Tips for Planning a Beach Wedding

Do you want to get married in the sand? If you are a bride that has always dreamed of a beach wedding here are some things to consider that will make your wedding day a breeze for you and your guests.

Hire a Professional

Planning a beach wedding is not quite as easy as it seems.  There are details only a professional may consider, especially if your destination is far from home. Before you start planning, find a local wedding planner who knows the area and the details involved with pulling together a seaside ceremony.

Weather

It is always best to have a Plan B in place if you choose to tie the knot outdoors. Take the time to research wedding venues close by. Choose a location that has an indoor option in the event of bad weather. Many people will take time off work and travel for a destination wedding, so cancelling and rescheduling could complicate matters.

If the sun is on your side, still schedule your ceremony in the morning or at dusk to avoid extreme heat. Position chairs in a shady spot facing away from direct sunlight. Be sure to also research the best time of day to avoid high tides and windy conditions.

Hotels

Call a local hotel and request a room block for your guests. This helps travelers know where to stay, usually at a discount. Some travelers enjoy staying close to the wedding party and other guests so they can stay in touch through the wedding festivities.

Attire

Beach weddings are typically more casual than an indoor event. Dress and accessorize for the wind, sand, and sun. Rather than a wedding gown with a long train, choose a dress that is lighter and flows easily. Select attire that will keep you cool and won’t get ruined by a little ocean water.

Simple Ways to Make Your Guests Feel Included

If you are planning a wedding of over 100 guests, the thought of trying to make every person feel especially welcome may seem daunting.  While you can’t have a friendly conversation with everyone, here are a few ways you can create a more intimate vibe.

Place Settings

Name cards strategically placed on your reception tables is a small way to help your guests feel remembered. If they walk into a large space and are unsure of where to sit, it can be comforting to use them as a guide. People also feel honored to know that you considered them personally during your planning.  Even better, there are beautiful ways to incorporate them into your décor!  

Open the Dance Floor

Most weddings include traditional dances that everyone has grown to anticipate and adore. The first dance as a couple and the special father/daughter moment have been enjoyed for decades.  But there are also ways to invite your guests and make them feel included in the moment. Play a short song for couples married 50 years or more, then turn it over to those married between 25 and 49 years. Give every couple a chance to shine whether they are seasoned or newlyweds and don’t forget the singles of the group.

If you have the opportunity, also try to set aside a few songs to mingle with your guests. Even if it is a short dance, it will give you time to personally greet those around you.

Toasts

The maid of honor and best man may have a toast prepared for the reception. Also allowing the opportunity for a few quick shout outs from the crowd can create intimacy. It is essential that you only set aside a brief window for this to take place so the toasting does not monopolize the evening.

Some brides like to play a short game with their guests by letting them guess if the bride or the groom is “guilty” when asked a series of questions.  For example, ask, “Who will be guilty of stealing the covers in the middle of the night?” First allow those who believe the bride will be the culprit raise their hands, then follow up with those who believe it will be the groom.  It will be entertaining to see who wins the battle and your guests will feel engaged.

Greet Everyone

Your wedding is a big event and your time is limited. But, even if it is a quick hug, a personal thank you for attending your wedding goes a long way. If you are not a fan of greeting lines, spot those who you have not yet seen and make your way over to say hello. Your guests will understand it is not the time for a long conversation. Most people just want to wish you the best and show gratitude for the invitation. Just try your best to say hello to everyone.