How to Plan the Perfect Beach Wedding

ByWaqar Hussain

Feb 16, 2024

You can’t wait. 

You’ve been dreaming of walking down the warm sandy aisle as the breeze toys with your veil, and music from a flute and gentle hand-pan drum mix with the sound of the waves.

You’ve clung to this vision forever and now that you’re engaged, your dream is about to come true. However, to guarantee your beach wedding goes off without a hitch, you’ve got some planning to do. 

We’ve compiled this handy list that contains everything you need to be aware of when planning the ultimate beach wedding.

Your Beach Wedding Location

Maybe you already have a place in mind. A quiet cove, or a special place you go to reflect, unwind, and reconnect.

If you don’t have a location picked out yet, now’s the time to load up the car with towels, sunscreen, and snacks and enjoy a road trip adventure as you hunt for the perfect spot.

When making your selection, aside from ensuring it’s beautiful and meets all the requirements, it’s important you consider these factors:

Beach Wedding Permits

If you’re planning on tying the knot on public beaches, chances are you’ll need to secure a permit. Check with the local municipalities to see what the process entails, and be sure to adhere to the guidelines—make sure your guests are made aware of them, too.

Check the Tide

If you’d like to time your ceremony with the sunset, you should also know what the tide will be up to during that time. The NOAA website predicts the tide in all different locations—saving you and your guests from the drama of having to flee and abandon the ceremony due to encroaching waves.

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Check the Weather

Obviously, the weather is an important factor for any outdoor celebration. Depending on the season, tropical areas are prone to afternoon showers and thunderstorms.

Be sure to factor in the weather, plus a contingency plan in case of rain.

In addition, it’s always a good idea to make a point to be intentional about how you’ll react if the weather isn’t perfect.

For example, if it’s windy, look on the bright side. You can get some incredible photos! Picture a long silky veil rippling in the wind as the sun sets, and your new husband holds you in a dip…

Amenities and Accessibility

If you have a lot of guests coming or are planning on having the ceremony and the reception on the beach, you’ll need a spot with ample parking with relatively easy beach access. 

Considering the amenities—things like restrooms and running water—is important, too.

Beachy Alternatives

If you don’t live near the ocean but still want to bask in that beachy vibe, check out nearby lakes—even resorts with pools—in your area.

You don’t actually need the beach to enjoy its essence.

Beach Wedding Dress

No doubt, the ultimate beach wedding requires the perfect wedding gown.

While the style of dress is up to you, pay attention to the fabric. If you’re getting married in a hot sunny climate, opt for breathable and lightweight, and avoid velvet and heavy non-breathable material.

The same applies to your bridesmaids’ dresses. Bella Bridesmaids has an incredible selection of dresses in all different styles, fabrics, and colors. You can check them out online or visit them in person at one of their many boutiques.

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Another crucial element for a beach wedding is footwear. Some brides choose to go barefoot and accessorize with beautiful lace “barefoot sandals.”

If the sand is too hot, regular sandals are an excellent choice. They tend to kick up much less sand than flip-flops.

Beach Wedding Décor

You don’t need much in the way of decor; Mother Nature’s got it covered. Between impressive rocky cliffs, warm smooth sand, and the endless stretch of sea, there’s not much else required. 

One thing you can do though, is play up the beauty of these naturally occurring elements.

Bring in lace and silk that catches the breeze.

If there’s driftwood, use it to line the aisle, or arrange it in pretty shapes, such as stars or flowers.

Use an arched trellis with flowers woven through to signify the spot you’ll stand during the ceremony.

Lightweight wooden folding chairs are ideal seats, or simply spread cotton blankets or rugs on the sand, and use pillows as seats. 

Little tea lights in glass jars are always pleasing, and the glass helps protect them from any sudden gusts.

Just remember, whatever you bring in with you as part of the décor must be disassembled and carried out, post ceremony.

Beach Wedding Refreshments

If you decide to host your reception at a nearby restaurant or resort, you have many more menu options than you do when holding the reception on the shore.

If your reception is on the beach, you’ll want to serve items that are pre-assembled, and don’t require much in the way of dishware and cutlery.

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Opt for skewers, wraps or little sandwich triangles. Coconut shrimp or a charcuterie board works well, as do mini quiches and crab cakes.

If alcohol is prohibited on the beach, serve sparkling water spritzers.  


One of the best things about a beach wedding is a change to commemorate a poignant moment in a pristine location. 

Don’t forget to take a moment to bask in the beauty and let it sink in. 

What an incredible way to celebrate your special day.

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