‘Tis the season for sandy feet and beachy hair… and, perhaps most importantly of all, island weddings! Our beautiful coast is dotted with plenty of beautiful waterside venues, from docks on the marsh (such as the Wyld), to the warm, sandy beaches of Tybee and Hilton Head Island. There are plenty of elements to consider any wedding, but a beach wedding comes with just a few extra quirks to keep in mind.
Mind the heat!
One of the biggest appeals of the beach wedding is the sun. While an afternoon spent in some summertime sunshine here on the Georgia coast is one of our favorite pastimes, it can get a bit toasty. A little sweat never killed anybody, but in order to keep your guests comfortable, consider providing fans or a misting station.
Speaking of melting, did you know that the heat has the potential to ruin your cake? To keep all of that fondant and buttercream from becoming a puddle before you’ve even said I do, ask your caterer to keep the cake as cool as possible-- especially if you’re planning on having your reception outside.
Delicate blooms are absolutely gorgeous, but before you get your heart set on any sensitive varieties, bear in mind that some flowers just aren’t built to take the heat. Anemones, hydrangeas, and peonies may all fall prey to a warm summer day, but fear not! Plenty of resilient alternatives, such as roses, freesia, and our personal favorite, proteas, are available year round!
Location, location, location.
Horror story time!
My family regularly goes on vacation at a neighborhood with “private” beach access in the Outer Banks. One afternoon, I watched on in horror as a team of wedding vendors started to set up for a wedding ceremony… that not only guests would be in attendance for. Surrounded by beachgoers in bikinis and swim trunks, I’m pleased to say that the wedding went off without a hitch, but I’m sure it isn’t quite was the couple was expecting.
If you’re on the market for a beachy venue for your wedding, take my advice: make sure your “private” venue is TRULY private before booking. After all, the last thing you want is for a random guy with a metal detector to be in the background of all of your ceremony pictures, right?
Stay comfortable-- and cute!
Chances are every wedding advice blog and planning magazine has drilled this into your head already… but we’re going to go over it just one more time. Big disclaimer, though, I&B Babes: do not let ANYONE tell you what you can and cannot wear on your wedding day-- after all, you deserve to feel your best in your dress, no matter what you decide!
However, if you happen to be open to advice in the attire department, we recommend that you consider your comfort on the big day when it comes time to choose the dress of your dreams. Hauling a ballgown through the sand is no easy task! Flowy fabrics and simple silhouettes lend themselves best to a beach wedding.
Nobody says you have to go COMPLETELY barefoot, either. Consider a pair of lacy barefoot sandals if you want to feel the sand beneath your feet. Depending upon beach ordinances, it may even be possible for you to bury a wooden walkway in the sand so you can still rock your favorite pair of heels!
Lovin’ the look of your cathedral veil? Don’t give it up if it’s what you truly want! Veil weights are a nifty-- not to mention fashionable-- way to ensure that your veil doesn’t get too caught up in the wind.
Gone with the wind?
A nice sea breeze will do well to keep your guests comfortable, but depending upon the gusts, it might not bode well for your decor! Most local vendors are perfectly equipped to anchor arches, floral arrangements, and other furniture, but be sure to check in with them to ensure that all goes smoothly for the big day. Any smaller items, such as fans or paper goods, can be secured to something sturdy with ribbon to keep things stylish.
Back, back, back it up!
Savannah weather is unpredictable, y’all. In the thirty minutes it took me to write this, it went from a perfectly sunny day to something akin to Noah’s flood, and I’m sure in the time it takes me to edit and get this live to you guys, it’ll be all fine and dandy again. While this temperamental weather is part of Savannah’s charm, it doesn’t exactly bode well for any afternoon wedding arrangements.
So, just to be doubly sure, we recommend that you ALWAYS have a back up plan. Many islands have gorgeous event spaces available for rental-- such as the Tybee Island Wedding Chapel-- just in case your shoreside ceremony gets rained out. Better safe than sorry!
Still flustered by the idea of mastering your beach wedding? Don’t be! Click the button down below and let us handle the details for your big day in paradise. We got this!