Affordable Beach Weddings: How to Avoid Paying Dearly
Affordable beach weddings are totally within your reach, if you plan your nuptials to be either hotel-adjacent or DIY on a public beach. Here's how to make them happen.
Ryan Smith, Flickr
Hotel-adjacent beach weddings are the best option for busy people. Hotels love to host weddings, as it means income and possibly even a fair amount of guests for them. Both hotels in your area and hotels at popular destination wedding locales are likely to have multiple wedding packages for you to choose from. They may look steep at first, but they often include everything from the officiant to the flowers and the cake. Allowing the hotel to sort out all the details (seating, the permit, an aisle and an altar, for example) will certainly save you time, and time is money. Right? Right.
Furthermore, hotels often offer an indoor-outdoor reception space, catering, and all the other stuff you were dreading to organize.
If you're convinced you can save more by doing it yourself – i.e. your dad is a florist and your mom works in chair rentals – having the ceremony on a public beach may be the best choice for you.
First, choose your favorite local beach. Then check with your local state department to see if a permit is required, because having your wedding busted up by the cops is a major faux pas. If there's a large fee, consider your second favorite beach.
Get a friend to officiate (they can be ordained online these days), make the programs yourself, and avoid big flower costs by using draped fabrics and fasten them tight in case the wind picks up. Less is more: plenty of people have affordable beach weddings by letting the landscape be the decor.
You'll need some family members or friends to show up early and claim your wedding spot, lest your aisle be occupied by sunbathers – and make sure they take a look at the tide schedule, or they may choose a lovely place that quickly disappears. Lastly, be sure to reserve a secondary location just in case the weather has a cruel sense of humor on your big day.
That should get you started on affordable beach weddings.