Having A Wedding Reception on the Beach: The Basics

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You’ve chosen the perfect, most romantic location you could find that fit your ideal beach wedding idea. You have the ceremony all planned out and now its time to think about the reception. If you don’t want the same old hotel ballroom and are looking for something that continues with your beach motif, consider having your reception on the beach, but always remember to think about these things first.

Location of your Reception

Couple Dancing at Beach Wedding
Images provided by: Gaston Garcia Photography

Your hotel may offer the use of their beach for the reception, in which case you don’t have to worry about permits, food distribution, public restrooms, noise ordinances, alcohol or open containers. They will take care of everything for you. However, these are all things you will need to consider if you won’t be using a wedding planner or a hotels private beach for your reception.

The Decor

Just because you are having a wedding on the beach doesn’t mean your centerpieces have to be adorned with starfish and sand dollars. Try to incorporate the beauty of the destination where your wedding is being held; think local tropical flowers, fruits or a multitude of colors that go with your overall theme. You can also consider using sea glass tea light holders as a part of your centerpiece to add something unique and memorable.

First Dance at Destination Wedding
Images provided by: Gaston Garcia Photography

Consider Your Guests

A walk on the beach isn’t really, well, a walk on the beach for everyone. If you have elderly guests or anyone with accessibility issues, make sure you keep them in mind when planning your beach reception. Make sure they can get to the beach using traditional transit if needed, and that they don’t have far to go once they hit the sand.

Have a Back Up for the Reception

You’ll want to have a back up for any number of reasons when it comes to a beach wedding, but weather is at the forefront. Just because a location is sunny 90% of the time doesn’t necessarily mean that it will cooperate on your wedding day. If there are strong winds you don’t want sand kicked up into people’s meals (not to mention their clothes and hair). If it rains you can always have a tent set up to avoid that, but with rain generally comes a much cooler temperature, and you want to ensure the comfort of your guests at all times. If you want to stay with an outdoor theme, also consider a gazebo type structure that would provide some shelter, or an indoor alternative. Speak to your wedding coordinator about the best option in this case.

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