There are many different venues you can choose for your wedding and there are even more themes you can choose. One option that has been popular for years and is still popular among brides-to-be today is the beach wedding. If you are thinking about a beach wedding there are some things you are going to need to consider as you plan and prepare.

Fast Wedding Statistics

Cording to reports by TripSavvy, interesting statistics about wedding include:

  • Every year an average of 2.4 million weddings are performed in the U.S.
  • Today’s median age for brides is 29 years. For grooms, it’s 31 years.
  • The median age for remarriage is 34 for brides and 37 for grooms.
  • $35,329 is the average amount spent on a traditional American wedding.
  • Each weekend an average of 44,230 weddings take place.
  • The most popular months for weddings are September and October.
  • Only 33% of weddings take place in a religious institution, and that number continues to decline.
  • 43% of weddings are officiated by a friend or family member rather than a professional.
  • 23 million bridesmaids and groomsmen attend brides and grooms each year.
  • The average number of wedding guests is 136.
  • A total of $72 billion is spent on weddings annually in the U.S.
  • Weddings represent a $50 billion annual industry.

We here at Cashmere Dreams can help with your wedding planning needs and wanted to share some helpful beach wedding tips with you now to get you started! Please continue reading to learn more:

Prep Your Guests

Make sure your guests realize your ceremony will be out on the sand, so they can dress appropriately. Make sure you mention this on the invitations and that you send word of mouth reminders through your wedding party and guest several times before your big day.  Here are some other things you will need to think about for the day of your wedding.

  • Feet: Some couples set aside what is becoming known as a “shoe valet” area on the sand where guests can switch out their dressy shoes for flip flops before getting too far into the sand. Another nice touch is to have a de-sanding station for your guests to brush off the sand when the ceremony is over.
  • Eyes: Sunny days are bright and beautiful and perfect for the beach but th sun can easily be so bright that it is blinding when it reflects off the sand and water. Make sure everyone knows to bring sunglasses, hats, or parasols so they can enjoy the ceremony without squinting the entire time.
  • Weather: Remind your guests to bring appropriate wraps, in case it gets chilly. Or windy in the middle of the ceremony. Alternatively, if you are getting married in the afternoon in August, providing cool drinks or paper fans can be a great way to make sure everyone stays comfortable.

Dress Code Considerations

  • A beach wedding is usually not the place you would want to wear a formal ballgown or chapel train. You are thinking outside the box and embracing a stylish venue so do the same with your dress code. Light fabrics, such as sheer silks and chiffons, look dressy and are still comfortable to wear in beach weather.
  • If your wedding ceremony will be on a platform or pier then normal sandals and shoes should be fine. Otherwise, consider sandals, or you could get really comfortable and go barefoot for you and your bridal party. Find a pair of bejeweled sandals and save the heels for an offsite reception at the hotel.
  • And don’t forget to have a shawl for yourself if needed. Even if the weather is supposed to be beautiful it can change quickly on the beach and a shift in winds can bring a chill so have a shawl that matches your dress on hand so you can throw it on if you need to before or during your ceremony.
  • Loose, flowing hair may suit your free-spirited style, but remember beaches often have ocean breezes and you don’t want to be constantly trying to tame your hair as it blows in the wind. Instead, select a wedding hairstyle that keeps your hair back from your face at least so it won’t be so bad if the breeze kicks up.

Details, details, details

  • Check with your venue or double-check with your wedding coordinator to make sure beach permits, if required, have been taken care of before the wedding.
  • Consider hiring a wedding planner who has experience with beach weddings or who knows the local areas and can help you with the finer detail planning.
  • The sound of the waves is very atmospheric, but it can also be noisy so make sure there will be power at least for a microphone so everyone can hear the officiant.
  • For an intimate wedding, you can have everyone stand around the couple during a brief ceremony but larger groups will require seating arrangements to be made.
  • Decor is usually minimal in a beach wedding because the sand and ocean are your decor but you can use an arch of some kind to frame where the couple will stand.
  • Be aware, most beach sites are public so if you want absolute privacy, you will want to rent a beachfront restaurant or hotel, or private estate with a beach view.

Life’s A Beach

We know life is not always fair and as beautiful as she is, Mother Nature can be a beach, too. This is why you need to be sure to consider the following details about the beach in general as you plan your wedding:

  • When is high tide? The last thing you would want is to have your perfect and beautiful ceremony being cut short or interrupted by waves washing in and getting everything soaked.
  • What’s the forecast? If rain is predicted, make sure you consider what you will need for a contingency plan; if your local is known for sudden weather changes a contingency plan is even more of a necessity.
  • How windy will it be? Wind can knock over arches and blow over chairs and other décor elements and it can also impact your choice for wedding attire and certain elements of the ceremony like candle lightings!
  • How noisy will our site be? All of the things we love about the beach can make for a noisy wedding so make sure you have a reliable sound system in place to compensate for the noise.
  • How hot will it be, and is there any shade? The sun can get hot quickly, especially when it is reflecting off the sand so either keep the ceremony simple or put up a canopy to keep everyone shady and comfortable.
  • How crowded will the beach be? Most beaches are not private and while most people will be considerate and not photo bomb your event there will likely be other people around watching.
  • What’s the bug situation? Bugs like hover around seaweed so make sure the area is free of soggy clumps and if you are in the soft sand be watchful for sand flies and sand fleas as well!
  • Sand is sandy right? Keep some towels and baby powder handy so you and your guests can dust off before the reception or provide a place to let guests wash their feet off away from the sandy beach.

Beach Wedding Receptions

Having a beach ceremony is one thing, but if you’re dreaming of a seaside reception as well, you’re in for a whole new level of complexity. We recommend the ceremony be on the beach and then have everyone move into a nearby hotel or other venues for a comfortable and more traditional indoor reception. However, if your heart is set on an actual tables-in-the-sand reception, here are just some of the questions you are going to have ask and try to answer as you plan for your big day:

  • Is a beach reception allowed? Many beaches will not issue permits for a reception, just a wedding ceremony so you will need to see if the reception is even a possibility at your chosen beach locale or if you have no choice but to have a more traditional indoor reception after the wedding.
  • Is cooking permitted on the beach? While you can eat on most beaches, cooking on the sand is oftentimes prohibited. No open flames, gas, or fire pits are allowed on most beaches so if this is the case then it will be best to plan for an indoor reception following your ceremony.
  • Can the caterer get to the location to bring in food? They may be able to do so if you get a special permit to allow their truck and workers on the beach, but keep in mind that they may have no access to a kitchen or prep space nearby.
  • Are there table décor restrictions? Most beaches forbid glass so you will need to use plastic for your table settings as well as any table decor you want to have for your beach reception.
  • Is live music allowed? Many beaches won’t allow live music on the beach but some will let you have a basic speaker systems to play background music for while your guests enjoy themselves at the wedding reception.
  • Make sure if alcohol allowed?Probably not, but you can check Google for beaches that allow alcohol and you can as about it when you file for any necessary permits if serving alcohol is important to you.
  • Is there a curfew? Make sure that you leave yourself a cushion of time to gather your belongings, pack up any décor or supplies, and clean up the area all of your trash before the beach closes for the day.

Have a Back-up Plan in Place

Rain has a tendency to visit tropical locales and there are many areas where the weather can change suddenly and dramatically, especially along the coast.  Sometimes it’s the wind that makes things unbearable. Sometimes things can suddenly get too hot or too cold depending on the time of year you are having your wedding. Either way, Mother Nature is unpredictable so it’s best to always have a foul-weather option. This could be a tent on the beach to move into if there is a drizzle or a location indoor if the weather turns foul. Having a back-up plan is important for a beach wedding, if only for your peace of mind.

Contact us Today for Beach Wedding Help

Having a Certified Wedding Planner will go a long way in helping you enjoy your beach wedding day a bit more. It will take a huge weight off your shoulders and allow you to focus on other more important things- like enjoying your big day and being with your soon to be spouse! It allows your beach wedding to be the event you have dreamt of your entire life and will help reduce the stress and worry and problems that could arise.  An experienced wedding planner can dive confidently into the endless sea of possibilities and designs and work with you in an effective manner to produce the ideal wedding ceremony for your tropical beach location.

Cashmere Dreams is your one-stop-shop for a stress-free wedding day. We provide stellar wedding planning services throughout Columbia, SC. We will work to help you with any and all phases of wedding planning. Whether you want full-service assistance or just need help with one or two aspects, we are here for you! If you are getting ready for a beach wedding you know how nerve-wracking it can be with all of the decoration planning and budgeting and finding everything you need to make your wedding day perfect. Call us today for a consultation appointment and let us show you how we can help you have the best beach wedding possible!