Your wedding day is approaching. You and your significant other have decided to exchange vows on the beach and the planning has begun. Congratulations! Many beach venues provide cut and dry packages that may make the planning a breeze. Other destinations may take a bit more work to jigsaw the pieces together. Either way, there are some often-overlooked details that could make or break your wedding day experience. Dozens of married partners have shared these tips and tricks they wish they had known, that should help you have a stress-free and enjoyable beach wedding:
#1 Private Over Public Beach
Your dream wedding may only include your closest relatives and friends. Unfortunately, this may not be the case at some beaches. Many resorts have private beaches that will cut down on the outside foot traffic during your ceremony. Having a couple of strangers clap as you share your first kiss should be expected though. The problem with some public beaches are the hecklers, as Camber C. experienced firsthand at her Captiva Island wedding. Camber says if she could do anything over again, she would have picked a private beach. This is an especially valuable tip for the introverted couples out there. Ask the venues how much foot traffic will be expected or if there is the possibility of roping off an area or finding a more secluded spot.
#2 Vet Your Photographer
Your pictures will capture memories you’ll treasure for your whole life. Research your photographer and view his or her portfolio. Ask questions. Ask to see pictures in different lighting and weather conditions. Many photographers will only showcase photographs in perfect weather conditions. How do they handle rain? Can they improvise fantastic photo opportunities if things go awry? Look at the reviews of multiple photographers. Definitely don’t feel as though you have to settle on a resort’s photographer if his or her style doesn’t fit yours. Karie S. from Hawaii also insists that you buy the digital rights to your photographs, which can save you a lot of money in prints.
#3 Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate
Destination weddings can be a bargaining dream, especially if you’re getting married during the off season. Everything from the venue to flowers, to the photographer can be negotiated. Don’t be afraid to try! You can lower the initial deposit, offer to pay in full immediately if a couple of “extras” are thrown in, or simply ask for a discount. The more creative you can be with your bargaining techniques, the more likely they are to work!
#4 Understand That You May Be Sharing Your “Special Day”
If you’re getting married during peak season, realize that there may be multiple other couples getting married at the exact same venue on the exact same day. Some beaches or resorts may earn a reputation for treating weddings in an assembly line fashion. Ask the venue how many weddings they perform in a day and how strict they are on their time frame. Come up with scenarios, such as a makeup artist running late, and ask the venue how they would handle this situation. The last thing you want is for your wedding to be cut short because another couple is waiting right behind you.
#5 Attire Can Make or Break Your Day
Amy B. from Rhode Island had a “magical beach wedding,” but wishes she had deviated from the traditional gown and veil. Dragging sand down the aisle can be, well, a real drag. Traditional gowns and veils tend to be heavy and can make your paradise wedding feel like a Bikram yoga class. Another issue that bride Trish W. brought up was footwear. Going barefoot may seem like the obvious choice, but the sand may be blistering hot, as it was at her Riviera Maya wedding. Having a backup pair of sandals may save your feet—and your wedding.
#6 Hair, Makeup and Food Should Be Weather Dependent
#7 Stop Worrying
This is the single most important tip. The most repeated recommendation for a fantastic beach wedding was to not worry so much. It’s your big day. You’ve possibly dreamed of this day for decades. You want it to be perfect. Now breathe and let go. You are marrying the person you love, not the cake or DJ or weather. Enjoy your day and embrace any mishaps. Don’t let some wind or the “Electric Slide” sour your attitude. You never know, a great attitude can turn a mishap into a fantastic story that’ll last a lifetime.
If you have any other great tips for a fantastic beach destination wedding, please leave a comment below!