When are you Planning to Have the Ceremony?
For couples considering a beach wedding at a tourist hot spot, you’ll want to give some thought as to when you’re planning to elope. In order to avoid crowds or people photobombing your wedding portraits, we recommend planning for a weekday beach elopement or considering a sunrise elopement. Sunset is a very popular time for certain beaches, but usually we can help you scout out a slightly secluded location to avoid most of the people around.
What About Inclement Weather?
With getting married outside comes weather unpredictability. Especially in tropical locations, the chances for a rain shower are high depending on what time of year you’re getting married. Not to worry though, we plan ahead for any potential weather delays on your day! We’ll usually ask couples to decide two days in advance of the ceremony for any location changes due to weather. But if a random storm rolls in, we’ll usually try to wait it out before starting the ceremony.
With that being said, a lot of couples like to have a backup plan in place in case the weather truly doesn’t cooperate. For those couples that book elopement packages through us or beachfront hotels, there are a few different options that we can consider.
Wedding Attire, Hair and Makeup
When it comes to your wedding attire, hair and makeup, we have a few thoughts! There are beach locations all around the world, from Florida and California to Fiji and the Greek islands. Depending on the vibe of your elopement, there’s quite a few beach-friendly wedding dress options that you can consider. But you’ll want to give special attention to your hair and makeup so that it lasts throughout your ceremony and/or reception. Here’s a few quick tips for planning your beach elopement attire, hair and makeup no matter which coast or country you’re planning for.
Beach Elopement Attire Tips
- Ditch the heels. When you’re walking down the aisle, it’s better to be barefoot or opt for a flat shoe. There’s nothing worse than getting stuck in the sand on the way to the altar!
- Lightweight fabrics are your best friend. Consider breezy fabrics for you and your bridesmaids (if you’re planning on including them in your ceremony) like chiffon or tulle. For the men, stay away from thick, wool blend suits and go for something a bit more breathable.
- Maybe skip the veil. On extremely windy days, it might be a good idea to pass on a long veil. Nothing is worse than your photographer trying to capture photos and a rouge veil ruining the shot!
Beach Elopement Makeup Tips
- Skin Prep is important. Go for a light serum in locations that are very humid – the smooth canvas will make everything else on top look super fresh. If you have dry skin, use a stronger moisturizer in any dry areas and regular moisturizer everywhere else. If you’re prone to oiliness, add on a primer after your serum sinks in.
- SPF is #1. Make sure to protect your skin on your big day! You’ll want to wear both moisturizer and sunscreen to avoid a sunburn on warm, sunny days. If you’re worried about stacking too many layers, there are a bunch of moisturizers and foundations that include SPF ingredients to keep things simple.
- Have blotting sheets handy. For the day, pack blotting sheets in your makeup bag and clutch so they’re within reach at all times. That way you can swipe away any unwanted shine before a quick touch up! These are especially handy during photos when you may be in/around direct sunlight for an extended period of time.
- Go easy on the body makeup and self-tanner. Whatever you do, don’t slather your body with concealers or bronzers unless you want your wedding dress to have a tan trim! If you have an area you’re trying to cover up, use the same concealer you did for your face makeup with a bit of correcting primer. Be sure to give yourself at least 24-48 hours after a spray tan, too!
Beach Elopement Hair Tips
- Weatherproof your wedding hair. On your wedding day, don’t fight your natural hair type or texture! Especially with the heat, curls may not hold or hair may not stay straight. Aim for a soft, natural look that can last against the humidity. Some brides prefer an updo or pinned back style to keep everything in place. If your heart is set on wearing it down, make sure that you are facing toward any wind to prevent your hair from blowing all around your face and in your eyes during the ceremony.
What to Bring
When packing for a beach elopement, you can keep things simple! Make sure to check the weather in advance to get an idea of what the temperatures may look like for your ceremony. Here’s a few things that you should absolutely have handy on the day of your beach elopement:
- Wedding shoes (or go barefoot!)
- Sunscreen, aloe and bug spray
- Blotting sheets – for brides in case it’s warm and you start to sweat
- Portable fans – these have been a lifesaver for some of our couples eloping in the summer
- Hair ties/clips in case of strong winds
- Towels – in case you shoot photos in the water or to wipe off any sand
- WATER! Especially if you’re not used to warmer climates, be sure to hydrate properly throughout the day.
Decor Dos and Don’ts
Enjoy the natural beauty around you when getting married on the beach! You’ll likely be able to cut down on decor costs, keep things minimal or focus on the areas that you truly care about when planning your overall budget. But if you’re looking to spend a little more on florals and decor, here’s a few quick tips.
An important conversation to have with your florist ahead of time — your flower selections and how they will hold up in the heat. Some floral options (especially white flowers) can wilt or turn color quickly under the sun. It may be wise to hold on putting out the floral decor as long as possible to keep your blooms in the best shape on your wedding day. Also, skip the loose petals along the aisle! The ocean breeze can be marvelous, but not when it comes to flower petals scattered along the aisle. Oftentimes they can blow all over the guests and become a bit of a nuisance.
Make sure that your food isn’t uncovered or accessible to seagulls! There’s nothing worse than having them interrupt your nuptials by swarming for food scraps. You’ll want to confirm that your catering company has planned beach elopements before and is comfortable with any outdoor challenges that may present themselves throughout the day, including heating, cooling and protecting food from the sand or wind.
Ceremony and Reception Setup
Mother nature can be unpredictable! Make sure that your ceremony or reception setup is far enough inland so that it’s not susceptible to high tide (may be beneficial to check the tide chart on your wedding day in advance).
Wedding Size Constraints and Permitting
Depending on the location you’ve chosen for your beach elopement, a special use permit and certain fees may be required. Whether a beach is public or private, they can require a permit, especially if you’re planning a micro wedding with a few guests. But don’t stress, we help you take care of any necessary paperwork and permits ahead of time.
For couples considering inviting guests to their elopement, you’ll want to confirm the size constraints for your desired location. If planning a beach elopement through a waterfront hotel or exclusive package, there may be limitations for the number of guests that can attend without incurring additional fees.