For many brides and grooms, a sun-kissed strand is the ultimate place to exchange vows. The mood is barefoot, relaxed and as simple as it gets. Yet a beach epitomizes elegance and romance, especially when you use a turquoise sea and fiery sunset as a backdrop for saying “I do.” Days before-and-after the big day are spent horseback riding together at the surf’s edge, sunbathing, snorkeling and scuba diving, whale watching, clam digging, beach combing and kayaking. Evenings are all about candlelit dinners with the gentle lap of the waves serving as the perfect musical accompaniment and an impressive blanket of stars just waiting to be wished upon. Couples hole up in open-air villas that lie smack at the water’s edge or, on stilts over the surf, making for pure, unadulterated merriment.
Marrying away from home on a powder-soft sandy beach has many advantages. Most important to many brides, destination beach weddings tend to be intimate affairs. You won’t have to create a guest list that includes everyone from your nagging boss to your second-cousin-once-removed whom you’ve never seen. And, if you have children or, will be inviting children to the wedding, what kid wouldn’t want to stay at a beach resort? Most beach resorts ambitious kids’ programs and swimming classes and nature tours to keep the little tykes occupied.
Of course a beach wedding can keep costs down, too. What many brides and grooms don’t realize is that you are not obligated to pay for the hotel and airfare of your guests. And most family and friends are just fine with that because they consider your wedding a vacation. Having said that, it is a nice gesture to offer to pay for one night’s accommodations or to pick up the tab for a dinner one night. And it’s also appreciated if you have a welcome basket in your guest’s rooms upon arrival with maybe a bottle of sunscreen, some tickets for a morning snorkel excursion or a coupon for a spa treatment.
Many beach resorts offer wedding packages and have on-staff wedding coordinators to oversee everything from flowers to food to photography. So the only thing you have to worry about is deciding which sunny beach tugs at your heart.