40 Tips for the Best Beach Wedding

How to have the best Beach Wedding

Are you looking to have a Beach Wedding and want to avoid some of the issues with planning a ceremony of this type? Here are my 40 tips for make your day great.

You’ve got engaged and you now have a blank canvas when planning your wedding. Nowadays there is no right or wrong in style and format – its all about what reflects you and your partner’s style, beliefs and wants for the future. The advantage? Well, you will have a unique and personal wedding day (including the wedding ceremony) that is a one off and likely to have your guests talking about the day for a long time – for all the right reasons!

How to throw a memorable beach themed wedding

We think of a beach wedding then imagine destinations such as the Maldives, Mexico and St Lucia (well the list goes on, doesn’t it?) but have you thought how you can create a romantic or fun beach wedding in the UK?

Do you dream about walking barefoot in the sand across your wedding aisle towards your love of your life, or about renewing your vows after years of marriage at your favourite beach? 

Our 40 Tips for the best Beach Wedding

  • If you are on a public beach, you may have onlookers but hey everyone loves a wedding!   If you are shy, then avoid the popular holiday coastlines during the school holidays is a must.
  • If you want a private beach, without the onlookers, then remember to get permission!
  • Beaches are a firm favourite with the naturist communities, so an ideal wedding location for those wanting to tie the knot is on a naturist beach.
  • Make sure the beach is accessible to all (some beaches are not friendly to those with disabilities) or difficult for those transporting tables and chairs for example onto the beach.
  • If you want to say your vows on the beach, then go for a Celebrant or Humanist who will write a personalised ceremony just for you and will conduct it on the beach. They will advise you how to do the quick legal aspect too.
  • Yes, you can have a full religious service on the beach, just choose a Celebrant as they can include any religion(s) and beliefs (or they will keep it non-religious if you prefer) as a Humanist cant include any religious aspects.
  • Consider having unity sand included during your beach wedding. It’s a traditional ritual involving one main vessel, with smaller vessels containing coloured sand which are then poured into the main vessel. The grains of sand come together (like you as a couple) and very difficult to get those separate grains of sand back in its original form, which is why it’s an ideal way to include sentiment which is great visually too. Oh, and children love this part of the ceremony, as they can be part of pouring the sand into the main vessel.
  • Consider having ‘message in a bottle’ within your wedding ceremony. Again, a Celebrant can incorporate this into your service after your guests have written messages on coloured cards and these are placed in bottle and sealed (ready for you to open on your anniversary) or you and your partner write a secret message to each other, place it in the bottle, ready for you both to open and remember those romantic secret words you wrote to each other!
  • To ensure all your guests can hear your wedding ceremony, opt to use a pa sound system with wireless microphones (they are widely available to hire that are run on batteries).  Don’t forget your guests want to hear your vows and not just the sound of the waves!
  • When thinking about how to décor your beach setting, think about the weather conditions. Often it's windy on beaches so consider if items are breakable or how they will look in the wind.
  • Timing is very important for a beach wedding, as often there isn’t much shade. Opt for an early morning or late afternoon wedding.  Or an evening wedding can be very romantic under the stars!
  • If you are doing your own food for the reception, think about how you will keep food items cool. Cool boxes are a good way to do this, or why not ask the local beach café or local restaurant to help?
  • Remember to have plenty of refreshments available, so you do not frazzle under the seaside sun.
  • Have your wedding cake incorporated with the beach theme by having edible shells as cake decoration.
  • Why not have a BBQ in the evening with seafood, or if wanting a more luxury look and feel, hire in dinner sets and even caters to prepare and serve the food.
  • Consider booking a Wedding Planner who is interested in beach themes, that will they pull all your plans together on the day – you can book a planner to either plan from the very beginning or if you prefer to do the planning, you could book a planner for their ‘on the day’ package, giving you valuable for money but with an expert on the day, so you sit back and enjoy the day.
  • Gentleman, remember your attire.  Top hat and tails will seem out of place on a beach but flip flops, and linen material for the men is preferable option.  You could even ditch the tie and jacket after the wedding itself.
  • Ladies, simple hairstyles are a favourite for coastal themes, such as worn in a braid with hair clips or wearing a flower crown on the head instead of a veil.
  • Makeup is best natural looking, and not over-done to avoid constantly blotting.
  • Bride attire – try to avoid a clinging bridal dress and go for a more flowing moveable style. For example, one with a hoop will give you air underneath the skirt as you walk, relieving sweaty skin!   Or go for a dress that is light in material but do avoid a long train as they do not move well in the sand.
  • Think which colours go best at a beach wedding, why not talk to your photographer as they often try to avoid mid-day sun of dazzling glares and Im sure this is the same with some clothing colours.   For me, vibrant colours look good in contrast to the stone-coloured sand.   Or to keep with the colour of water, go for mint, slate or blue or teal for bridesmaids’ dresses.
  • Ditch the shoes, go for espadrilles or wedges as heels will sink in the sand!
  • Tan lines won’t look good in your wedding photos, so consider what you are wearing and don’t forget to put sunscreen on!
  • If you fancy a swim after the wedding, remember to ask your guests to bring their suitable bathing suits with them!
  • You could even have your wedding ceremony in the water or under the water (check out which Celebrant is up to put their bathing suit on!)
  • If you want to have favours, why not have sun cream (well everyone is likely to need it)
  • Alternatively provide bug repellent to avoid you and your guests being bitten by the insects (use one that won’t stain clothing)
  • Want to give your bridesmaids a gift – what about skincare made with seaweed such as facial serums or hand cream keeping in tune with the theme?   The Cornwall company have a variety of items from food to beauty skincare, and are found at:
  • Have a sign at the top of the beach for your guests, with a box of flip flops they can use whilst they are by the shore.  That way their expensive wedding shoes wont be spoiled by the sand. 
  • Decorate your wedding aisle with shells and battery-operated lanterns.  (how about asking any children to hunt for the shells to keep them occupied?)
  • If you are having order of service or name cards on chairs, remember to put a heavy weight on them, as likely they will blow away in the wind.
  • Use flower petals instead of paper confetti and bubbles blown as you both walk back down the aisle.
  • Essential for a beach wedding aisle is to have a runner over the top of the sand.  
  • Use the pa system you have hired for the wedding ceremony for the music to set the party vibe for your reception.
  • Deck chairs compliment this style as do sun canopies or umbrellas. Remember to ensure seating, umbrellas or gazebos are secure and sturdy when placed on sand, so they do not blow away and chairs are strong enough for elderly guests to get in and out of as they tend to sink in the sand.
  • Seaside themes are ideal if you have children, as their entertainment is making sandcastles, while the adults sit on those deck chairs.
  • Sparklers for the evening to celebrate as night falls, around a fire pit with some fire torches will set the scene.
  • Budding musicians in your guest party? Why not ask them to bring their guitars for a jam during the evening?
  • Have a night station for your guests with blankets to keep the chill off.
  • Be creative with your invitation cards. Include top tips what to bring with them (sunglasses, sun cream, insect repellent, appropriate footwear, sunhat, fan, parasol etc)
Written by
Amanda-Louise Knight

Amanda-Louise is the creative director of her UK award winning business, Amanda-Louise Knight Weddings Proposals & Events. She provides advice to modern couples who want unforgettable weddings that set the tone about their celebrations and love.

Amanda-Louise is a current celebrant, and has been involved in the events industry for over 30 years. Her love for logistics, she is wedding and marriage proposal planner in the South West of England. A dog lover herself, she is owner of Somerset Wedding Day Dog Chaperone Service ensuring furry babies are included or cared for by her team.

She is mentor to other celebrants and venue consultant to her corporate business clients dedicating her time to helping them grow their own businesses.

And it all starts with making a date with Amanda-Louise!

‍Blog Disclaimer - the article is opinion based by the author only, the content is for information purposes only, and as such is not guaranteed. Whilst its intended to be accurate there may be some unintentional errors, mistakes or omissions and therefore may be subject of updating. In accordance with any advice articles should the reader wish to rely on this information, they do so at their own risk. Any prices quoted are accurate at time of writing content.

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