For a unique and different wedding experience, a beach wedding offers a romantic, casual and laid back approach to the most special day of your life.
© Beach wedding at Rocktail Beach Camp
Instead of some fancy restaurant and expensive venue, why not get married on the beach, with the pristine water of the ocean gently lapping at the shore, the call of sea gulls in the distance, and the fresh sea air wafting around.
There are many myths and misconceptions about beach weddings. Many believe that you cannot have a classy wedding on the beach; others believe that a beach is not a good host to the most important day of your life. In actual fact, having a beach wedding could be the wisest decision you will ever make. Firstly, the savings is quiet apparent.
Think of all the money you will save on having a small and intimate wedding on the beach, compared to an extravagant affair at a five star hotel. A beach wedding offers a tranquil, intimate and special experience that can be shared with only the closest of family and friends.
Things to keep in mind when planning a beach wedding:
- The tide: if you are having a wedding by the shore, the tide is important. You don't want you or your guests to be swept away by high tide.
- Weather: For a beach wedding, weather is everything. However, there is nothing you can do about the weather, so have a back-up plan in case the weather is not good
- Outdoor photography is completely different from indoor photography
- The public: Remember that the beach is a public place, so you can expect an uninvited audience. If you plan on having your wedding during the summer and spring months, the beaches will definitely be packed with holiday makers. In this case rather have your wedding in the morning or late evening as the sun sets as the beach will be emptier then.
- Accessibility: The sand, dunes and rocks, you should take a look at your guest list. Are there many people of old age or disabled people on the guest list that may find it difficult to access the beach?
- Facilities: Portable restrooms, refrigerator for food and drinks, sound system with electrical port etc.
Beach wedding tips
There is always the chance of rain, but instead of panicking on the day of the wedding, why not hire a backup marquee tent in case the unfortunate happens. Renting/hiring a marquee tent allows you to maintain that outdoor feeling, allowing the ocean breezes in, but keeping the rain out.
Remember that the hiring of the marquee does add an extra expense on the wedding. Also, if you decide to host your wedding in the middle of summer, the heat may be unbearable, especially during midday. In this case, choose to have your wedding in the morning or as the sun sets.
Do you plan on having a casual and intimate wedding for close family and friends, or a formal event? Do you want to walk down the aisle with a loose flowing dress and bare feet, or do you want a glamourous dress with stiletto heels?
How formal or informal you want the ceremony to be will affect everything, from the location, to the invitations and bridal wear. Keep comfort in mind when planning a beach wedding, and remember to state in the invitations the dress code. You don't want people to arrive in silk gowns, especially if the ceremony is close to the water's edge.
Choose the perfect gown
Let's be practical for a moment, a beach wedding may not be the most suitable place for a full, flowing dress, no matter how much you would like one. If you insist on having a full and glamourous gown, maybe the beach is not the ideal place to host your wedding.
Another option would be to host your ceremony someplace else and have your reception on the beach. This will give you time to change into a more suitable attire for the reception.
Remember, the sea has its moods. Calm and gentle the one moment, wild and roaring the next. The gentle lapping of the waves at the shore provides a great background effect, and helps block out possible traffic or construction noises. The downside is that it can drown out your ceremony.
Make sure you rent a sound system with mike so the guests can hear the ceremony, and also make sure there is some sort of electrical port. Also, take seagulls and other natural elements into consideration.
The ocean breeze is refreshing, but is can also be quiet strong, blowing chairs, sand and flowers around. If possible, seat the chairs so that the breeze is at guests backs. Candles can also be blown out.
Remember, the beach is a beautiful natural environment, so please don't allow your guests to litter, and make sure everything is cleared once the ceremony is over. For confetti, instead of using paper, try rose petals or bubbles, offering a more romantic feel. Rice could also draw unwelcome seagulls. If using bubbles, remember to discard of the plastic bottles.
Best time of the day
Mornings are perfect for beach wedding ceremonies as the beach is usually quiet and more private and can lead to a delicious brunch or lunch. The rising sun provides the perfect setting, and the heat is not as strong as it would be in the middle of the day.
Midday wedding ceremonies should be kept short, with the possibility of hand held fans or seating in the shade, possibly under a tent or marquee. Evening weddings also provide a tranquil setting, with the beautiful sunset and fewer people on the beach. Evenings can, however, become much cooler, especially in the spring months when the days are pleasant but the nights are cool and the wind may pick up.
Beautiful photo opportunities
Take full advantage of your beautiful location. Take hundreds of photos, you won't be disappointed. Make sure you have an expert photographer who will know how to capture the best pictures in the outdoor light. The crashing waves, the sunset, and sand and seashells all provide great props for stunning wedding photos.Learn about the Beach rules and policies
Please do thorough research about the beach where you would like to have your wedding. Sometimes it is illegal to have a wedding at a particular beach. You may need a permit to host your wedding at certain beaches You should also find out whether it is legal to serve food on the beach, however, any alcoholic drinks at beaches are forbidden.
Please remember that the following is prohibited at all beaches
- Alcohol (liquor, wine, beer)
- Glass bottles and containers
- Disturbing the peace
- Fires and fireworks
- Removal or harming of any natural beach fauna
- Unauthorized vehicles