Are you dreaming of saying your vows at a romantic beach setting? The setting is gorgeous, and if you love the ocean, there is no better choice than a waterfront wedding! But what obstacles will you face when planning a beach wedding? Here is everything you need to know about planning your oceanfront wedding.
Sort Out Your Exact Location
Some couples want to actually get married on the beach – sand and all. If this is what you’re going for, you’re going to need to look at your options. When it comes to public beaches, you’ll need to see what your city requires for using that space. You may need to get a permit for a beach wedding in your area, which may come with a list of paperwork you need to do and the requirements you need to meet. Be sure to start your research and prepping early if you’re going to be using a public beach. Of course, if you’re lucky enough to have access to a private beach, you’ll be less limited in what you can and can’t do. That said, you should still see if there are any permit laws or other regulations you need to abide by.
Other couples will choose to do a waterfront wedding ceremony at a venue with gorgeous views of a local beach, without actually being on the beach. There are stunning waterfront and beach venues in Georgia, like The King & Prince Beach & Golf Resort in St. Simons Island and Lanier Islands Weddings in Buford. You can also look at restaurants, resorts, and other event venues in your area that are located right on the beach.
Of course, if you’re doing your ceremony on the beach but a reception at a venue, it may be helpful to choose a venue near a beach spot that you’re able to use for your ceremony. That way, you can minimize travel between the two spots and seamlessly transition from ceremony to reception.
Consider Hiring a Wedding Planner
This advice is particularly aimed at couples actually getting married on the beach, but a professional wedding planner is beneficial to all couples, regardless of their venue. A wedding planner will be incredibly helpful when it comes to coordinating everything that needs to get done to secure and wrap up the beach venue. Of course, they’ll also be able to help with other aspects of the wedding, such as making the transition from ceremony to reception happen, planning the wedding day schedule, arranging vendor contracts, and whatever else you may need.
Create a Beach Clean-Up Plan
Before your wedding, you’re going to need to put a plan in place to remove chairs, decorations, the wedding arch, and whatever else you may have on the beach. Basically, you’ll need to leave it in the condition it was when you arrived! Depending on your area’s regulations and how long you have the space for, you’ll likely need to wrap up your beach venue as soon as you’re done. This means you’ll need to have a team available to deal with the clean up after your ceremony – which is one of the reasons a wedding planner can be so useful!
Keep Guests’ Comfort in Mind
Do what you can to help guests feel as comfortable as they possibly can in this environment. Of course, you’ll want guests to know on your invitation and wedding website that you’ll be celebrating on the beach so that they can plan accordingly. You may wish to provide sunscreen, bug spray, parasols for blocking the sun, fans, and even flip flops so that guests can comfortably walk. You’ll also want to have water available for guests to stay hydrated, especially if you’re there during a warmer time of the day and year. Another useful thing to have on hand is baby powder. It’ll help you and your guests get sticky sand off of your feet!
Get the Timing Right
There are a few reasons that you’ll probably want to avoid having a beach ceremony in the middle of the day. The first is the heat, since the hottest time of the day will be in the late morning to early afternoon. You and your guests won’t want to be sweating up a storm! Another reason is the lighting. Lighting will be best in the morning or later in the day. Midday light can create harsh shadows (particularly if it’s sunny), which won’t lead to the best photos. There are also crowds to consider, particularly if you’re getting married in the late spring or summer when people are heading to the beach. It’ll be the busiest during the middle of the day. Opt to have your ceremony a bit later in the day. Or, if you’re planning a brunch reception, you can have a beautiful morning beachside ceremony.
Have a Backup Plan
It is crucial that you have a backup indoor ceremony and reception space in case the weather is bad. Even if there isn’t rain, it can get windy by the shore, and if it’s particularly bad, it may be best to move inside. Make matters less stressful on yourself and have a plan B in place!
If you are in the process of planning your wedding, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you. You will have the chance to meet with professional wedding vendors of all talents who can help bring your vision to life!