Hooray! You’re having a beach wedding. How exciting that will be. But what next? Getting wed outdoors necessitates a few more considerations than your average wedding.
Here are the top 10 things to consider when planning your beach wedding celebrations.
Your female wedding guests will undoubtedly want to arrive high-heel-clad and looking fit for the Oscars. But it’s a good idea to suggest for them to wear flat sandals or wedges instead. Failing that, you could buy some cheap flip-flops in a selection of sizes and leave them in a basket for guests to grab and go. Attach a cute sign reading ‘Shoes Optional’ and give your guests the option of having sand-free shoes.
An equally kind and sensible gesture would be to leave some spritz-able SPF for guests to apply at their will to protect them from sunburn. If it’s a particularly warm day then having plenty of water available for guests is a good idea. You don’t want anyone feeling faint in the heat. Leave two seagrass baskets containing cool bottles of water and sun lotion in the shade for guests to grab when they need them.
3. Ice cream
A fun idea for a beach wedding is to hire an ice cream cart or van to supply your guests with creamy, cold treats. Ice cream fits in perfectly with a beach theme and it makes a change to the usual wedding canapés. You could have alcoholic sorbets for the adults and little patterned paper tubs of ice cream for the kiddies.
If it’s a sunny day then your guests don’t want to be squinting as they watch you exchange vows. The photographer also wants to be able to get some clear shots without the glaring sun spoiling them. With this in mind, set out some parasols to shade your guests during the ceremony, and if you’re eating outside, then having a tent or large umbrellas covering the table too.
Sand isn’t renowned for being the most even of surfaces to sit on, so think carefully when choosing your wedding seating. You don’t want your family slowly sinking into the sand at peculiar angles – think about your poor grandparents! Chairs without the typical four legs are best, instead choose those that spread weight more evenly like foldable wooden chairs or benches which lie flat across the sand. These can be draped with white linen which can blow in the breeze.
Being outside, not to mention in a typically windy environment, can pose problems when it comes to acoustics. Your guests want to be able to hear your vows and not strain to understand you over the wind and waves. You may need to do a trial run before the big day to see how far your voices travel. You could also consider erecting some makeshift walls around your guests to shield them from the wind or using a sound system to give you some amplification.
Beaches equal holidays and holidays equal cocktails! Treat your wedding guests to some piña coladas, mojitos or the obligatory ‘Sex on the Beach’ cocktail while they’ve got their toes in the sand, or even invent your very own cocktail. Guests could mix their own if you hired the equipment or you could leave it all to a professional mixologist. Think about serving them in coconut halves and don’t forget the obligatory cocktail umbrellas!
8. Flowers and pearls
Be at one with nature and incorporate lots of flowers into your beach wedding. Being in such natural surroundings solicits the need for natural elements. Flowers in the bride’s hair, along the floor, wrapped around chairs and over the pergola will all create a calm and beautiful look. Think about using pearls too, which are synonymous with the beach; stitch them into the bride’s bodice or weave them into her braided hair.
9. Theme & Décor
A beach theme opens up a whole world of opportunity for artistic detail and decorations. Pebbles used as name places, starfish brooch buttonholes for the groomsmen and pretty shells attached to the wedding bouquet handle. A fun idea would be to collect lots of small glass bottles and give one to each of your guests for them to write a message to put inside. Colour-wise, coral, hues of blue and turquoise and natural sandy shades all work well.
Mmm, the possibilities are endless when it comes to beach-inspired wedding food. You could have seafood platters that would impress even the biggest foodies at your wedding, or a meat feast barbeque that will get the groomsmen’s mouths watering. Grilled lobster, vegetable and king prawn skewers, a huge paella and salads of tropical fruit, all washed down with some punch.