Florida Beach Weddings

There is nothing more romantic than a wedding by water especially at dusk.The sound of the waves lapping to shore provide music to a resplendent sunset creating an unequalled backdrop of constantly changing reddish orange gold hues dancing above the ocean’s horizon.

Reasons for not opting for the traditional church wedding are many and varied. This is not a discussion about that, but of a beach wedding.

A wedding at the beach can be a spiritual or contemporary as you choose. If one partner is more spiritual or the religious than the other, incorporating both into the ceremony should not be a problem. Choose an interdenominational or interfaith minister or chaplain that is open to what is important and meaningful to you. Ask for their expertise and ideas and what they have done before with other couples. If you choose a celebratory minister, you will avoid receiving a dry ceremony. They are also a great source for recommending other wedding vendors such as florists, photographers and harpists or DJ’s.

Beach weddings are affordable. Articles claim the average traditional wedding is between $19 and $30 thousand dollars. Beach Weddings won’t empty your pocket books and are more joyful! At a beach wedding, the focus is on the bridal couple not the hotel and dinner ware. After the wedding, people are at the waterfront, often enjoying a few more days of bliss.

The beach is casual, spacious and inviting. Guests can relax and just enjoy your special moment in the open air, moving as they wish without being stuck in their traditional chairs.. Rules are few, rewards plenty. The passing pelican or possible glimpse of dolphins just adds to the delight. It is truly a celebration of life, a threshold crossing, a unity of two people or combined families in the midst of life.

Children can be children and run and play immediately after the ceremony.

Attire can be as dressy or casual as you choose for the bridal party and the guests can wear their favorite casual clothing. You might even ask all guests to wear one or two main colors such as denim and white or off white or tan and white so that your photos have a beautiful uniform look. Women can enjoy getting dressed up in dresses that flow in the wind if they want while men can choose rolled up khakis and dressy casual shirts. It’s all a matter of choice and you have lots of choices. You may even choose to have a theme or have an integrated look by simply giving every one an inexpensive flowered lei to wear.

You can have your reception catered right on the beach under the stars or enjoy the amenities of a beach area. The reception can be as simple or as elegant as you wish. If at sunset and depending on time of year, sunset is late in the evening, a cake and champagne ceremony may be all that you need. Cake and Champagne ceremonies are quite popular at the moment. Sometimes but not often, couples add to it a bridal brunch.

Written by Rev. Elizabeth Berry in conjunction with Ed Strong, Serenity Photos, Fort Myers, Florida.

The disadvantages in my opinion are minor, but here are some:

Most obvious disadvantage is untamable weather, primarily rain. This is easily overcome with a back up plan to have the wedding at your hotel if it has a great lobby, restaurant, minister’s residence if appropriate or better yet, consider a waterfront gazebo or pavilion near the beach. If you choose the latter, you can still get married on the beach and use the gazebo just in case.

Some beaches do not allow you to put up structures. If you are planning to bring anything but the chairs, check out what the rules are with the local authorities. Wedding Arches are rarely a problem but anything larger often is.

Receptions on the beach often require further information on prohibitions and requirements. Again, a nearby pavilion or gazebo that is often used for this may be the way to go.

If the beach is narrow, remember that when you go to see it, the tide may be out. Ask around how far the water comes in and if necessary choose another beach.

Be on the lookout for swamp areas near the beach. If there is a swamp and the time of year is right, there may be bugs. Ask the locals about flying insects and sand fleas.

Standing in the sand barefoot or in shoes may just be your thing. For many it is. Some couples even choose to have the ceremony while standing in a few inches of water. For those would rather not, choose a location with a deck, cement or other firm flooring.

Most beach weddings do not require chairs for the 15 or 20 minute ceremony. However, the elderly often need a place to sit down. Use your bridal party and make sure enough inexpensive fold up garden chairs are in the trunk ready for use.

The pluses far outweigh the negatives. What few negatives there are can easily be overcome.

Beach Wedding Favors

Couples planning to get married have many event theme options to choose from. These themes can have a special meaning that is known only by the couple and a few close friends and family members. There are also themes that can be chosen because they are affordable, fun, and will often be very popular with guests. One theme that is often overlooked is a beach themed marital event.

A beach themed event or event reception is a great way to enjoy good weather while giving your guests a fun, very unique, wedding experience. Beach themed weddings can take outside, especially if you have a beach or pool nearby and will give you the chance to have say your vows underneath the clear blue sky. Along with giving the bride and groom the opportunity to have a unique event, a beach themed wedding will also give the couple and their family a chance to give away lovely beach themed event favors.

Wedding favors with a beach theme are often popular since they are usually much different than the usual favors that your guests have seen in the past. These gifts with their ocean flare can be customized to add to their uniqueness and will help your guests remember the uniquely themed event for years. Best of all, these beach themed favors do not have to be expensive. Some of the best beach favors are extremely affordable along with wonderfully unique.

Starfish and sea shell designs are very attractive and popular with both couples and their guests. Tea light candles with sea shells and starfish designs are affordable and appealing. When placed in a decorative bag they make a very attractive center piece and favor. Small soaps molded into the shape of sea creatures are also great favors. Beach soaps that are fragrant and extremely detailed make wonderful wedding favors. These soaps are perfect for combining with other small beach inspired wedding favors. Combining these soaps with small candles can create a great beach wedding favor bag.

Wedding albums are another popular gift at weddings since many wedding guests often come with their own camera. A guest photo album with a beach design is the perfect gift for wedding guests that will need an album to keep the pictures taken at the event. If photo albums are not too your liking miniature beach chair photo frames are a good favor that can have multiple uses. These little chairs can be used to hold place cards during the wedding reception and, after your wedding guests take these great wedding favors home, these place card holders can be taken home and used as photo frames.

Beach inspired favors will let your guests experience the sea themed event each time they look at their gift. The options for beach themed favors are virtually limitless. Sailboats, sea shells, and star fishes are only a few different designs currently available to be used as gifts for event guests. Regardless of your choice these gifts are bound to be a major hit with guests enjoying your waterfront event.

Ocean City Maryland Beach Weddings

A beach wedding is an ideal way to enjoy a fun, easy & stress free wedding. Most beaches are blessed with stunning natural beauty that result in fantastic wedding pictures. A destination wedding at the beach is a great opportunity for your friends and family to enjoy a mini vacation during your wedding week. A destination wedding may reduce your list guest. Not only will this minimize overhead, most guests who decline will still send gifts! Many couples who tie the knot on the sand conveniently combine the wedding and the honeymoon. This is a wonderful cost saving option that may free up some money to put a down payment on a house or pay off some student loans.

Speaking of saving money – can you guess the average price of a wedding in the metro areas of Baltimore, Philadelphia & Washington DC? In 2010 it was over $32,000. Recent unpredictability in the economy has prompted the modern bride to be as resourceful as possible to keep her dream wedding on budget. The beauty of the beach is that it is an inexpensive venue. Ocean City, MD is a free public beach. The wedding friendly local government has made this family resort one of the most popular destinations on the east coast to say “I do”. Beaches in Delaware and Virginia impose small beach permit and parking fees. These fees are minimal compared to what you would pay by the hour in the city for your ceremony venue. The pictures and video from a perfect day at the beach are priceless.

During the summer months the best time for your beach wedding pictures is sunrise or sunset. The skyline is spectacular at those times and there are usually less spectators on the sand. From 10 am until 5 pm the beaches can get pretty crowded. It can also be ridiculously hot in the middle of the day. Even a nice ocean breeze won’t keep you dry during a 3 pm August ceremony. Try to wait until the lifeguards vacate the beach. Families and children will usually follow soon after. After 5:30 pm, the beach is pretty sparse – a few surfers, a couple playing Frisbee and an old man with a metal detector. Early morning is the best time for exclusivity. A sunrise beach wedding is as romantic as it gets!

The beach season is traditionally from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Once the kids are back in school, the beach traffic is sparse during the week. Weekends stay very busy in the autumn shoulder months of September and October. There are usually special events during the weekends which increase traffic and occupancy. The weather is ideal in the fall. The past few Octobers have blessed us with temperatures in the low 80s here in Ocean City. Late April and May offer perfect temperatures as well, but there is an increased chance of rain in the spring. If it is scheduled to rain on your day, contact your officiant a few days before to make the necessary changes. Sometimes we move the ceremony a few hours up or back to avoid the storm. If it’s a warm, light rain it may not be an issue- most beach ceremonies only last about 10 minutes. In a worst case scenario, you can always have the ceremony under cover where you are staying. I’ve never had one bride who came to the beach to get married leave without tying the not due to weather. Relax- spot of rain is nothing to lose sleep over.

An off season beach wedding has plenty of perks. Hotel rates drop significantly in the winter. The top venues have more availability. Parking is plentiful and traffic is minimal from New Year’s until St. Patrick’s Day. If you have a winter beach wedding, schedule it between 12-3 pm to get the most warmth from the sun.

Once you choose your ceremony spot, it’s time to think about your decorations. In a perfect world, your friends and family will have the time and resources to help you create a theme and haul the supplies down to the beach with them. Then they’ll set everything up perfectly prior to the ceremony and pack everything up and cart it away after your “I dos”. The modern bride on the go doesn’t always have that luxury. Renting may be the practical part of the equation. Unless you have access to a flatbed truck, I would let the professionals worry about the archway,tables, chairs, runners, palm trees, columns, tiki torches and music.

These can take quite awhile to set-up and break down. Exert your creative influence on the ceremony with decorative ribbons, flowers and shells that match your color scheme (and fit easily in your trunk).

A nice touch is a sand unity ceremony. Similar to a candle lighting ceremony (difficult to perform in the wind), two vials of different colored sand are poured into an empty vial to symbolize your new union. Add additional colored vials for each child you would like to include in the ceremony. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add a butterfly or dove release. There are a lot of variables that can go wrong with a release, but if luck is on your side it will be an amazing spectacle.

Music adds a sophisticated dimension to any ceremony. Most public beaches have regulations that restrict amplification of music. You can usually have a self contained portable unit. We use a white” Ka-Boom Box (about $360)” for our ceremonies. I consider it the Rolls Royce of boomboxes. At the water’s edge, a high quality sound system is necessary to compete with the crashing waves.

If you have the cash, an acoustic musician is a nice touch. A string trio, harpist, violin, steel drum or bagpipe can make your ceremony even more memorable.

If you use a DJ, either send him your requests in advance or bring a CD/MP3 with you. This should include the music to be played while your guests are seated, your wedding march and your processional music. Recessional can be a traditional march. It can also be Dave Matthews, Michael Buble, Beyonce or Led Zeppelin- whatever floats your boat. I had one couple walk out to AC/DC Thunderstruck during Bike Week. They had a blast!

Now that you’ve got your dates and venues set, it’s time to tackle the paperwork. You will need to acquire a marriage license from the clerk of the county you are getting married in. County rules vary from state to state, but tend to be pretty similar. The quickest way is to apply in person. You will need to provide proof of identification. This can include a copy of your birth certificate, drivers license or passport. You will also need the contact information and social security number of you and your spouse. If this is not your first marriage you will need to provide either a decree of divorce or a death certificate. Some clerks will allow you to file through the mail (especially if you are out of state). Your license will be temporary and may have restrictions. I have included a complete directory of the Delmarva peninsula clerks and requirements on page (?) to make it as easy as possible for you.

You’ve started working on your license. Now it’s time to find the right officiant for your ceremony. Parents, in laws, religious and cultural differences make it difficult to please everyone. At the end of the day, the only votes that count are you and your future spouse. It should be someone you are both comfortable with. I like to give my clients creative control of the ceremony of their ceremony. I give them a ceremony framework and they fill in the details. I’ll e-mail them a copy of their ceremony to look over and make changes. That way you know exactly what I am going to say before it comes out of my mouth (I find that brides tend not to like surprises on their wedding day). Sometimes there is a lot of pressure from family (especially grandparents) for a more “traditional” ceremony. That’s when you need your officiant to act as a “referee” and call it right down the middle. A good beach officiant shows up on time, dresses appropriately, projects his voice over the sea and orchestrates the symphony of your wedding ceremony.

Choosing a wedding photographer can be difficult. If you’re having a beach wedding, I’d recommend a photographer who lives at the beach. Not only are they familiar with the lighting and the angles, if their car breaks down they can catch a taxi to you wedding. I have heard the horror stories about out of state vendors breaking down on the highways and arriving late for (or missing) their events. If your photographer is an import, make sure they arrive the night before. The closer your team lives to your venue, the more likely they are to show up on time. They also won’t need to tack on a travel charge. That being said, compare local vendors for price and quality of work. I would also choose a non smoking photographer- you’d be amazed how many shots are missed while vendors are on a tobacco break. The evolution of digital cameras has leveled the playing field. You may have a friend or relative willing to shoot your wedding. If you take them up on the offer, have a back up plan. At least hire a professional for the ceremony, the introductions and the cutting of the cake. “Uncle Buck” may do a reasonable job with his Powershot, but 10 years down the road you don’t want to have any regrets. Having friends and family “shadow” the photographer may seem like a good idea, but can have disastrous results. I’ve seen that trend a lot lately and the subjects in the photo get confused which camera to look at. People look in all different directions and detract from the quality of the photos you are paying the professional to take.

Another decision is whether you would like video of your wedding. Video is wonderful. It’s a wonderful way to relive the moment on your anniversary. A highlight video of your ceremony and reception is priceless. Video can be expensive. Your best bet is to shop around and find a package that includes photo and video. All in one shops are becoming popular because you can arrange all your shopping with one phone call. It’s also easier to track down your merchandise after the wedding when its all through the same company.

Entertainment may be the most important part of your reception. If your guests are bored, they may leave early. If you want your guests to still talk about your reception 5 years down the road, you’ll need to keep them entertained. A great band can really get the crowd involved and liven up a party. The drawbacks are that they take up a lot of space, take long breaks and cost a lot of money. A DJ is the most practical solution for the bride on a budget. There are a lot of “clowns” out there. Do your homework before hiring your DJ. What does he look and sound like? A facial tattoo or squeaky voice may not be what you’re searching for. Does he use tobacco? A DJ that smokes takes too many breaks. A DJ that chews tobacco may offend your guests. The ideal wedding DJ will be close to your age. They’ll have grown up listening to the same music as you. They’ll know what to play to get you and your bridal party up and dancing. Remember- its YOUR party. Speak with them on the phone to make sure you connect. Make sure they’ll play the music you want to hear. If you have Spanish speaking guests, you may want a bilingual DJ. A reputable DJ offer you a reception planner to customize your special songs. Your DJ should definitely live close to your venue. If the DJ’s van breaks down, they won’t be able to put their equipment in a taxi. If you need to bring in a DJ from out of town, have them arrive the night before or make sure you have a back up plan.

Sample Beach Ceremonies

Hello and Welcome.
Today we are here to celebrate the uniting in marriage of ______ and ________.
This is the first step of their new life together. It is the beginning of an exciting new journey that will change their lives forever. These two free spirits have chosen each other to complete their lives. You have been invited here to day to celebrate this union and share in their joy.
God, we ask that you bless this couple and smile upon them throughout all the years of their marriage. May your love radiate upon them, may your wisdom guide them may and your light shine down to guide them in their darkest hours. In your presence, reflected in the ocean before us; bless this family.
The marriage of ______ and _______ is responsible for the creation of a whole new family.
We ask that both the families and friends of ______ and _______ are committed to the prosperity of this marriage and encourage their union to blossom.
Who stands with _________ in support of this marriage?
Who stands with _________in support of this marriage?
______ and _______ are aware of the seriousness of the relationship they are about to enter. These two individual are prepared to merge for a common good. You are aware of each others differences, yet have commitment to embrace them. You have accepted each other for who you are and without intent to change each other’s spirit. Your unique personalities must shine through for a marriage to grow. Nurture each other with positivity and respect. The time for selflessness and random acts of kindness is upon you.
______, do you take _____ to be your best friend and your lover. To be your soul mate in this adventure for all your years. To kiss away your sorrows and to show unwavering support through dark times. Do you promise to stop and smell the roses, to celebrate with laughter and joy when the opportunity arises? Will you provide _____ with compassion, honor and love?
Do you _______take _______to be your wife?
______, do you take _____ to be your best friend and your lover. To be your soul mate in this adventure for all your years. To kiss away your sorrows and to show unwavering support through dark times. Do you promise to stop and smell the roses, to celebrate with laughter and joy when the opportunity arises? Will you provide _____ with compassion, honor and love?
Do you _______take _______to be your husband?
May we please have the rings?
The ring is a visible symbol of the commitment you have made on this beach. It displays your love for another for all the world to see. It is a testament to honor the vows you taken here today.
As you place the ring on ________ finger, please repeat after me:
With this ring,
My heart belongs to you. I promise to love your forever and always walk by your side.
As you place the ring on ________ finger, please repeat after me:
With this ring,
My heart belongs to you. I promise to love your forever and always walk by your side.
______ and _____, may you both be blessed on this day of love and good fortune. May you reach for the stars and live out your dreams with one another. As a team anything is possible. May you always share your thoughts and stay connected. May the spark that brought you together always remain lit. May your love triumph over adversity.
May your lives be forever enhanced by the words exchanged today.
We wish for you nothing but the best as your new life unfolds.
_______ and _________, you have spoken vows and made your promises before God and these witnesses. You have embraced your commitment with the giving and receiving of rings. It is at this time I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride!
Now, for the first time ever, I present to you Mr. and Mrs._____________________!

We are gathered here on this joyous occasion to celebrate the uniting in marriage of ____ and _______.

As you can see, Ocean City Beach Weddings are Fun, Easy and Stress Free. Beach Weddings are relatively inexpensive and the photos are amazing! Feel free to contact Rox Weddings and Events for help with your OC Beach Wedding! The next Ocean City Bridal shows are November 7th 2010 at the oceanfront Courtyard Marriott Hotel and April 10th at Lighthouse Sound. Wedding Officiant Sean Rox will be giving away a Free Caribbean Cruise for two. Hope to see you there!

3 Things to Do For a Perfect Beach Wedding

Beach weddings are becoming more and more popular each year. This is one place that you can have your wedding and honeymoon in a great location that can be anywhere in the world.

When planning a beach wedding you will want to make sure of some things are in your favor so that you have a better chance to have the perfect day.

One thing that you will want to make sure is that you have a photographer that specializes in outdoor photography. You will want to see some of their previous photos and make sure that you are happy with them, make sure that they were outdoor photos, since this is different than inside photos.

Another thing that you will want to make sure of is the food that you will be serving and where you will be eating. Will you be eating on the beach? On a boardwalk? or going to a local restaurant. Some places will cater at the beach, while others won’t. You will want to first figure out where you want to have your reception at, and then you can make a plan on how to serve your family and guests.

Timing of the Wedding. You won’t want to have your wedding on the beach during a busy time of year. Major holidays are usually busy at the beach, while you may still be able to have you wedding at the beach during the busy weekends, it won’t be as private and personal as you would like.

These are three things that you may overlook when planning a beach wedding, but these are very important things to consider when planning your destination wedding at the beach.