There is something infinitely beautiful, natural and Australian about beach ceremonies. Like garden weddings, they are less formal than indoor weddings, because they are framed by the majesty of our natural coastal beauty.
Could there be anything more perfect than exchanging your vows with nature as your witness and sand between your toes? For many couples, choosing to marry on the beach is an easy part of their wedding planning because the beach reflects an important part of their relationship together.
For others, it is a chance to break free from the traditional ceremony venue and express their own individuality. As with all ceremonies, beach services are subject to certain planning considerations.
But with so many glorious beaches to choose from, the planning is easy, and the thrill of an outdoor setting mixed with sun, sand and summer surf will provide a lifetime of lasting memories and make your wedding photos extra special.
Couples wanting to marry on the beach should consult the your local Council for permission. You should also check with the council for any sporting or community events scheduled on the beachfront to help you choose the best spot and date for your big day.
Consider the Tides
A particularly high or low tide might interfere with the service or photographic effects. So consider where you would like the water to be during the ceremony and plan around it. If you haven’t already set a wedding date, choose a ceremony time according to the tidal heights, and find a date to match. Your photographer or videographer will be able to help you decide what tide will work best for your images. Tide charts are available at newsagents, bookshops and fishing and sporting outlets.
A big feature of beaches is their glorious tracts of sand. Sand looks fantastic, but in a stiff breeze it can cause havoc. The last thing you want is sand blown around your ankles or in your eyes. So have a backup plan ready in case of a windy day, or a rainy day for that matter. If the weather decides to throw a spanner in your wedding works, you may have to advise guests of alternative arrangements at the last minute, so plan a way of telling everybody quickly. Sand is also particularly hard to walk on in high heels.
Consider a flatter heel in your bridal wear, and make sure you inform your guests so that they can dress accordingly and feel comfortable on the day. Sand can also pose a problem for guests with prams and wheelchairs. So bear this in mind when choosing your beach setting.
For a summer daytime beach ceremony, you will be spending a fair bit of time in the sun. Remember that the temperature on a beach can be higher due to the sun reflecting off the sand. So, try to schedule your ceremony outside the hottest part of the day. For midday weddings, plan a shorter service and advise your guests to carry sun protection items. And be sure to arrange for your guests to mingle in a shady beachside spot with some cool refreshments before and after the service.
Beaches provide children with plenty of reason to run away and explore. Ensure that parents are aware of the dangers for their little ones and to keep them well supervised. If there are several children attending, arrange for a child minder to keep the little ones entertained and out of harm’s way.
To stay cool during the service and photographs, a spray of water mist, an elegant fan, some trendy sunglasses, or a classy parasol can keep you cool and turn the heat down. Be aware that makeup can only last so long in the midday sun, so have a touch-up kit nearby. And don’t forget to wear a light sunscreen to avoid the chance of sunburn, which can interfere with the best-laid honeymoon plans!