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beach weddings

Miles of pristine beaches, rocky bays, protected coves, spectacular headlands. There are so many beautiful choices when it comes to having a beach wedding. However as celebrants we also know the reality of windy days, searing heat, volleyball players, the list is endless.

There are many challenges that may present themselves at weddings down on the beach. As the celebrant there are many factors that we can address with the couple to help make the ceremony run smoothly and with ease.

handy hints for beach weddings to discuss with your clients

  • If there is more than one beach in the area, make sure it is clear to all parties as to exactly which beach everyone is going, and at which end you are meeting. A map on the back of the invitations can be a great idea.
  • Quite often the parking near the beach is limited – advise guests to arrive early so they can find parking.
  • Your clients may want to invite guests to bring along some umbrellas for protection from the sun. Also a bottle of water can be vital especially if someone faints.  Sun protection is a must for outdoor weddings in the sun, so a bottle of sunscreen is handy.
  • Clients can advise guests that the ceremony will be held on the sand so the guests may then 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.
  • Have the wedding couple organise a few portable chairs for guests that need to be seated and also a rug for young children to sit on if necessary.
  • If they are having music for the ceremony what music system will they use down on the sand.  Quite often because of background noise the system will need to have a bit of volume and it is important that the sound is not distorted if it is turned up loud.
  • Have a back up venue in case of inclement weather. On the invitation state the wet weather venue and also a contact number for the guests to call to check in case of uncertain weather.  This can be an answer service so a recorded message can give details about what is happening.
as a celebrant we have to consider the following factors:
  • Beaches are prone to wind.  Discuss what the couple want if the prevailing wind picks up. Are they happy to have the 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 you as the celebrant to ‘hold the energy’ of the ceremony and for everyone to hear when the wild weather lets loose. Remember, usually the groom is the one who has to make the decision as he is there first, so discuss before hand what they both would want. If you have to move to another venue do you have the time?  Factor this in to your booking schedule so that you can remain relaxed and unpressured.
  • If the dolphins or whales pop up in the ocean during your ceremony, it is better to take a moment and enjoy their presence and then gather everyone’s attention back to the celebration.
  • If there are more than 15-20 guests, you may need to use a public address system. Figure out the best microphone to use according to the wind factor.  Did you know that you can place a lapel mike under a scarf or tie and it will still project a good sound? The sound of the beach in the early morning with a low swell can be very quiet, however, after a storm with the waves crashing on the shore it can be deafening.  There are many spots back up in the reserve overlooking the beach that will be a lot quieter.
Beach weddings can be very beautiful if they are well planned, and in Australia, we have the most amazing beaches.

Enjoy the celebration, laugh, smile and have fun!
Wendy Haynes Signature

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