Even when you were still little, you dreamt of having a beach wedding. You’ve pictured your groom waiting for you at the altar as your feet dig into the sand, and all your friends and loved ones looking at you with awe and affection.

Celebrating your wedding at the beach can be memorable. But first, you have to tackle a few challenges. Finding your ideal location is just the start. Here are some tips to help you achieve that goal.

Marriage on Beach

1. Wardrobe choice

Before settling for a final design for the wedding gown, you should carefully consider the environment of your wedding venue. The beach has plenty of sun, wind, and sand.

That means that instead of the traditional ball gown, veil, and lace, it’s best to modify your choices. It can be possible to wear a ball gown to a beach wedding, but it is not advisable. For starters, you’ll have difficulty moving around.

In terms of fabric, ditch the lace for something lightweight like chiffon. Lace will only attract sand and dirt. You may also want to avoid wearing a veil which can be blown over by the wind. Instead, consider wearing accessories or even flowers.

As for your hairstyle, you will need to factor in the wind and sun. In most cases, an updo is a perfect choice, allowing you to transition from the wedding to the reception seamlessly.

Trade your heels for flat shoes like wedges or sandals. You’ll only have trouble walking down the aisle if you insist on wearing heels.

As for the groom and his entourage, the safest choice would be an informal getup, like clothes made of cotton and linen. They can wear sports jackets, but only if the weather and temperature permit it.

Encourage your guests to bring their sunglasses and hats, and to apply sunscreen.

2. Time

As much as possible, avoid scheduling the ceremony in the middle of the afternoon when the day is at its hottest. This is particularly true if you have kids and the elderly on your guest list. More often than not, they are more susceptible to the ill effects of intense heat.

Consider holding the ceremony early in the morning, or late in the afternoon as the sun sets. If you have no other recourse but to schedule the wedding in the middle of the day, pick a spot that has shade to offer everyone some relief from the sun.

3. Decor

Nautical elements like shells, anchors, and driftwood have been commonly used as design elements for beach weddings. Of course, that’s just for starters. You can customize your decor to suit your personal taste and preferences.

For the ceremony, it is highly advisable to keep things simple and minimalistic. As for the reception, the decor will be dictated by the location. If you are holding it outdoors, take the wind into account and avoid pieces that are made of lightweight materials and can be blown away.

Your choice of flowers may be a little limited, again, because you have to consider the elements. Choosing popular flowers like poppies and freesia is not advisable as these may not last until the ceremony. Consider orchids and plumeria, which can withstand higher temperatures.

4. Food and drinks

One of the primary considerations when deciding which food and beverages to serve during the reception is the temperature. Be aware that some types of food can spoil quickly due to heat, while others may simply not look good.

Instruct the caterer’s crew to make drinks, especially water, readily available to guests in order to prevent dehydration.

5. Photographer

Choose a photographer who has ample experience in taking outdoor photos, including during beach weddings. Take note that you can’t just hire any photographer for your special day. You would want someone who has experience in and familiarity with an environment similar to the venue of your wedding.

A few other things

Ensure that you make the necessary arrangements so that guests can easily find the venue of the ceremony. Also, if there are individuals with disabilities in your guest list, consider the accessibility of the site as well as the unique needs of these guests.

When it comes to ensuring the comfort of your guests, small things can make a huge difference. Consider giving your guests sunscreen, umbrellas, beach blankets, and baby powder.

Devise a plan B

Finally, as much as you would want everything to proceed without any hitch, you cannot leave everything to chance, especially when nature is involved. Plan ahead so that you can easily make adjustments if something crops up.


Soraya Abdul Azis is the Marketing Manager for Saadiyat Beach Club in the UAE, the very first beach club on Saadiyat where guests can enjoy and celebrate a world of fine living, health and well-being. Soraya has worked in Design, Advertising and PR in Dubai and Beirut for the past 4 years.