Getting married on the beach: what you need to know!
A romantic ceremony on the beach
What you need to know before planning your perfect moment at the beach!
Things to consider about the location when you are getting married on a beach.
If you are getting married at a local beach, obviously you aren't going to encounter as many travel arrangements as when traveling out-of-state for the main event.
- What kind of beach?
- Are you looking for Caribbean blue waters and white sand escaping through your toes as you step your way to your future?
- Perhaps you want a more nautical setting on the Eastern shores with sail boats and tall ships in the background.
Leafless trees stand tall in the background on a fall day.
It's important to choose the season before planning a beach wedding.
Perhaps weather isn't a concern. Maybe you've decided that your big day will go forward rain, shine, or snow.
- Winter weddings: snow is a concern not only for the bride and groom, but also for the guests. Especially if your guests are coming from far away, they aren't going to feel comfortable going to a beach wedding during a winter weather advisory.
- Spring weddings: April showers bring May flowers, so the old saying goes. However, I've seen more than my share of June weddings rained out. Springtime can also be windy. Ladies attending your wedding might want to think twice about their choice of dress length on a windy day.
- Summer weddings: In this season a new issue arises. People will be on the beach. Do you mind if you share your day with a crowd? Also, during summer months beaches often charge admittance fees. Will you and your guests be able to get in the beach at all?
- Fall weddings: Leaves are falling off of trees. Hurricanes are possible during this time. The weather is colder.
Snow covered trees would look like this in a wintery beach background.
Timing is everything
Choosing a time to get married on the beach means thinking about when the sun rises, sets, and shines down on the spot you will be standing at when you say "I Do!"
Maybe you want to get married at sunset. This might be perfect in some locations. But there are a lot of places where misquotes would definitely be a deterrent for an evening wedding at the beach.
Plus you have to figure in the light factor. You will need to have light in order to exchange vows and rings!
Also, you'll have to adapt the time to the schedules of the wedding professionals that will be accompanying you such as the Justice of the Peace or Minister, the photographer(s), and anyone else that you will be paying to be there!
Another factor to consider is transportation to the beach.
- Are you going to drive yourself?
- Are the bride and groom going to drive together and meet the guests there?
- Perhaps you are at a resort and fortunately do not have to drive anyway because your villa is seaside!
- Options might include a limo, horse & buggy, hired driver, wedding carriage, etc.
Loon Meadow Farm is located in Norfolk, CT, and services CT, MA and NY.
If you are planning on having guests at a beach-side ceremony, here are some considerations you have to keep in mind for the comfort of people who are coming to witness your special day:
- Age group of guests. Children will need to be supervised carefully around the water. Elderly guests may need chairs to sit on during the ceremony.
- Are you going to have a small group of guests or large gathering? You might need chair rentals. You'll have to make arrangements for a rental company to deliver and set-up enough chairs for your guests.
- Is there enough parking to accommodate all of your guests. Depending on where you go you might run in to a problem with finding enough parking. Will you be able to have a central location for people to park and catch a party bus that will bring everyone to the beach for your ceremony?
- Don't forget guests coming in from out of town. Make sure there are enough over-night accommodations so they can minimize their travel time on your big day!
Some places require advanced notice and permits to host a wedding on a beach.
Make sure there is no special procedure or rules you must follow in order to have your wedding go on without a hitch!
Justice of the Peace or Minister
Have you thought about who will marry you? If you need a Justice of the Peace for your ceremony, you'll need to find out which JPs are available and if they need to meet with you beforehand. Don't forget to ask what they charge and when they need payment.
Based on the time and season of a beach wedding, the bride might have to reconsider the floor-length princess-style gown she always dreamed of and opt for a more contemporary design.
Shoes are another consideration when walking on a sandy beach. Maybe going barefoot is the simplest option or choosing those fun flip-flops that imprint the word "bride" in the sand with each step!
Flowers and things left behind
Some beaches have ordinances against leaving flower petals behind after a wedding. Make sure anything you carry in, you can carry out.
The decision is ultimately up to you. Hopefully, these suggestions have been insightful to possible situations which you may encounter when planning a wedding on the beach!
Happily Ever After
My wedding day
We got married on the beach in the spring time on the East coast.
It was a windy cold day. None of us were expecting the drop in temperature we experienced at seaside where the ceremony took place.
We checked with the town before planning our event. We didn't need a special permit. It was off season so there were no beach goers that day.
However, we were asked not to leave a trail of rose petals as they have a rule. What you carry in, you must carry out!
Luckily it wasn't raining but the wind made it difficult to hear sometimes. The guests were huddled together.
We rented a Cinderella Horse and Buggy to take us to the beach about 1 1/2 miles away from our home. It was quite a ride! We were instant celebrities. We held up traffic. Passersby were stopping to take photos. The horses were majestic.
Planning the day was relatively easy. It just so happened that because it was off-season, everyone was available on such short notice. We planned our day in less than two weeks.
We did not have a large ceremony because making arrangements for everyone would have been very difficult. We wanted our day to be special and simple. And it was.
It's your day!
No matter what you plan or what you decide, ultimately it's your day and that's all that matters. You have to think about what the perfect day looks like if you were to draw a picture.
Do you need it to be exquisite with wild orchids and a champagne toast? Or will a simpler approach work for you?
It doesn't really matter what you decide because ultimately your wedding day is going to be the happiest day for you. There's something magical about weddings.
Let your heart enjoy every moment!
Love is not based on feeling, but a determination for a desired outcome!