A Guide to Planning a Beach Wedding

Advice, tips and hints on Beach Wedding Planning

Planning a beach wedding and need some help and advice on how to get things rolling? You’ve come to the right place!

planning a beach wedding

First things first. Congratulations on your engagement!

There's a good chance that you're still on the seventh heaven and living in a dream fantasy world of your own right now :) … but at some point you have to “wake” up and realize that you now have a wedding to plan!

If you’re reading this, you should be wide awake.

You're also probably asking yourself “Now where do I start?!!!”

No matter what stage of your beach wedding planning process you’re at, this section will help you plan your big day better, start thinking of stuff you haven’t considered yet and hopefully guide you towards a stress-free beach wedding.

Before you start planning a beach wedding

beach wedding planning

If you randomly asked a 100 women whether they’d want to get married on a beach, most of them would probably say yes.

But that is just their first natural reaction.

Sure a beach is the most romantic location that one can get married at but it is NOT for everyone.

When you’re first toying with the idea of a beach wedding, everything sounds romantic, magical and a “fantasy come true” sort of thing but trust us, there are some brides-to-be that are not suitable for having a beach wedding, no matter how romantic it all may sound in the beginning.

A beach wedding may NOT be right for you, if ...

1. Ever since you were a little girl, you’ve dreamed of getting married in a fairytale full blown wedding gown.

Reality Check: Full blown wedding gowns with long trails are not suitable for a beach wedding. There is no way that you can handle such a heavy gown in beach conditions. Think wind blowing, humidity, sand in your feet and gown, etc.

2. You’ve always wanted a formal almost “royal” wedding with hundreds of guests.

Reality Check: Although you can still have a formal wedding with lots of guests (if you wanted to and if you can afford it), a true beach wedding is not meant to be a formal one.

You can come to a compromise though. Why not have a seaside wedding instead of actually getting married on a beach? Maybe you could organize a beach themed wedding in a luxury hotel? How about getting married on a cliff with the ocean serving as a backdrop in the distance, then head to a luxury beach house or hotel for the reception?

3. You live in stilettos.

If you’re one of those women who live in stilettos or high heeled shoes all day, then you might want to reconsider having a wedding on the beach.

Reality Check: No matter how gorgeous stilettos and high heeled shoes look and no matter how confident and comfortable you are wearing them, trust us, you will not look very attractive trying to walk gracefully on a beach with them.

There are other reasons why you’d probably want to reconsider having a beach wedding, but the above list should really get you thinking if you fall under any of the above mentioned categories.

With that out of the way and if you’re ready to start planning your unique beach wedding, let’s get started!

Beach Wedding Planning: Some of the first things you need to think about


The location of the beach is one of the most important things to consider when you're planning a beach wedding. Obviously some beaches are more beautiful and romantic than others and at first sight may seem like just the perfect fit for a beach wedding.

However, do not rush into things at this point. Things to ponder on …

- Is the beach you set your eyes on public or private? If it’s a private beach, who do you need to contact to apply for a beach wedding permit?

- If the beach is a public one, how crowded is it likely to be on your big day?

- Are weddings actually allowed on the beach?

- How many guests are you allowed to have?

- Do you have to apply for a permit to hold your wedding there?

- What are the rules and regulations of the area?

- Can your guests make use of any restrooms in the area?

- What happens in the event of bad weather? Unfortunately, this is something that you really need to think about when you're planning a beach wedding or any other outdoor wedding for that matter. Is there an alternative venue that you can use nearby?

- Is it possible to erect a large tent for the ceremony on the beach?

- Are there any special regulations regarding alcohol and smoking on the beach? A word of caution here. Many public beaches do not allow alcohol and smoking on the beach.

- What about chairs? Some of your guests may want to sit through your ceremony. While you don’t have to provide chairs for everyone, you need to make sure that your eldest guests are comfortable.

- Are you allowed to have music on the beach? Acoustic guitar or a string quartet are the most popular choices with beach wedding ceremonies.

- Is the beach equipped with electrical outlets?

- Will there be mosquitoes or other bugs on the beach?

- Is the beach naturally noisy? Does the area draw lots of seagulls? Will this be a problem for you?

- Is the beach smelly? Some beaches tend to have a fishy smell during some periods and can be quite unpleasant. This is something that is often overlooked when one first sets out planning a beach wedding. Can a patrol team clean up the beach before your ceremony?

- If you’re having a sunset wedding, check how chilly it can get and advise your guests accordingly.


Summer is of course the most popular season for holding a beach wedding. When you're planning a beach wedding you of course want hot sunny weather on your big day, but some beaches can be scorching hot in the peak of summer, so you might want to consider having your wedding in Spring or Fall.

If you’re planning a beach wedding on a public site, it may be less crowded during these two seasons i.e. if your preferred beach is not a popular Spring break location.

What’s the best time to get married on a beach?

This really boils down to personal taste. A sunrise beach ceremony is romantic and signifies your new beginning together. However, when planning a beach wedding you need to consider your guests too. An early morning wedding may not be the most ideal time for your guests, especially if they're coming from out of town.

Most couples get married either sometime late afternoon or a few hours before sunset. We recommend that you discuss things with your photographer for the exact time. He or she will know the best timing for that particular beach.

When you're planning a beach wedding, you also need to check tide times. A wedding at low tide or when the tide is going out, will allow you to have a much quieter ceremony.

Weather matters always in a wedding but with a beach wedding it matters even more. What happens if it rains? Will you have a tent on the beach for shelter? Or will you have a backup plan?

Make sure to check and double check whether the area and dates you're choosing are susceptible to hurricanes and tropical storms!

A final word on planning a beach wedding ... By starting as early as you can and by doing your research, planning a beach wedding need not be stressful. You simply need to set your wedding budget, plan things right and get organized from the start.

Related Pages

Need ideas and tips on how to choose your wedding color scheme? Go to our Wedding Color Combinations section for more information.

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