Do’s and Don’ts for a Beach Wedding

Beach weddings…the dream destination at the perfect time for just about every bride at some point in their life.

They are becoming more and more popular, or maybe I just think they are because I’m a wedding photographer in a Destination Wedding location with beaches…Who knows? Either way, as a photographer who has attended beach weddings and a bride who had one of her own (If you can count our small elopement in a cruise port as a wedding) I’ve put together this list of do’s and don’ts for any bride out there currently planning or thinking about planning a beach wedding.

Do’s

Do – Pick a dress that is appropriate for the heat and sand that you will be encountering on the day of your wedding.

Do- Make the requirement for guest attire as casual (maybe even beach casual) as possible

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Do- Try and plan for a sunset/sunrise ceremony (Makes for fantastic pictures)

Do-Remember sunscreen and Sunglasses (and possibly a darker shade of foundation)

Do- Buy an alternative dress to wear for your reception, I can guarantee you won’t want to be in a full length dress all night in the tropics.

Do-Provide water in some fashion for your guests….if you’re hot they probably will be too. Don’t want anyone passing out and making your big day all about them. 🙂

Do-Have a back up plan!!! The weather (especially here in Florida) doesn’t always play nicely.

Don’ts

Don’t- Be Afraid to have a Trash the Dress session…If your photographer doesn’t ask (shame on them) don’t be afraid to ask them. You’ll never wear it again anyway, might as well have fun with it. I was too afraid to ask, and I wish I hadn’t been.

Don’t- Try and wear real shoes (Heels,Dress Shoes, anything you might find in a typical ballroom wedding), you will sink into the sand, it will be unfortunate, you will regret it. Try out those fake sandal things you see on Pinterest all the time, or maybe even some real ones if you don’t want to go completely barefoot to your wedding like I did.

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Don’t- Try and make your groom and his groomsmen wear a full suit, it will not work, it will be uncomfortable, and you could end up with a groom who decides to wear swim trunks, neon sunglasses, and a fishing hat instead (I’m unfortunately not making that particular scenario up)

Don’t- Forget to file all the paperwork for your marriage license beforehand if you’re doing a destination wedding. Some places can take several days to process, and you don’t want that to stall or ruin your perfect day.

Don’t- Freak out when the day doesn’t go as planned. The weather sometimes doesn’t behave, the schedule sometimes can’t be executed  100% on time, your guests may get a little drunk and try and make things about them. Take a page out of island life mentality and just relax and go with the flow.

Don’t-Expect your groom, his groomsmen, or your guests to be sober by the time the ceremony starts (Even with a sunrise wedding). They’re on vacation, just because you spent all day getting ready doesn’t mean everyone else did. Even at a regular wedding, the groom has probably been drinking most of the day, so don’t expect anything different from a beach wedding 🙂

With no help from my husband, (his only input to this blog was “don’t wear shoes” and “don’t wear white because you’ll blind everyone”) that is my list of Do’s and Don’ts for the Beach Wedding Bride. Even if you chose to ignore this list entirely, the most important thing to remember is, Have Fun, its your wedding day!

Until Next Time,

Your Friendly Neighborhood Wedding Photographer