So You Want To Get Married On The Beach

by dustytoes

The bride who wants a beach wedding must take a lot into consideration when planning this type of ceremony.

Beach weddings can be stunningly beautiful, with the ocean waves and warm sand as a backdrop to the bride and groom on their wedding day.

Any time an outdoor wedding is in the making, careful consideration must be given to certain details and a beach wedding has it's own special obstacles to overcome.

This page is meant to help bring to light the realities of getting married on the beach so fewer surprises will happen on wedding day.

Live Your Dream of Having a Beach Wedding

If it's what you both want, then work to make it happen!

shell, hibiscus and stones on beachYou may encounter some negativity when announcing a beach wedding to family and friends. 

If the destination is in a distant place, cost will be the first thing that everyone will think about.  If you believe that most family members and close friends can afford to attend (and why not make a vacation out of it?), then invite them all. 

If times are tough for most people you know, but you still want to get married in the sand on a tropical beach, have a small wedding with the closest of family members and then celebrate once you get back home.  Plan an "after the wedding" reception party where everyone can congratulate you.

Only you know how it would be best to handle your beach wedding invitations, but don't let it stop you from having the wedding of your dreams.

 (Photo credit: Public Domain Images at Pixabay)

How To Decide If The Beach is The Right Place to Get Married

I confess that I know more about beaches than weddings!

I have never been married on the beach.  In fact, I have never been to a beach wedding.  I did live in central Florida for about 27 years and traveled to the beaches of the east and west coasts of that state many times.  I know a bit about the weather and other things you may encounter and hadn't thought about. 

This page is not meant to scare you off the path to your romantic, beach side ceremony, but to help you realize the important decisions you will face before the big day.  It's not as simple as walking onto a sunny beach and reciting vows!

How to Plan A Beach Wedding in Florida

The state of Florida has an abundance of beaches and makes a great place to honeymoon.

beach wedding couple

The state of Florida has over 600 miles of beaches with a tropical climate, and therefore is a great choice for beach weddings.  From the peninsula and panhandle area to the tip of the Keys, the weather, surf and even the type and color of the sand can vary.

The northern, panhandle area of the state has some sandy beaches that are so white, you would think you are walking on sugar crystals.  This area tends to be cooler than the lower part of the state and can have some severe weather including hurricanes coming ashore during the hurricane season which runs from June 1st through November 30th.  Yes, it's a long season, but the brunt of bad storms tend to form in August and September and of course many hurricanes miss the state.

The Gulf coast area is well known for it's beautiful beaches.  The Sanibel Island area is known for it's abundance of seashells.

The east coast of Florida has sandy beaches with few shells, but some beaches allow cars on the beach.   Be sure to pick a spot where no traffic will be zooming past on your wedding day.  Try to choose an out-of-the-way spot, away from tourists, unless you like that kind of thing.

The Florida Keys offer an amazing variety of islands and that is where you'll find the aqua blue waters.  One very lovely and secluded (also pricey) spot is Little Palm Island which would be a nice spot for the honeymoon. (See video below.)

(photo: Wedding Couple from Wikimedia Commons.)

The Upscale Resort on Little Palm Island

Little Palm Island is Located in the Florida Keys

Tropical Island Destination


Luggage Tag Save the Date

Leaving the Country to Get Married

There will be more to think about if you leave your native land.

Hawaii is a popular beach wedding spot for the United States mainlanders because it's like going to another country, but it's not.  If you do plan to celebrate with a wedding out of your native land, there will be a lot more to consider. 

Check out the Love to Know site for more information about traveling abroad for your wedding.

(Pixabay image)

Let Nature Give You a Spectacular Backdrop

Find the times of a sunrise or sunset and plan the event around it.

On the east coast of Florida you can have an early morning wedding and watch the sun rise.  I realize that is an unlikely plan.  Who wants to go to a wedding at 5am? 

But you may want to have the wedding sometime in the morning if you do a Florida wedding, because most afternoons bring thunderstorms.  Morning weddings are your best chance for sunshine throughout the ceremony.  Usually there is a breeze at the beach, but if your wedding day is warm and calm, you may want to pass out little folding fans to the guests.

On the Gulf of Mexico, Florida coast, the sunset can be spectacular.  Having an early evening wedding may give you a gorgeous backdrop for the wedding photos.

Unless you will be married in the middle of the day, be sure to check when the sun rises and sets wherever you plan to get married.  How can you do that?  Check out this "Sunrise Sunset" calendar creator page.

Make your own wedding fan programs.

Wedding programs, made as fans, are popular for outdoor and summertime weddings to keep guests cool throughout the ceremony. Should you make your own from scratch, or buy a kit?

30 Wedding Flip Flops in a Basket

A nice idea to have for the beach wedding and / or reception - this item gets 5 star reviews!
30 Wedding Flip Flops with Basket By Weddyz

Beach Weddings In Cooler Climates

Know what you are getting into

I live in New England and one thing I can say for sure about this area of the country is that the weather is very unpredictable.  If you plan a beach wedding in an unstable climate, you must have an indoor plan.

Also be aware of the possibility of bugs that are only found at certain times of the year.  In my area, the month of May brings black flies that are horrendous and I wouldn't suggest trying to hold a wedding when they are around.

Since the warm weather season is very short, wedding plans must be made way in advance since everything will book up fast.

Plan For Bad Weather in Advance

Go with the flow and your wedding day will be a beautiful memory in the years to come.

storms lightening

There is much stress in planning a beach wedding.  If worries over the weather are getting to you, make an alternate plan.  It's good to find a hotel or location that will offer an indoor room for you to use just in case the day brings unusually nasty stuff.  

Remember that you have no control over mother nature, so just enjoy the day no matter what and plan to get some beach photos later on that evening or the next day.  The nice thing about the tropics is that the storms pass by quickly.


Updated: 02/04/2015, dustytoes
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katiem2 on 09/22/2012

Your pages are beautifully designed. You know I'm a big fan of beach weddings. We love the beach, sand, sun and water it is all as good as it gets, for me and mine. Great ideas for a beach wedding, thanks :)K

dustytoes on 04/02/2012

Thank you bizilady.

Guest on 04/02/2012

I know two couples that married on the beach. These invitations are beautiful.

puerdycat on 08/29/2011

I can't help it, the hurricane got me thinking of the beach. And wasn't the beach made for new beginnings!

Ladymermaid on 06/22/2011

What beautiful images. There is something so magical about the basic elements.

mandeesears on 06/20/2011

Excellent advice Pam! Careful planning and knowing your venue (even a beach) can have you prepared for anything!

BarbRad on 06/11/2011

You've given couples considering a beach wedding much to think about. I guess I'm more traditional, or maybe I just like to have such occasions indoors to avoid the sand, the bugs, the wind, etc. That being said, I have read about many who had a good experience with a beach wedding.

WordCustard on 06/11/2011

A beach wedding would be wonderful... what a lovely backdrop for the pictures! For those of us in colder climates, the thought of a tropical beach with guaranteed sunshine is very appealing.

Jimmie on 06/10/2011

I agree with Deb. Beach weddings sound romantic, but all I can think about is SAND everywhere. BUT you are right. If it is someone's dream wedding, she should go for it. Make it happen.

Deb on 06/10/2011

Nice write-up, Pam! Beach weddings look so pretty in the ads and in the movies, but real life isn't the same, of course. The only one I saw in Florida was pummeled by wind!

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