Saturday, October 22, 2011

Planning the Perfect Beach Wedding: The Ceremony!

Yesterday, I featured tips from Destination Wedding Magazine on how to dress accordingly for the perfect beach wedding. Today I wanted to include some great guidelines for ways to make the most of your destination wedding: At the Ceremony!

Photo Credit: Tim Otto Photography
Stay natural. A gorgeous ocean backdrop doesn’t need to be too dressed up. Instead, highlight the natural beauty of the setting. “A beach wedding can be about shells and starfish, but it can also take inspiration from the harmonious color palette of sand, dune grasses, stones and water,” says Karen Bussen of Simple Stunning in New York. “Decor should be simple; avoid going over the top with fussy flowers.”

Add color. To make your setup really pop, Sasha Souza of Sasha Souza Events suggests, “Choose colors that contrast the sand and the surf rather than blend in, like corals, greens and other vibrant tones.”

Go local. Celebrity-wedding planner Colin Cowie recommends hiring local vendors as much as possible. “Otherwise you might find your favors or chair covers stuck in customs.” Tracey Kumer-Moore of Your Las Vegas Wedding Concierge adds, “When it comes to food, look for caterers who are conscientious of local markets and respectful of the beach environment.”

Get a permit. Research the required paperwork to hold your ceremony on the beach, especially if it’s public. “Also, inquire in advance about noise ordinances, and be sure to follow them,” Kumer-Moore advises.

Ensure privacy. “Beaches are most crowded on holiday weekends, so avoid them unless you want the general public in attendance,” advises Janet Renner of Royal Hawaiian Weddings. And remember, not all beaches are private. “Hawaii’s are all public,” reminds Evonne Wong of Events by Evonne in Hawaii. “We’re not allowed to set up canopies, chairs or aisle runners. If you want decor, we suggest renting an oceanfront estate where you can have a secluded ceremony and still take photos on the beach.”

Prepare Your guests. Make sure your guests know your event will take place on the sand, says Kelly McWilliams of Weddings by Socialites in Cape Coral, Florida. Mention your plans on the invitation or wedding website, and prepare your guests for the sun by including necessary items in the welcome bags. Celebrity-wedding planner Preston Bailey suggests travel-size bottles of good quality sunscreen, bottled water, towels and hand fans to beat the heat.

Time it right. When dealing with beach wedding photos, lighting is especially important. Barbara Fancsik of Eventful Moments Vallarta in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, suggests ending the ceremony an hour before sunset. “That way, you’ll still get great action shots in natural lighting, as well as sunset portraits.”

Set up a shoe station. Don’t let your guests spend the day with sand in their shoes. “Provide a shoe check, where guests can swap their shoes for flip-flops and wipe sand off their feet,” recommends Tara Guerard of Soiree by Tara Guerard. “It could include a bench, towels and a bucket of water.”

Provide shade. “Shade is your guests’ best friend,” says Soloway. “Consider creating a canopy to cover the seating area; for example, you could source some rustic bamboo poles and loosely drape thin white fabric on top.”

Offer Refreshments. To keep your guests refreshed, Soloway advises, “Set up a table with ice water, lemonade or a signature cocktail that guests can enjoy while waiting for the ceremony to start.”

Have a seat. “Wooden benches, folding chairs and waterproof ottomans are great choices because they’re heavy enough to withstand the ocean breeze,” says Guerard.

Prepare for wind. A good rule of thumb on the beach: Anything that can blow away will. If you’re using ceremony programs, weight them down with shells, tie them to chairs with ribbon or print them on fans, which perform double duty. And if you envision a perfectly petal-lined aisle, McWilliams advises, “Don’t toss them until the absolute last moment, right before guests arrive.”

Keep bugs at bay. “Insect repellent is a good idea no matter the season or beach location,” says Srimoon. Just make sure it’s a brand that won’t stain your gown.

Speak up. You’ve spent so much time writing your vows and personalizing the ceremony, so be sure your audio doesn’t get lost against the sound of crashing waves. “Rent a wireless microphone and speaker for your officiant to use,” suggests Iraida Gonzalez of Belize Weddings. Inquire if your officiant, resort or DJ can provide this equipment, and do a sound check prior to the ceremony to ensure there’s no unwanted feedback.

Keep it short. Given factors like heat and audibility, Mulcare advises limiting the amount of readings and performances during the ceremony — and make sure all participants know to speak clearly and loudly.

Have a backup plan. Unfortunately, weather has a mind of its own, so be ready with a solid plan B. “To keep the party on the beach, have a canopy or tent ready,” Cowie suggests. “Or find a space indoors where everything can take place.”

Via Destination Wedding Magazine

1 comment:

  1. very useful tips for planning the perfect beach wedding! For me, Las Vegas is the best place for a romantic, unique and wonderful wedding. These Vegas weddings really rock!!! very lovely blog! I find it a fun and informative resource!