20 Best Tips, Tricks, And Other Romantic Beach Wedding Ideas

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20 Tips and Tricks To Having A Successful Beach Wedding

What could be more romantic than a couple saying their vows alongside the rippling waves, surrounded by close friends and family? While celebrating a wedding on the beach can seem like one of the most magical ways to tie the knot with your special someone, there are certain factors to keep in mind to make sure the night goes smoothly.

To have a fairytale beach wedding, read on for our 20 tips and tricks to sincerely make this celebration one that everyone will remember. After all, beach wedding ideas need to start from somewhere, right?

1. Plan photos around the sunset.

Not only do we look the best under the subtle lighting of sunrise and sunset, but photographs come out better as well. Embrace the natural, stunning light by planning your couple photography around when the sun will set on your special day.

Additionally, depending on where you decide to have the beach wedding, the sunset will make for some great contrasting and vibrant colors in your images. 

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2. Make sure it's light out for the ceremony.

While the party can go on until way after the sun sets, you'll want your ceremony taking place in the daytime. This is something important to keep in mind when planning on taking your photographs.

Likely, you'll want to have the ceremony first, that way images are set to the sunset and your guests are not left hearing your vows in the dark. 

3. Be aware of the tide.

Oftentimes, many wedding beach goers forget that mother nature is unpredictable, and this includes the ocean tides. If you plan on having your ceremony or reception on the beach (and in the sand), contact your venue or beach front property to see what the tide looks like for the upcoming evening. 

4. Serve local cuisine.

One of the many benefits of having a beach wedding is being extremely close to a great source of local cusine (yes, we mean fish). Fresh and local seafood is a great option to offer your guests when picking food options for the reception's lunch or dinner. 

5. Ask about fish allergies.

As wonderful as it can be to offer local fish and seafood plates to your guests, it's also important to take note of those who may have allergies to seafood. Like nuts, seafood allergies are common and can be serious or life-threatening.

On your invitations, when asking for food preference, ask if they have any allergies and prepare accordingly to the responses. 

6. Have a plan B for the weather.

"When planning a beach wedding (especially in locations like South Florida where it rains often), it's always important to consider the weather and have a back-up plan. Make sure that your venue offers one," says Sarah Puntillo, Manager of ETARU Events. 

"The best way to ensure that your visuals will be beautiful, rain or shine, is to choose a location that has an alternate space reserved for you that will still provide the beachfront aesthetic that you are dreaming of."

7. Encourage appropriate dress attire.

Beach weddings are (most often) outdoor weddings, so let your guests know how you'd like them to dress. But also remember to make this a comfortable experience for everyone. For example, don't expect ballgowns when having an outdoor beach wedding. 

8. Welcome guests to take off their shoes.

There's nothing more fun than dancing the night away. What's even better? Dancing the night away without your shoes on and digging your toes in the sand. If you're having a wedding recpetion on the beach, invite your guests to take off their shoes (it's a judge-free zone). 

9. Avoid serving glass.

Cocktails, beer, and wine should be served in non-glass cups, especially if enacting the no shoes policy. Glass is a dangerous component when mixed with a dance floor and dancing feet. 

10. Set expectations.

There are certain things to expect when showing up to a beach wedding, and for those who've never attended one, it's up to the couple to set expectations. Some things to let guests know about include: hot weather, potential bugs (encourage guests bring bug spray), and sun exposure (encourage guests to wear SPF).

11. Get a beach permit.

Since many people decide to have their weddings on public beaches, acquire a beach permit in order to carry out a wedding ceremony or reception. Depending where you decide to have your wedding, permits can start at $100 to $150 with the additional insurance fees. 

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12. Opt for a private beach.

For those looking to go the more exclusive route and avoid unwanted guests and background noise that can appear on public beaches, try going the route of a private beach, whether through a property, vendor, or club.

The only downside to a private beach, while you avoid requesting and paying for a beach permit? You'll likely have to pay more for the exclusivity. 

13. Avoid wearing a heavy wedding dress.

From the heat to the wind, there's many factors that play into the physical discomfort that could occur if wearing a heavy dress at your beach wedding. Instead, opt for something lightweight and flowy to not only make you feel comfortable, but set the scene of an iconic beach wedding. 

14. Or wear your hair down.

The heat of a beach wedding is no joke! Instead of wearing your hair down and risk sweating on your neck, try collaborating with your stylist on an updo for the special occassion. 

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15. Offer guests a shuttle.

One of the only downsides of having a party at the beach? The parking. There's usually little to no spots available where and when you need them, so instead, offer to establish shuttle buses from a designated parking lot or the recommended accomodations. 

16. Prepare for loud waves.

People have traveled from near and far to witness and celebrate the love of two people at their wedding. Don't ruin their chances of hearing your special vows by being out volumed by the crashing of the waves.

To avoid this dilema, try incorporating speakers and microphones at the wedding ceremony in addition to the reception. 

17. Set up a shady area.

Before the ceremony or during cocktail hour, it would be polite to offer your guests refreshments, finger foods, and shade! It's okay to have your wedding ceremony outdoors and under the sun, but forcing your guests to wait for you to get ready or take your pictures while standing in the sun is not.

Opt for some light tents for guests to hang out in and avoid the sun's rays. 

18. Check into the restroom situation.

Check with the beach, vendor, or property about on-site restrooms. Often times, beach bathrooms are few and far between, and this is not the best scenario for wedding guests who are drinking and dancing.

Don't have them miss out on the special moments by making them walk a half-hour to the restroom. 

19. Have fun with the decor.

While you've hit the lotto with background decor (how can you do better than the miracles of the ocean?), spice up the decor in a way only a beach wedding can.

Remember, the biggest hint is to have fun with it and have it reflect the couple's personality. This can include anything from florals, table settings, and centerpieces.

20. ...And the party favors!

Just like the decor, there's a special tie-in that beach weddings can play into the party favors and take-home gifts. From tropical inspired bottle openers to straw hats for your bridal party, there's so much creativity to weave into your send off gifts. 

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Elizabeth Blasi is a New Yorker. A lifestyle & travel writer, who is often seen with a suitcase in hand, jetsetting to her next location. But as a true Digital Nomad, her love of writing and romance novels means her laptop is always beside her.