10 Tips for a Memorable Beach Wedding - 30A (2022)

By Will Estell

So, here you are, looking for answers to questions you don’t even know some of the questions for yet. Frantic, excited, nervous, and a host of other emotions, all because you’re about to embark on the biggest day of your life… and you’re getting wedding planning advice from a guy.

What bride-to-be needs this, right? I’d normally have to agree with you. However, since the guy in question — who’d rather drive fast cars, play ball with his sons, and drink a cold one on a hot beach (not necessarily in that order) than attend another bridal show — happens to be the past editor-in-chief of two newsstand wedding magazines, and later, a partner in and publisher of another, just happens to know a little about what it takes to make your beach wedding the best it can be.

10 Tips for a Memorable Beach Wedding - 30A (1)

I’m not here to give you advice on how to choose the best planner (though you likely would save money, time, and headache by hiring one), what shape cake you want, or anything that has to do with the hottest new wedding trends for the coming year.

What I’m doing instead, is sharing something I do know a little about, and that is how you can make your dream wedding about you, for you, and an extension of who you are as a couple.

(Video) Ultimate 30A Florida Gulf Coast Overview | Greatest Beach Towns with Pristine Beaches & More!

In my years in the wedding magazine business, I’ve seen a lot of destination weddings that just kind of started blending together in my mind. Those are the kind you don’t want, and what using some of these tips will help you avoid, while helping you plan a unique event that will stand out in your guests’ memory as being one of the best wedding ceremonies they ever attended.

Remember, it really is your big day, so make it memorable.

1. Dress the Part

10 Tips for a Memorable Beach Wedding - 30A (4)

You’re at the beach, so act like it. Remember, there’s no rule that states that only diamonds or pearls are acceptable for a bride. Or that your dress has to be a certain length. Throw in some color. Try beach-themed hues such as turquoise, emerald, amber or amethyst stones. Besides befitting a beach venue, this will also add more color to your photos while still keeping the focus on your white gown.

The same goes for your shoes, and what your groom and the entire wedding party wear. What about a pair of bright blue shoes for your “something blue”? For the groom think seersucker instead of silk. Not everything that looks great in a church is going to look as wonderful on a resort deck or the sand. Think beach. Opt for shorter, or lighter weight. Consider brighter hues for accessories such as ties and shoes. Maybe the bride wears bold colored earrings, or the groom rocks a nautical themed hook or anchor bracelet. Don’t get too carried away, but make it fun!

2. Choose the Right Venue

10 Tips for a Memorable Beach Wedding - 30A (5)

Your options in terms of venues for a beach wedding along these beautiful beach communities are perhaps as abundant as your choices in accommodations when vacationing on these shores. The one thing to remember is that there is a place that suits your personal taste. Maybe that means standing in the sand barefoot along 30A, or maybe it means tying the knot at a specialty wedding venue on the beach in Miramar, or at a resort in Destin.

The point is, the place does exist, and you can locate it and make it your destination wedding hotspot.Just make sure you choose something that says a little about who you are as a couple and what your big day is all about.

3. Use Flower Power

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(Video) Caleigh + Keith | Seaside Chapel | 30A

Because you’re at the beach, be sure not to limit your wedding to baby’s breath and roses; consider more colorful and exotic flowers. Think beachy. Flowers such as tiger lilies, orchids and hydrangeas give tradition a little spin. As can lots of other colorful mixtures that a good florist will be able to help you with. There are several great florists on this coast so make sure you choose someone who has a background in wedding floral design, and good recommendations of their work.

4. Light the Mood

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Never underestimate the mood-setting ability of glowing lights. Whether you use candles or tiny crystal lights, illuminating your wedding day will give guests a warm and comforting feeling. Especially with a night wedding, use strings of lights and candles to set the mood. Talk with your venue or wedding planner about this and give them your ideas. It is often a small part of the planning, but it makes a big difference in the look and feel of your entire ceremony and reception.

(Video) The Last Few Days as Rachel Ratke | Bridal Breakfast + Rehearsal Beach Bonfire

5. Exit in Style

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Think outside the box and dream of some ultra-cool way to exit your reception. How about speeding away in an exotic powerboat? Cruising off in a classic D90 Land Rover or vintage Porsche convertible? Maybe you’d like to be picked up by a waiting helicopter instead?

I’ve yet to see a bride whisked away by her groom on a Sea-Doo, but it would be memorable.

The good news is that you can find a way to make any of that happen if you’re saying your “I do’s” along the beaches of 30A.

6. Free the Food

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Don’t be shy when it comes to full-flavored food at your reception. Just because you’re having a beach wedding doesn’t mean you have to be serving seafood… at least not only seafood. If you like Chinese or Thai food, then have it. Be open to surprising your guests with cuisine that is not only delicious but also colorful and helps to make your big day memorable. There are several wonderful caterers and restaurants that offer their services on this strip of paradise, so be sure to do your homework and find one that is highly recommended and understands your desires.

7. Entertain the Crowd

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Face it, your wedding is going to be a celebration, and when celebrating, music and dancing are often a big part of what keeps it going. When choosing your music, try to entertain your guests with a wide array of songs to invoke emotions from. Think about the age ranges and try to choose music that can appeal to different demographics. It seems the ‘80s and ‘90s top 40 and rock always do this well, since these are tunes most everyone from 15 to 50 know and still hear. You can mix in some country, rap, whatever you personally like. Just remember that you want to please the guests, not just your personal taste. Live music is also great, and there is no shortage of fabulous bands and entertainers on Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast. Some people think a DJ is best, but I say go for both, with a band or guitarist doing multiple sets, and a little recorded music in between.

9. Vows that WOW

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I’m a firm believer that your vows should be extremely personal and speak volumes of who you are, both individually and as a couple. You may not be a writer, and maybe you even hated coming up with poems when forced to, in school. Still, think about writing your own vows and try and find that one special line or quote that will make an impact, create smiles and tears, and stick with your significant other, and all your guests, far into the future. If ever there were a time to be memorable this is it!

8. Rule Your First Dance

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With all the first-dance trends available on YouTube and other social media, couples have lots of options and plenty of ideas on choreographing that much-remembered number. My suggestion is just to do what is best for you personally though. Be natural and stay within your skillset, but don’t be afraid to move out of your element a little, and show your personal style. You know how to have fun and be romantic during your first dance as husband and wife, so do it! Maybe we’ll see you in a week on YouTube!

10. Stick Around Awhile

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Think about it, you are getting married in a place where other people — probably even you — go for vacation. Why rush off to another country to stand on sand or play in water that is often inferior to where you just got married? Now, I travel and enjoy it, so I’m not advocating that you never visit anywhere other than Northwest Florida or 30A. I’m just saying I’ve been to a lot of places and it doesn’t get much better. And since you are already there, why not stay around for an extra four or five days and enjoy some time with your friends and family who traveled to share in your big day? Some of the best destination weddings I’ve ever heard about are the ones where the newlywed couple and their friends continued the on-location party well after the wedding day.

Got some killer tips of your own to add to the list? Let us know!



What should a guest wear to a beach wedding? ›

Beach Wedding Attire Tips: Ideal Colors

Mimic those delicious, tropical tones with your attire. Colors like aquamarine blue, turquoise, sand, terra cotta, fuchsia, lime green, tangerine, and even sunflower are all unique but appropriate tones. You may also wish to wear a pattern or print in these bright hues.

Do you need a permit to get married on the beach in Florida? ›

Yes! You will need permission from the resort /condo or rental home owner. Most all beachfront resorts charge their own fees to marry on their property and often include an indoor banquet space to use for the ceremony if inclement weather.

Which Colour dress is best for beach? ›

Bright and bold

For those looking for photos with a bit more pop, we think the best colors to wear for beach photos are bright yellows, teals, or tangerine! These bolder colors simply scream summer fun, sunshine, and smiles. But be careful not to mix these colors with neons or patterns.

Is it OK to wear black to a beach wedding? ›

You can wear a black dress or suit to a summer or beach wedding if you want—but if you'll be spending time outside, black might make you feel too hot and uncomfortable in the heat. Alternatively, you could wear all black to a formal winter wedding if you think it would fit the venue and the theme.

What are the 3 most important things you want to remember from your wedding day? ›

Here's what really matters on your wedding day:
  • 1 / Your person (duh!) Don't skip past this if you're engaged!! ...
  • 2 / Your wedding covenant. You've heard it all before, but I'll say it again to reinforce it. ...
  • 3 / Moments with your partner. ...
  • 4/ How you get married.
12 May 2021

What are the 5 things a bride needs? ›

The tradition is based on an Old English rhyme that dates back to 19th-century Lancashire. It describes the items a bride should have on her wedding day: "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, a sixpence in your shoe."

What is the best month to have a beach wedding? ›

We have couples ask us quite often when the best time of year to get married on the beach is. I would have to say the most popular months are April, May, September, October and even early November. This is when the weather is perfect and the rates of venues is less.

What is the best month to get married in Florida? ›

March. March We would say is officially The Best Months and Times to Get Married in Florida. It is the most busiest for us, the weather is perfect for weddings and outdoor activities such as diving, snorkeling, and swimming. Tip: If planning for March, plan early, at least a year in advance.

Can a friend marry you in Florida? ›

Florida law provides that only certain officials are authorized to solemnize marriage. Your friend may participate in the ceremony, for instance, by providing an inspirational message or prayer; but the vows and pronouncement should be done by an official authorized to solemnize marriage in Florida.

How do I look classy on the beach? ›

How To Look EXPENSIVE On The Beach - YouTube

What color stands out most in water? ›

On water, testing found that the green and orange colors were the most conspicuous at larger distances under any illumination intensity.

What are some beachy colors? ›

25 Dreamy Beach Color Palettes That Channel the Seaside
  • of 25. Moss Green and Light Yellow. ...
  • of 25. Warm Woods. ...
  • of 25. Dark Blue and Cream. ...
  • of 25. Dark Orange, Yellow, and Blue. ...
  • of 25. Lime Green and Peach. ...
  • of 25. White and Sand. ...
  • of 25. Light Blue and Bright Pink. ...
  • of 25. Black and White.
22 Apr 2022

What kind of dress do you wear to a beach wedding? ›

For a more formal beach wedding, choose pieces in solid bright colors, and for something less formal, feel free to look for patterns or even a jumpsuit. Flowy maxi dresses, bright cocktail dresses, and even a fun mini dress can be great for beach nuptials. As for fabrics, avoid heavy materials like satin and velvet.

What colors are you not supposed to wear to a wedding? ›

Unless requested by the couple, visitors should not wear all white to the wedding. Please refrain from wearing anything that could be mistaken for a wedding dress, such as white, off-white, beige, cream, or white lace.

What colors should guests not wear to a wedding? ›

Colors You Can't Wear to a Wedding
  • White.
  • Off white or ivory.
  • All Black.
  • All Red.
  • Gold.
  • Overly sparkly or heavily metallic.
  • Bridesmaid dress color.
  • Mother of the bride or groom dress color.

What do people remember the most at weddings? ›

For Better or Worse, Your Wedding Guests Will Remember These...
  • The Dress. Your guests will remember the brides dress. ...
  • The Flow of the Day. Your guests will remember the flow and ease of the wedding. ...
  • The Hospitality. Your guests will remember your hospitality. ...
  • A Unique Menu. ...
  • The Details. ...
  • The Venue. ...
  • The Cake. ...
  • The Party.
21 Nov 2016

What is the most important element of a wedding? ›

34% of couples choose the wedding reception as the most important part of their wedding day. This is the largest spend in a couple's budget and most likely the first supplier they will book. Couples are continuing to opt for quality over quantity when it comes to their guests and their venue spend.

What is the most important role in a wedding? ›

Officiant. This is perhaps the most important role in the wedding since they're in charge of helping you say “I do.” Today, anyone can become a registered officiant online so this role can be filled by a close friend or family member rather than an ordained minister or judge.

What wedding guests actually care about? ›

What your guests really do notice…
  • The Food. This is probably not too surprising—62 percent of wedding guests said that food is one of the most important things they pay attention to at weddings. ...
  • Reception Venue. ...
  • Music. ...
  • Décor. ...
  • Bar. ...
  • Escort Cards. ...
  • Ceremony Language and Readings. ...
  • Toasts.
2 Nov 2021

What do you do in memory at a wedding? ›

13 Ways to Honor a Deceased Parent or Relative on Your Wedding...
  1. Read a poem of remembrance. ...
  2. Toast your loved one. ...
  3. Read a letter from or to your loved one. ...
  4. Hold a time of silence. ...
  5. Say a prayer or share a quote. ...
  6. Leave a chair open. ...
  7. Light a memorial candle. ...
  8. Write a message in the programs.

What you shouldn't do at a wedding? ›

20 Things You Should Never Do at Weddings
  • Get Engaged.
  • Give a Drunk Speech.
  • Wear a White Dress.
  • Show Up Late.
  • Strip Tease on the Dance Floor.
  • Wing a Wedding Speech.
  • Show Up the Bride.
  • Bring a Random Gift.
9 Apr 2018

Who gives something blue to the bride? ›

A bride's something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue are often given to her by her friends and relatives.

What do brides put on their legs? ›

The function of a garter is to hold up stockings on the bride's legs. Therefore, there is no correct leg to wear it on. You may choose to wear your garter on either your left or your right leg based on your personal preference. Many brides choose to wear two garters: one to toss, and one to keep.

Why do brides wear something blue? ›

Something blue

Blue is the color of love, purity, faithfulness, and modesty. To keep with tradition, the bride can wear a blue piece of jewelry.

What is the wedding color for 2022? ›

Pale pink is carrying over as one of the trending wedding colors of 2022, but this year, peach and light orange tones will be more in demand than the rosy blush and mauve hues of years past. One stunning addition to a light peachy color palette: Very Peri.

What is the luckiest day to get married in 2022? ›

Get married on Wednesday, February 2, 2022 (2-2-22) or Tuesday, February 22, 2022 (2-22-22).
To recap, the best wedding dates for 2022 are:
  • Saturday, January 1.
  • Saturday, December 31.
  • Saturday, July 2.
  • Saturday, May 28.
  • Saturday, September 3.
  • Wednesday, February 2.
  • Tuesday, February 22.
  • October, September, and June.
28 Oct 2021

What is the most popular wedding song in 2022? ›

The most popular first dance songs for 2022
  • Perfect - Ed Sheeran. Play.
  • Better Half of Me - Tom Walker. Play.
  • All of Me - John Legend. Play.
  • A Thousand Years - Christina Perri. Play.
  • Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran. Play.
  • Leave the Door Open - Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak. Play.
  • Everything – Michael Buble. Play.
  • Marry You - Bruno Mars.
8 Jul 2022

What is the most expensive thing in a wedding? ›

While the average cost of a wedding in 2020 was $20,300, this cost can quickly rise as the wedding becomes more extravagant. The most expensive parts of most weddings are costs associated with the reception venue, including the cost of renting materials, including tables and chairs, and serving food or alcohol.

What makes a wedding look cheap? ›

Wedding dresses, especially the ball-gown variety, require a lot of fabric, and good fabric, like silk and handmade lace, is expensive. That's why many mass-market bridal brands favor cheap synthetics like polyester to help keep their costs down.

What makes a wedding classy? ›

Delicate white florals, plenty of lush greenery, light linens, and minimal decor: These tried and true wedding details will never go out of style. And if you're a couple that prefers timelessness over trends, we suggest planning your ceremony and reception in a classic wedding style.

What is the cheapest month to have a wedding? ›

The cheaper months for weddings

January, March, April, and November can be far less expensive months for marrying. Venue prices may be lower, and vendor prices are likely to be significantly lower simply because the demand isn't as great.

Is it cheaper to have a beach wedding? ›

Because of the relaxed atmosphere of a beach wedding, the rest of your wedding selections (such as food, clothes, and reception activities) will be more casual, saving you money on the more traditional and expensive options.

Why do you get married on the half hour? ›

It is said to be best to marry on the half-hour, when the clock hands are moving up rather than at a time when the hands are moving down the clock, symbolizing the marriage going downhill.

What day is the best day to get married? ›

Here are a few of the best and, rightfully so, most popular dates in 2019 and beyond.
  • Labor Day Weekend. Labor Day weekend falls on Monday, September 2nd. ...
  • December 31st. December is one of the best months for a wedding. ...
  • February 20th. ...
  • March 6th. ...
  • Memorial Day Weekend. ...
  • August 8th.

What is the hardest year of marriage? ›

According to relationship therapist Aimee Hartstein, LCSW, as it turns out, the first year really is the hardest—even if you've already lived together. In fact, it often doesn't matter if you've been together for multiple years, the start of married life is still tricky.

What is the least popular day to get married? ›

What is the least popular wedding date? The Ides of March, which falls on March 15 every year, is one of the least popular dates to get married on. Another unpopular date is May 13; Friday the 13th, generally, is considered to be an inauspicious day for doing any important things.

Can you marry a sibling in Florida? ›

Florida Statute 826.04 makes it a crime to marry or have sex with a person you are related to by lineal consanguinity, or a brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece.

Can you marry your step sister in Florida? ›

Since stepsiblings are not blood relatives, they are legally free to marry each other. There are no state laws that prohibit marriage between stepsiblings since they are not at risk of having children with genetic defects due to being close blood relatives.

Can 3 people get married in Florida? ›

However, some people are married to multiple people and have more than one spouse at a time. Marriage to two or more people at one time is called bigamy, and it is illegal in Florida and all 50 states.

What kind of dress do you wear to a beach wedding? ›

For a more formal beach wedding, choose pieces in solid bright colors, and for something less formal, feel free to look for patterns or even a jumpsuit. Flowy maxi dresses, bright cocktail dresses, and even a fun mini dress can be great for beach nuptials. As for fabrics, avoid heavy materials like satin and velvet.

What color should you not wear to a wedding as a guest? ›

Unless requested by the couple, visitors should not wear all white to the wedding. Please refrain from wearing anything that could be mistaken for a wedding dress, such as white, off-white, beige, cream, or white lace.

What should a mature woman wear to a wedding? ›

A fit-and-flare dress, knee-length or longer, can be chic and flattering. If the wedding isn't super formal, you could buy shop for something that's re-wearable — more of a cocktail dress vs. a ball gown. Dress up this piece with a sparkly bracelet and your best heels.

What is proper beach attire? ›

When you go to the beach, all you truly need is a bathing suit! Wear a cover-up, hat, and sunglasses to protect against the sun. If you want to easily go out to eat or hit the boardwalk, wear a tank and shorts or maxi dress. Throw all of your stuff in a canvas beach tote, and wear flip-flops or sandals to the shore.

How do you look classy at the beach? ›

How To Look EXPENSIVE On The Beach - YouTube

Can you wear heels to a beach wedding? ›

If you're keen on wearing heels to a beach wedding, the best route is block heels. They're less likely to sink into the sand than a pair of stilettos, while still giving you an extra lift.

What is beachy formal? ›


'Beach formal' suggests an elegant beach-side wedding—so dress to impress—but consider all of the elements, like sun, wind and sand, when determining your outfit choice,” said Nina.

What guests should not do at a wedding? ›

20 Things You Should Never Do at Weddings
  • Get Engaged.
  • Give a Drunk Speech.
  • Wear a White Dress.
  • Show Up Late.
  • Strip Tease on the Dance Floor.
  • Wing a Wedding Speech.
  • Show Up the Bride.
  • Bring a Random Gift.
9 Apr 2018

Can wedding guest wear the same color as the wedding party? ›

Unless you're in that bridal party, you'd be best to steer clear of trying to match them. Think of it a bit like a stage show. The actors, in this case the bridal party, all wear the same colour to identify themselves as being in the cast.

Is it rude to wear red to a wedding? ›

Conclusion. If you are attending a wedding, just be mindful of choosing a red dress, in case you might come across as disrespectful to the couple. A bright and loud hue of red could be too distracting at a wedding. Instead, if you want to wear red, opt to wear darker shades of red instead.

What color should a 60 year old bride wear? ›

You don't have to shy away from wearing white just because you are an older bride or even if this isn't your first wedding. White is the traditional color for wedding dresses, and if this is what you wish, go for it!

What does a woman over 50 wear to a wedding? ›

According to Bride's Magazine “Weddings will become more casual with less of a black-tie- feel”, and “we will see more guests wearing midi and mini-length dresses”. Dresses with patterns and floral designs are very popular this season.

How can I look pretty at the beach? ›

At the beach
  1. Use Sunscreen. We get it, we get it - you want to leave the beach a glowing goddess with sun-kissed skin (we do too). ...
  2. Use Scalp Sunscreen. ...
  3. Find the Right Bathing Suit. ...
  4. Wear a Sarong or Cover Up. ...
  5. Accessorize! ...
  6. Wear the Right Footwear. ...
  7. Wet Hair with Fresh Water. ...
  8. Kérastase Crème UV Sublime Hair Creme.
13 Jul 2021

How can I look skinnier on the beach? ›

How to Pull Off a Swimsuit: 10 Easy Ways to Look Thinner
  1. Choose Dark Colors. Dark shades have a slimming effect, especially black and navy blue hues are perfect if you're looking to hide a few pounds. ...
  2. Stripes Work Too. ...
  3. Be Bold, Choose Plunging Neck Lines. ...
  4. Ruched Fabric Works Perfectly. ...
  5. Wear Your Hair Up. ...
  6. Wear a Hat.

What should an older woman wear to the beach? ›

That said, if you're headed someplace sunny, you'll probably want several swimsuits, a few swim cover-ups, a sun hat, and sandals. You'll also want some lightweight, flowy dresses, pants or skirts, and tops.


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