A Legendary Affair

A Legendary Affair
A Legendary Affair Invitation BLOG - by appt at Magical Blooms - 1417 S. Pacific Coast Hwy - Redondo Beach, CA

Friday, June 13, 2014

Beach Wedding Do's and Don'ts

Beach Wedding Do's and Don'ts

by Mary Dann and Holly Lefevre

Many couples are enticed and thrilled by the prospect of an ocean front wedding, and you can't get much closer to that dream than by having your wedding ceremony on the sand. What better way to say "I Do" in Southern California? But before you send out you the invitations think about what it really takes to pull off a surf and sand wedding celebration.
Planning for Your Sea Side Celebration

  • Casual or Formal: Getting married on the beach is really best suited for a casual affair. For a more formal affair, select an ocean front home or special event venue with an ocean view.
  • Find the perfect sand space: Call the Parks and Recreation Department or Special Events Department in the city you wish to get married. These offices will be able to discuss what is necessary for a sand wedding in their particular city.
  • Watch out for those special events: Ask the Parks and Recreation, Special Events Department, and/or Chamber of Commerce about other public events taking place. The beach is host to many volleyball tournaments, surf competitions, and street fairs.
  • Check into restrictions: Do you need a permit or is the beach available on a first come first serve basis? Can chairs be set out? Ask these and other questions before you proceed with the planning.
  • Call again: Before invitations are ordered (3-4 months prior to wedding) call the city again to reconfirm rules, regulations, and schedule of public activities.
  • Have a back up plan: Rain, wind, or an unexpected (public) special event scheduled can upset your plans. Ask your reception site if they have back-up space.
  • Crowds and Uninvited Guests: You will attract passerby's who like to be distant witnesses to your special wedding celebration. Also, try not to plan a sand wedding on a holiday weekend.
  • Be clear on the invitations: Indicate your wedding site on your invitation. Make it clear to your guests that the ceremony takes place on the sand.
  • Parking: Secure a parking lot and/or hire a shuttle service for guest transportation.
  • "Do's and Don'ts" - Helpful Hints from the Experts
    DO: Be aware of special needs of older or disabled guests
    DO: Provide some chairs for family and older guests (10-12 chairs is adequate)
    DO: Consider using a pedi-cab to get these guests from the hotel/parking lot to the sand
    DO: Acoustical guitars, flutes, and other "portable" instruments work for beach ceremonies or have a friend operate a (battery operated) CD player
    DO: Keep the decor simple...Pre-decorated arches and aisle markers and a few chairs for older guests and/or family
    DO: Hold off bringing out d√ącor until 30 minutes prior or have a friend watch over your items
    DO: Use a pedi-cab to get you from the hotel to the sand
    DO: Hire a Wedding Coordinator
    DO: Stake out your spot with towels & sheets to reserve your space in the sand
    DO: Have water with plastic glasses and emergency kit available to your guests
    DO: Have a basket of towels available, post-ceremony for wiping off feet
    DO: Think about golf umbrellas for shade (especially on hot days)
    DO: Use walkie-talkies and cellular phones for Strand to sand communication
    DO: Have the photographer/videographer bring a sand wagon to carry and secure their equipment
    DO: Have a person to secure all the shoes that are left on The Strand (sidewalk that lines the beach throughout the South Bay).

    DON'T: Keep guests waiting without seats in the sun. Start the ceremony on time
    DON'T: Hire a keyboardist, harpist, or DJ's to provide music or sound for the ceremony
    DON'T: Use candles (i.e. a unity candle)
    DON'T: Use a (fabric) aisle runner
    DON'T: Plan a ceremony longer than 20 minutes

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