The A To Z Guide Of Planning A Perfect Beach Wedding I POPxo | POPxo

Beach Wedding 101: How To Plan A Seaside Celebration Full Of Sun, Sand & Love!

Beach Wedding 101: How To Plan A Seaside Celebration Full Of Sun, Sand & Love!

There's something undeniably picturesque and charming about a beach wedding. The sundowner pheras, floral mandaps, wind-tousled hair, sandy toes and the various shades of blue; a wedding that's set near the ocean is a great experience for both, the couple and the guests. After all, it's like a mini-vacation for everyone involved! However, as beautiful as it looks, planning a flawless wedding event at the beach comes with a long list of its own challenges. From situations that you don't have any control over --like the tides and the weather to things that need to be specific to the location -- like the outfits, the makeup, the food, your beach wedding needs to tick a lot of boxes. Here's a checklist of things you need to consider to ensure that your seaside soiree goes without a hitch.

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The A To Z Of Planning A Beach Wedding

Brides-to-be, take notes!

Selecting The Wedding Destination Or Venue

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Do you have a beach wedding style in mind? No? Well, that's what you need to decide before you start your hunt for the venue. Here are a few types of beach locations:

1. Resort-cum-beach wedding: A resort located at beachside or one with its own private beach is the most fuss-free option. It cuts your logistic planning if you and your guests stay at the property itself and most of the organizational bits get taken care off by the resort staff.  A beach resort will provide you with the exclusivity of a secluded location along with gorgeous sea views. 

2. Public beach: There's nothing better than a beach where anyone can swim, sunbathe or yes, get married. Make sure that you start planning early as this will involve applying for beach wedding permits. Look into the permit requirements of the state or town. Your permits and licenses will be taken care of by your wedding planner as sometimes it may require you to detail out all the types of equipment you'll be bringing to the site, as well as all food and beverages that will be served. Remember to ask your planner to have a plan in place for clean-up after the wedding. A word of advice: plan ahead and do look into any permit fees, container laws and clean-up charges. Pro tip: Go for a beach that's soft and sandy. Avoid choosing a rocky beach.

3. Private beach: Well, this can be a wedding of your dreams but can only happen if you, your friend (a generous one) or a family member has a home on a private beach. If you have a limited guest list and want your wedding to be a private affair among close friends and family members, you can also rent a villa located along a private beach. 

If you are planning a beach wedding in India, then Goa, Pondicherry, Gokarna and Kumarakom are some gorgeous locations. Or you can also look at some serene spots in Varkala, Kerala and Vizag. Planning to go outside India? Thailand, Koh Samui, Bali and Srilanka are popular for Indian weddings and are located a few hours flight away! 

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Opt For Beach-Friendly Decor

Seashells, anchors, lanterns, ribbon and flowers, here comes the most fun part of your beach wedding. Here are a few things you should consider before you zero down on the kind of decor you want for your wedding:

A backdrop as spectacular as the sea: If your wedding ceremony has the ocean in the background, don't go overboard with the decor. A few fun details here and there will do the trick for you. The mandap can be draped and decorated with light fabrics or just flowers. Pro tip: If there is seating on the beach, tablecloths and other lighter items, like place cards, should be weighted so that a light breeze does not spoil your decor. 

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Lights that are magical: If it's a sunset wedding, use a lot of fairy lights (think lights lining the pathway to your wedding venue and along the aisle). You can also place the lights in mason jars or lanterns. Steer clear of glass vases and use hurricane style lamps instead. Replace candles with LED lights. 

Think out-of-the-box: Scatter palm leaves along the way to the aisle. Go for clean white wooden folding chairs, 'coz they’re easy to carry and tend to work much better than some of their more formal counterparts.

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Time Of Your Wedding

Not everyone can handle high temperatures. Beach destinations can be humid and sweaty during the peak summer months and afternoon heat can get brutal. So apart from the month of the wedding, do make sure that your events are either after sunset or earlier in the day. However, if you still can't avoid an afternoon spot; choose a location with plenty of shade.  

Pro tip: Check the weather and keep your guests informed (in case it rains, your guests should have a spare set of footwear, umbrellas, raincoats handy). In fact, why not hand out pretty umbrellas as wedding favours?!

Dressing Up For Your Beach Wedding

For your beach wedding, it's best to choose light, airy outfits. Ditch the heavy velvets and raw silk fabrics for lightweight and breathable materials like cotton, chiffon and georgette. Avoid too many layers or heavy embroideries if you want to remain cool and comfy throughout the ceremonies. Swap the heels with juttis, they are no good when you have to walk on sandy surfaces. Pastel colours work best and deeper hues are best left behind. 

Grooms can also forgo the jackets and bandis and go for linen suits, cotton shirts and pants in lighter shades for a more casual feel.

Hair & Makeup For Your Beach Wedding

Don't keep your hair open, ask your hairstylist to give you an updo that can last a gust of wind. While a twisted bun can keep your hair woes at bay, your makeup will also need some extra attention. After all, there's really only one day in your life when you'll go to a beach with a full face of makeup. But instead of heavy layers of foundation on your face, keep the makeup minimal. 'Coz beach wedding, duh!

While we're sure you've hired a kickass makeup artist, here are a few things you should still keep in mind:

1. Go for light serums to moisturise your face.

2. Use a liquid matte foundation but blend it properly and then use a waterproof concealer to cover blemishes.

3. Say no to contouring if it's a day wedding. Sun can play your natural #HighlighterOnFleek.

4. Remember to use cheek tint instead of powder blush as these are prone to caking. 

5. Prefer a dramatic look? Let your eyes do the talking. While red lips are all bold, they don't exactly say laid-back-beach-bride. Keep your eyes the highlight of your makeup. Go for purple, lilac, brown eyeshadows and finish off your look with a double swipe of waterproof mascara.

 

It's All In The Tiny Little Details

There is a whole lot of planning that goes into a beach wedding. But it's the little details that make all the difference. Pepper your wedding ceremonies with such cute and thoughtful details.

Organise a shoe station with flip-flops for your guests who want to kick off their heels and shimmy the night away. If it's a day wedding, you can also keep accessories such as sunglasses, scarves, hats and umbrellas for your guests. A nariyal paani station to beat the heat during the sundowner mehendi ceremony is also a great idea!

The Wedding Cake

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No wedding is complete without a cake! So, if you're planning to have one at your beach wedding, it's a given that your cake design has ocean-inspired elements such as shades of blue, ivory and coral mixed with edible starfish and shells as decorations. You can even have your baker create an ombré design that resembles a beach sunset. 

Food & Drinks (Think Refreshing Cocktails & Bite-Sized Snacks)

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In general, people prefer light, easily digested food during a tropical climate. For an afternoon function, skip the typical chole bhature for bite-sized snacks, light chaats and exotic desserts. Another thing to keep in mind is to draw inspiration from the local cuisine. Think Sadhya in the main course and coconut coolers infused with vodka for cocktails if the wedding is in Kerela.

Since beach destinations are hot and humid, keep a lot of variety of coolers - aam panna, fresh juices, smoothies, slushes... there's a lot to choose from. You can even mix alcoholic drinks to create slushy, fruity cocktails. Coconut margaritas, tequila tiki, blackberry whiskey lemonade, rum infused with orange, need we say more?!

How To Plan Your Wedding Photography?

Beach brides are lucky for there's no shortage of picture-perfect backdrops. Make use of that! Do share inspiration pictures with your photographer in advance so he/she knows that you'd like a picture by the shoreline, one by the rocks, one of your engagement rings in the sand and of course, an aerial shot. Do also get some pictures by the beach during sunset, the romantic lighting guarantees a fab image! 

The Ultimate Beach Wedding Checklist

While you do all this planning, it's also important to keep a wedding timeline in mind. Here's a quick checklist of what to plan when:

About 9-12 Months Before Your Wedding

  • Set a budget for the wedding.
  • Based on your budget, start filtering out destinations and venues.
  • Research and zero in on a wedding planner to whom you want to hand over the reign.
  • Start making a list of other vendors and filter out your favourite photographer, invitation designer, decorator, makeup artist etc. Start contacting them to get an idea of their charges and check for availability. 
  • Even though there's still a year to go, do visit bridal exhibitions and designer stores to get an idea of what's out there. 
  • Your honeymoon should be booked well in advance if you want good deals on flights and hotels. 

About 3-6 Months Before Your Wedding

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  • By now all your outfits should be finalised and you should be going for your first trial.
  • Along with the outfit, do finalise your jewellery and other accessories as well.
  • Your engagement ring search should be done during these months.
  • Finalise your guest list and send out your save-the-dates to outstation guests or all if you're having a destination wedding. 
  • Do schedule a wedding makeup trial. 
  • Start with your pre-bridal treatments at least 3 months in advance. 
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A Month Before Your Wedding

  • Send out your invites.
  • Go for your final outfit trials and start getting the final ones delivered.
  • Re-confirm arrangements with all your vendors.
  • Decide on a playlist and let the sangeet practice sessions begin! 
  • Get your final beauty treatments, hair touch up etc.
  • Keep your moving away and honeymoon bags ready. 
  • Relax, meditate, eat clean and spend some much-needed time with your family. 

 

As cliché as it sounds, happy brides make for the prettiest brides. So enjoy your wedding and the days leading up to it to the fullest. 

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