It’s no wonder that so many couples want to get married on the beach—between the sun, the sand, and the ocean breeze, a seaside ceremony can seem like a truly magical event. But planning a wedding in your own hometown can be challenging, so how can you make sure you do it right if you’re getting married miles away?
From décor ideas to packing tips to shoe and clothing suggestions, we’ve put together 10 beach wedding ideas to help you get over some of the hurdles you’ll undoubtedly be faced with. Take a deep breath, take each element in stride, and revel in the idea that your wedding day can—and will—be everything you want it to be.
10 Beach Wedding Ideas to Make You Event Better Than All the Rest
1. What Type of Dress Should I Wear?
When it comes time to choose your dress, keep in mind that you want a design that looks like it fits in with the beach theme. Forget that satin mermaid gown or that beaded ball gown you’ve been dreaming about since you were a little girl.
A beach wedding calls for a lightweight, airy look, and it’s a great opportunity to opt for a casual dress instead of the traditional bridal gown. When selecting your bridal gown fabric, choose something soft and breezy such as chiffon. As much as you may love lace, you don’t want your dress to be clumped with wet sand at the bottom, and lace can attract grains of dirt and sand with ease.
While a long gown blowing in the breeze can look stunning in person and in pictures, you may want to consider trying on some short styles and tea length silhouettes as well.
2. What Type of Shoes Should I Buy?
One of the best things about most beach parties is that shoes are optional. If you’re comfortable going barefoot, do so. If you’re set on wearing shoes, flat sandals are likely to be your best bet.
One of the best beach wedding tips we can give you is that it’s crucial to have the right shoes on your feet. Have you ever seen anyone try to walk in heels in the sand? It’s not pretty.
3. What Should the Guys Wear?
Please don’t dress the men in black tuxedos if you’re getting married in a hot, humid, or tropical climate. Instead of the traditional tux, opt for a more relaxed look such as lightweight pants and a button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up or a shirt/vest/tie combo without the jacket.
If you do want your men in jackets, choose suits or sport coats in lightweight colors and breathable fabrics. No one wants to sweat through the ceremony.
4. What Colors Should I Dress My Girls In?
There’s no real rule to be broken here—you can dress your bridesmaids in any color you choose—but soft, pastel color palettes tend to look beautiful against the backdrop of the sun and waves. Consider the types of colors you would find in sea glass, such as soft blues and light greens, or add a punch of tropical color by choosing shades of coral, turquoise, pinks, and peaches.
Whether you go bold or soft, it’s more important to make sure you choose dresses in lightweight, airy fabrics that your girls will be comfortable in.
5. What Should I Do With My Hair?
Forget the fancy up-do and go for something soft and pretty. A messy knot with a pretty hair clip, a tousled ponytail with a pretty braid, and long, loose flowing locks are all great options for a beach celebration.
6. How Do I Hire My Vendors When They Are A Thousand Miles Away?
If you want to know how to plan a beach wedding without going crazy, the answer is not to go at it alone. Many resorts offer packages that include the services of a wedding planner or coordinator. Use your resources. Trust in the professionals to do their job, but be diligent and make sure that things are running according to plan in the weeks leading up to the big day.
If the planner or coordinator isn’t able to provide you with the destination wedding ideas and solutions that you expect, consider bringing some of your own professionals along on the trip. Just be ready to pay for their travel expenses in addition to their regular rates and fees.
7. How Should I Decorate?
Pinterest is loaded with beach wedding ideas about décor, and it’s easy to spot the trends and get inspired. Many couples like to play up the beach theme by incorporating shells, starfish, and nautical accents into their décor, but if you don’t want something quite that literal, consider making use of lush greenery, vines, and natural materials such as raffia. Don’t go overboard with flowers—there’s nothing more natural or more beautiful than having the sand beneath your feet and the waves lapping at the shore behind you. All the flowers in the world won’t be able to top that.
8. What Special Things Should I Do For My Guests?
First and foremost, give plenty of advance notice to friends and relatives that your ceremony is going to be some distance away. They’ll likely need to book flights and request time off from work, so the sooner you can let them know, the better. In the weeks leading up to the big day, provide them with itineraries so that they know where to be and when. When they arrive at the destination, welcome them with goodie bags of beach-inspired treats such as flip flops, snacks, and sunscreen. Provide them with a map of the resort or the town and make sure that they are comfortable in their hotel room and equipped with the necessary amenities.
If you can find room in your budget, consider paying for hotel expenses and/or airfare for those guests that mean the most to you. It’s not always easy to jet hundreds or even thousands of miles away to attend someone else’s wedding, so be mindful of the fact that most of your guests are probably going to have to make some accommodations of their own in order to attend your special day.
9. What Other Tips Do I Need To Know?
Beach wedding ideas, just like traditional event ideas, depend on upon the type of affair you’re having and where you’re having it, but it’s always a good idea to arrive at your destination at least one day before your guests.
It’s a great idea to plan a preliminary trip to check everything out for yourself before everyone else arrives, assuming that you have room for it in your budget.
10. What Do I Need To Pack?
Pack swimsuits, beach cover-ups, breezy dresses, sandals, and anything you would normally pack for a beach getaway. With that said, it’s crucial that you remember those unusual things that you wouldn’t normally need for a vacation. Your wedding dress, your rings, and your legal documents are all things you can’t afford to leave home without!
These beach wedding ideas will help your destination wedding planning go a bit more smoothly and assist you in making some of those oh-so-important decisions. As with any event, make sure you’re following your timeline and checklist, and take extra care to follow up with your resort, wedding planner, or coordinator if you can’t be at the destination to monitor every small detail yourself.
And just think, when all the planning is done and all of the guests have arrived, you can finally relax, take a deep breath, and enjoy your moment in the sun!