If getting married in a church or temple isn’t exciting enough, but tying the knot while speeding down a zipline is too exciting, a beach wedding may just be the perfect compromise between conventional and courageous. Getting married in a serene setting where nature is your decorator and every angle gives you the perfect photo opportunity is a great way to say ‘I do.’ Not to
mention: instant honeymoon!
Harness the Symbolism
A quiet beach is perfect for reflection, the vast ocean represents tranquility and renewal, and sand indicates eternity, as in the phrase “the sands of time.” When you get married on the beach, your wedding theme is taken care of, as big concepts like this just naturally come with the scenery. Whether you are familiar with symbolism or you just feel happy in a marine setting, the beach is the perfect place to celebrate the first day of a deep bond that will last forever.
Get Points for Creativity
The beach gives you the opportunity to show off your individuality. And whether you want to walk down the aisle barefoot in a simple summer dress or use temporary staging to create a grand entrance, just the fact that you’ve chosen a destination wedding — something less than 20 percent of couples do — makes you stand out from the pack.
Capitalize on Natural Lighting
Have you ever noticed that the most flattering pictures of you are lit by a warm, natural, outdoor light? Let the sun be your own personal lighting kit. Late afternoon is the best time of the day for delivering clear, soft illumination that beautifies both landscape and portrait photography. Your wedding photos will light up your photo album!
Forgo the Permit
For large ceremonies where you have to section off the public beach you will usually need a special permit, but small weddings don’t require them, says Maddie Eisenhart, the editor of the blog, A Practical Wedding. If you’re planning on having alcohol, though, keep in mind that most beaches will not allow you to have open bottles, so you’ll have to take the reception indoors.
Provide a Great Distraction for Kids
Unless your wedding is adults only, you will have rambunctious and possibly bored kids to deal with. But keeping the little ones entertained during the festivities is no problem with a beach wedding. They can comb the beach looking for treasures, build sand castles, or play endless rounds of tag when the grown up stuff gets dull.
Budget Your Way
With a conventional wedding, you can expect to spend 45 percent of your budget on the venue and food. The beauty of a beach wedding is that the location is casual enough to justify having the reception at a local restaurant or even on the beach itself — if you can find one that lets you serve alcohol. This leaves more room in your budget for flowers, entertainment…and the honeymoon.
Let Nature Take Care of the Decor
With the backdrop of a fantastic beach, you don’t need to go overboard with decorations. A marine color palette echoes the natural colors in the environment, and you can use found objects, such as driftwood and shells, to create decorations that compliment the theme.
Be as Casual (or as Formal) as You Want
You can have your guests sit on beach towels and wear flowers in their hair while you kick off your heels and walk down the sandy aisle. Or you can throw an extravagant reception at a Caribbean beach resort with a dress code. The beach is one of the most versatile venues there is, so let your vision and your personality be your guide.
Relax and Let Someone Else Do the Work
The best part of a destination wedding, particularly one at a resort, is that you have the ceremony and reception location (not to mention the accommodations) all wrapped up in one decadent package. For brides and grooms who have already stressed enough, a beach resort is the perfect venue because they don’t have to travel far and everything is at their fingertips.
Give Your Guests a Vacation to Remember
Sure, it’s your wedding. But it’s also the biggest party you’ll ever throw, and you want to do this in style. Whatever beach you choose, having a destination wedding allows your guests to feel like they are not only showing up to support you, but also that they are on an exotic vacation.