Exchanging your marriage vows on a beautiful sandy beach is not only extremely romantic, but can be lots of fun. You can have a formal wedding at a beachside cabana or in a beach side garden if you don’t want to get married directly on the beach. Either way, you will need to plan carefully for your beach wedding. There are many laws and guidelines regarding the use of beaches, which varies according to the location of the beach.
If you are planning a small, intimate ceremony with just you and your partner, an officiant and two or three guests, then there will be no problem for the most part. If you plan a much larger gathering on the beach, you will first need to find out if it is allowed and if so, you will need to get permission (whether it is a public or private beach). Here are some questions you should have answered when planning your beach wedding:
- Is it a public or private beach?
- Can it be used for functions like weddings?
- Do you need to get a special permit to use the beach for a wedding? If so, where do you obtain the permit and how much will it cost?
- Are there any restrooms nearby than can be used by your guests? Keep in mind that most beachside restrooms are basically outhouses. Will your guests want to use such a facility?
- Will your reception be held at the beach also? If so, are there any recreational buildings nearby that can be used for preparing food, washing dishes, restroom use, running electricity to the beach area, or can be used in case a storm suddenly pops up?
- Are you allowed to serve food? Are there waste cans available for your use or will you need to provide your own?
- Will you be allowed to erect large tents to be used as shade and/or to protect food from direct sun?
- What are the regulations regarding smoking and serving alcohol? Most public beaches do not permit either. Private beaches can be more lenient provided receptacles for cigarette butts and alcohol containers are supplied and the beach is carefully cleaned after the festivities.
- Are bonfires, tiki torches, lanterns, candles, etc. allowed on the beach?
- Can you have a specific area of the beach roped off so beach goers cannot interrupt your wedding?