Three Tips For a Festive Beach Wedding Ceremony
I live in southern California—land of surf, sand, and beach weddings. Beach weddings evoke romantic images—and they can be—if you keep these 3 tips in mind:
- Provide shade. During the summer, the sun can be brutal, especially if you’re wearing something other than a bathing suit! A festive way to offer guests some shade is by providing colorful paper umbrellas—your guests even could lead you to your beach wedding in a Mardi Gras procession of color.
- Remember you will have “lookie-loos.” If you’re getting married on a pubic beach, then you should expect some folks to watch—or gawk! And know that some of these folks will pop up in your video/photos. And some of those folks probably should be arrested for wearing Speedos! Check out your intended outdoor beach spot a week or so before your wedding. When do crowds thin out? Is there a stretch that is less populated? While it will be hard to find a private spot, you at least can reduce the number of unwanted guests.
- Be creative—an outdoor beach wedding is not a traditional ceremony. Be creative in every aspect of the ceremony—from what you wear to how you exchange vows and rings.
- Rather than setting up rows of chairs, have your guests circle around you in a tight knit circle of love.
- I’ve officiated at several beach weddings where folks actually dragged string trios onto the sand—only to have the music blown out to sea. Why not have a horn, trumpet or steel drum shout forth the joy of your day?
- I’ve seen brides clomp through the sand in puffy dresses, complete with veil and train. You’re not in a church, so why imitate a church setting?
- I feel for older guests and relatives who trudge through the sand in shoes—wanting to remain “proper.” Consider alternatives. Have folks switch into flip-flops before heading off to the ceremony spot. Perhaps you can provide a station where people can remove socks and shoes and then, after the ceremony, have moist cloths ready so they can wipe their feet before putting their shoes back on.
- Sun glasses make for a fun beach wedding favor.
- When I officiated Rob & Amber’s wedding in the Bahamas, their rings were presented on a seashell. Before exchanging rings, they washed their hands in a conch shell and had their mothers dry their hands. It was a poignant symbol that tied us to both the ceremony and the beach.
Simple, festive, fun. Keep these three words in mind as you plan for a memorable beach wedding ceremony!