When you’re planning a wedding, you want to ensure that your guests are as comfortable as can be. Easy to do, if your wedding is in a classic cathedral and you hold the reception at a nice comfy venue. Keeping your guests comfortable and at ease at a seaside wedding may take a bit more creativity. Here are some of our favorite inspiring ideas that will make your beach wedding guests feel (almost) as special as the bride and groom.
Guest comfort from toe to head
When you hold your wedding on a sandy beach, there’s an excellent chance your guests will want to take their shoes off. Provide some sort of “shoe station” along the path where guests will approach the beach wedding. A simple grass mat held in place with heavy pebbles can suffice. For a larger wedding with more guests, consider a portable shelving unit with legs planted firmly in the sand. Make a sign that invites guests to go barefoot and offer three baskets of brand-new flip flops in small, medium and large sizes. Somewhere at the shoe station, offer a new soft painter’s brush that guests can use to whisk sand from between their toes before putting their shoes back on, recommends Exclusively Weddings.
Daytime seaside weddings can be bright, sunny events, especially on hot summer afternoons. Provide an assortment of cheap sunglasses that guests may use to deflect ocean glare and take home later as a beach wedding favor. Go all out and offer cute straw hats and woven fans, too. Thoughtful brides and grooms want their guests to feel the love, not heatstroke.
Food and drink, beach wedding style
Take a tip from the Tradewinds Island Resort, and present individual servings of crudites and dip. Peel carrots and cut them lengthwise into five-inch sections. Do the same with stalks of celery. Poke a peeled, halved radish with a toothpick and place an assortment of veggies into unbreakable cups with an inch or so of ranch dressing inside. Individual servings of shrimp or crab cocktail are always welcomed at beach weddings and offer a taste reminiscent of the nearby sea.
Decorate a picnic table with white linens. Hot-glue metal washers every few inches along the hem of the tablecloth to prevent it from flapping in the beachy breeze. Lay a pretty spread of beach-friendly foods such as sushi, iced oysters on the half shell, coconut shrimp and sliced crusty bread, and don’t forget the napkins.
Have a canoe? Scrub the inside, haul it to the beach and fill it with ice and canned beverages or drinks in plastic bottles. Many beaches disallow glass containers, so you might have to keep the champagne in a bucket in the car and serve in plastic glasses. Be sure to have a recycling receptacle handy, too.
Of course, the most important part of a beach wedding is the love and delight you share with your beloved, your families, and your friends. Make everyone feel as special as you do on your once-in-a-lifetime day.
Rebecca Francis works in a bridal boutique and has been a bridesmaid 5 times but is not a bride herself yet! She writes about wedding dress choices online.