The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Beach Wedding
Planning a beach wedding?
What is it about a beach wedding that fills our hearts with joy and excitement? More than likely it’s the image in our head; an image of soft sand, a cool sea breeze, and especially that gorgeous sunset afterwards. But, even though all of this is more than possible, preparation on every aspect of your wedding day on the beach matters. It matters because you must prepare for things that at first, might seem trivial. Things like gusts of wind, mosquitoes, and even wedding crashers…those nosy gawkers who stare without any consideration for your privacy.
How do you overcome each and every obstacle a wedding might face?
This isn’t just about an elegant beach wedding; there is so much more in the planning process; just the same as any other wedding theme you might choose. Basically it doesn’t matter which venue or location you choose, at the end of the day, planning for absolute zero hiccups can be challenging. Your dream wedding deserves perfection, so we’ve decided to turn to our wedding planners and ask them for the best possible advice when planning a beach wedding. It turns out there is quite a bit of advice as well!
Our wedding planners tell us that oceanfront weddings come with their very own special set of tips and tricks. They tell us that every choice made will matter, from choosing the right dress to keeping those pesky mosquitoes away; and even wind proofing the area, as well as décor. The big day calls for many actions next to proper planning; but, one thing is certain – you want to stay worry free on the beach as you exchange vows.
So, without further ado, here is TikiTano’s ultimate guide to planning a beach wedding.
Dress the Part
It’s a nice day for a beach wedding! You know what makes the South of Spain, specifically the Costa del Sol the absolute best location for a beach wedding? Over 300 days of sunshine that’s what! The perpetual sunshine on the Coast is world famous, and during mid-day it can get toasty; so dressing accordingly is a must.
Pass on the big dress – this is a given. The typical wedding gown with frills, lace and whatever else might turn you into a walking heat lamp and obviously has no place on the beach. Walking down an aisle in full dress with a long train trailing behind you works well in a church, but should be considered off limits on the beach front.
Lighten the load – A light and breezy dress will do the trick. Lightweight fabric like chiffon will look stunning as your gown flows in the sea breeze. If you prefer long flowing and lightweight, try and avoid lace trim; it will act like a net and pick up any debris in the sand…can you imagine a small beach crab in tow?
Don’t forget the guys – Getting married on the beach might mean the boys will have to ditch the black tux. Khakis and capris are very popular with lightweight white button down shirts; even short sleeved might be a good idea.
Remember your guests – Make sure your guests know you are planning a ceremony on the beach. You might want to be specific on the invites or if you have a wedding day webpage you can simply announce it there. Here’s a great tip: You can even include a welcome bag with all the essentials. You can include sunscreen in travel size bottles, a small bottle of water, and a fan to beat the heat. Your guests will love you for it!
Remember the Elements, Your Hair and Feet
Think about braids or an updo – The elements must be considered before your beach wedding. The Mediterranean is usually calm; however, you can never be too careful. Wind has a way of sneaking up out of nowhere. To avoid any aggravation or your hair ending up in your eyes or mouth, consider wearing it in a style that is both elegant, up and out of the way.
Do you really need a veil? – Remember that wind we were discussing?
Protect your hair from the sun – The Spanish sun is hot, and even standing directly under it for 10 minutes can do some damage not only to your skin, but to your hair as well. Chances are you’re not going to wear a gawdy beach hat on your wedding day, so SPF protection is in order.
You can protect your hair with some style because many styling aids, like leave in conditioner and hair sprays have an SPF right in them. Or if you’re feeling crafty, you can even make your own! Making UV protection is easy; simply dilute 2 teaspoons of SPF 25 sun block with one cup of water. Transfer the solution to a spray bottle, and spray it onto your damp hair before styling.
Shoes matter – ditching the heels before walking on the beach is the only option. Heels and beach sand make for a horrible combination. It will be a struggle to walk even a few steps. As you know, sandals come in a variety of flavours, even comfort and elegance are possible.
Shoes for the guests – why not go the extra mile and provide a shoe station for all your guests? This is a fantastic idea and your guests will certainly appreciate it. Allow your guests the option to turn in their heels and dress shoes for flip-flops. Encouraging them to do so will save them a lot of trouble and stockings full of beach sand in the end.
Natural Beach Décor – Decorating Tips
You might be surprised to discover that beach weddings are very affordable. Considering you are surrounded by the best decorations nature has to offer, the beautiful Mediterranean backdrop doesn’t need to be dressed up to the nines. All you really need to do is add highlights. With the beach comes sea shells, sand dunes, colourful stones, crystal clear blue waters and starfish. The décor you choose should be simple yet leave a lasting impression. There is really no need to go over the top with flower, and certain colours can accent your surroundings quite nicely.
Choosing the right colours – think about your surroundings and the natural beauty; choose colours that contrast the sand and the water. Avoid blending in by considering corals, greens and other vibrant tones that help accent the natural setting.
Let the locals help – On the Costa del Sol, as you can well imagine, wedding vendors are more than prepared for beach weddings. Just as we are at TikiTano; however, if our chairs and favours don’t tickle your fancy, there are plenty of other choices situated close by. You don’t want any wedding items stuck in customs!
The Outdoor Necessities
The big day in the sun with sand under feet will need a few bits and bobs to make things comfortable and ensure limited snags.
Let’s talk about wind again – it’s always better to be prepared of course, and as we mentioned before, the wind has a funny way of sneaking up! Remember our rule of thumb on the beach: Anything that can blow away, will.
Like tall floral arrangements, candles, and glass vases – even the vases have been known to shatter when hitting the sand. If your heart is set on tall glass centre pieces, just be sure the florist properly secures them. For lighting, consider using LED candles, which are flameless and long lasting
Batten down the hatches as they say; if any paper like ceremony programs are around, hold them down with shells; if you want rose petals tossed around, simply wait until the last possible moment. Don’t worry too much about chairs, tables and tents – we always take care to ensure our guests safety, and rest assured we make the wedding attire wind proof.
Shoe fly…don’t bother me – Imagine for one moment taking your vows when a bug suddenly fly’s directly into your mouth…yuck! Sadly this has happened on more than one occasion. Insect repellent is a great idea, and in Spain, most of the time which season your in makes no difference. Before deciding on a repellent just make sure it’s a brand that won’t stain your dress.
Don’t forget photography – when it comes to the pictures, timing is essential. Photographers face a few challenges that you might be able to help with. Lighting as you can well imagine is important, and most photographers recommend the ceremony be at least an hour before sunset.
Providing shade – the canopy or tent is always a nice addition to a beach wedding.
Ensuring your privacy – If you really want to avoid high traffic, avoid getting married during holiday weekends.
Talk loudly – the sea can be very loud, so make sure to speak up while reading out your vows. Don’t forget to remind the rest of the wedding party just in case a few are required to speak. Electrical or microphones are not available beach side.
A Few More Great Ideas
Offer the guests special refreshments – how about a table with fresh lemon-ade, cocktails or water? We even help out if requested, and can have our wait staff attend to guests to keep them fully hydrated and comfortable.
Keep everyone warm – here’s a fantastic idea to consider: Arrange a basket of comfy, fuzzy and colour coordinated pashminas!
Finally, always have a PLAN B ready to hatch at the last possible moment. Wind might be your last problem if storm clouds do happen to form. Plan B should be prepared during the entire planning process. Everything can be brought inside quickly and effectively with a solid plan B!