Tips for a dream beach wedding
Destination weddings are growing in popularity, and Galveston is fast becoming one of those choice destinations. Such weddings are romantic and beautiful, but there are a few things couples should consider when planning them, advises Jane Park, owner of The Total Wedding Experience.
Be flexible: You’re using Mother Nature’s venue and although it’s free, it can be volatile. Tides, weather, time of day, time of year and wind all are factors that can adversely affect your wedding day.
If any one of these becomes a factor, be willing to switch locations at a moment’s notice, or even postpone the ceremony for a day. This is not the venue for you if you can’t be flexible.
Have a backup plan: Know what you will do should your beach wedding get canceled. And don’t just think, “Oh, we’ll all just head over to the beach house and get married there.” Will the beach house comfortably accommodate all your guests? Will the owner allow parties at the beach house? What about tables and chairs? Do you need to rent them?
Don’t make the mistake of just casually thinking a backup plan is not a big deal. It is. And you may need it.
Purchase wedding insurance: It’s very affordable ($100 to $150) and will cover everything — flowers, rings, clothes, gifts, food and rainouts.
Should your original wedding get rained out, you will be stuck with having to pay all your vendors again to come out for a rescheduled wedding. This unexpected burden would be covered by insurance. It’s the smartest and best purchase you can make.
Permits: You do not need a permit to get married on the beach if it is just you and your family, friends, a few decorations and chairs. If it’s a very large party or if you plan on having music with speakers, you do need a permit.
Check with the Galveston Park Board of Trustees Special Events Department and let staff there know what you’lll be doing, and they can best advise you on whether or not you need a permit and where to obtain one.
Chairs/equipment rentals: If you’re renting chairs and other props or equipment, be sure and tell the vendor that you’ll be using them on the beach. Some vendors don’t allow their equipment to go on the beach.
Private property/homeowners association: If your beach location is on or borders a property that has a homeowners association, be sure and check with it regarding any rules or policies it might have about large parties on or near its properties, especially if you have guests who will be parking in the association’s parking lots.
Sound system: If your wedding will have more than 20 guests, consider using a sound system. Sounds of the wind and waves are romantic, but your guests won’t be able to hear your ceremony over them. An experienced wedding planner can help you make these determinations.
Check out your location carefully: Check with the park board or special events manager to make sure there are no other events or weddings going on in your location.
If wouldn’t be a pleasant surprise to find out the morning of your wedding that a major sandcastle competition is taking place right where you’re planning to get married. Also, find out whether there are any other vendors on the beach in your location. For example, we have a vendor that rents chairs and umbrellas in different locations along the beach. You probably want to avoid these areas.
Taking food/cakes to the beach: It isn’t a good idea to serve food or your cake at the beach. First, the wind always blows at the beach and your guests will spend most of their time trying to keep the sand out of their food.
A wedding cake on the beach also is a bad idea. Aside from the sand, you’re in an environment that’s too hot and humid to maintain your cake for more than just a few minutes. Within minutes, your beautiful cake will be a melted mess. Even if it feels like a nice, cool day, it won’t work.
Use professionals: It is a common mistake to casually think that you’ll just get everyone together and go down to the beach, put up some decorations and get married. Any number of things can go wrong with this plan, and you need to be prepared.
This is the most important day of your life. You don’t want to spend it stressed out worrying about what might go wrong. This is the time to use an experienced professional who can advise you and guide you.
They will know all the little details to cover and protect you so that this can be your dream beach wedding.
Visit www.thetotalweddingexperience.com for more information about Jane Park.