A beach wedding has been a dream in the back of my mind for my whole life. From a tiny girl to now, The Little Mermaid has been my most favorite movie. As a little tot, I remember dreaming of marrying my own prince just like Ariel one day.
Then, as I got older the practicality of having a ceremony close to home won over my little girl dreams. T + I decided on a December ceremony in Memphis. Don’t get me wrong, I was just as excited to marry my guy, but it just felt like something was missing.
Then, in Destin on family vacation, we were stuck behind this truck:
How ironic is it that one trip to Target led to all of my wedding dreams coming true? T + I immediately contacted Nicki with Island Sands + got to planning.
In this edition of my Wedding Series, I am digging into all aspects of planning a dreamy beach wedding. Keep reading for planning of any beach wedding + a few add-ins of my own experience! Check it out below.
Search Out A Wedding Planner
The first step in planning a beach wedding is to find a company to coordinate your wedding nearby. The biggest challenge in planning a destination wedding is finding the perfect coordinator + planner, with you being so far away. You should be sure to search out all options in the area, to ensure you can see them fulfilling every wish.
Check out my full venue post, here.
Grabbing The Dress
When dress shopping for a beach wedding, be sure to still try all options. You never know what you’ll feel comfortable in. Keep in mind, however, that the sand can pose an issue with certain dresses. I made sure to move around in each dress I tried on, just to see how it felt in motion. I love love love all simple dress options for a beach ceremony. Check out my full wedding dress review, here!
When you get married at the beach, you have to apply for a wedding license in the state you are getting married in. For us, we will simply swing by the court house when we get to the beach + apply for one. Luckily, in Okaloosa County, you are able to apply + receive the license on the same day
This is the beauty of choosing an all-inclusive package for a beach wedding—the permit is included. If you are planning to diy your beach wedding, make sure to look into permits with the county where the ceremony will take place. They usually range from $200-$500, but if you have a coordinator, she will be sure to take care of this.
Invitations for a destination wedding should go out between six + eight weeks. Our wedding is on July 11th of this year + we are sending invites out the first week of May. Be sure to give your guests a heads up since traveling is involved. However, side note—the most important of your guests + those who are sure to come will already know and have made arrangements, so don’t stress too much. Word of mouth travels + invitations are just for formality in most cases.
Check out my full review of wedding photographers, complete with beach wedding instructions, here!
The actual ceremony is something you can create to be all your own with a beach wedding. When going with all things beach, you have the option to include all of the following:
- Bamboo Arbor
- Flower Petal Aisle
- Sand Combing Ceremony
- Heart In the Sand
- Sheppards Hooks
… + more. There are so many options + at times they felt overwhelming. Be sure to ask your planner or coordinator for help when choosing—she does this jig for a living, so she’ll have all the answers.
When you’re exchanging vows with your toes in the sand, the options are endless. This applies to the reception, as well. We decided to have our cake + eat-it-too, right on the sand. We will finish our ceremony, have a moment to ourselves for pictures + kisses, then move right over to the reception. We’ll have everyone in attendance make a circle on the sand for us to celebrate our first dance, then go over for the cutting of the cake.
Speaking of the cake, when planning a beach wedding, it’s so important to contact cake vendors asap. Lucky for us, a family member will be making ours. However, if you don’t choose to order one through your wedding coordinator, there are plenty of vendors and shops near every beach. Just be sure to give them plenty of notice.
Makeup + Hair
Although your coordinator may supply a hair + makeup option, you might want to employ something a bit more familiar. I have always had my makeup done by Mac for events, so I called the Destin location + had an artist contracted out for my big day. I have had so many issues with finding a hair stylist, however, so Tyler may end up doing my hair; stay tuned. However, there are always local salons to contact, they just may be a bit pricey with travel fees. Keep this in mind when planning your up-do!
The aspect of a beach wedding that I love the most is the simplicity. With a wedding coordinator our families will be able to enjoy every detail of our day with little to no stress. If you know me, I stress easy, so I am so thankful for Nicki + the team piecing together my most favorite days.
Have a question about a beach wedding I didn’t cover? Don’t hesitate to ask 🙂