Visit the beach at different times to see how busy it gets : If you’re planning your ceremony on a public beach (especially if it’s a weekend, school holidays or a public holiday), make sure you don’t make the mistake of scouting it out late one afternoon or early morning during school terms without finding out how busy it may be on your big day. You don’t want your ceremony photos full of curious bystanders - people will stop and stare! Find the most intimate spot you can, or consider getting married on a week day.
Have a Plan B : Hopefully the day will be full of sunshine and a cloudless sky, but just in case, you should always have a Plan B. Arrange an alternative indoor ceremony venue, and be sure to find out exactly how much time will be needed to set up so that if you have to make the call on the morning of, you don’t leave it too late. Put your alternative venue on the invitation, so that guests know where to go, to avoid spending the morning of your wedding making frantic phone calls.
Get permission : Depending on where you’re planning your ceremony, you may need organise permission with the local council. Ask your celebrant or do your own research and complete the paperwork well ahead of time to avoid any last minute complications.
Avoid high heels : Walking on sand in high heels is almost impossible, so you’ll want to make sure that you have beachy footwear for your walk along the sandy aisle. Don’t forget to warn your guests to do the same – one idea is to provide baskets of thongs (flip flops for non Aussies!) for them to wear, or basins where they can wash their feet.
Check the time and tide : Choose the time of your ceremony carefully, taking tide, heat, the position of the sun and how busy the beach is into account.
Think of the heat : Keep your guests cool by providing parasols, beach umbrellas, or some other shade for your guests. Keep the ceremony short and make sure there is water available.
Have a relaxed dress code : Most beach brides dream of a chilled out, toes-in-the-sand, boho ceremony, and your guests will love you for it! Think cool summer dresses for the ladies, no jacket and tie required for the men – and include this information on your invitations.
Be heard : It can be difficult to hear the sound of music or voices over crashing waves, so make sure your celebrant has a PA system if you have more than just a handful of guests.
Style the aisle : Because a beach is such a wide open space, it’s useful to create a focal point for your ceremony, including an aisle, and an arch or pretty arbour.A covered arbour is perfect for keep the sun off a couple and preventing any harsh shadows or squinting. There are some really gorgeous ways to do this, and your photographer will thank you for it!Not that you have to have a straight aisle setup – you can consider a circular or spiral aisle for a more intimate ceremony. On a similar note, make sure your ceremony area is clearly signposted, or transport guests in a group from a central location.