10 Tips & Ideas for a Summer Beach Wedding

Planning a summer beach wedding? Here's some ideas and tips to help you plan it!

Getting married on the beach, or a wedding with a beach theme is ideal during the warm summer months from June to September in most locations. Saying your vows on the beach with the sand, sun and water as your backdrop creates a relaxed and happy environment that you and your guests will enjoy. 

Here’s some things to consider before you begin planning it:

  1. The outdoors are unpredictable. The weather in the summer may be perfect most days at the beach, depending on your location, but it can’t be guaranteed. The weather may be too hot, humid, windy, rainy, cloudy or foggy on your special day to allow your wedding to proceed. ALWAYS have a back up plan so the wedding can be moved indoors (preferably close by). Just having a day with too much wind can destroy your wedding decor, floral arrangements, etc. Your wedding photos may capture windblown hair and a bridal veil that won’t stay in place, instead of the picture perfect look you desire.
  2. Your wedding guest list may be restricted. In some beach areas there’s a restriction on the amount of people that can attend your wedding ceremony if you have it on or overlooking the beach. In some areas there's a limit of 25 people who may attend. You may also need a special permit when planning the wedding to allow access to the beach for the event. Most couples who have this restriction will invite only close friends and family for the ceremony, and open it up to all guests for the reception. One tip would be to have a video made of the ceremony so it can be shared with everyone at the reception. Having an intimate beach ceremony may also be best, since the waves crashing on the beach, noise from others on the beach, planes flying overheads etc. may make it difficult for your guests to hear you say your vows. The closer they are to you the better! Check into sound options and microphones for outdoor weddings too.
  3. Keep your guests cool! Shield your guests from the hot sun by providing fans, hats, or sunglasses at the ceremony. Your guests can keep them as wedding favors. Make it fun by selecting colorful or fun sunglasses. One idea is to select sunglasses that match your wedding colors and the guests can keep. Fans are a great idea to keep your guests cool. Personalize your wedding ceremony with fans that have your ceremony details, or thanking your guests for attending, printed on them. One idea is to purchase battery operated fans, again with your wedding colors for your guests to keep. 
  4. Continue the beach theme at the reception. Select entrees that feature seafood, or casual food choices, like tacos and burgers with a variety of salads that are inspired by summer beaches. Your table decor will remind your guests of your ceremony with beach inspired accents, such as sea shells, starfish, and other natural touches. Your reception can be elegant or relaxed depending on your taste. Menu cards that have a beach theme will add an extra touch of personalization.
  5. Select Wedding Invitations and Save the Date cards that have a beach theme to let your guests know you are planning a beach wedding. You may want to include an enclosure card that lets your guests know what to wear, and includes details of the ceremony and reception. Some weddings request that all their guests wear flip-flops!
  6. Plan the wedding photos to be taken when the sun is at the best angle to decrease glare and shadows. Your professional photographer and/or wedding planner will advise you on the best time to take the photos or have the ceremony. It’s usually best to avoid the noon hours or when the sun is directly overhead. There’s nothing more beautiful than a backdrop of the beach in photos, but the time of day needs to be considered. Sunset weddings can be romantic, but they have to be timed well to avoid low light if the sun sets quickly.
  7. Choose beach friendly fabrics for your summer wedding attire. It’s a good idea to select light-weight and comfortable fabrics for your bridal gown, tuxedo, suit or shirt to keep you cool during the ceremony and reception. Avoid bridal gowns that have a lot of volume to allow for movement. Select bridal shoes that will be easy to walk in and high heels that won’t get stuck in the sand. Stylish wedges or sandals are a great option. Decorative or beaded flip flops are another great idea.
  8. Destination beach weddings are a perfect choice to treat yourself and your guests to a tropical or beach getaway! Consult with a wedding planner or advisor at the location where you will be getting married for the best advice and information to ensure your wedding is a success. Select wedding professionals from the area you’ll be visiting to get the inside scoop on everything from the best beach sites, flowers, and reception locations to the best time in the summer to have your event.
  9. Save money by having a beach wedding. Most weddings on or overlooking the beach can be fairly inexpensive compared to ceremonies held indoors. The money you save for the ceremony can be spent at the reception or for other wedding expenses. 
  10. Relax and enjoy your beach wedding! Weddings can be stressful and are full of anticipation. Having a wedding in a relaxed environment will have a calming effect on you and your guests. Who doesn’t feel more relaxed with salt air, sand in their toes, and the sound of waves crashing in the background? Having a less formal wedding venue will take the pressure off having to have everything perfect. Choose a beach wedding in the summer and enjoy!   

Photo credits: Top photo and thumbnail image by Edith Snyder. All other photos by Mysty and Bella Designs