Planning a Beach Wedding Ceremony: Ideas for a Perfect Day


puerto vallarta wedding reception pergola

Puerto vallarta wedding (photo by Chotda (Flickr))

When planning a beach wedding ceremony; ideas to make things go smooth will help you. Having a beach wedding was in the realm of fantasy for most couples – a lovely idea perhaps but impractical – never mind as flying in the face of centuries of wedding traditions which stresses that the best wedding is a church wedding. But not anymore, check out our great beach wedding ceremony ideas…

In these challenging economic times, with all costs including those for the use of traditional wedding venues escalating beyond the ability of our budgets to keep up, a sand ceremony can be looked at as a fun, affordable and memorable way to commemorate that special day.  Travel to an exotic tropical location is not mandatory and neither is having the ocean as a backdrop; lovely beach venues – from Long Island Sound to the shores of the Great Lakes, many beautiful beaches can be found, often right in your own back yard.

Beach wedding ceremony Readings and Vows

Beach Wedding Program Fan - New Style

Beach Wedding Program Fan From the Heart Invitations

A wedding ceremony at the beach  sings out for a less structured, casual approach and writing your own vows may be the best idea of all – and a perfect opportunity to speak from the heart in celebration of the commitment to be undertaken on the beach.  The backdrop of the ceremony may be used as a theme throughout the vows and readings or you may choose to play against the setting.  If you don’t feel your writing abilities are up to the task, there are plenty of dedicated internet sites which can provide standardized vows or work with you to write the ceremony of your dreams.

We’ve got honeymoon ideas cheap and inexpensive ways to save on your trip.

joy's wedding


“If you are thinking about having a beach wedding then the weather is something you will have to consider.”

Check out our top 5 unique and unusual honeymoons around the world.

Songs and Music for Your Beach Wedding Ceremony

musicians on the beach

Musicians on the beach (photo by Robert Schroeder)

Don Ho singing “Tiny Bubbles” is probably a little bit too over the top, but the perfect beach wedding ceremony should find a happy compromise between the theme of the locale, traditional wedding music and your personal taste.  Contemporary music – especially a triumphal overture from a recent dramatic film soundtrack is often well suited to the bride’s processional, any happy, up-tempo tune will work nicely for the recessional.  How about using the theme from Pirates of the Caribbean – or some Enya’s haunting vocals?  You can choose music with a nature theme or something invoking an endless summer at the beach for the reception.  Simplicity is again the key – a full orchestral soundtrack can add grandeur, but a lighter touch – a single guitar player, a violinist, a flutist can provide just the right musical touch to your beach wedding ceremony. Check out our top 10 Jamaican wedding songs and reggae music for your beach wedding.

What Beach Wedding Ceremony Decorations Should You Choose?

Simplest is best when it comes to beach wedding ceremony decorations – the magnificence of nature and the power of the ocean will provide ample atmosphere even the most low key beach wedding.  Line the “aisle” with bamboo poles or tiki garden torches, festooned with ribbons in your wedding colors; light your path with ground level luminaria.  Use seashells – real or artificial – and other ocean themed decorations – but sparingly, less is always more, and no array of purchased decorations can truly compete with the splendor of nature.

Suitable Wedding Dresses for a Beach

Kate - silk jersey and lace wedding dress

Silk jersey and lace wedding dress at D'Marie Bridal Couture

The traditional wedding gown with a yards long train is probably not practical for a beach wedding ceremony, but you don’t have to content yourself with a summer tube dress either.  There are many options for elegant bridal attire, including a simple sheath dress or an ankle length gown.  For those wishing a more casual approach, any number of flowing lightweight summer dresses will also lend themselves to the atmosphere of a beach wedding ceremony.  An elegant linen suit can double as both wedding outfit and “going away” attire.

Read more if you are still wondering what to wear to a beach wedding.

When Planning a Beach Wedding Ceremony

Have we wet your appetite for a beach wedding? Check out our top 10 best beach wedding destinations for more great ideas.

A wedding on the beach should be warm, welcoming and comfortable – keep that in mind as you plan the ceremony and all the details.  This day should create happy memories to last a lifetime and the really important thing is to create an experience doesn’t leave you a stressed out mess unable to enjoy your own special day!

On a budget?  We know some inexpensive destination wedding locations that will interest you.

Does a beach wedding ceremony sound romantic to you? What vows would be good? How about getting married to your favorite movie theme? Let us know, tweet and comment…

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30 Responses to Planning a Beach Wedding Ceremony: Ideas for a Perfect Day

  1. Fierce_Annie says:

    I need help in planning a beach wedding and reception. What do I do first? I know you cannot just go to the beach and get married. How do I get permits and everything?

  2. chic_accountant says:

    The city office can help you with the first steps. An event permit is most likely needed. Great blog! I hope I had resources like these when I got married. It could have been a lot easier. sigh*

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    A family member linked me to this resource. Thanks for the details.

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