What could be better than a wedding at the beach? Just remember that it's not all fun in the sun, and careful planning is required to successfully pull off a fun seaside ceremony.
Pros and cons of beach weddings
The sand, the sun, the surf, (and the wind) - that make a beach wedding so special - can also present special problems for wedding planners.
To lessen the chance of an overheated or sunburned wedding party, late morning or late afternoon are usually the best times for beach ceremonies, with dusk probably one of the most romantic ways to complete the ceremony, accented by a beautiful sunset backdrop.
With local expert advice, you can also schedule your ceremony when there is less chance of high tide. In case of rain, also be sure to have have a "Plan B" ready so guests can enjoy a memorable beach wedding whatever the weather.
Beach wedding theme ideas
Any theme that ties in with the sand and shore is naturally perfect for beach weddings.
Hawaiian themes are some of the more popular - including leis for bride, groom and guests - followed by a luau reception decorated with tiki torches and lots of beautiful orchids and hibiscus flowers.
Caribbean themes are also much in favor, including spicy island dishes with entertainment featuring steel drums and a reggae beat at the reception.
Nautical more your style? Check out local party stores or online shops to buy appropriately themed decorations widely marketed for summer parties or beach parties throughout the summer season.
For a signature cocktail, create a fun variation on popular summer cocktails such as the Mojito, Margarita, or a cool punch bowl filled with festive Sangria.
Planning on an after party when the sun goes down? A beach bonfire at dusk creates a warm centerpiece around which guests can mingle. To cap off the festivities, there's nothing more memorable than those popular "sky wish lanterns" that guests can help float off into the night to add a final touch of romance.
Sky lanterns have become a popular way to top off a memorable beach wedding.
The beach wedding dress
When it comes to the all-important wedding dress, don't believe the notion that beach weddings have to be casual affairs. Although your wedding takes place in a beautiful, natural setting -- this is after all a real WEDDING!
So don't settle for a simple, flowing chiffon dress if that's not your style. Opt for the real deal. Nowadays, wedding dress makers are also there to help you with special dress lines catering to the bride planning a destination wedding. Many of these bridal gowns come in styles and materials perfect for travel while still maintaining a formal, elegant look that any bride would be happy to wear on her wedding day.
Around the Web, surf for more ideas on beach weddings at top sites with more expert tips on planning & decorating, invitation how to's, wedding favor suggestions, as well as travel advice for combining a fun beach wedding with an exotic tropical honeymoon ...
The Knot - Beach Weddings - Let the experts show you how to plan, decorate and pull off a memorable beach wedding with additional tips on wedding attire, reception ideas, locations.
Tips for Destination Weddings - Not specifically geared to beach weddings, but great advice covering all the finer points of long-distance wedding planning including invitations, travel coordination and other helpful details, with related resources on popular locations