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6 Tips for an Affordable Beach Wedding

Combine your Wedding & Honeymoon

You’ve chosen an exotic destination for your ceremony.  Why not enjoy the romantic ambiance for a few more days after your guests have left. Especially if you’re already paying for an expensive flight. If it’s a weekend wedding, you’ll probably get a discount on your room as soon as Sunday night. The cost of the destination wedding is usually offset by a smaller guest list.  Be sure to let your hotel know you just got married.  The better venues will send complimentary champagne or a gift basket!


Trim your Guest List

Your top expense will likely be food and drinks for your guests.  Nowadays, being a relative doesn’t get you an automatic invitation. Work with your fiance to create rules for the guest list. One popular trend is to not invite any cousins.  As long as you’re consistent, no one can complain.  Allowing invitees to bring a “plus one”  can also inflate costs – clearly state on the rsvp that only ONE seat is being reserved.   Another option is an adults-only wedding.  This can be a win/win as it gives an easy way out for families who may not have the time or money to make the trip.  Want to play a Fun Budgeting Game?  Take out your guest list.  Assign each guest a cost of $100 plus an hour of your time.  This reflects  Save the Date cards, Invitations, Party Favors, Food, Drinks & Thank You Notes.  Then subtract any guest from the list that you would not want to be in a car with for more than an hour.  How much money and time did you save?!

Have a Weekday or Offseason Wedding

You’ll have more venue options and they’ll probably give you a weekday discount. Weekday weddings are ideal for weeding out fringe guests.  They can politely decline because of work but will still likely send a gift. Your inner circle will find a way to attend your ceremony regardless of the date or time.  Spring and fall can be a bit less pricey than the busy summer months.  For the ultimate discount, you may consider a winter wedding.  You may get an amazing deal on an oceanfront beach house plus you and your guests will likely be the only ones on the beach.  With global warming, the beach wedding season keeps getting longer.  It’s occasionally hitting 70 degrees in November and March in the mid-Atlantic states.  If it’s a sunny day, you’ll still get amazing photos.  Add some flair with a chic wedding coat and boots.

Have a 2nd Reception close to Home

Schedule it a few weeks after your destination wedding to ensure your images arrive.

Have it at a friend or family member’s house to cut costs.  You can show your wedding & honeymoon images on a big screen and get a second round of gifts.  It’s a unique opportunity to break out your wedding dress for one last cameo!

Plan a Romantic  Elopement

Eloping is the new trend in weddings. The only requirements for a romantic ceremony are the bride, groom, marriage license & officiant.  An amazing photo to frame is the icing on the cake.  There are plenty of free public beaches that are very peaceful at sunrise and sunset.  Couples should be able to get legally married with a half-hour of professional photos for under $1000. Some elopers bring their parents and/or children with them.  After the ceremony, you can have a nice family beach portrait!

Invite a Friend to Officiate Your Wedding

Getting ordained online is easier than ever.   Help a friend or family member get legally ordained to perform your ceremony.  Ordination is free and fee for their Minister’s certificate is minimal.  The best part is you’ll save around $500 by not having to hire an Officiant.   If they get ordained through the Atlantic Marital Ministry you’ll help support the Beach Bride Sea Turtle Rescue initiative!

Our Beach Wedding

Our Beach Wedding is a Ceremony Planner for Couples getting Married by the Sea. Reduce stress and get more sleep with this interactive beach wedding journal. Organizes Invitations, timelines, decorations, vendor contacts, guest count, music, Bridal Party responsibilities, packing lists & more. Beach Bride’s best friend!

5 Tips for a Stress Free Beach Wedding

Tune out the negativity

Don’t let friends and family get in your head. If your family’s not paying for the wedding then the only opinion that matters is yours. Don’t waste time on pros and cons lists. The timing will never be perfect and things will go wrong through no fault of your own. Most people who try to influence your wedding plans will do so for their own selfish reasons. Planning your ceremony should be fun. There’s no room for Debbie Downers at your Wedding. Only invite people who are genuinely supportive – just being related isn’t enough for free tickets to your reception. Trust your instincts, don’t second guess yourself & follow your heart. Never regret doing it your way!

If it Rains, Dance!

You can’t control the weather, only how you react to it. Do you know how rare it is to have a Rainbow in your wedding photos? Keep smiling and your guests will too. Everyone is looking to you for inspiration and will follow your lead.  Literally have rain dances prepared.  One with your bridesmaids while you’re getting ready and one with your groom as you’re walking down the aisle. Rain early in the day can be advantage. The beach will probably clear out and the sand will be easier to walk on when you make your arrival. There may be a 50% chance of rain but there’s a 100% chance you won’t melt. Order stylish custom wedding umbrellas – you can use them rain or shine as photo props. Try to stay as close to the beach as possible so you have a convenient staging area. Even if your ceremony has to be moved inside, you can still pop out for pictures when it clears up.  Remember, you can’t have a rainbow without some rain!

The Right Ceremony Time is Critical

The best time for a beach wedding is usually an hour before sunset.  Beaches get crowded in the summer months.  It gets quite hot in the middle of the day.  Wait for the lifeguards to leave before you tie the knot.  One they’re gone, the beach clears out.  With the exception of a few surfers, you’ll probably have the beach all to yourself.  It’s also cooler in the evening.  You’ll have softer lighting for the photos and there’s less opportunity for your makeup to run.  Run your photo session right up until dusk for the most romantic images. If you’re eloping and want the beach all to yourself, a sunrise ceremony may be ideal.  Before 7 AM it will just be you, the birds and  the rhythm of the sea.   Winter weddings are another way to maximize privacy while getting amazing deals on an oceanfront beach house.

Location, Location, Location

The best location is as close to where you’re staying as possible.  Ideally, you want to be staying right in front of where you’re getting married.  You want access to a mirror, bathroom and air condition up until the last possible moment.  You want to be able to look our your window and see your wedding decorations.  You want to walk from your room to the beach. You also want to stay at a place that has a backup plan in the unlikely event of a storm (a spacious balcony is ideal for intimate ceremonies).  Nothing creates stress like when a bride has a long drive to the beach. Circling around for a parking space is not ideal.  Neither is relying on a public restroom in a wedding dress.  The most important wedding day investment you’ll make is your room.
Make sure you get in a day early.  The best feeling for a beach bride is waking up the day of her wedding, looking over the balcony and seeing where she’ll be getting married that evening.  Only choose a park or wildlife preserve if it has sentimental meaning to you. If you have to drive to one of these beaches hire a  luxury vehicle with a chauffeur).  You want an environment of absolute Zen & Bliss right  before your  ceremony.  Do your research.  Make a few reservations, even if they’re out of your price range.  Then trim your guest list until you can afford it.  Your room is the key to a stress free beach wedding- make it your number one wedding day splurge!

Simplify & Organize

You don’t need to hire a planner to take charge of your wedding.  Save time and improve your sleep with our series of beach wedding journals.  Our Beach Wedding  is ideal for   planning every aspect of your Ceremony.  It helps organize invitations, timelines, vendor contacts, Bridal party responsibilities, ceremony music, transportation, packing lists, Bridal Emergency Kit & more.  Most couples don’t know where to begin when it comes to creating their Vows.  The Ocean as my Witness is an interactive Ceremony Designer that’s perfect for customizing your wedding vows.  Easy to read with lots of artistic portrait ideas, this unique publication is perfect for cuddling and couple bonding.  Includes nine original beach themed ceremonies as well as Sand Unity Vows and tributes for loved ones. Our Wedding Reception is a contemporary planner for busy brides. It’s perfect for managing Seating Charts, Table Décor, Playlists, Cocktails, Dining, Toasts,  Speeches and more.  Our Honeymoon is an interactive journal that’s perfect for sharing your romantic adventure. Order our Beach Bride books   today to make  organizing  your dream destination  wedding a Breeze!

Besty Boards Bridal Party Gift Set

Besty Boards Bridal Party Gift Set

Besty Boards were created for fun-loving Brides & Wedding Parties.  Sleek minimalist design adds a playful and beachy vibe to your home, office, or car.  Perfect for Wedding Showers, Bachelorette Parties, and Rehearsal Dinners.  The ideal size for slipping into your Holiday, Birthday, and Father’s Day cards. Boards are made in the U.S.A. from 100% recyclable eco-friendly material and proceeds help fund the Beach Bride Sea Turtle Rescue project!

Our Wedding Reception

Our Wedding Reception is a Contemporary Reception Planner for Busy Brides.  All you need to manage seating charts, table décor, cocktails, vendor timelines,  dinner menus, transportation, music playlists, toasts, speeches, flowers, cake, photography, video, wedding gifts, and more. Makes planning your best wedding reception Simple and Fun!

The Ocean as my Witness

The Ocean as my Witness is a book of Lighthearted & Romantic Wedding Vows. The Simple & Fun ceremony designer makes creating & customizing your vows a breeze. Includes 9 Unique Ceremonies, Sand Unity Vows, and Artistic Portrait ideas for your Photographer.  Perfect for any couple planning a Wedding by the Sea!

Our Honeymoon

Our Honeymoon

Our Honeymoon helps create the story of your adventure. This unique Honeymoon Journal is ideal for planning and sharing your Romantic Journey.  Features original photos of exotic  Destinations & Resorts, Tips from Travel  Experts and Bride & Groom Packing Lists.  Perfect for Cuddling and Couple Bonding!

When is the  Best Time for a Beach Wedding?

The best time for a beach wedding depends on your location and the time of year you are getting married. The North Atlantic tends to be seasonal and ceremonies on the sand usually take place from April until around Halloween. Mid Atlantic states such as Virginia and the Carolinas start around St. Patrick’s Day and finish around Thanksgiving. The coastal resorts are packed in the summertime.  Many of the beaches have restrictions on when you can have your nuptials. Municipalities with lifeguard service often require ceremonies to occur either before or after the lifeguards are on duty.  During the months of June, July, and August the best time for a wedding is usually an hour before sunset.

The temperatures are usually a bit cooler so brides won’t have to worry about their makeup running or searing their toes on the hot sand.  Ceremonies at sunset and dusk also provide the advantage of not having to squint in the sun during your portrait session. If you’re a bride or groom that sweats, definitely avoid tying the knot in the middle of the day.  Another advantage of saying “I Do” in the evening is that you’ll probably have the beach to yourself.  The best months for beach weddings in Delaware, New Jersey, and Ocean City, Maryland tend to be May and September. The weather is usually mild and the beaches aren’t quite as busy when the kids are in school. For optimal results, try to avoid Saturdays and Sundays if possible.  Having a weekday ceremony is an easy way to create an affordable beach wedding for your family.

For a truly intimate ceremony, brides may want to consider a sunrise wedding. This is usually best for small ceremonies as it may be tricky to get all of your guests up and ready at five am. The beach is pretty much certain to be empty early in the morning. You’ll get the occasional early morning surfer or the old man with a metal detector, but it should end up just being you and your party. This works out very well for the photos! If you go with sunrise, try to get a mobile hairstylist to come to your room that morning. If your bridesmaids are doing your hair, nails, and makeup be sure to get them a fun beach wedding gift.

The South Atlantic and Florida are open for weddings year-round. The same goes for the Gulf Coast, Mexico, and the beautiful beaches of the eastern and western Caribbean. Unlike their northern counterparts, the best time to get married in the tropics is usually in the winter. The heat can be stifling in the summer. Hurricane season heats up in August and rolls along through October. For a stress-free beach wedding November, January, February, and March are ideal. The optimal times would be close to either sunset or sunrise.

Weddings on the Great Lakes have a limited seasonal window.  Winters on Lake Michigan can be rough. Even spring and fall can be temperamental. Peak summer ceremonies in June, July, and August should still be close to sunset. If you’re eyeing up September or May, saying your vows between two and five pm is usually ideal -it can get cold in a hurry on the water during football season.  Sunrise can be risky on Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior. It’s best to plan in the middle of the day for non-summer nuptials. If you’re planning a destination wedding on the Great Lakes, you’ll want your guests to be warm. The best recommendation is sunset in the summertime.

Pacific beach weddings have a variety of climates.  California is generally mild and the rainfall is minimal in the south. Los Angeles and San Diego are generally good options year-round. Sunsets on the pacific are brilliant.  Further north in San Francisco, Oregon, and Washington it’s best to avoid the winter months. Fog can be an issue and it can be a bit rainy further north. Your destination wedding planner should know the best spots for optimal lighting and visibility. The South Pacific has some of the best beaches on the planet.  The Hawaiian islands of Kauai, Oahu and Maui are pristine. French Polynesia has the world’s most exotic beaches. Moorea, Tahiti, and Bora Bora destination weddings are as good as it gets.

The Australian beach wedding scene is expanding every year. Sydney has the most famous beaches. The west coast and Perth are on the rise. The seasons are the opposite of the northern hemisphere. It can be too hot and humid for ceremonies during the Christmas holiday season. Best to say I Do in the cooler months of June, July, and August.  In Australia, the sun rises out of the Pacific Ocean and sets each evening over the Indian Ocean.

If you’re getting married in on the beach in the United Kingdom we recommend summer spring or fall. It’s not as hot here, so weddings in the middle of the day are acceptable regardless of the time of year. Around five pm is best in the summer and between three and four pm is tops in the spring and fall. Northern Ireland and Scotland are blessed with some gorgeous sand, but most ceremonies only occur in the summer season.

What days should you avoid for your wedding?  Sunday is the trickiest day to plan a wedding. There are simply too many sporting events to compete with for your male guest’s attention. Sundays in the fall are challenging as football season may be problematic.   If you’re going to have a weekend wedding, stick to Friday or Saturday.