Dreaming of a romantic beach wedding? Make sure the best man brings the sunblock, and remember these other tips from the Wedding Channel when planning a beach wedding.
Budget and plan. Don't begin your marriage with a mountain of debt. Establish a budget, and stick to it. You can always go to the beach more often after you're married. First, decide for sure if a beach wedding is for you. An important part of planning a beach wedding is determining the size of your wedding. Smaller weddings make the setting much more flexible, although large weddings can also be accommodated in a beach setting, if planned well. Do not, however, plan a wedding that will be unaffordable for most of your invited guests. You may also want to turn the planning over to experienced beach wedding planners.
Time it well. The season and the time of day are a key aspect of planning a beach wedding. A 5 o'clock ceremony in the Bahamas, for example, in the middle of July might prove a bit too hot and humid for many guests, who will soon be irritated and whose irritated mood might set a negative tone for the ceremony. If possible, plan the ceremony for when the tide's going out. There's much less ocean noise. Also, check the weather report—hurricane season might not be the best time of year. And even if it's not hurricane season, nothing ruins a seaside ceremony faster than 10-foot waves and enough wind to frazzle the most sprayed of hairs. Find a more sheltered location and have a backup plan, just in case.
Decorate sparingly. You're on a beach. You have sand, hills and water for your decorations. Strung seashells, starfish and other marine-themed adornments make for good decorations. You'll need to decide whether you want a floor. If not, chairs might prove difficult. They sink in the sand and present a hazard. If you choose to forego a floor, you may want to set up a few chairs for guests who need them. It is not uncommon to have guests stand throughout the ceremony. If that's the case, keep the ceremony short.
Communicate clearly. Make sure you send invitations that clearly communicate you're holding a beach wedding ceremony. Include whether it's an informal or formal affair. Be clear on what guests are expected to wear. Make it clear that special accommodations are available for those who need them. Communicating clearly also involves obtaining the proper permits and coordinating with resort or city officials.
The best thing about a beach wedding is once it's over, you can surf.
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