Many couples dream of a beach wedding. After all, what’s more tranquil and beautiful than shimmering blue waters and sugary sand beaches?
Still, while the setting is tranquil, the preparation for beach weddings are just as stressful as any other type of wedding! Especially when it comes to the cost.
If you want to get married on a local beach, then this can bring the cost down considerably. However, if you want to travel to a beach a bit further afield, then you will have to pay more.
But how much does a beach wedding cost? What factors do you need to consider when planning your beach wedding? We have all the answers below!
Who Pays For What?
Let’s first address the question of who pays for what. When establishing a budget for your destination wedding, this is probably the first question you’ll ask yourself.
Let’s take a look at how you can split the cost.
What Does The Couple Pay For?
The couple tends to pay for the majority of the expenses associated with the wedding.
The couple should pay for the location, the licenses and permits, the decoration, the outfits, the food, and beverages.
How much this will cost depends on your wedding theme and style.
If you would like to plan a wedding on a budget, then getting a permit for a public beach is relatively cheap (Also check out Amazing Cheap Destination Weddings). You can also offer light refreshments for your guests.
Meanwhile, if money isn’t an option you can go all out! You can rent a private beach, and have more than one venue for the celebration.
You can also stretch the wedding celebrations out to a day or more, and organize fun activities for guests.
What Do Guests Pay For?
The cost of the accommodation and travel is often paid for by the wedding guests.
However, to be considerate to your guests, you should let them know you’re having a destination wedding well ahead of time, about 9 to 12 months before the big day.
This will give them time to prepare and save up for the travel and accommodation expenses.
If you’re having a far-flung beach wedding, then it’s worth considering just inviting your family and close friends.
You can also pay or help to pay some of these expenses. For example, you could pay for their accommodation.
What Factors Will Determine How Much A Beach Wedding Costs?
There is a lot that will determine how much your dream wedding costs. If you’re having a beach wedding, you can expect to spend between $5,000 to $50,000.
The average cost of a wedding on a local beach will cost about $10,000, while a destination beach wedding tends to cost around $35,000.
Still, the cost of your beach wedding is all in the details. Let’s take a look at some of those details.
This is undoubtedly the most important factor of the cost of your wedding.
It’s a common myth that you need to host a beach wedding in far-flung locations to have a beautiful day, but this is not the case.
If you’re lucky enough to live near a beach, then hosting it there will lower the wedding cost.
Plus, some venues are traditionally more costly than others. For instance, most public beaches do not charge you to hold a wedding there.
Rather, you may just require a beach wedding permit that can cost between $30 to $300. Meanwhile, a private beach wedding will cost more but will come with more amenities.
Now you’ve found the location, you need to get into the nitty-gritty of the budget.
After all, even a local beach wedding has costs associated that can quickly rack up if you don’t keep a close eye on it.
Your budget should cover food, alcohol, the wedding cake, your wedding dress (if applicable), a marriage license, an officiant, a photographer, the flowers, decor, music, lighting, wedding insurance, and other miscellaneous costs like beauty appointments and gifts.
The Guest List
This is yet another crucial factor, no matter what kind of wedding you are organizing.
However, it is especially important when planning a beach wedding, as how many people you invite will have a big impact on your plans.
If you’re having a destination wedding, or you live in an expensive area, less is more when it comes to guests.
However, if wedding costs are reasonable where you live and you’re having a local wedding, then you can afford to invite more people.
Of course, the bigger a wedding, the costlier it is. If you have a big guest list, then you need to be prepared to cater to them, and this will cost more.
To keep costs down, you can invite your friends and family closest to you and get married on a local beach.
Costs Of Accommodation And Travel
Now, this is where the costs go up. If you’re having a destination beach wedding then your guests will need to arrive a couple of days before the wedding and will most likely need to leave a few days later.
Since guests end up staying for several days, then their accommodation needs to be appropriate and affordable.
Travel and accommodation costs are often down to guests to pay. Still, some wedding resorts often provide inclusive packages, so it’s worth checking those out to get the best deal for your guests.
These inclusive packages may even include transfers to and from the airport! They may also provide discounts on accommodations.
Ultimately, the final cost of travel and accommodation will all depend on the wedding location and how far guests will need to travel.
Like any other wedding, a big part of the budget will be allocated to preparing food, drinks, and other kinds of refreshments for your guests.
How much this cost will mainly depend on the menu you would like to serve.
Most couples tend to keep things simple for their beach weddings. So they will provide light refreshments during the reception and book a restaurant for full meals later.
Depending on what kind of refreshments you choose, the cost of feeding your guests may range from $100 to $900.
If you would like your wedding to be catered, discuss with your vendor what you would like and if it’s compatible with your budget.
Another critical factor of planning a wedding is your outfits. For example, a wedding dress will take up a lot of the budget, depending on whether you want to buy or rent one.
Buying a new wedding dress tends to be more expensive than renting, especially a high-end wedding dress. Wedding dresses cost anywhere between $200 to $5,000.
Still, beach weddings tend to be more relaxed when it comes to the attire, and you could buy a simple dress to fit in with the relaxed vibes.
Although a wedding dress is a major piece of wedding attire, there are other wedding outfits to consider too. Renting a tux is considerably cheaper than buying a tux, for example.
Tux rental can cost anywhere from $50 to $300, while buying a new tux can cost around five times more than that.
Beach weddings let you add a personal touch to your ceremony and get a little daring. You can skip more formal things like elaborate hairstyles, veils, and even shoes!
You can also get creative about how the ceremony will unfold. For example, a back-up plan in case of bad weather.
If you are getting married during the wet season in a particular location, you may want to set up a tent on the beach to keep you and your guests dry.
Your back-up plan may also involve a hall where you can hold the reception once you’ve said ‘I do.’
These extras and personal touches will cost more though, so make sure your budget can accommodate them.
What Else Should You Keep In Mind?
There are a couple of essential things you should be aware of when organizing a beach wedding.
These will help you be as well-prepared as possible for your big day and avoid mishaps. Let’s take a look at them!
Choosing the date for your wedding is more important than ever when you’re getting married on a beach. Firstly, you need to think about the seasons.
Beach weddings are fabulous during the off-season, when the beach is quiet and you have more privacy. However, this doesn’t mean the weather will be great.
Most couples opt to get married on the beach during the spring or summer, when it’s less likely to rain.
It’s also a good idea to pick a weekday rather than a weekend, to avoid the weekend rush of visitors to the beach. The earlier you can decide on a date, the better!
The Time Of The Ceremony
You will also need to think about the time of day, and when the tide will go in and out.
Beaches are also open to the elements, so it’s important to consider the placement of the sun. After all, you don’t want your guests to be squinting and unable to see you!
Visit The Destination Before The Big Day
This is another crucial aspect. Don’t just take the word of videos and images you see on the internet!
Rather, plan to visit the location with your fiancé before you get married. This will allow you to imagine yourself in the location to see if it’s what you’ve been dreaming of.
You may also want to research appropriate accommodation, transport and entertainment options for your guests while you’re there.
Apply For A Beach Permit
Some public beaches will need permits for large events such as weddings. To see if your desired beach will need a permit, you can inquire with City Hall.
As well as your permit, you may need to stick to certain rules regarding alcohol consumption, the number of guests, the volume of any music, and bonfires.
You may also have to contend with restrictions or pay fees. Research the application process and liability insurance as soon as possible.
Give Your Guests The Heads-Up
Once you’ve decided on a date and a guest list, let people know your plans as soon as possible, especially if you’re having a destination beach wedding.
After all, your guests will need to do some preparations of their own.
Send a Save the Date 9 to 12 months ahead of the big day. If you’re staying local, an RSVP date can be sent out 4 to 6 weeks before the wedding.
But for a destination wedding, send out the RSVP date 8 to 12 weeks before the wedding.
Letting your guests know ahead of time is considerate, and tells them that they are an important part of your big day.
You can even send out reminders to make sure people remember to respond, or you can set up a website and send out regular reminders.
If you’re having a big wedding, hire a wedding coordinator to do this for you.
Hire An Experienced Wedding Planner
You can make sure everything goes off without a hitch by hiring an experienced wedding planner, especially if your wedding planner is a local to the wedding destination.
This is because they will be aware of the ideal beach locations, and where to get all you need.
Wedding planners can also help you lower non-essential costs and stick to your budget.
Have A Plan B Ready
When the weather is beautiful, your wedding day can go smoothly.
However, if an unexpected storm hits, then you need a back-up plan. You may need an indoor option in case of rain, or a large tent that can comfortably fit your guests.
In case of drizzles, you could have cheap, colorful umbrellas on hand for guests. This will make a fun, adorable picture too.
What Should You Throw At A Beach Wedding?
When it comes to beach weddings, throwing traditional confetti at the happy couple just won’t cut it. Biodegradable options are preferred, so let’s take a look at some.
Dried Flowers, Lavender, Or Rose Petals
Dried flowers are sweet, traditional options that add a nice touch of scent. Plus, the happy couple can scoop and collect the flowers as a reminder of their big day.
If you want to dry the flowers yourself, do this ahead of time as the flowers may take a few weeks to dry.
Like throwing rice, bird seed is an effective and budget-friendly option to confetti. Plus, it gives the birds a little treat! Get an adorable, customized bag for your bird seed.
Bubbles are a highly recommended environmentally friendly option for weddings. You can buy a few bottles or multipacks to distribute among the guests.
Plus, bubbles look great in wedding photos! Customizable bubbles are also an option, and you can get the names of the happy couple printed on the bottles.
Beach weddings are a fantastic way to celebrate your love for your partner, and with the right planning they can be the dream come true you’ve always imagined!
But planning is the key, and you underestimate a beach wedding at your peril.
While it is possible to have a stripped-back, simple wedding with a small, intimate guest list, high-end, extravagant beach weddings will need even more planning than a traditional wedding.
We hope our article has given you a clear idea of how much a beach wedding costs, and how to plan one so it goes off without a hitch.
Frequently Asked Questions
The dress code is normally very laidback for a beach wedding, and guests can often wear whatever color they’d like unless the happy couple have requested they wear an outfit in a certain color or that reflects a certain theme.
However, black may be slightly too much for a beach wedding in the daytime, plus, black absorbs heat so it may be an uncomfortable color choice. Instead, it’s worth considering a lighter color option that is more suitable for the occasion.
The norms around wearing white to a wedding are changing, with brides opting to wear gowns that are black, pink or red, not just white! However, the rule of etiquette that says you shouldn’t wear white to a wedding if you’re not the bride still persists.
If you would like to wear white to a beach wedding, go for a more understated shade like off-white to keep the focus on the bride.
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