There’s nothing quite like walking down an aisle of scattered rose petals towards the glittering turquoise ocean and your soon-to-be spouse, surrounded by familiar faces, white sands and warm breezes. With summer fast approaching in the southern hemisphere, we wanted to share some of our favourite beach wedding tips and destinations to help you decide if a gorgeous beach wedding is right for you.
Planning the perfect ceremony
A beach is the perfect location for a simple yet stunning ceremony, as well as an exquisite backdrop for your wedding photography as the sun gently falls below the horizon. There are picturesque beaches all over the world to choose from, but our favourite beach wedding destinations include Fiji, Hawaii, Mexico, Thailand, Vanuatu and Punta Cana in the Caribbean for the whitest sands and the bluest waters.
Beaches can add a layer of difficulty when it comes to accessibility, so if you’ll be inviting elderly or wheelchair-bound guests ask your wedding planner about arranging a beautiful wedding chapel or beachfront lawn for your ceremony.
A reception under the stars
When you’re in the perfect balmy weather of a Fijian, Hawaiian or Caribbean island, it seems a shame to waste the wonderfully warm nights and sparkling night time sky. An outdoor beach reception under a canopy of stars and fairy lights can be incredibly romantic. All it takes is an elegant arrangement of lights, chairs and long tables, plus the perfect music to set the mood with stripped-back acoustic covers or even a tropical or calypso band to get the party going.
Dressing for low drama
The best beach wedding dresses embrace the relaxed nature of the setting. It’s time to forget the big ball gown style and instead feel free in a lightweight, summery wedding dress. If a large gown is a must, then make sure it bustles easily so it doesn’t hold you back. Many of our beach brides skip the long veil and opt for fresh flowers or a small fascinator, which are both more breeze-friendly. When it comes to shoes, brides often choose a gorgeous pair of flats or to go barefoot down the aisle. If the sand between your toes is a little too much and stilettos are a must, you might consider factoring a wooden walkway or sand-covered platform into your budget.
Styling a beach wedding
A beach wedding suits low-key styling that goes with the flow of the atmosphere. In some places a public beach won’t allow an overly styled ceremony with canopies, frames, aisle runners and embellishments. The best beach ceremonies are often minimally styled with local in-season flowers that can withstand the heat of the day. If you decide on a walkway, frame and chair setup for your guests talk to your wedding planner about locating a private beach, which can be arranged through beachside resorts and properties in many wedding destinations.
A few extra considerations
The real beauty of a beach wedding lies in its open-air nature. Chances are the weather will be perfect, however it will be important to have a Plan B in case of unfavourable weather. Some couples provide parasols in their wedding’s colour scheme to provide guests with shade on a warm day.
In some wedding destinations a marriage may not be legally recognised if it takes place on a public beach, so make sure you choose a wedding planner who is familiar with the local legal requirements. Finally, the best thing you can do is stay relaxed about your beach wedding, go with the flow, and soak in all the sun and special memories of your naturally romantic setting.