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how to create a beach wedding ceremony

Quotation MarkMiles of pristine beaches, rocky bays, protected coves, spectacular headlands. There are so many choices when it comes to having an Australian beach wedding. Natalie and Simon were getting married on their local beach. They both loved to surf and Simon had just for a moment even considered arriving on his surf board with his suit on under his wet suit! The boys had placed a semi circle of surfboards upright in the sand around the ceremonial area. There were frangipanis scattered along the sand to form an aisle for Natalie to walk up. At the front there were a few chairs for the older guests. Simon and his groomsmen were in place at the front of the ceremonial area, the music started and the guests were quiet.  The sound of the surf gently rolling in and the blue ocean stretching out to the horizon was a perfect back drop.  Natalie remarked, ‘As I was walking down towards Simon I was struck by the beauty of the moment. Dad and I stopped just before our guests and took a pause to really breathe it all in. It was perfect’. 

wendy's handy hints for a beach wedding

Let your guests know that the wedding ceremony will be held on the sand. They may choose to wear shoes more suitable for beach walking or bare feet. Stockings and/or high heels can be uncomfortable and challenging for a walk along the beach.

Bring along some umbrellas for protection from the sun. Also a bottle of water and some sun screen can be handy.  For the bride, wear cosmetics that have a sunscreen base.  Have a few chairs for guests that may need to be seated and also a rug for young children to sit on if necessary.

If you are having more than 15-20 guests, your celebrant will need to use a public address system if you want all of your guests to hear.  Do they have a PA they are happy to bring down on to the beach? Does it need mains power? Do they have a microphone that won’t be affected by the wind?  The sound of the beach in the early morning with a low swell can be very quiet, however, after a storm the waves crashing on the shore can be deafening.  There are many spots up on the reserve overlooking the beach that will be a lot quieter.

Decide whether you want to have music for the ceremony and if so what music system will you use.

Have a back up venue in case of inclement weather. On the invitation state the wet weather venue and also a contact number for your guests to call to check in case of uncertain weather.  Make this an answer service so you can leave a recorded message about what is happening.  
Beaches are prone to wind.  On the east coast of Australia in the summer months the wind comes primarily from the north east in the late afternoon and in the winter from the south.  Discuss what you will do if the prevailing wind picks up. Are you happy to have your wedding ceremony in exposed windy conditions?  Is there a sheltered area you can move to in the lee of the wind? It can get quite uncomfortable and distracting for everyone concerned and quite difficult for the celebrant to ‘hold the energy’ of the ceremony in wild conditions. Remember, usually the groom is the one who has to make the decision, as he arrives first, so discuss before hand what you are both happy with. Does your celebrant have time to move with you?

If the dolphins or whales pop up in the ocean during your wedding ceremony, it is better to take a moment and enjoy their presence and then gather everyone’s attention back to the celebration.

Enjoy your beach wedding celebration, laugh, smile and have fun!
Wendy Haynes Signature

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Heidi, Cairns
Hi Wendy, I have been reading through your site and from feeling overwhelmed at the whole wedding planning now feel more relaxed!

Candy & Lincoln, Sydney, NSW
Your book gave us an insight as to what the important aspects of a perfect ceremony are. Had I not read your book I don’t know whether I would have put so much thought into the most memorable part of our wedding.
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