5 Things to Know if You’re Having a Beach Wedding

A bride and groom standing on a rock formation over the ocean.

A beach wedding is what laidback romances are made from: a gorgeous ocean, warm weather, and bare feet in the sand. You’re probably smelling the sweet salt of the water now, right? Saying “I do” in exotic places such as Hawaii or the Bahamas is not only a special moment for you, but also for your guests. What’s not to like about spending time together with your favorite people in such a beautiful locale? However, whether you’re planning a destination wedding or getting hitched on nearby sandy shores, there are some things to consider about having a beach wedding that you might not need to consider if you were getting married anywhere else. Here’s what you need to know to ensure everything goes, well, swimmingly!

1. Consider the Time of Day

Afternoons tend to be hot, and depending on where you’re getting married, mid-afternoon can feel like an absolute scorcher. Of course, comfort is key for your big day—for both you and your guests. In particular, children and elderly folks may find the heat unbearable, which is why it’s a good idea to consider exchanging your vows mid-morning or during sunset. If you can’t make that happen, enlist an awning at that altar and try to find the shadiest area possible so guests have an option for keeping cool. Another thing to consider? The tide schedule. While the ocean is a beautiful backdrop, the tides coming in tend to be louder than those going in, and you’ll want to make sure that your guests can hear you as you say your vows.

2. Ensure Your Outfit Is Weather-Appropriate

A bride standing by the ocean holding a bouquet and wearing a bohemian dress.

Yes, the best thing about a beach wedding is probably just how casual you can be. Where else can a bride walk down the aisle completely barefoot? However, you’ll want to consider that sand can become toasty for your tootsies. Keep an extra pair of sandals or flip flops close so you can easily slide them on. Also, consider your hair. Long, beach waves are definitely a sexy look, but winds could get your strands tangled up pretty quickly. Opt for a clean up-do or a cute ponytail, which will also keep your neck nice and cool. Another tip? Skip the veil and lessen the risk of the ocean breeze whisking it away. Instead consider wearing a floral crown or adding a pretty hairpiece.

3. Keep Your Guests Cool and Safe

Whether you’re able to provide a shady area or an awning or tent for your guests or not, it’s always a good idea to keep your guests cool with an assortment of parasols and umbrellas on hand as well as large hats and sunglasses. Keeping a cooler of cold drinks, like water, on hand is also key—and don’t forget the sunscreen! You definitely don’t want your guests to get blistered by the hot sun.

4. Hire a Photographer with Beach Experience

A photographer taking a photo of a couple on the beach after their wedding.

Outdoor photography is different than indoor photography, so you’ll want to hire a photographer who has experience with not only shooting outside, but one who has shot beach weddings. Understanding natural light and proper lighting techniques is important to get those perfect shots. You’ll want someone who knows how to include the natural setting, AKA the sand and surf, so that it looks the best it can be.

5. Have a Back-up Plan

Unfortunately, Mother Nature has a habit of breaking our plans, which is why you’ll want to consider a back-up scenario in case there’s rain, or worse—a hurricane and/or extra blustery winds. This might mean erecting a tent or making an arrangement with a local resort or hotel or restaurant. Hopefully, you’ll be able to have the beach wedding of your dreams, but it’s always best to have a Plan B.

By keeping the weather in mind, as well as some wardrobe practicalities and the safety of your guests, you’ll be able to “make shore” that your beach wedding is nothing short of amazing!

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