Top 20 Tips For Planning a Beach Wedding
There’s a reason why many celebrities hold their weddings on exotic beaches. No-they don’t just want to be far far away from paparazzi or prying eyes. If that was the case there are a lot more discreet places to get married. Nope. The main reason why celebrities and non-celebrities prefer beaches for weddings is because no natural view captures the sense of possibility and adventure of a new marriage more than the beach.
With open vistas of lakes, seas, or oceans, beaches can stretch out for miles into the horizon. You can’t help but be swept away by the vast expanses and great new possibilities it represents. Throw in a great sunset or nice balmy breezes and you have the makings of a truly great experience that captures all the excitement and anticipation the wedding couple has for the new life together. Plus, most people like the informal setting far from the stuffy and overly formal restrictions of traditional wedding locations.
If you are thinking about holding your wedding on the beach, keep the following tips in mind. Make sure you have all the information you need so you can make the right decision. If you don’t make your decision in a systematic and methodical way, the chances of you making a mistake go through the roof and you might end up with a less than optimal wedding day experience.
Always Make The Big Decisions Together
When it comes to the big decisions (venue, event planner, theme, and others) make sure both you and your soon-to-be spouse are on the same page. You have to make sure both of you are in the loop at all times when it comes to the ‘big stuff.’ This way, your marriage doesn’t get off to a rocky start when you end up blaming each other for stuff that goes wrong with your wedding plans and event. Also, making sure you confer with each other on the big decisions also ensures you solve problems together. This might make getting through rough spots easier and faster. After all, two heads are better than one.
Agree on Decision Delegation
If one or both of you has a hectic or busy daily schedule, it doesn’t make sense for both of you to split up all decisions and handle everything on a 50/50 basis. In many cases, it may make more sense for one of you to delegate most of the small decisions to the other partner. This way, the partner who needs to take care of his or her career or business can do so while still being in the loop for the big decisions.
Of course, with delegation comes the agreement that you will give whoever you delegated certain decisions to a lot of slack. The worst thing you can do is blame your future spouse for decisions you agreed to delegate.
Always have a Checklist of the Big Stuff
As the old saying goes, if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. You have to be structured and methodical in managing your upcoming wedding. Otherwise, the chances of things falling apart, things not happening, or scheduling mistakes go through the roof. You don’t want to get caught flat-footed by unexpected events at the last minute during your wedding.
Thankfully, simply having a checklist of the big stuff you need to decide on can go a long way in making sure you get the important stuff handled right for your big day. At the very least, having a checklist ensures that you don’t overlook any of the big decision items for your wedding.
Compare Several Wedding Planners
There are no two ways about-your choice of wedding planner is probably the most important decision you’ll have to make. Choose very carefully. Simply going with a friend or relative’s recommendation is not a good idea because their standards might not be yours. Also, you might not be aware of many details regarding the wedding planning that led to a ‘good experience’ for your friend or family member.
Instead, you should ask for many different recommendations as well as dig up your own prospective wedding planners. Once you have a nice list going, check out all their features and compare them on a feature by feature basis. This way, you can have a good idea of what to expect from the wedding planner you end up using. Also, you will be getting some assurance that you will do business with the very best service provider.
Don’t Fixate on Price
If there is any one classic piece of advice you should pay attention to when it comes to picking out wedding planners, it is this: don’t get hung up on their fee. Seriously. To paraphrase the old saying: if you are only willing to pay peanuts, you will only attract monkeys. If you are so focused on driving down your costs and the main way you do this is to use only a cut rate or bargain basement wedding planner, you might end up ruining your wedding experience.
Make no mistake about it-your wedding planner will be the linchpin of your wedding. You have to make sure you pick the right person or company to coordinate everything. Indeed, you might save more money picking the very best event planner and pinch pennies with all other details.
Focus on the Experience you Want
Too many couples screw up their wedding planning by focusing on ‘packages’ instead of experiences. Usually, these couples focus on the price tag a package goes with and overlook the fact that different packages come with different experiences. They end up with an experience that isn’t bad but isn’t completely fulfilling either. If you want to avoid this common problem, do yourself a favor and focus on the experience you want.
All Planning Must Focus on the Experience you Desire
Expounding on the earlier point raised above, you have to make sure that all the event planners’ efforts go toward capturing precisely the experience you want people to have in your wedding. This, of course, means, at the very least, arriving at an overall theme. However, the overall experience you are aiming for shouldn’t be sacrificed because you just want the most convenient and expedient theme. If you do this, you’d be missing the forest from the trees-the whole point of picking out a theme is that it leads to a specific experience. The whole point of theme selection shouldn’t begin and end with theme selection-it should always be approached from the perspective of how well a theme delivers the experience you’re looking for.
Insist on a Theme
As mentioned above, a theme is a great way to produce a certain experience. This is why you should insist that your planner use a theme.
Insist on Theme Consistency
Now that you have gone through the time and effort of picking out a theme with your wedding planner, make sure you don’t waste all that effort with inconsistent wedding planning. All aspects of your wedding must be consistent with the theme of your wedding. Everything from decorations, wedding paraphernalia, wedding invitations, and everything else must be consistent with the theme you selected for your wedding.
Avoid the Temptation to Micromanage your Event Planner
This is one of the most important tips on this list. You have to avoid the temptation to constantly look over your wedding planner’s shoulders. They are the expert. Let them take care of you wedding planning and work their magic. Remember: too many cooks spoil the stew. Learn to maintain a healthy objective distance from your wedding’s planning. I know this is easier said than done (especially with the deadline looming closer and closer), but you need to do it. Otherwise, you’ll drive yourself and your wedding planner (and subcontractors) bonkers.
Give yourself Several Months of Lead Time
One of the most important strategic things you can do to maximize the chances your wedding will go off without a hitch is to give yourself a lot of lead time. If you and your fiance agreed on a certain date, try to give yourself at least six months from that date. The more time, the more planning you can do and the higher the likelihood everything will proceed smoothly.
You Must Completely Agree on Site Selection
It’s not enough for you and your future spouse to agree that you both want to be married on the beach. You have to agree on which beach and which part of the beach. This is very important because you don’t want your marriage to get off on the wrong foot when you find yourself blaming each other for some small things that went wrong because you both didn’t agree on your wedding’s location. Partial agreement is not enough-both of you must be perfectly happy with the decision you made together.
Keep in Mind Important Site Selection Factors
When picking out beach locations, make sure you are both conscious about common factors like climate patterns, chances of rain or snow, temperature, wind factors, special permits or local government restrictions, time restrictions, crowd control, and other features. If you ignore any of these factors, you might end up setting yourself for a big disappointment. Instead of a great beach side wedding adventure, your actual wedding might not be as awesome as you originally imagined it to be.
Always have a Backup Site in Mind
Since even all the best planning in the world can’t prevent the unexpected from happening, you need to make sure you have a backup beach site in mind. Stuff happens. Live with it. By having a backup, you don’t end up painting yourself in a corner. This might not be the ideal situation, but at the very least, your wedding isn’t completely derailed.
Cuisine Selection Must Fit the Theme
There is a wide range of food that can go well with a beach setting. While the range is quite liberal, there is still some restriction. Make sure the food selections you offer for your wedding fits the beach and the specific theme you agreed on.
Cake Selection Must Fit your Theme
In many ways, the wedding cake is the headliner of any wedding reception. The cake gets a lot of attention. Make sure it fits the theme of your celebration so it can cap off the wedding instead of sticking out like a sore thumb.
Schedule Around Mother Nature’s Time Line
The most common problem wedding planners experience with beach weddings involve Mother Nature. Anything from the weather to water currents to water temperature to even bird migration patterns can really screw up your beach wedding. Make sure your wedding planner is aware of these factors or you might have a nightmare on your hands.
Always Factor in Heat and Light Factors
Even if Mother Nature accommodates your wedding generally, you have to make sure you locate your wedding at the right part of the beach as far as heat and lighting are concerned. Since people will be taking lots of pictures at your wedding, make sure you factor in optimal lighting for better picture quality. Also, you don’t want your wedding guests to sweat through your wedding or reception. Pick a part of the beach that gets lots of nice refreshing breezes from offshore.
Don’t Let Transportation Issues Ruin your Event
Anytime beaches or ‘off the beaten track’ locations are the focus of events, transportation is always a concern. Make sure there are arrangements to transport visitors quickly and conveniently to and from your beach wedding location.
Book a Nearby Wedding Reception Venue for Maximum Convenience
Depending on the particular beach and geography of your wedding location, it might make a whole lot of sense to book your reception nearby. This way, people don’t have to trek to get to your reception.
Make no mistake about it, planning a beach wedding can be quite exciting. Keep the tips above in mind so you don’t leave any crucial factors out.