“I WISH someone had warned me about that!” you groan after your wedding day has come and gone. If you are getting married on the beach, there are so many obscure little things that might get missed by your other wedding planning checklists. But even the smallest, seemingly inconsequential element can come back to bite you in the butt later on.
Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen, shall we?
Here are the little-known things that you need to plan extra carefully if you’re getting married on the beach.
Dress For Success!
There is lots of information out there about choosing the right beach wedding dress, so I won’t be redundant with what you probably already know about lightweight natural fibers. Instead, let’s chat about lace. Lace is SO pretty and classic, I agree. However, in our experience, lace causes the bride unnecessary stress every time. It is like a magnet for sand and beach debris. If you want to say ‘Yes!’ to the lacy wedding dress, then make sure you are comfortable with collecting souvenirs in its delicate weave all day long.
The Barefoot Bride!
Should you wear heels or flip flops at a beach wedding? The correct answer? Neither.
There is a reason that barefoot sandals have taken the wedding industry by storm. Besides being beautiful, they are practical! When considering what to wear on your feet at your beach wedding, keep in mind that heels are going to sink straight into the sand. And flip flops? Sure, if you want to be kicking sand up under your dress all day long! Do yourself a favor, and go barefoot for all parts of the day that involve you being in the sand.
A Sweaty Mess!
There’s a bit of a catch 22 to this getting married on the beach thing. If Mother Nature smiles on your wedding day, and you get the beautiful, sunny day you are praying for, then chances are it will also be HOT! Hopefully, you have chosen those light, natural fibers, but wearing anything more than a bathing suit in Mexico can be seriously uncomfortable some days! However, today is not the day to let them see you sweat! Keep the following in mind:
1. Keep makeup natural and light. Think you, only kicked up a notch. Heavy makeup on a hot day can leave you looking like the Wicked Witch of the West. (“I’m Melting!”) And keep blotting pads handy.
2. Wear waterproof mascara. Don’t argue. Just do it.
3. Dust everything with baby powder, and keep it with you in your beach wedding emergency kit. It will set your makeup. Applied before deodorant will help with sweat. Dusted on legs and arms will prevent sand sticking to you. And sprinkled between the thighs will help with the dreaded ‘Swamp-Crotch’.
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Win Over Wind!
One of Mother Nature’s many beach bounties you need to respect is the wind. Sure ocean breezes can be refreshing and romantic, but they can also be a trouble maker!
1. Windy gusts can wreak havoc on your carefully coiffed tresses. A bride who wears her hair down at a beach wedding is setting herself up for the frustration of loose strands in her face at the most inconvenient moments. An updo finished with pretty flowers is what we recommend. And while we’re at it, skip the shiny lip gloss. It will only act as a flytrap for any loose hair, or beach debris the wind picks up.
2. As you stand in front of friends and family to say your vows, the wind can snatch your words away as quickly as they are spoken, leaving your guests with the frustration of reading your lips. Solution? Use a microphone. Wedding Planner Amy Rubins tells us, “Not planning to have a microphone for the ceremony is a mistake. People always turn shy and can’t be heard. Guests complain all the time that they couldn’t hear the ceremony.” (Click here for more great tips from Amy)
Staring At The Sun!
Where will the sun be during your wedding ceremony? Make sure you know the answer to this. Why? A recent wedding of ours had all of the wedding guests set up to face directly into the mid afternoon Mexican sun. No bueno, let me tell you! They were not a happy and comfortable bunch. Keep in mind, however, that you also don’t want to be a blinded bride and groom either.
I am assuming that you probably plan to stand under some sort of arch, awning or chuppah during your wedding ceremony, and they can be a beautiful compliment to a beach backdrop. However, to avoid any heartache with your wedding photos later on there are a few things you should know:
1. Avoid draping a colored material over the top of your awning. When the sun shines through, it will cast a different hue on your faces as you say “I Do”, which can be an impossible mess to edit later on. Unless you are happy to have all of your ceremony photos be in black and white, choose a sheer or translucent fabric in some shade of white.
2. Avoid using an arch that has beams across the top. Why they even make them this way is beyond me! All this serves to do is create vivid zebra stripes across anyone standing beneath, and photoshop will not be fixing that.
Lots Of Looky-Loos!
Are you the shy type, or do you have a vision for your wedding ceremony that does NOT include an audience of strangers in bikinis and banana hammocks? If so, you may need to do a little wedding venue research on how to assure yourselves some privacy.
Newsflash: All beaches in Mexico are public property. There is no 100% guarantee that outsiders won’t be watching you get married, but your chances of controlling this are far better with a private wedding venue, like a beach club or villa than if you choose the all-inclusive resort wedding option.
Light It Up!
Top Riviera Maya Wedding Planners, Yazmin De La Mora, and Natalia Schweitzer both agree, lighting is one area that beach brides never think about, but is crucial for a beach wedding reception and for great photos. Natalia says that “Lighting can be expensive. Most brides do not budget for this, and then end up going over budget.” (For more helpful tips from Natalia, click here)
And Yazmin agrees, stating that “I would say that (lighting) is even more important that flowers or decor. (Brides) do not consider it in their budgets…an awful mistake!” (More of Yazmin’s great advice here)
So add a line on that wedding budget spreadsheet for lighting!
Do your detective work, and make sure that you know everything there is to know about permits and fees if you plan a beach wedding. Here in the Riviera Maya, if you are getting married at an all-inclusive resort, there is a good chance that you will be looking at an outside vendor fee to use your preferred photographer, florist, DJ…you name it! For more information and helpful advice on this, visit our article about Resort Vendor Fees.
There you have it! If there was anything on this list that made you take pause and think “Hmmmm, I hadn’t thought of that!” then my work here is done. Best of luck in planning your beach wedding!
And if you are looking for a professional wedding photographer here in the beautiful Riviera Maya, Mexico, contact us today! We are Fun in the Sun Weddings, your number #1 choice for wedding photography in the Riviera Maya.