We all see it in the movies; a couple walking hand and hand with each other into the distance, watching the sun go down below the horizon and a warm orange hue impregnating the sky. If this is what you had in mind for your beach wedding, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise if you don’t plan carefully.
Beach weddings are unfortunately held in the real world, where things don’t always run as smoothly as planned. They have become increasingly popular, but they aren’t appropriate for anyone. Just as in any other wedding, there is a tremendous amount of planning and preparation involved in preparing for a beach wedding, but the logistics of it can make it even more difficult given that it is outdoors and often in a foreign country.
Don’t get me wrong, beach weddings can be one of the most memorable experiences you will ever have and with careful planning in advance it will likely turn out that way.
Before jumping the gun and coming up will all sorts of beach wedding ideas, it is wise to ask yourself a couple of questions before deciding on a beach wedding in the first place:
- Are you prepared for rain and unpleasant weather?
It may seem like a given, but beach weddings are generally held outdoors. That means that you have to contend with whatever Mother Nature has in store for you. Generally she is a nice lady, but if you get her on the wrong day things can end disastrously!
As bad as it may sound, you should prepare for the worst and should ask yourself the question if you would still be happy with your wedding if it were to rain cats & dogs the entire day. If the answer is “No”, then a beach wedding may not be the right choice for you. You have to be prepared that there may be a chance the weather doesn’t turn out exactly how you were hoping.
If you do decide to go ahead with it, it’s important that you have a contingency plan in place. That means ensuring there are umbrellas and rain jackets for the guests. It’s also best to have a conversation with your venue up front to discuss what sorts of contingency plans they have in place if it starts to rain. Many have an alternative location (usually indoors) where the wedding can continue, and they are often trained to have that set up within a matter of minutes of the first drops falling to the ground.
- Are you fine having someone else manage the details of your wedding?
Beach weddings aren’t for control freaks! There is only so much you can control when you are holding a beach wedding abroad; you certainly won’t be able to manage all the details and implement all of the little beach wedding ideas that you had in mind. In the case where you are having your wedding abroad you may deal with people that don’t speak your language, or if you are lucky enough where they do, you are likely divided by a huge distance and potentially a number of time zones. It pays here to have a good wedding planning, but even then you’ll have to leave it somewhat out of your own control.
It’s best to just “go with the flow” rather than get stressed and worry about every little detail. If you’re the type that would be fine, even if not everything ends up as planned, then a beach wedding will be a lot of fun. If not, it may be better to go for a conventional wedding.
- Are you prepared for a lower turn-out to your wedding?
If you have always dreamed of having a huge wedding, with anyone and everyone present, a beach wedding abroad may not be the right choice. Unless you’re paying everyone’s flight ticket over of course!
The fact of the matter is that your guests are likely to have to spend some money to come to your wedding, and potentially have to take time off from work. I’m sure that wouldn’t be a problem for your close friends and family, but for some people it may be an issue. This is something that you will have to take into account when deciding on a beach wedding.
- Are you willing to sacrifice on what date you will hold your wedding?
There are two things you need to consider here that can affect the date of your wedding, in case you already had one in mind. One is that oftentimes, the most popular locations for beach weddings will require you to book a significant amount of time in advance. There were a number of places we saw in Indonesia, for example, that were already fully booked for the year! In general, you may have to book more than a year in advance if you want to have a beach wedding in a popular location abroad. In case you were hoping to get married next week, better head to Las Vegas!
Number two is that you will have to do it at a suitable time during the year so that your guests can attend. This may mean during school holidays, in which costs generally go up as well, since a gazillion other people will likely want to travel to these types of destination for vacation during this time period!
- Are you taking into account the laws and regulations of the country?
Laws and regulations with regard to marriage are complicated enough as it is at home. Think about having to become familiar with those in another country. When deciding on a beach wedding in another country that’s what you may end up having to do. Every country has a set of different requirements whether it is blood tests, witnesses, marriage license applications, residency requirements, and plenty of others I’m sure. Make sure you’re willing to research those before you decide on your location; otherwise you could be in for a tough surprise when you both land at your destination!
- Would it be more cost efficient than holding a traditional wedding ceremony at home?
Many say that a beach wedding abroad, especially in a tropical country, can be significantly cheaper than at home. In many cases this is true, but in some cases the pricing is pretty much on par with that of a wedding at home. Given that beach weddings abroad have become so much more popular in recent years has resulted in the resorts and venues capitalizing on this and adjusting their pricing for these types of events. When we initially began our research, we were surprised by how expensive some of these locations were. This is just something you may want to keep in mind when contemplating having a beach wedding.