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Items To Consider When Preparing for a Beach Wedding

A beach wedding is a dream for many couples. The combination of a romantic setting, the sound of waves, and stunning sunsets can create a magical atmosphere for exchanging vows. However, a beach wedding also comes with unique challenges and considerations. Here's what you need to be aware of to ensure your beach wedding is a perfect and stress-free celebration.

1. Weather and Seasonality

Weather can be unpredictable, especially near the coast. Before setting a date, research the local climate and typical weather patterns. Consider the best time of year to avoid rain, extreme heat, or hurricane seasons. Always have a backup plan, such as a pavilion or an indoor venue nearby, in case the weather takes a turn for the worse. A summer wedding (June – August) may sound great but remember the heat – especially in Florida. Temperatures can easily approach 100 degrees during the summer months with strong humidity. And remember, sunrise ceremonies are a good way to beat the heat during those dog days of summer.

2. Permits and Regulations

Many beaches require permits for weddings, especially if it's a public beach. Check with local authorities to find out what permits you need and any restrictions that may apply. Be aware of rules regarding noise, alcohol, and the maximum number of guests allowed. For Walton and Okaloosa counties in Florida, you will need a beach permit for most beach weddings.

3. Attire Considerations

Beach weddings call for lightweight and comfortable attire. Brides should consider dresses made of breathable fabrics like chiffon or organza, and grooms might opt for light suits or casual beachwear. Also, for brides, thin material will become see through when exposed by the sun. Avoid high heels or dress shoes that can sink into the sand; instead, consider sandals or going barefoot for a more relaxed vibe.

5. Make Up and Hair

The sun can be intense on the beach, especially during those summer months. We recommend sunrise or sunset ceremonies to avoid excessive heat and to capture the best pictures. Also, be aware during higher temperatures and humidity makeup can run and can create challenges for pictures.

6. Sound and Acoustics

The sound of waves can be beautiful, but it can also drown out your vows and speeches. Consider using a sound system with microphones to ensure everyone can hear the ceremony. A windscreen for the microphone can help reduce wind noise. Small Bluetooth speakers work well for small intimate beach ceremonies.

7. Catering and Food Safety

If you’re having a reception on the beach, consider the logistics of catering. Ensure that food is kept at safe temperatures and protected from sand and insects. Portable coolers and covered dishes can help maintain food safety. Choose menu items that are easy to eat and won’t spoil quickly in the heat.

9. Photography and Videography

The beach offers stunning photo opportunities, but the bright sun can create harsh shadows. Schedule your photos for early morning or late afternoon for the best lighting, often referred to as the "golden hour." Also, the beach can often have windy conditions. Consider wearing your hair up to improve photos and they will require less editing on the backend.

10. Guest Accessibility

Consider the accessibility needs of your guests. Beaches can be challenging for those with mobility issues. Provide clear information about the terrain and consider arranging transportation or assistance for guests who might need it. Some beach access points will require a long walk from the parking area – so work with your wedding planner if guests have accessibility concerns. Some locations are better than others, but your wedding planner will help you determine which location is best for you.

Sunset beach elopement

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