Secure the Wedding Rings!
Hang on to those wedding rings! Have your ringbearer, best man, or maid of honor attach the rings with silky ribbon to something like
- a small wedding ring pillow
- a small basket of flowers
- in a last-minute crisis, use a large safety pin, and attach it discreetly to the best man or maid of honor’s clothing, in an easy-to-access location such as the back of a lapel or part of a wrist corsage or even the wedding bouquet.
Dress for Success
Anything you want to wear is what you should wear, but here are some tips that may make things go a little more smoothly.
- Choose a beach wedding dress that makes navigating on sand easy. Something that’s up off the sand will make it easier to walk, although you can have a silk or satin runner placed from the parking area or beach home to the ceremony area.
- Go Barefoot – it makes walking more comfortable, since you won’t get sand in your shoes. You don’t want to be taking your shoes off to dump out the sand while you’re standing up in front of your guests as the music plays.
Prepare the Location
You’ll want it to be pretty, maybe event stunningly gorgeous, but also practical. There are three areas to keep in mind:
- the ceremony spot
- space for the musicians, d.j., or sound system
- a reception area
Beach Reception Ideas
These are great! A beach reception can be fun, elegant, and casual all at once. Adjust the ambiance by tweaking the fabrics, dress style, music, food and activities. Be sure to tell your guests in their wedding invitations how they should dress.
Common food themes are:
- Lobster, Clam and Crab Bakes
- Lemon Wedding Cakes – the freshness compliments the outdoor atmosphere. Keep in mind that your wedding cake design should incorporate safeguards against humidity and sunlight — use a stiffer icing and decorations so that they don’t melt and slide right off. I was once at a summer wedding in Chicago where the frosting of what could have been a stunning basket-weave frosted wedding cake literally slid down the sides of the cake in the heat and humidity.
- Sandwiches and salads. Make them yourself or have them catered. Finger foods make it easy to mingle.
- Dancing can be done right on the sand, or have a platform set up.
- Games such as volleyball, frisbee, petanque, and badminton are great for a casual wedding. If people are bringing their bathing suits, you might consider providing body boards (for body surfing) and sand or skim boards.
- Have sunscreen on-hand, and either bug spray or citronella candles or tiki torches.
If someone special coming to your beach wedding has mobility challenges, make sure they have a dignified and comfortable way to reach the wedding spot on the beach and that they are comfortable once there. One option is an amazing “beach buggy” of a wheelchair. It has large, inflated, rubber studded tires which roll over the sand and dunes quite nicely. Check with a local hospital equipment rental company and reserve it. Another tip is to add a walkway that smoothes the path and makes it level. Or, depending on the beach’s location, you could also have people delivered by boat. You’ll need some form of a dock for landing, though. If you are holding your ceremony during the day, it is wise to provide some form of shade, such as a canopy or tent. There are many options available, ranging from a professionally-installed rental tent to one purchased from a homegoods store. Just make sure it is well-anchored with proper sand stakes. Keep your Martha Stewart wedding grounded! You wouldn’t want to fly away in a gust of wind.