How To Plan A Beach Wedding: A Step By Step Guide

Jul 31, 2023

Beach weddings have gained immense popularity over the years due to their unique and romantic setting. The beautiful backdrop of the ocean, soft sand underfoot, and the sound of waves crashing onto the shore create a romantic and serene atmosphere, making it an ideal location for a wedding. They offer a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, allowing the couple and guests to enjoy a more casual and comfortable wedding experience. Couples can choose to have a small intimate ceremony or a large extravagant event, making beach weddings a versatile option for various wedding sizes and budgets.

Planning a beach wedding involves several steps to ensure a smooth and successful event.

How To Plan A Beach Wedding

Source: Aisha Rawji, Shopkynah

1. The first step is to choose the location and obtain the necessary permits and permissions.

2. Once the location is finalized, couples need to consider the weather conditions, tides, and time of day to ensure that the ceremony takes place under the best possible conditions.

3. Couples also need to consider the decor, seating, and sound system to ensure that guests can comfortably witness the ceremony.

4. Beach weddings require specific attire, and the couple should choose clothing that is comfortable and suited to the beach environment. For example, the bride may opt for a light and airy dress that is easy to move in and does not get damaged by sand and water.

5. Food and beverage arrangements are another crucial aspect of a beach wedding. Couples can choose to have a traditional seated meal, or buffet-style service, or opt for more casual beachside snacks and drinks.

6. Couples should ensure that there are adequate arrangements for the disposal of waste and leftovers, as well as ensuring that there are no potential risks to wildlife in the area.

Planning a beach wedding may seem overwhelming, but with our step-by-step guide to planning a beach wedding, it is going to be easy peasy!

Choose Your Beach

Choosing a beach for your wedding is a fantastic idea, but there are a few factors you should consider before making your final decision. The beach you choose will have a significant impact on the overall look and feel of your wedding. Therefore, it is essential to take the time to research and find the perfect beach that suits your needs and preferences.

Source: Jag Photo Studios

1. Check the Premits and Regulations

One of the first factors to consider when choosing a beach for your wedding is the permits and regulations required to hold a wedding on the beach. Many beaches have strict regulations in place to protect the environment and wildlife. These regulations may include restrictions on the number of guests, the use of decorations, and the times of day or year when weddings can take place. To avoid any legal issues, it is important to check with local authorities and obtain any necessary permits and approvals.

Additionally, couples should inquire about any fees associated with holding a wedding on the beach, as some beaches may charge for the use of the area or the services of a ranger or lifeguard.

2. Is the Beach Ideal to Host a Wedding?

Another crucial factor to consider when choosing a beach for your wedding is the suitability of the beach. Not all beaches are ideal for holding a wedding. Factors such as the size of the beach, accessibility, and weather conditions can impact the success of your wedding. Couples should visit the beach beforehand to assess its suitability for a wedding ceremony and reception. The size of the beach is an essential consideration. The beach should be large enough to accommodate your guests, decorations, and any necessary amenities such as restrooms and parking.

3. Accessibility of the Beach

Additionally, couples should consider the accessibility of the beach, particularly for elderly or disabled guests. The beach should be easily accessible, and there should be adequate parking facilities nearby. It is also vital to consider the overall ambiance of the beach when choosing a location for their wedding. Some beaches have a more romantic and serene atmosphere, while others may be more lively and vibrant.

Couples should choose a beach that suits their personal preferences and the overall theme of their wedding. 

Set Your Budget

Also Read About Dhara & Kevin's Interfaith Beach Wedding In Cancun

Beach weddings are becoming increasingly popular, but they can also be expensive. The cost of a beach wedding will depend on various factors, such as the location, number of guests, and services required. However, there are ways to set a budget that works for you while still having the beach wedding of your dreams. The average cost of a beach wedding varies depending on the location and number of guests. According to WeddingWire, the average cost of a beach wedding in the United States is approximately $10,000-$15,000.

This cost typically includes the venue, catering, photography, flowers, and other essential services. However, the cost can increase significantly depending on additional services such as entertainment, wedding planner fees, and transportation.

1. Priorities your Needs

One of the best ways to set a budget for a beach wedding is to determine your priorities. Start by making a list of the essential services and vendors you need for your wedding. Then, decide which aspects of your wedding are most important to you. This will help you allocate your budget effectively and ensure that you are getting the most value for your money.

2. Consider the Time of Year and Location

Source: Arora Events

Another way to set a budget for a beach wedding is to consider the time of year and location. Popular beaches and peak wedding season can be more expensive, so consider choosing a less popular beach or holding the wedding during the off-season. This can help you save on costs while still enjoying the beautiful beach setting.

3. Determine your Budget

It is also essential to communicate your budget with your vendors and be upfront about your financial limitations. Many vendors will work with you to create a custom package that meets your needs and budget. For example, you could consider hiring a local photographer or catering service instead of a more expensive vendor from another location.

4. Consider DIY Decorations

Make sure to consider the little details that can add up quickly, such as decorations and wedding favors. DIY decorations can be a cost-effective way to add a personal touch to your wedding without breaking the bank.

5. Consider Personalized Favors

Additionally, consider offering personalized favors that can serve as both a keepsake for guests and a budget-friendly option.

How to Plan the Guest List

Deciding who to invite to your beach wedding can be a challenging task. It's essential to consider the size of the beach venue, your budget, and the overall vibe of the wedding. Here are some tips to help you create a guest list for your beach wedding.

Source: Premini Events

1. Consider the Size of your Venue

Begin with considering the size of the beach venue. Beaches can have different capacity limits, and it's essential to consider this when creating your guest list. A smaller beach may require you to limit your guest list, while a larger beach may allow for more guests.

2. Consider the Seating Arrangements

Source: Mohsin Ali Photography

It's also important to consider the seating arrangements, as beach weddings can be more informal and may not require traditional seating.

3. Think about your Budget

The more guests you invite, the higher the cost will be for catering, rentals, and other services. It's essential to consider your budget when deciding on the number of guests to invite.

4. Focus on the Overall Vibe of the Wedding

Source: Mili Ghosh Diaries

Beach weddings can be casual and laid-back, or they can be more formal and elegant. Your guest list should reflect the type of wedding you want to have. For example, if you're having a more casual wedding, you may want to consider inviting more family and friends, while a more formal wedding may require a more selective guest list.

How to Create Beach-Themed Invitations

When it comes to creating beach-themed invitations, there are several tips to keep in mind.

1. Color Scheme

Choose a color scheme that reflects the beach setting, such as blues, greens, and sandy neutrals. Use beach-themed graphics or images, such as seashells, starfish, or palm trees, to add a touch of beachy flair.

2. Wordings

You can also use beach-related wording, such as "beach bliss," "tropical paradise," or "ocean waves" to set the tone for your beach wedding.

3. Paper

Consider using textured or handmade paper for your invitations to add a natural and organic feel, which reflects the beach's natural surroundings.

4. Consider the Smaller Details

You can also add small details such as twine, seashells, or sand to your invitations to add an extra touch of beach-themed charm.

Hire Your Vendors

Choosing the right vendors is crucial when planning a beach wedding. With the abundance of vendors available, it can be challenging to know where to start. Here are some tips for choosing vendors for your beach wedding and questions to ask them before hiring them.

Source: Photography by Gagan

1. Research

One of the essential steps in choosing vendors is to research their reputation and experience. Look for vendors with experience in beach weddings, as they will be more familiar with the unique challenges and requirements of a beach wedding. Read reviews from previous clients to get a sense of their reliability, responsiveness, and quality of service.

2. Experience with Beach Weddings

When interviewing vendors, ask them how they handle the logistics of a beach wedding, such as setup and cleanup, and what their backup plans are in case of inclement weather.

3. Availability

Another essential consideration when choosing vendors is their availability. Beach weddings are popular, and vendors can book up quickly, especially during peak wedding season. Ask them about their availability on your wedding date and whether they have any other events scheduled on the same day.

4. Pricing

Ask vendors about their pricing and what services are included in their packages. Some vendors may offer all-inclusive packages, while others may have a la carte pricing. Make sure you understand what services are included in their pricing and whether there are any additional fees for things like travel or setup.

5. Communication and responsiveness

You want vendors who are easy to reach and who will keep you updated throughout the planning process. Ask about their preferred method of communication and how quickly they typically respond to emails or phone calls.

6. Ask for References

Finally, ask vendors for references from previous clients. Contact these references to get an idea of their experience working with the vendor, and whether they would recommend them for your beach wedding.

Decide on Your Decor

Beach weddings offer a unique opportunity to incorporate natural elements into your decor, creating a beautiful and relaxed atmosphere for your guests. Here are some ideas for beach-themed decor and tips on how to incorporate your wedding colors.

1. Beach-themed Decor

Source: Andrew Bayda

One of the most popular beach-themed decor items is driftwood. Driftwood can be used in a variety of ways, such as centerpieces, aisle markers, or as a backdrop for your ceremony. You can also use seashells as accents on your tables, in your centerpieces, or as place card holders. Seagrass and starfish can also be incorporated into your decor, adding texture and interest to your tables and ceremony space.

2. Lighting

Source: Andrew Bayda

Lighting is also an important element of beach-themed decor. Consider using candles or lanterns to create a romantic and intimate atmosphere. If your wedding is in the evening, string lights can be used to illuminate your reception area, creating a beautiful and magical ambiance.

3. Ways to Incorporate Wedding Colors into your Beach Wedding

Source: Ambiance by Tejel ; Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit

Consider using flowers. Flowers are an easy way to bring color to your decor and can be used in a variety of ways, such as bouquets, centerpieces, and garlands. Choose flowers that are in season and that complement your wedding colors. If you want a more rustic look, consider using wildflowers or local blooms.

Another way to incorporate your wedding colors into your decor is with linens and tableware. Choose tablecloths and napkins in your wedding colors and consider using colored glassware or plates to add interest to your table settings.

You can also incorporate your wedding colors into your stationery, such as your invitations, place cards, and menus.

Plan Your Ceremony

A beach wedding ceremony offers a unique and romantic setting for exchanging your vows.

1. Consider Using Natural Elements of the Beach

Source: Prashe Decor

Use the ocean, sand, and sky as a backdrop for your ceremony, and consider incorporating seashells, driftwood, or other beach-themed decor into your ceremony space. If you want a more traditional ceremony, consider using an arch or canopy as a focal point for your ceremony.

2. Officiant

Source: Light Year Studio

For the role of the officiant, consider someone who is experienced in beach weddings and who can work with you to create a ceremony that reflects your personality and style. If you have a family member or friend who is ordained, they may be the perfect choice to officiate your wedding. Otherwise, look for an officiant who is willing to work with you to create a personalized ceremony. 

3. Incorporating Elements that are Meaningful to You and Your Partner

This could include readings, poems, or songs that are special to you, or rituals that reflect your cultural or religious traditions. You can also write your own vows, or work with your officiant to create personalized vows that express your love and commitment to each other.

4. Logistics

Make sure to consider the logistics of your beach wedding ceremony. If you have a large guest list, consider renting chairs for your guests, or providing a shuttle service to transport guests to and from the ceremony site. If you are getting married during peak beach season, be sure to check for any local events or restrictions that may impact your ceremony.

Organize the Reception

Beach wedding receptions are a unique opportunity to create a relaxed and fun atmosphere for your guests. There are plenty of ways to host your beach wedding reception along with a delicious menu and memorable entertainment, just know your vibe!

Also Read About Dhara & Kevin's Interfaith Beach Wedding In Cancun

1. Casual Barbecue

This can be a fun and laid-back way to celebrate your wedding with your guests. You can serve grilled meats, salads, and other barbecue staples, and decorate your reception area with beach-themed decor, such as lanterns and driftwood.

2. Seafood Feast

If you're getting married near the ocean, take advantage of the local seafood and serve fresh fish, shrimp, and other seafood delicacies. You can also serve other coastal cuisine, such as clam chowder or lobster rolls.

3. Consider a Sit-Down Dinner

You can serve a multi-course meal with elegant dishes such as grilled fish or steak and offer wine pairings to complement the menu.

4. Decor

Decorate your reception area with elegant linens, flowers, and candles to create a romantic and intimate atmosphere.

5. Take Note of your Guests' Dietary Restrictions

When planning your reception menu, consider your guests' dietary restrictions and preferences. Offer vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, and be sure to provide plenty of non-alcoholic beverages for those who don't drink.

6. Entertainment

Hire a live band or DJ to provide music and get your guests dancing, after all, no party is complete without some music!

7. Games

You can set up lawn games, such as bocce ball or cornhole, for guests to enjoy during the reception.

8. Bonfire on the Beach

You can also set up a fire pit, roast marshmallows, and offer blankets for guests to snuggle up in as the night cools down. A bonfire is a great way to create a relaxed and intimate atmosphere for your guests.

Prepare for the Weather

As stunning as beach weddings can be, they can also come with their challenges, weather-related challenges! But don’t worry we are here with some tips on how to handle potential weather-related issues and how to keep your guests comfortable.

1. Have a Backup Plan

First and foremost, it's important to have a backup plan in case of inclement weather. Consider renting a tent or an indoor space that can be used as an alternative ceremony or reception location.

2. Insurance

If you're having a beach wedding during hurricane season, consider purchasing wedding insurance that covers cancellation due to severe weather.

3. Consider the Temperature

If the weather is hot and sunny, make sure to provide your guests with plenty of shade and water. Consider renting large umbrellas, setting up a shade tent, or providing hand-held fans to keep your guests cool. Make sure there is plenty of water available, either by setting up a hydration station or providing bottled water. If the weather is cool or windy, consider providing blankets or wraps for your guests. You can also set up heaters or fire pits to provide warmth and comfort.

4. Provide a Shoe Station for Comfortable Foortwear

Another consideration for beach weddings is sand. High heels can be challenging to walk in on the sand, so consider providing flip-flops or sandals for your guests to wear. You can also provide a shoe station where guests can leave their shoes and change into more appropriate footwear.

5. Communicate with your Guests Openly

Very importantly, make sure to communicate with your guests about the potential weather-related issues and how you plan to handle them.

6. Send out a detailed invitation

Make sure your invitation includes information about the location, time, and any potential weather-related challenges. You can also set up a wedding website that includes information about the location, parking, and weather-related issues.


Planning a beach wedding involves several key steps, including choosing a location, obtaining permits and regulations, setting a budget, and choosing vendors. Once the logistics are in place, you can focus on the fun aspects of planning, such as decor and beach-themed invitations. On the day of your wedding, be sure to have a backup plan in case of inclement weather and provide your guests with shade, water, and comfortable footwear. With these tips and careful planning, your beach wedding can be a beautiful and memorable experience for everyone involved. Enjoy your special day and take in the beauty of the beach surroundings!

Edited & Photo Sourced By: Neha Garg Ahuja

About Author


Sachi is a fashion enthusiast and a home decor hoarder. You will mostly find her cozied up on her couch hunting for new trends. When not on the couch, she spends her time baking cookies and cakes to satisfy her never-ending craving for sweets!

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