A Complete Guide to Planning a Beach Wedding

There’s a reason people flock to the beach to tie the knot, and it’s a good one. The definition of a dream wedding is pretty much a beach wedding.

With that being said, achieving the dream requires a little effort and foresight.  For anyone planning a beach wedding, this is for you.

Location Destination

The first step to consider is where—which beach?

Some brides opt for a venue that’s on the beach.

Others choose the more affordable route tying the knot at a public beach. Surprisingly, securing a permit for beach weddings in a public space is usually relatively inexpensive—sometimes even free.

When scouting potential sites, do your research.

You need to think about accessibility, parking, and whether or not there are restrooms available for your guests.

Make sure the beach you decide to get married at is up to the task, and has most of the necessary components to pull off your dream wedding. Then, after you’ve found a place that checks all your boxes, apply for any relevant permits.

Save the Date

Coastal regions can have pretty temperamental weather. Familiarize yourself with the weather patterns in the area you’re looking to get married. Then, choose a wedding date during a season that’s not prone to wild weather—and isn’t at the height or the tourist season, either.

In addition, think about the tide and when the sun sets. You’ll definitely want to take advantage of sunset shots when posing for your wedding pics. 

Hire Vendors

A photographer is a beach wedding must-have. In addition, you’ll probably want:

·  A caterer

·    Florist

·  DJ or musicians

·  Rental chairs, etc.

You may also want to select a nearby venue to host the reception. This option provides more flexibility as far as menu options, an open bar, music, dancing, and the usual wedding celebration shenanigans.

Plan Your Ceremony

One of the best aspects of a beach wedding is Mother Nature has done most of the decorating for you. All you need is a stable wind-proof arch, and seating for your guests.

If you want to incorporate more décor of your own, that’s up to you. Just be sure that whatever you choose is hardy enough to withstand the elements.

Another crucial element to be aware of is sound. The surf—combined with any wind or breeze—may interfere with your guest’s ability to hear what’s being said. Either set up a PA system, or arrange seating in a way that ensures everyone can hear.

Additionally, plan your ceremony to align with your ideal temperature and lighting. If you’re tying the knot during a warm time of year, a late-afternoon ceremony leads to sunset pictures and maybe even a bonfire on the beach afterwards—depending on the rules and regulations of the beach of course.

Plan Your Reception:

Will you be holding your reception at a nearby venue, or right there on the beach?

If it’s right there on the beach, make sure to keep your guests comfort first and foremost in your mind.

Use portable awnings and wind-blockers. Provide sunscreen, and complimentary flip-flops just in case the sand gets too hot.

Have coolers filled with ice and chilled bottles of water.

When serving food, make sure it won’t spoil in the heat, and is out of reach of seagulls and protected from bugs and sudden sandy gusts of wind.

Choose the Right Attire

Your wedding dress should be made from a natural, light, breathable fabric. Think cotton or silk. 

Midi-length dresses are great, because they don’t drag about in the sand. Alternatively, consider a dress with a removable train. 

Don’t forget your bridesmaids’ apparel either. Dresses with flutter sleeves or simple satin dresses are incredibly gorgeous and also a low maintenance comfortable option.

For shoes—depending on how hot the sand is—wear sandals or simply go barefoot.

Whether the  Weather

Outdoor wedding planning 101: have a backup plan in case of rain.

Either rent tents just in case, or have a sheltered backup location where you can convene.

Other Important Details

If there’s not a ton of parking spots available, consider arranging shuttle transportation for your guests. 

Also, ensure there’s hotel options nearby for any out-of-town guests.

Finally, let your guests know from the get-go that it’s a beach wedding, and share any relevant dress code information so they can be comfortable in the outdoor setting.


After the wedding, it’s critical that everything gets cleared out and cleaned up. Have a pre-arranged team on the ready who won’t stop until everything’s pristine.


The key to a successful beach wedding is preparation and flexibility. That way, if Mother Nature throws you a curveball, you’ll still hit it out of the park.

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