a guide to planning a beach wedding

Beach weddings have traditionally been the preserve of the Caribbean, while the weather is a major advantage it is now possible to arrange a beach wedding more or less anywhere.
With the advent of new licensing laws more and more couples are breaking with the tradition of a church or religious setting and looking at other options for their special day. A beach wedding offers a romantic setting and a relaxed atmosphere that can be memorable and very beautiful.
If you are planning a beach wedding, there are a few considerations to be taken into account to ensure you have the perfect day.
Firstly consider your location, ensuring it will be accessible for you and your guests and ensuring you can obtain a wedding license for your location. Choose a date carefully, and pay attention to local weather, sun rise and sunset times and tidal patterns, the last thing you and your guests will want is to be engulfed by the incoming tide. Also consider the location of your reception, is it overlooking the beach or do you want an open style reception on the beach itself, in which case you must ensure you find caterers that can accommodate your requests.
The next consideration is your wedding theme, although your wedding may not actually be in the Caribbean you may still want to consider a tropical or Hawaiian theme, using bold colours, tropical flowers, floating candles and Hawaiian leis, which will all add a touch of Aloha to your special day. If the wedding is held in the evening you could even consider Tiki torches or you may even opt for a surfer themed wedding.
Depending on your location there may be a wedding arch and pergola already in place or included in the package, if not you may need to arrange your own. Also consider your seating requirements and pay particular attention to the flooring as you don’t want your guest sinking into the sand! You may even place a walkway across the beach. Make everyone aware that flat shoes will definitely be the order of the day and clearly state the dress code on your invitations, sand can be beautiful but has a habit of getting everywhere, especially if it is windy.
With any outdoor wedding, the weather can be a major factor, check your local weather conditions when planning your date and be aware that wind can be a major factor for beach weddings, however nice the forecast. Plan for a covered area to protect yourself and your guests from adverse weather, rain, wind and extremely strong sun are all factors to consider.
The photographer will have a great opportunity to take some stunning photographs, just make sure you choose a photographer with some experience of outdoor venues.
Many agencies now offer packages for Beach weddings which can take the stress out of organising your event, or you can be plan your own on a relatively small budget, either way a beach can be great choice for your special day and if you invest some thought and time into the planning, you will ensure a memorable occasion.

Louise Owen is a specialist retailer of fine ties and cufflinks suitable for weddings and any occasion, all items are available to ship worldwide