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When you imagine a beach wedding, odds are you're longing for the sand, delicious sea breeze, and picturesque sunset. However do your dreams also include tourist onlookers, breezy tropical winds doing a number on your hair, and mosquitoes? Beachfront affairs come with special considerations, therefore we've consulted a top travel specialist specializing in destination weddings. She advice's on everything from choosing the best wedding package to the perfect gown, so you can have a dream wedding you'll never forget on the beach.
Related: What to Wear on a Beach Destination Wedding
Forgo the big dress. A ballroom gown belongs in a ballroom. “Brides may be able to walk down the aisle in a full wedding dress with long train,” says Teresa Stauring, President of Weddings by Vacations For Less, “but moving and walking on the sand taking photos and socializing with guests won’t be easy, therefore make sure you can comfortably bustle around. If a large dress is necessary, perhaps try a different resort venue, such as a resort terrace or ballroom.”
Think of cool and light materials. “Dresses with lace trim usually pick up debris from the beach and uneven surfaces,” says Teresa. “Instead, select a fabric like linen, organza, georgette, and chiffon so your gown naturally flows in the environment.”
Forgo the high heels. Sand and heels simply don’t mix. “Wear instead flat-sandals, wedges or espadrilles, think of shoes that won’t sink into sand,” says Teresa, and remember “if the sand is not the white color like the one you find in Cancun, Riviera Maya and Caribbean beaches that stay cool no matter how hot it gets, you’ll want to make sure a fabric runner for the aisle, or thick flower petal run way are used to help your toes stay cool.”
Consider nixing the veil. “You’ll be surprised how annoying a wedding veil can be on a tropical breezy beach,” say’s Julie Robertson, 2015 Riviera Maya bride, instead opt for accessorize like flowers or a fascinator, or consider an updo. “It’s smart to think of the elements when choosing a hairstyle,” says Alex Delgado, professional stylist from Hollywood, California, and suggest to do a trial run in your destination prior to your wedding day. If your convinced on wearing your hair down, Alex recommends to hire a stylist for the day, to do touchups.
Let the men go casual. “While some brides dream of their groom in a tux, they’ll likely bake inside a suit on a tropical day on the beach,” says Teresa. Save the suits for chapels and beautiful churches and other formal venues.
Inform guests. Let your guest know the event will be held on the sand, says Teresa. Mention this on your wedding website and make sure to refer to your site on the wedding invitations. Follow up with a final itinerary of events and their locations on a welcome bag.
Keep it simple. “Today you’ll find complete beach wedding packages that’ll include everything from a gazebo to the perfect wedding cake offered by all-inclusive resorts,” says Teresa. Hard Rock Hotels offers nine different wedding packages alone, select one and make it your own. Plus you’ll benefit from having a wedding department to communicate during the entire process, and an on-site wedding coordinator for your wedding day.
Think natural. A stunning ocean setting does not need any make up. Instead, emphasize the natural surroundings. For a simple and elegant tones consider the complimentary wedding package or the Pure Collection wedding packages, or to add color perhaps the Romantic Red collection or the Sultry Sunset collection by Palace Resorts will do the job- Forgo expensive floral arrangements which only get overlooked by the spectacular backdrops on a beach destination wedding.
Privacy. While some couples appreciate and enjoy the applause and well wishes of hotel guests when the wedding venue is in a open visible area (i.e. next to the infinity pool)- other couples prefer more private settings. “Talk to your destination wedding travel agent and secure a resort with a more private wedding venue,” says Teresa. Today many resorts have set up wedding grounds and gazebo’s on more secluded parts of the property to ensure a quiet ceremony.
What’s the best time? lighting in the natural environment is very difficult. For the best photo results consider ending the ceremony one hour before sunset. “Doing this will ensure the best possible lighting for sunset portraits,” says Michael Veerman, professional photographer from Los Angeles, California. Besides photos, you’ll want to provide your guests with the most comfortable hours. If your ceremony will be during the middle of the day it’s important to provide guests with shade whenever possible.
Provide a shoe station. If your guests will get sand in their shoes. “Offer a shoe check station, where guests can exchange for flip-flops,” says Teresa. This usually includes a cute sign, bench, towels and buckets with water.
Provide refreshments: Keep your guests cool with ice water, sparkling water, and your signature cocktail while your guests are waiting for the ceremony to begin.
Keep bugs away. “Insect repellent is a must no matter time of year you travel and is a nice welcome gift bag item for your guests,” says Teresa. Make sure the repellent brand use will not stain clothing.
Have proper sounding. You could be competing against wind and crashing waves during your ceremony. Do a sound-check prior to the ceremony and see if audio enhancements will be needed. Ask your on-site resort wedding coordinator if they provide a wireless microphone and speaker system for the officiant use if needed.
Be prepared for a backup plan. Fortunately resort staff is highly skilled and experienced in moving wedding venues from the beach to indoor designated areas. “Don’t let rain spoil the fun,” says Teresa, resorts plan B can provide just as memorable settings and moments for your wedding day.
Stay warm. “Offer a basket of pashminas to help keep the ladies warm,” says Teresa. After all it can get chilly if your ceremony and reception go in to late evening and night.