Does your future wedding have you daydreaming of a romantic seaside ceremony, where you and your partner whisper “I do” with the peaceful song of waves in the backdrop? A beach wedding is certainly the most beautiful and peaceful location that a couple can choose to start their life together. Whether you envision a floral bohemian reverie or an elegant white (but still dreamy) seashore ceremony, there are a few things you need to consider in order to have your perfect wedding day.

1.The ceremony

7 things you need to know for the perfect beach wedding

Most beach sites are public. If you want to avoid random Bob and Billy from crashing your ceremony or photo-bombing wedding photos, rather rent a beachfront restaurant or hotel, or an oceanview private estate. Also remember that between the wind and the waves, beach weddings tend to have a lot of background noise. It is recommended that you use a microphone for the ceremony accompanied by a windscreen cover so that your guests aren’t frustrated by the fact that all they hear is the amplified sound of wind and not your wedding vows!

2.The backup plan

The weather is unpredictable, and whether it is the rain or wind that threatens to make things unbearable, it is best to always have a second option. Should the heavens begin to pour, choosing a venue that offers you an option to move under cover is a brilliant idea. You can also consider having your reception indoors once the ceremony is over, giving you a little less to stress about in terms of what the weather may bring throughout the course of the day.

3.The dress

7 things you need to know for the perfect beach wedding

A beach wedding is not the ideal setting for a formal ball gown or a long chapel train. When it comes to your wedding dress, think light. You don’t want a dress that is hard to move in or that collects beach debris while you walk down the aisle (not the natural look you were going for, I’m sure). Choose a lightweight fabric like chiffon or charmeuse that lets your gown freely flow in the ocean breeze.

4.The shoes

Leave your high heels for the reception because sand and heels just aren’t a good combination. But going barefoot may not be the best idea either. The beach sand can become scorching hot during the day, and if you aren’t planning on having an aisle runner, your trip down the aisle could feel like a torture ritual involving bare feet and hot coals. Therefore, choose shoes that won’t let you sink into the sand but still protects your feet, such as flat-sole sandals, or wedges.

5.The guests

Ensure your guests know that the wedding is actually taking place on sand, so that they can dress appropriately. Beach weather is unpredictable, so remind your guests to bring along an extra warm layer, in case the breeze gets chilly. It may be a good idea to have sweaters, wraps or even blankets available you know, should Cousin Stacey show up in only her shoulder-less cocktail dress. During the hotter parts of summer, you may want to remind your guests to bring their sun-hats. If you are expecting hot weather, providing refreshments or easy-to-make paper fans would also make your guests more comfortable.

6. The photos

7 things you need to know for the perfect beach wedding

There are 3 things you can do to ensure flawless wedding photos:

  •  Choose a photographer who has done beach weddings before. Make sure you photographer has the ability and experience to capture the moments you wish for.
  •  Prepare a little beforehand. A good photographer will be able to guide you through your pictures and poses, but don’t be afraid to look up photo ideas and poses on Pinterest to make you more comfortable and give you an idea of what she may ask you to do.
  • Lighting is essential for good photography, especially when you are making use of natural light. The starts and the ends of days can present the best opportunities for taking picturesque photos on the beach.

7. The legal formalities

You can get married anywhere, as long as the legal part of the ceremony (such as signing the marriage certificate) is done in a religious building, public office or private dwelling. However, South Africa does have specific bylaws and regulations governing the use of beaches. In order to be able to get married on a public beach, you will need to obtain a permit from the location’s local authorities. It generally takes at least one week to be issued so don’t leave this for the last minute! The permit cost depends on the beach, group size and complexity of the function. The good news is many wedding planners and organisers can obtain this permit for you.

We’d love to work with you to create your dream wedding and we have the perfect destination for a beach wedding! Let’s make it official.

7 things you need to know for the perfect beach wedding

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