, volleyball, horseshoes, hula hoops, etc. Then, you can dance the night away under the twinkling lights and stars.
A shoe valet area could offer guests various sized flipflops or make it a shoe-optional occasion, complete with storage baskets or shelving for guests’ shoes. Keep a supply of bug spray available, use citronella, sun block spray, sun or rain umbrellas, and a nice display of small battery-operated fans could serve as favors for all guests.
Try out a boho-chic or handmade theme, decorated with stylish eclectic décor, or try out an unconventional, artistic hippie style. Mix and match up your favorite motifs, attire, and décor.
A tropical theme could be done with vibrant colors, surfboards, tropical flowers, and cocktails! Everyone can dress in comfortable tropical wear.
Looking for a more hands-off approach? Many hotels and resorts venues offer custom solutions for the couple looking for something different. There are many offerings, including services on the beach, such as providing an arch, chairs, torches, or music, and hotel staff may even serve cocktails at your reception indoors or next to the ocean. There are some, such as in Mission Bay, California, offering beach BBQ and picnics complete with s’mores to go with your wedding in the sand.
Regardless of which way you go, there’s always help from your friends and family or you can hire a specialized beach wedding coordinator to make your life simpler. There’s a beach and a budget just right for you! Remember, have fun in the sun on your big day!