Beach Destination Wedding – 5 Tips on How to make it a Success

Wedding on the California  Beach

Your Beach Destination Wedding

Whether you are going for the romantic wedding on the beach, shabby chic beach wedding, or casual beach bum surf’s Up sort of thing, there are a few things you need to know about planning and pulling off the  successful beach wedding in California.

Beach at Pajaro Dunes California

1. Timing your California Beach Wedding:

The busiest months are July, August, and September, but after Labor Day is perfect.  Autumn cools down  in CA like anywhere else,  but in October and November, late morning – early after-noon weddings can be very nice. The rainy season may wet your plans for weddings December through March but  a gazebo or tent wedding could be very romantic.  Spring  days of April and May  where temperatures are in  the cool 60’s and 70’s make for a very nice wedding as well but keep in mind the ocean breezes coming of the surf . June is a nice month for a California beach wedding but prepare for overcast-  personally  I think there is something very nostalgic about an overcast day on the beach.  As with most other destinations, Labor Day Weekend & Memorial Day Weekend are not recommended. No matter how well you plan remember this : California beach weather is very unpredictable. It can be a beautiful  warm and sunny day,  but if the fog rolls in, it can get downright chilly (even in the summer) – so prepare for this .

2. Have a BackUp Plan:

While outdoor weddings of any theme are beautiful and romantic – Mother Nature is always the ultimate boss- SO prepare for a backup plan.  Keep in mind California beaches can be windy, hot, cool, foggy, rainy and sunny – sometimes  all on the same day.  Know your destination – know when the tides come in and go out if you plan on having your wedding close to the waterline. Know where the sun comes up and goes down so you are not facing directly into the sun – nor are your guests.  If you are allowed chairs on the beach for seating, think of  having someone place plywood down  and covering it with some sand for the chairs so they do not topple  over during the ceremony.  Have a tent or canopy set up (and somehow weighted down so if a wind does come up it will not blow away) nearby  for a quick get away from the rain should it decide to  sprinkle down on your big day. If a tent or canopy is not allowed, maybe  buckets with inexpensive umbrellas available for each guest and don’t forget to have some for the wedding party. If you have chosen an alternate location in case of rain- a nearby hotel or  shore side  cafe-  make sure you inform all guests of the alternate location. (This can be added to your wedding reception cards)

3. Get Proper Permits:

Like everything else,  most  beaches require some sort of permit for a wedding on the beach -so make sure you  research this and get the proper permits for your wedding plans-

Each town will have it’s own rules and required permits – it may be best ( and easiest) to contact a beach wedding consultant and planner but you can do it yourself if you are prepared to spend some time  researching the beach towns of your choice and contacting the proper authorities  on what rules apply to specific beaches.

Public vs. Private Beach Regulations

… a help guide to choosing a public or private beach for your wedding and the pros and cons of each choice

Wedding Consultants  for a California Wedding  on the Beach


4. Wedding Attire:

The wedding party can be as formal or informal as you desire – nothing is ever written in stone. Whether your gown is Gatsby or Gidget – choose what gives your day the most memorable  photos and ambiance.  But do think of footwear for the sand-  fancy sandals, ballet  slippers, or barefoot if the  beach is not hot. For your guests, make sure they know how to dress – while it used to be bad etiquette to suggest attire in the invitations, especially for a beach wedding it takes the pressure off the guests if they know ahead of time what to wear – so we break the rules.

The two most popular  guest attire choices are:

Beach Semi-Formal In this category of dress code, there is a wide range of variety for clothes. Both men and women can choose to wear party attires which are a blend between formals and casuals. Therefore, if you are picking this theme, all you have to mention is the word “semi-formal” in the invitations and have the ladies flaunt their summer dresses, along with stylishly dressed men.For Men: They can wear suits with a tie, denims with a blazer or coat, or any other traditional wear of their choice. Summer suits with linen shirts, khakis, open footwear would also work.
For Women: Trendy shirts and tops, frilly cocktail dresses, sundresses for beach weddings, loose trousers with linen pants and jackets along with very classy footwear are some of the best choices for dresses to wear at a wedding as a guest.

Beach Casual
If you want your beach wedding to be a very casual event, then you can suggest a beach wedding attire for guests which is very casual. The guests can wear whatever they want, and make the event as colorful and random as possible. Thus, in this dress code, men and women can wear;

For Men: Denims with a tucked in stylish button down shirt, formal trousers with a printed shirt (not tucked in), with a coat or blazer, any party shoes, beach slippers or any other footwear.
For Women: Sundresses, cocktail dresses, short skirts and blouses or tops, denims with a hot top, party shoes, or any other stylish piece of clothing! These can be some great dresses to wear to a beach wedding.
Read more at Buzzle:

A very nice option also is to have flipflops ready for your guests to change shoes-

5. Beach Theme Wedding Invitations:

Keep costs down by  selecting beach theme wedding invitations you customize yourself from Wedding Trends – affordable and professional – order from home and complete the set with matching  rsvp, thank yous, save the date, matching postage, wedding announcements, wine labels and more: Here are examples of some of the designs offered at Wedding Trends



Beach Seashells Wedding

Tropical Night Ocean

Blue Beach Wedding

Beach Wedding Sandy Shore




California Beach List

…  offers links to hundreds of the most popular California beaches along the 1000 miles of Cali coastline.


Beach Destination Wedding Links

Beach themed wedding ideas