Not all sands are created equally when it comes to wedding venues. If you know that you want a beach wedding, the location of your wedding seems pretty straightforward. Select a beach. Set up some chairs and an aisle. Get married.
However, beach wedding venues are not always that simple. They involve obtaining permits, figuring out what amenities are offered and deciding just how public or private you want your wedding to be.
The first decision that you will make when deciding on your beach wedding is the beach itself. In order to help you sort through the countless sands in the sea offered as beach wedding venues, we have come up with an easy guide to follow to help you select your perfect beach wedding venue.
Destination vs. Local
While the first decision of a beach wedding often boils down to the beach, you will need to go a step further to determine if you want your wedding to be at a destination beach or on more local shores. If you live near the water, a local beach venue has its advantages. You might have a better knowledge of vendors in the area so that your wedding goes off without a hitch. It is much easier to deal with wedding details when you are local, rather than far away. At the same time, you stand a better chance of your guests attending, as they won’t have to travel to your wedding.
On the flip side, you can also go with a destination beach wedding. A high school friend went with this option for her wedding and was surprised at how easy it was. Her destination beach wedding venue arranged for all of the details, leaving her with very little to organize beyond her flight to the wedding.
Destination beach weddings however might not lend you that dream of a big wedding. Your turnout might suffer but you might find a better suited beach for your wishes and wants. Destination beach weddings might require more research on your part as well. For example, you might have to go there before the wedding to sort out details or heavily research hotels, restaurants and practicalities for your guests.
Amenities vs. Bare Bones
A beach wedding venue is not like your average wedding location. It often requires you to consider factors that you wouldn’t think twice about at indoor wedding locations. This is often the case with amenities. Beach wedding venues either have them or they don’t.
Some beach venues don’t have restrooms for your guests. As a result, you will have to bring in these sorts of amenities. You can narrow your search to beaches that have loads of amenities, as in the case with a hotel or a country club fronted beach.
On the opposing counsel is the couple in search of an isolated, natural and bare bones beach. This is the beach wedding venue that doesn’t come with much other than the sand. If this is the case, you need to factor in these extra amenities that you will have to bring in for guests. This can affect the overall wedding budget.
Private vs. Public
When you think about a beach by definition, it isn’t always the most private of spaces. Especially in the heat of summer on a Saturday, the beach is a giant free-for-all of those looking to soak up the sun, sand and surf. It can seem difficult to section off a patch of sand that is solely for a wedding.
For a beach wedding venue, you need to decide if you want a private or public beach space. Private beaches have their advantages. You don’t have people looking in on your ceremony in their swim trunks with sand castle shovels in hand. You can truly separate your event from the rest of the shoreline. If you find a set beach venue, you might have access to more private settings, rather than just going with a public beach.
A public beach on the other hand can be appealing to those couples on a budget. You merely need a permit from the city/town or park/recreation of the beach to set up your ceremony or reception in most cases. You aren’t paying for the overhead of set beach wedding venues.
Permit vs. No Permit
Linked to public and private beaches, the couple in search of a beach wedding must understand the legalities of a beach affair. If you are going with a public beach space, you will need to obtain a permit from the city or town where the beach is located. These permits might cost a fee or take a certain length of time to receive. Public beach permits also might limit the number of people that you can have at your wedding. In addition, you might need permits for food and especially alcohol at your beach location.
If you go with a set beach wedding venue like a country club, hotel or estate, you might experience a more hands off approach in terms of the legalities of hosting a wedding on the beach. Permits are often already in effect for properties that have their own private beaches. This can be advantageous to the couple that is already overwhelmed with all of the details of planning a wedding.
Simply Sand vs. Your Wedding Venue
Many beaches all look the same. They lack the specialness that every wedding requires for its location. Before you commit to a beach wedding venue or space, you need to make sure it doesn’t just feel like sand to you and your future partner for life.
The beach wedding venue should feel like your wedding setting when you visit it. Some beaches can blend together and lack that special feeling that a couple needs. You need to ask yourself if the beach is simply sand or truly the setting you could sink your toes into matrimony.
How did you go about selecting your beach wedding venue or are you currently in the process?
Share your stories, thoughts and ideas with us in the comments below...