Dreaming of “Cake by the Ocean”? 

Weddings on the beach can provide a dreamy-like movie scene. And we all love the tropical paradise look of a beach wedding. But is a ceremony at this splendid location as carefree as it seems? Let’s take a deeper look and you be the judge.

Obviously, it’s hard to top the gorgeous backdrop offered by sand and sea. With beautiful sunsets painted daily, and free flowing ocean waves settling on the shore, this is a photographer’s dream. Couple that with the fact that most beach weddings are scheduled around sunset – aka “golden hour,” the optimal part of the day for photographing, and you have an almost foolproof setup and the ideal backdrop for your guests’ selfies. Coupled with the constant, gentle breeze providing your gown a beautiful, flowing pattern and your wedding party and guest with cooling airflow, this romantic setting seems like the perfect setup for a soothing, serene procession…right? 

While it can be, let’s look at some things that you may have not considered.  

Who Invited Mother Nature

Remember that gentle breeze? Well, in the middle of July that breeze can become as unstable as a politician – full of hot air. Even on a beautifully laid out beach, 90 degrees is still…well, 90 degrees. Mid-summer temperatures are difficult to contend with outside, even on the beach. Another thing to take into consideration are hurricanes and the area’s rainy season. So unless the bride, groom, wedding party and guests intend to take a dip into the ocean after the ceremony or soaked by a storm, you should verify the weather and plan accordingly.

Come One, Come All

Each year, dozens of weddings take place on public beaches. Depending on the location, that can be an issue. While most beach goers will be respectful and courteous regarding your wedding, it is still a public area and you may encounter the occasional rude “wedding hater.”  And let’s not forget the potential of a  wedding crasher. Of course this is a possibility at any wedding, but the chances increase in an open and public area like the beach. 


Remember those beautiful calming waves? When they come crashing in, those careful thought out and personally written nuptials may be hard to hear. The last thing you want is confusion about where the minister is in the ceremony. Check with your vendor to make sure proper audio, (which will also need to be wireless) is provided.  


Ads for beaches always throw in the words “white & sandy”. Which is great until your hors d’oeuvres get a coating of it. This is a reality when the reception also takes place on the beach. If you happen to get an especially windy day, that will really put the sand in your sandwichDid anyone order a cocktail on the rocks, with a side of sand? Making proper arrangements through the venue or having your wedding coordinator take care of this will help you end your big day with a bang!

Speaking of Sand…

Although the attire for a beach wedding may be a little more laid back, you have to put more thought into accessibility. Is the area wheelchair accessible? What about others with disabilities or limited mobility? Or the temperature of the sand? This may not be an issue for most, it is something to take into consideration if you have older attendees or on hotter days.

Beach Hair

This may not be the occasion to try that intricate hair design you saw on a website. Between the salt and sea air, it won’t take long for mother nature to “do her thing” and destroy the beautiful style your hairstylist created. Talk with your stylist about different hairstyles that are beautiful and elegant, but are also beach-friendly.

Of course, all these pitfalls can be avoided with proper planning and asking the right questions.  Keep your grand event from becoming a literal hot mess with the right vendors. Don’t be afraid to ask what solutions they offer to these potential disasters. Most experienced professionals have encountered these obstacles many times and can suggest a plan B.  

Happy Hunting!

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