Beach weddings are still the most popular type of wedding abroad. With the draw of the soft sand between your toes, crystal blue waters lapping at your feet, all while the sun is setting over the horizon , it’s easy to see why!
When opting for a beach wedding, there are some key details you need to consider and prepare for!
Barefoot all the way…
Ok by suitable footwear we don’t mean bring along your every day pair of flats, but be sensible in choosing the footwear for your beach wedding. Heels and sand unfortunately are not a good mix, so if height is important to you opt for some pretty wedges instead. Flat sandals however, will always be the most suitable and comfortable shoes for the sand. Many retailers sell gorgeous sandals and flats that are designed for destination brides, so options aren’t limited these days. Alternatively, you could go barefoot or purchase some barefoot sandals – be careful though, what a lot of brides forget when deciding to go barefoot is the heat of the sand! If you’re marrying on the beach in the afternoon hours, it is likely the beach is still going to be very hot. In this case, try and opt for an early evening beach wedding or add a carpet aisle for you to walk down instead.
Go light and floaty.
Choosing a lightweight dress doesn’t mean you can’t wear the princess line dress you’ve always dreamed of, just ensure that is has room to breathe and that is easily manoeuvrable. Also, don’t be too precious about it, as it is highly likely that it will get dirty on the sand. If you’re planning a party back home ensure you leave enough time between getting home and the party to have your dress dry cleaned.
Loose the veil.
Is the beach in a windy position? If yes, you may want to ditch the long veil as this will likely blow in the wind and will be a nuisance for both you and your photographer capturing your ceremony. Instead, consider wearing a birdcage veil or adding fresh flowers/accessories to your hair instead.
Prepare your guests.
It’s important that your guests are prepared in the outfit department too. When sending invitations, be sure to mention the dress code and tips on suitable footwear (eg no heels due to soft sand!). Give as much information as possible, your guests will appreciate it, and remember a beach wedding doesn’t have to mean t-shirts with shorts, if you’re going for ‘coastal chic’ then say so and avoid guests turning up in flip flops and string vests.
Keep guests hydrated.
Beach weddings by their nature offer very little in the way of shade so providing your guests with bottles of water on arrival will go down very well. You could even personalise the labels of the bottles with your names and wedding date on, a fun way to add a bit of personalisation to what is otherwise a very ordinary drink.
If your ceremony is short and taking place later in the day, then it may not be necessary to provide shade for your guests, however a parasol or fan will keep guests cool and happy for the ceremony. They look pretty on photographs too. Alternatively speak to a local bar or venue close by about reserving a shaded area until just before the ceremony, to avoid guests being in direct sunlight for too long.
If you’re marrying in the hot summer months, or you’re ceremony is longer than 25 minutes I suggest sourcing large canopies or umbrellas for guests to sit under during the ceremony.
Sunglasses can make fun, cool and quirky photographs, however do you really want sunglasses in ALL of your photographs? It sounds like a minor detail but an important one, especially if you wish to see your guests faces in your photographs.
Just subtly ask your photographer to ask people wearing them to remove them for the photos, guests wont mind and you’ll end up with amazing photographs from your wedding day.
Make sure they can hear you.
As blissful as the waves crashing against the shore can be, it can also be quite noisy. So consider hiring a microphone or a sound system for the ceremony so your guest can hear the ceremony and you can hear each other vows.
Choose the right hair and makeup.
If the temperature is likely to be hot during the ceremony and you’re prone to being a bit sweaty then I suggest going natural with your makeup as heavy makeup soon looks greasy in the heat. When choosing a hairstyle, consider the natural breeze you get on the beach, up do’s tend to be the most popular and practical choice for a beach wedding. When you first arrive at your destination try and visit the venue to get a better idea of the conditions at the time of day your ceremony will be taking place. This will ensure you’re prepared and look at stunning as possible for your big moment.
Have a backup plan in place
Beach weddings are magical because they take place outside in stunning settings, however they very rarely come with a back up venue in the case of inclement weather and without wanting to cause undue panic or worry I should mention having a plan b. Freak weather can occur anywhere at any time and sometimes completely out of season. Having a backup plan in place for your ceremony will give you peace of mind that if the weather suddenly took a turn for the worse that your wedding will still be as beautiful because you’ve hand-picked the backup venue and haven’t had to rush into a decision at the last minute due to an out of the blue storm front.
Are there any beach wedding essentials you’d like to add to our list?
Water photo from Pinterest source unknown