White sand and clear blue waters are a popular location for destination weddings but planning one can get a bit complex. Not only are there logistics surrounding getting there, but you also have to figure out how to get chairs and alters onto the beach, managing the sand, waves, and wind, etc. There can be a lot to process when planning a destination beach wedding! Lucky for you, by the end of this article the most difficult question you should be asking yourself is, “which beach?” Let’s talk about how to plan your dream destination beach wedding!
Planning Side Notes
Pick a Date & Save a Date
As we discussed in our article “Pros and Cons of a Destination Wedding” while a normal planning timeline can be anywhere from 12 to 16 months, planning a destination wedding pushed that timeline to 20 to 24 months before ‘I Do.’ This is an important thing to keep in mind when choosing a wedding date and preparing to send out the Save the Dates for your special day. You typically want to send out the save the dates six months to a year before the actual day. You may be able to get away with a shorter time frame depending on the amount of travel being done to get to your beach venue. The shorter the distance traveled the shorter the notice.
Again, depending on how far the travel is, it’s important to being putting down deposits and book flights as soon as possible. If you are flying to Italy to get married on a beach there researching prices or maybe even booking the ticket should happen fairly early on. This way you can make payments on your travel arrangements and maybe even book accommodations for your bridal party (depending on your budget of course).
As we mentioned in part one of this beach wedding mini-series, when it comes to beach attire the objective is staying cool. While you could technically create a “black tie formal” wedding attire at your wedding, do your best to consider the comfort of your guests, bridal party, and of course yourself! Typically, attire is casual and relaxed.
Now that we’ve got those few points out of the way, let’s get to the actual wedding planning!
Planning a Destination Beach Weddings
Location, Location, Location
The very first step in planning a destination beach wedding is well… selecting the destination beach! Since there are hundreds of different beaches to choose from try narrowing it down to the ones you have positive memories at or even select the country/state you want to get married in and try finding a location that way.
Research the Permits and Then Get the Permits
Tying to find out what the requirements are for a beach wedding when you are hundreds, potentially thousands, of miles away from the venue can be quite daunting which is why we are throwing it out as the second step. Research the requirements best you can and then begin the process. There are also two ways to avoid having to do either of these things and they would be 1. Hire a destination wedding planner, or 2. Choosing an all-inclusive resort that does beach weddings frequently.
Plan for rain or shine
Having a well sorted back up plan for getting guests, decorations, and the wedding party into a dry secondary ceremony location is the third task when planning a destination beach wedding. I am sure as all of you know sometimes the weather people get it wrong and there is nothing you can do about that but be prepared for it is they do.
Once you’ve gotten the first few steps down, next up is beginning to source vendors! Finding the local people that can help you pull of your dream wedding is extremely important. Be sure to check out our “Tips for Finding Vendors for Your Destination Wedding” for the best tips for getting this done.
Hopefully by now you’ve begun considering decorations and getting them to the wedding spot on the beach as well as making them secure. While the ocean and white sand creates an incredible photo backdrop, it’s important to remember that any color combination that you choose should complement the blues of the ocean and contracts the white of the sand. I am sure that sounded complicated, but basically I just mean you don’t want to be on a white beach in front of a clear blue ocean with pastel color flowers. Pick bright colored flowers and rich greenery.
That’s about it for planning your destination beach wedding as after you’ve nailed down the decorations and attire the rest of the planning defaults to our wedding planning timeline which you can read in our articles “The Ultimate Wedding Checklist” part one through four!
Thanks for joining us on this miniseries, “How to Plan a Destination Beach Wedding. Happy planning!