Pros and Cons of a Beach Wedding - Zola Expert Wedding Advice (2024)

Dreaming of saying "I do" by the ocean? We've rounded up a list of pros and cons of a beach wedding for you to consider as you plan your special day.

For many couples, the idea of a beach wedding is pure bliss. Stunning views, the soothing sounds of ocean waves, and the salty sea air are enough to make anyone giddy with delight. Maybe you’ve started researching gorgeous beach wedding ideas or looking at beach wedding venues for inspiration. However, before you start planning your wedding celebration, you’ll want to map out the pros and cons of beach wedding ceremonies to have a true understanding of what it entails and be prepared as best as possible.

While the dream version of your ceremony goes off without a hitch, it’s smart to be realistic about potential drawbacks as well. With beach weddings, there are more external factors to consider, some of which are positive and some of which are less desirable. Let’s start with the optimistic side of things and consider the pros first.

Pros of a Beach Wedding

Beautiful views for days, a laid-back vibe to your vow ceremony, and a feeling of calm and relaxation permeating your entire wedding are just a few of the reasons why couples decide to get married on the beach. Whether a seaside ceremony has sentimental value for you or has always been on your must-haves when talking about wedding plans, there are plenty of positives that make beach weddings a popular choice.

Romantic, Panoramic Views

When getting married at the beach, the ocean is like another member of the wedding party. Its presence is special to the whole day and serves as a backdrop to support you as you say your vows. There’s nothing quite like being surrounded by the surf and sand to add an element of zen to your wedding celebration.

Pros and Cons of a Beach Wedding - Zola Expert Wedding Advice (1)

Photo Credit // Eight Weddings Photography

Laid-Back Atmosphere and Attire

Wedding attire for most beach weddings is less formal than your typical celebration. While the dress code may still steer clear of going too casual, ladies don’t have to worry about wearing high heels and gents don’t have to think about polishing up their dress shoes. Even if you decide to wear a more traditional shoe for the ceremony itself, you can slip into a comfortable pair of sandals afterwards or, better yet, go barefoot through it all.

Vacation Getaway for Guests

Hosting a destination wedding or a ceremony in your own seaside community can double as a vacation for guests who are flying in from out of town. A beach wedding leaves room to extend activities to before and after the wedding. This allows you to spend as much time as possible with loved ones who have taken a few days off to be your guest. Festive get-together ideas are a co*cktail hour held on a boat, an outdoor brunch for the morning after the wedding, and other smaller events and excursions guests can choose from throughout the week.

All-Inclusive Wedding Venues

Most beach wedding venues offer an all-inclusive package for destination weddings. You won’t have to worry about securing separate vendors for flowers, food, a cake, and decorations, because they’ll have everything packaged together for you in their offerings. This helps reduce the stress of getting married in a place you’re not as familiar with, plus all of the details are built into one place and price.

Breathtaking Photos of the Big Day

Choosing a wedding venue on the beach gives you gorgeous options for your wedding day photos. Whether it’s capturing your first kiss as a married couple while the sun sets over the ocean, group photos with friends and family on the beach, or dreamy looks beneath the sway of palm trees, you get extra ambiance when getting married at the beach.

Cons of a Beach Wedding

It’d be remiss not to mention the potential cons of considering beach wedding venues for your special day. With a beach wedding, you’ll want to take into account the temperament of Mother Nature, the intense heat that can affect the comfort of the day, and the lack of privacy from people passing by.

Unpredictability of Mother Nature

Depending on the specific location you choose for your beach wedding, be mindful of hurricane or rainy seasons to avoid catastrophe when it comes to your nuptials. Tropical climates are generally more prone to flash thunderstorms or overhead clouds. You’ll have to be ready to roll with the punches if the weather doesn’t cooperate. One way to be prepared is to have umbrellas available for guests. The good news is that most beach wedding ceremonies are short and sweet, which means you have a good chance of saying your vows and then taking shelter at your wedding reception.

Weathering Rising Temperatures

Many unique wedding venues are located in climates where it stays hot even after the sun goes down. Consider the seasonal temps for the month you plan on getting married. Planning an evening beach wedding ceremony can help keep everyone cool, but also providing handheld fans and well-positioned shade umbrellas may alleviate the heat for guests and keep them from getting too much sun.

Additionally, when planning a destination wedding, think about your attire. If a long-sleeved lace wedding dress with a full skirt is your dream, think of the problems it might pose when wearing it on a sandy beach.

Lack of Privacy from Passersby

Unless you’ve chosen a remote island with a sparse population, it’s likely you’ll have people who will want to stop and witness your nuptials as they’re walking by. Fortunately, most people are respectful and will keep their distance as they look on. Plus, you’ll be so engrossed in your own happiness, it’s not likely you’ll notice them.

It is something to note, though, if you want a truly private affair. Although you can reserve a spot for your intimate ceremony, you won’t be able to shut down the beach completely.

Sand, Saltwater, and Seagulls

All three of these things are significant parts of beach life, but can wreak havoc on your wedding day if you don’t take the proper precautions. Sand can be hot on the feet or hard for some people to walk on. A couple of ways to combat this potential problem is to hold your beach wedding ceremony closer to the boardwalk than the ocean itself. This is also a good idea to avoid the incoming tide that can accidentally soak your guests if it comes in too far. Another idea is to put up a sturdy aisle in the sand, so people don’t sink as soon as they step foot on the beach.

When it comes to saltwater, just know it’ll change the texture of your hair, so don’t worry too much about stray strands from your wedding style. Loose, flowing tresses add to the beachy appeal of this style of wedding.

And finally, seagulls will mostly stay away unless there’s food around. If you plan to have your wedding reception on the beach, consider a tent to keep them from diving down onto your guests and your wedding day meal.

With any destination, whether it’s at the beach or not, there’s a chance for imperfections or unplanned occurrences. The best thing to do is stay in the moment and focus on the joy of the day itself. When it comes down to it, the most important part is being able to say “I do” and reveling in the day reserved especially for you.

Pros and Cons of a Beach Wedding - Zola Expert Wedding Advice (2)

Photo Credit // Living Water Images

Starting Your New Life Together With a Seaside Wedding Ceremony

When choosing a wedding venue on the beach, ask questions and talk through any concerns you may have. It’s likely any wedding coordinators you talk with have experienced it all. They are familiar with what’s needed and what to do to ensure your wedding ceremony goes off without a hitch. Work with their suggestions, and create a plan that will make you feel confident about your seaside ceremony.

In the end, if you’ve been dreaming of a wedding by the beach, the pros well outweigh the cons. Even if the unexpected should occur, it doesn’t make the day any less beautiful or special. You’ll have priceless memories that you’ll cherish forever in your chosen dream location. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Pros and Cons of a Beach Wedding - Zola Expert Wedding Advice (2024)


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