Planning a Beach Wedding? Consider These Important Things to Help You Get Started
When you picture a beach wedding, you envision soft sand, gentle breezes, and a picturesque view of the ocean as your nuptial backdrop, but making a beach wedding so picture-perfect takes a lot of doing. If you have your heart set on a beach wedding, there are a few things you should consider in the planning process.
1. Do you prefer a private beach wedding?
Regardless of what coastline you live near or plan to travel to for your beach wedding, pretty much all public beaches will be fair game for a wedding because they are public property. Therefore, finding a desirable location shouldn’t be hard. The only problem with having your wedding on a public beach is you may also have to contend with other uninvited public activities and travelers. For this reason, a lot of beach wedding planners prefer a private beach wedding at a location where access will be restricted only to your guests. To make this happen, however, you will have to find a place, such as a beach side resort or even a beachfront property owned by an acquaintance, which can be difficult.
2. Does your location require permits for wedding usage?
Even though the beach may be a public access area where you choose to hold your wedding, there may also be city ordinances involved that restrict beach activities at certain times or you may have to obtain permits to hold your event at the location–especially if your wedding will involve certain things. For example, some public beaches will not allow alcoholic beverages if you plan to hold your reception at the site and some may require you to obtain a permit if you want to situate a fire pit for a sunset beach wedding. Before you start making all of your wedding arrangements, make sure you get in touch with the local government to find out about restrictions and permits you may be required to obtain.
3. Does the beach’s tides change according to the season?
The last thing you want to do is pick out the perfect beach wedding location early in the year, make arrangements, and then discover the beach you picked will actually be covered in water at the time you have your wedding planned. Before you pick a beach spot for your wedding, get to know the geographics of the tides for that particular beach. Most ocean beaches have high and low tide through the day, but some also see changes in tide levels depending on the time of year.
4. Will you have to create electrical power access to pull off a beach wedding?
If all you are planning is a small, reserved event with a few people and a reception to follow at a different location, access to electricity probably will be no concern. However, if the guest list is pretty large, your sunset beach wedding will carry over after dark, or you plan to hold your reception at the beach as well as the ceremony, having access to electricity will probably be an all-out necessity. If the beach is a little loud, either due to nearby traffic and visitors or the loud surf, you may even need sound amplification equipment to make sure your guests can even hear the ceremony. It is rare to find a beach that has power outlets right there amid the sand and surf, so you will need to consider renting quiet power generators or tapping into a power source nearby with extension cords.
5. Do any of your guests have accessibility concerns?
You may have in mind to get married connected to the earth with your toes immersed in the sand, but if any of your guests have mobility issues, they may not be able to make it to the ceremony because of the sand. There are some public beaches that have areas designated for wheelchairs, but these are few and far between. Therefore, you may have to set up a temporary platform and ramps for your ceremony if you want to ensure that all of your guests can make it to the ceremony site.