When you've decided a beach wedding is the perfect romantic choice for you and your fiancé, it's easy to jump in and start planning with abandon, forgetting about the many minor details that change when your impending nuptials are going to be along a stretch of sandy shoreline.
Your beach wedding will be unique and beautiful, but there are several elements that are often overlooked that can put a damper on the mood of your ceremony.
Here are 4 key things to bear in mind:
1. Forgetting that the sun is hot even when there's a breeze.
Most people take into account that there will be a nice breeze on the beach to cool everyone off a bit, which is generally the case. But just as many people don't take into account that the ocean breezes won't keep the sun from beating down on your guests and glaring in their eyes and possibly causing sunburns.
Take into account that older guests, especially, can feel the effects of the sun pretty quickly and consider providing thoughtful touches like paper parasols or canvas tents to shade them from the glare. Baskets of inexpensive sunglasses and mini tubes of sunscreen will also be appreciated.
2. Neglecting the footwear.
Many brides picture flowing, floaty dresses and gorgeous flowers and a casual atmosphere for the bridal party, but don't put as much thought into the footwear. They worry about coordinating with their gown, but forget how different walking on the beach is.
You have several viable options for yourself and the wedding party, including simply going barefoot or wearing flat sandals, but take into consideration the guests as well. Don't expect your female guests to wear high heels (imagine those sinking into the soft sand!) or the men to show up wearing wing tips. Instead, be sure to note on your invitations that this is "dress casual" and that barefoot or sandals is fine.
3. Not thinking about the restroom facilities.
You're sure to think of everything right before you leave the hotel in that great limousine, but lots of your guests will arrive early to be sure they don't miss a thing. If there are young children invited, you will definitely want to make sure restrooms are available.
If your wedding is located near a hotel where you are staying, you should be allowed access to those facilities for a small wedding, but you should always check. This isn't always the case, and if you are any distance down the beach this can be a problem.
If you are located where there aren't permanent facilities, you will need to rent temporary, portable toilets. Most planners suggest one for every 40 to 50 guests to prevent fidgeting and mad dashes up the beach.
4. Inadequate alternatives for bad weather. Rain? High winds?
Have you taken all of these into consideration just in case? Don't just pray for sunny skies and balmy breezes and hope for the best. One of the most important plans to make is adequate alternatives for your beach wedding in case of stormy conditions.
Many brides will try to cut corners in this area, choosing a flimsy "just in case" tent as an afterthought and not investing much in it, reasoning that it probably won't be used. This is a mistake that you'll really regret if you do end up needing it. Take the time to choose a quality tent or select an alternative location such as a local restaurant or hall.
Even if chances are slim that it rains, you'll be glad you invested the extra money when the rains come and your guests are comfortably protected with space to move freely and you and your new husband sheltered beneath a roomy canopy.
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