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Why Brides are saying “I Do” to Beach Weddings

Planning a Destination Wedding should be Fun!  Our series of Unique Journals help organize and simplify your Ceremony, Reception & Honeymoon.

A good laugh is the perfect remedy for in law induced drama, weather concerns, budget mishaps, alteration fiascos & the COVID lockdown blues.

Our fantastically silly Celebrity Vendor Bridal Poll is sure to put a smile on your face. We need your help ranking exotic ceremony locations, inspirational reception venues & exciting honeymoon destinations. See how your choices compare with other beach brides around the world!

The best wedding photos are by the sea. Amazing wedding videos are shot outdoors. Beach Brides have a sense of adventure. They are drawn to the rhythm of the ocean. They see an opportunity for Brilliant Images and don’t lose sleep over the weather. Destination weddings are exciting. Ceremonies on the beach are memorable. Are you ready to say “I do” to getting married on a beautiful beach at sunset?

Our Interactive Beach Wedding & Honeymoon Journals will help jumpstart your Ceremony & Reception planning.

Our Bridal Tips for Affordable Beach Weddings will help maximize your budget and multiply your possibilities. Are you dreaming of getting married on the sand in an exotic destination but nervous about the planning? We have 5 tips to plan a stress-Free Beach Wedding that will put your mind at ease. You deserve to tie the knot in a brilliant location with amazing photo possibilities. Whether you’re planning an elaborate reception at a five-star venue or eloping on a quiet beach at sunset, we can help you create the ceremony that’s best for you. If you’re ready to be a Beach Bride, it’s time to order your first Journal from our Beach Wedding Bridal Shop and start planning the beautiful ceremony you deserve!

Beach Brides have more Fun! The new trend in weddings is to have your ceremony in a beautiful outdoor location. The lure of amazing photos is worth any weather risks and in general, people are just happier outside. No one gets excited about an indoor wedding anymore. In fact, most guests dread long-winded ceremonies in a church. It’s a big beautiful planet, so why limit your wedding venues to where you happen to live? Another trend is to help a friend or family member get legally ordained to perform your ceremony. Marriage is the beginning of an epic adventure and the first step is choosing a brilliant ceremony location.

Destination weddings may seem expensive, but once you dive in you’ll realize you can save money.  Many beaches are free!  Airfare and travel expense is usually offset by a smaller guest list.  Our Bridal Tips for Affordable Beach Weddings can help simplify your budgeting.  Every year we have couples approach for help with their Vow Renewals.  The story is usually the same.  They had a small indoor wedding (often in a courthouse or church) and never got the pictures they really wanted.  Now on their anniversary their making amends and doing it their way (not their parents).  Our advice is to plan it right the first time!  Speaking of family, have any Brides had trouble explaining their marriage vision to loved ones?   If so, our Five Tips for a Stress-Free Beach Wedding are ideal for helping to achieve your state of Bridal Zen.  Once you and your partner have decided to make the leap and plan a memorable ceremony by the sea, it’s time to choose the right sand to tie the knot.

Whether your planning a large reception, expressing your love through a commitment ceremony, or renewing your vows with family and friends, there’s a perfect venue for you! The North Atlantic beaches are mostly seasonal.  Summer ceremonies should take place about an hour before sunset  and the spring and fall shoulder seasons are quite nice.  The Gulf Shore, Florida, and Mexico are a bit toastier. The Caribbean Islands and the Bahamas are almost always warm.  Southern California has brilliant weather and weddings take place on the Pacific coast all year long.  The Great Lakes and Michigan are a hidden treasure for summer weddings.  Which will you choose to get married?  It’s a beautiful day at the beach, let’s get started!

Best Beaches for Atlantic Ocean Weddings

Beautiful beaches for weddings, commitment ceremonies, and vow renewals can be found on six continents. The Northern Atlantic Ocean is home to some excellent seasonal sands along the coasts of New England, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware.  Rehoboth Beach, Ocean City MD, the Hamptons, Cape May, Bethany Beach, and Assateague Island are quite popular in the warmer months.  Even Canada has a few sandy spots for nuptials. Across the pond in Europe, gorgeous beaches can be found in the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain. St. Malo, Cadiz, the Canary Islands, Tenerife, Brighton, Cornwall, St Ives, the Isle of Wight, Porthminster, Carbis Bay, Kynance Cove and the isles of Scilly.

Mediterranean beaches are renowned as the finest in Europe. The Greek Isles, Sardinia, Malta, and the French Riviera are high on the list of destination brides. Monaco, St. Tropez, Majorca, Ibiza, San Sebastian, Tel Aviv, Mojacar Playa, Zakynthos, Mykonos, Santorini and create all conjure images of jet setting bridal parties celebrating their nuptials on sun-kissed shores. A short jet ride away from the Mediterranean takes you to the gulf beaches. Dubai is the pinnacle of luxury and requires a big budget for receptions at the premium wedding venues. Sharm El Sheikh is the top spot on the Red Sea.  Guests can enjoy some of the planets best scuba diving and chase that with Bedouin tea on camelback under the stars later that evening. The Black Sea is an enticing destination for summer marriages in eastern Europe. Bulgaria, Romania, and turkey all have posh resorts and spas. Even the Baltic beaches draw crowds in June, July, and August. Germany, Poland, Denmark, Lithuania, and Latvia all have attractive natural settings for distinctive wedding photos and videos.

If you’re looking to tie the knot in the winter, the southern Atlantic is a bit toastier. The Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, and Florida are at the top of the list. Brides flock to get marriage licenses for ceremonies in Cape Hatteras, Chincoteague, the Outer Banks, Hilton Head, Jekyll Island, Cocoa Beach, Tybee Island, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Hollywood, and Miami.

The Florida panhandle and Mexican Riviera have a bounty of bustling beaches on their resume. Destin, Pensacola, Panama City, and Gulf Shores reel in plenty of ceremonies and vow renewals.  Texas has a vast coastline featuring ceremony destinations on the shores of Corpus Christi, Galveston, Port Aransas, and South Padre Island.  In Mexico, Brides have been saying Hola to Cancun, Tulum, Costa Maya, and Playa Del Carmen for years. In Central America, brides have flocked to Costa Rica, Belize, and Roatan to share their I do’s.

Further south are plenty of year-round options in the lush and tropical Caribbean Islands. Imagine walking the aisle to the rhythm of steel drums on a beach in St. Lucia, St. Croix or Sint Maarten. How about a reception overlooking the harbor of Aruba, Antigua or St. Kitts.  The sandy shores of the Bahamas, Bermuda, Jamaica, Barbados, St. Thomas, Tortola, and the British Virgin Islands have called to brides for decades. Imagine your Bridal party toasting Pina Coladas and Rum Runners at sunset from a wedding venue balcony in Grenada, the Dominican Republic, Curacao, Grand Cayman, Puerto Rico, or Turks and Caicos.

The beaches of Rio and Brazil are the pride of South America. Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, and Buzios have attracted wedding parties from all over the world.  Imagine having a reception during the Carnival festival and doing the Samba during your recessional!  A bit further south, the fiesta continues in Uruguay. Punta Del Este is one of the hottest spots for destination weddings and honeymoons in all of South America. On the other side of the Atlantic is South Africa. Rugged cliffs jutting out from pristine sand make the SA coast one of the best spots for wedding portraits on the planet. Cape Town is the crown jewel of African beaches, but Tenerife, Gran Canary, Port Elizabeth, and Durban are all quite attractive.

Best Beaches for Getting  Married on the Indian Ocean

Cross the African coast to the Indian Ocean and some of the most iconic coastlines on earth will greet you. The lush shores of the Seychelles, Mauritius, and Maldives have graced calendar covers and computer screensavers. Sri Lanka and the beaches of southern India are ripe with palm trees and coconut laden delights. Traveling further east lands you on the western sea of Australia. Perth, Geraldton, Cable Beach, and Turquoise Bay.  Circling around the continent you’ll discover the Gold Coast, Whitsunday Islands, The Twelve Apostles, Byron Bay, and the wild coast of Tasmania. The most famous of the Aussie sands and surf are in New South Wales. Bondi Beach is the most iconic, but destinations such as Manly Beach, Burning Palms, Port Stephens, Tamarama, Red Rock, Jervis Bay, and Palm Beach.

Go north past the Great Barrier Reef and you’ll enjoy the dazzling sands of Southeast Asia. Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines are blessed with world-class beaches.  Phuket, Koh Samui, Penang, Krabi, Bali, Palawan, Boracay, and Nha Trang evoke images of paradise. Our favorite spot is Ko Pei Pei Lei.  The incredible cliffs and rock formations formed the backdrop for The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Its unique features are ideal for romantic gestures.  It’s a spectacular spot for a groom to be to take the knee and pop the question to a special bride to be.

Beyond the reef south of down under, New Zealand boasts some of the most amazing landscapes on the planet,  Home of the iconic mountains and waterfalls form Lord of the Rings, Kiwi nation has spectacular natural wedding venues for destination brides.  Mission Bay, the Arawoa Inlet, Onetangi Beach, Waimarama, Ohope, and Cathedral Cove are all making photographer’s bucket lists. Ninety Mile beach, Matai Bay, Moeraki, Gisborne, and Piha Beach in West Auckland have gorgeous sandy backdrops for couples looking to get married in New Zealand.

Beautiful South Pacific Island Weddings

The South Pacific is ripe with beautiful islands for destination brides, eloper, and couples planning a  honeymoon or wedding anniversary.   Fiji,  the Cook Islands, American Samoa, the Marquesas Islands, New Caledonia and the Isle of Pines are all blessed with stunning natural beauty.  Vanuatu,  Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Taveuni Island, Tongatapu, and the Solomon Islands all teem with exotic adventure and romance.  Sail close to the shores of South America’s Chilean coast, and Easter Island awaits.  It’s iconic Moai statues summon adventurous couples to the Rapa Nui National park for truly awe-inspiring wedding portraits.

Our vote for the most photogenic islands are in the South Pacific. Getting married in French Polynesia is incredible and the photo opportunities are surreal.  Bora Bora and Tahiti are spectacular.  Otemanu is one of the most beautiful and recognized mountains in the southern hemisphere.  The Motus and lagoons inspire legendary weddings and honeymoons. The St. Regis,  Four Seasons and Intercontinental are stunning.  Our favorite locale is the idyllic paradise of Moorea.  Its Intercontinental resort is home to a dolphin retreat and turtle sanctuary. A lush lagoon kisses the pacific ocean at just the right spot to create the perfect backdrop for that million-dollar wedding photo.

Cruise ships sail from French Polynesia to the Hawaiian Islands.  It’s one of the few voyages that gets into the Equatorial crossing club.  After five days at sea, you’ll finally arrive in the most beautiful part of the Americas.  Hawaii attracts more destination brides than any other U.S. state.  The fine sands of Oahu, Maui, and Kauai is bursting with natural delights.  The Napali cliffs,  the North Shore, Hilo Bay, Lahaina, Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, the ruby sands of Kaihalulu, and the emerald sands of Papokalea all offer exotic natural setting for outdoor marriages.

Top Wedding Beaches in North America

From the western gateway of the Americas, a westerly wind takes you the great state of California. The Pacific Coast is iconic for Hollywood weddings, but anyone can get married on her shores. Malibu, Santa Monica, Laguna, San Diego, Big Sur, Huntington Beach, Crystal Cove State Park, Shelter Cove, Natural Bridges, and Sea Ranch are all epic wedding destinations. One of our favorites is Coronado beach in San Diego.  The Hotel Del Coronado is one of the most legendary wedding reception venues in California. CA is neighbored by sweet sands to the north and south. Cross down into Mexico and the coastal resorts of Puerta Vallarta, Mazatlan, Acapulco and the illustrious arches of Cabo San Lucas sing a siren’s song that attracts couple to tie the knot from all across the Americas. To the north Oregon and Washington State are blessed with a temperate climate.  The rain can be a bit unpredictable, but that’s what makes the lush greenery so inviting for photos. Cannon Beach, La Push, and Vancouver’s English bay beach are all sublime.

The Great Lakes are a hidden treasure for couples looking to tie the knot. The nuptial season is short as the wind blowing across the lakes bring crisp weather in the spring and fall. Most marriage licenses are issued to summer brides. Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ontario all have shorelines that are attractive to bridal parties and honeymooners. The best State Parks for marrying your fiance are Presque Isle, Warren Dunes, Big Bay, Holland, Park Point, and Ludington.  Sleeping Bear Dunes, Ohio Street, Sauble Beach, and Sleeping Bear Dunes all fuse nature and romance on the big day. The most famous spot for wedding receptions  is Mackinac island. The Grand Hotel is a national treasure. Lake Erie, Michigan, Ontario, Erie, and Huron all have inviting beaches if you know where and when to look. The best time for a wedding on the beach depends on where you are and what time of year it is.

With so many different beaches and islands across the northern and southern hemispheres, it can be quite the task to find the perfect spot to get married.  Just find a spot that’s special to you and make it happen.  Don’t let anyone talk you out of it or try to change your mind.  It’s better to downsize your guest list and tie the knot on the beach of your dreams then stay at home just so you can accommodate 100 guests.  Wherever you choose, there will be a florist and a baker to make your wedding cake. Good photographers and videographers are spread out all over the world, in all of the prettiest locations and near all the best reception venues.  Everything is going to work out for you and your partner. You’re getting married on the beach to the person you love.  You’re joining the community of barefoot brides and life is good.  It’s a beautiful day at the beach, time to stop reading and start planning the destination wedding of your dreams!

Plan your Best Destination Wedding

The inspiration to write helpful books and articles for brides started with a love of the beach. Working on cruise ships enabled us to see the best beaches in the world at an early age. The idea for a sustainable beach wedding service came while we were living in Sydney, Australia. We moved to the States and launched Ocean City Beach Weddings in Sean’s hometown of OCMD. After their daughter was born, they decided to expand to Cassandra’s home country of England. The Brits love their Royal  Weddings but the Royal Family may have had more fun on one of England’s beautiful beaches! Cornwall is particularly brilliant and led to the creation of St. Ives Beach Weddings in 2020.

Need expert help with a destination ceremony? Our Destination Wedding & Yacht package provides recognized Officiant & Photography to the most exotic spots on the planet. Includes full Rehearsal, Sunset Photo Shoot, pre-ceremony Glamour Pictures, Ceremony coordination, and postnuptial images with two photographers. Local US and UK wedding ceremonies are available depending upon our travel schedule. Contact us for more information.

Wedding planners Sean and Cassandra Rox have assisted over 2000 couples with beach setups, photo, video, minister, DJ, limo service, and exotic honeymoon destinations  + worked with Seacrets to produce 16 Ocean City Bridal Shows. We’ve been blessed to visit seventy-five countries and meet amazing couples across six continents on our travels. We’re super excited to be giving back through our Beach Bride Sea Turtle Rescue initiative and promoting sustainable beach weddings. Thank you for your support!