How to Organise an Unforgettable Beach Wedding Ceremony by the Shore

If you want to plan an unforgettable wedding day celebration that will be talked about for years to come, then you’ve come to the right place. Here is our how to guide to help you organise an unforgettable wedding ceremony by the shore!

Beach Wedding Ceremony FAQs

Before you go ahead with booking the perfect wedding venue for your special day, check out our answers to the most frequently asked beach wedding ceremony questions to make sure you have all bases covered.

How to throw a simple beach wedding ceremony?

Throwing a simple wedding ceremony doesn’t mean you have to forfeit the wow-factor. You can have a simple ceremony, in an incredible setting, at a fraction of the cost by choosing beach wedding venues that allow you DIY most of your day.

For more tips on planning a simple wedding that takes full advantage of the natural beauty of the sandy beach, without having to commit to any of the extravagance, check out our blog on Ideas for the perfect coastal wedding.

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What is a boho beach wedding?

A Boho wedding, is bohemian chic at its best. Think floaty dresses, flower crowns and rustic floral arrangements. This style is less formal than a traditional wedding and has more of a relaxed vibe.

What is a beach wedding sand ceremony?

A sand ceremony is a beautiful way to symbolise joining in marriage. Couples can choose different coloured sands, which are then mixed together to represent the blending of two lives into one.

The sand is often collected from places that hold special memories for the couple such as a trip they took together or a favourite holiday spot.

Do I need a beach permit?

Although the rules on holding weddings outside have recently relaxed, if you’re planning a wedding overlooking beautiful beach views it still needs to take place in a licensed and insured venue for it to be legally binding.

best beach wedding venue

What wedding dress to choose for a beach ceremony?

When you’re planning a beach wedding it’s worth remembering that with natural beauty comes wind and sand.

Choose a dress that doesn’t have a long train so that it’s more manageable, or you could even wear a showstopping dress for the ceremony and a more relaxed outfit for the after party.

Who should officiate my wedding on a beach?

You will need to use a legally registered officiate to conduct your costal wedding. Most couples use local officials or wedding celebrants who regularly carry out ceremonies at popular beach wedding venues.

How many people can attend?

The number of guests you can have at your wedding depends on the capacity of the individual beach wedding venues. Arches Beach Weddings Venue is the perfect place for both intimate elopements, as well as larger wedding parties, as it is licensed for up 120 guests, with seating for 104.

wedding venues by the sea

How to time the event?

It’s entirely up to you, but typically, if you’ve booked Arches Wedding Venue from 10am to midday, you might have a friend or wedding planner arrive first to set up, with your guests starting to arrive from 10.15am onwards, and the bride following at around 10.30am.

The ceremony will begin at 10.45am, after which you will have time to mingle with your guests in the beautiful venue grounds.

What about the weather?

Planning a wedding on the coast? Consider the weather! In the UK, we’re famous for our unpredictable weather so it’s best to choose a venue with indoor spaces and a top-floor terrace where you can enjoy gorgeous views of the sea – whatever the weather.

What if it rains?

The forecast may be sunny and blue skies on your wedding day, but there is always the chance of rain. It’s best to prepare umbrellas and an indoor space or a marquee as a backup for summer weddings in the UK.

coastal wedding venue with unrivalled views

What if it is too windy?

Windy wedding days can be challenging to deal with. You can try using windbreakers to provide a bit of relief, as long as the wind is not too strong. But we would always recommend having the main ceremony event in a covered venue.

What if it is too sunny?

It’s a beautiful sunny day, until it starts to heat up! If you’re getting hitched in the sun make sure everyone has enough water, sun cream and shade to protect themselves from sunburn and heat exhaustion.

How can I create shade?

To create shade at beach wedding venues you can use parasols for a striking and on-theme look. Tents are also great for providing your guests with some shelter, whilst umbrellas are the perfect way to give brides and grooms shade while walking down the aisle.

Should I bring fans for guests?

Fans are one of our favorite ideas for outdoor weddings in the sun! Provide your guests with a fan for the ceremony, as well as for the reception and cocktail hour to help them stay cool in the hot weather.

boasting views of the beach coastline

Should I provide flip-flops for guests?

The sand on the beach is beautiful, but also extremely hot and uncomfortable to walk on! Having a selection of inexpensive flip-flops on hand for guests to make use of is a great idea.

Should I set up a shoes station?

A shoe station is a popular trend at beach ceremonies as it makes it easier and much more convenient for people to get comfy when needed. Your guests will really appreciate the thought!

What is the order of a wedding ceremony?

Traditionally, a wedding starts with the processional, where the bride is walked down the aisle and continues with readings, vows and an exchange of rings.

What are some alternative wedding ceremony ideas?

As couples look to have more personalised weddings, alternative ideas such as entering the wedding together, conducting a sand ceremony, or having speeches instead of readings are becoming popular.

best beach wedding venue

What are some alternatives for confetti for my beach wedding ceremony?

There are so many beautiful alternatives to traditional confetti. Why not try adding a dash of colour by using dried flower petals. Or bring in the fun factor with bubble blowers that will look really adorable in your photos too.

Beach Wedding Ideas To Consider When Planning Your Ceremony

Planning a wedding is about more than just deciding between beautiful wedding venues. From the invitations and location, to the speeches and wedding breakfast, here are some key considerations to help get you started.

How to pick the date

When picking a wedding date for your beach nuptials, the main thing to consider is the timing of the tides. The best wedding venues will take the time to advise you on this.

How to choose the destination

People sometimes overlook the UK as an option when planning a destination wedding, however, you can find some of the most beautiful coastal locations and beach wedding venues in England, Wales and Scotland.

Plus, as there is no need to travel abroad, it will be far more likely that all your loved ones will be able to attend. So, if you are thinking destination wedding, think UK!

romantic walk on the sandy beach

The perfect venue for a coastal wedding in the UK

Arches, just a stone’s throw away from the beautiful sand dunes of tunnels beaches, is one of the best beach wedding venues in the UK.

Featuring floor-to-ceiling windows that frame the panoramic sea views across the North Devon coastline, it hosts seaside weddings all year round, and the best part about this picture-perfect location is the flexibility to DIY much of your wedding keeping costs reasonable.

How to choose the beach wedding venue?

One of the key parts to planning your dream wedding is choosing the venue. Do some homework; check reviews, watch videos, read testimonials, even spend a day-trip visiting each potential venue to see if it’s the right one for you.

What to consider when choosing beach wedding venues?

Whether you’re looking to tie the knot on a private beach or host your big day on a public beach, there are three main things to consider;

  1. The first thing you need to think about is cost. Think about what you want out of your big day, and then decide how much you’re willing to spend on it.
  2. The next thing to consider is location. Think about how far away your guests will need to travel, which might affect how many people can attend your celebration.
  3. Finally, think about style! You might want something simple or something extravagant; either way, there are plenty of great venues that offer different kinds of services and amenities at all price ranges so that everyone can find something they love!
wedding venues by the sea

The invitations

Let your invitations set the beach-themed tone for your wedding! Go traditional with fanciful boat-themed stationery, embrace nature with watercolour cards featuring artistic pampas grass and rope motifs, or be creative with rich coloured tropical leaves and palm fronds.

The wedding party roles

From helping with the bridal preparations to ushering guests to their seats at the reception, the members of your party play a vital role in ensuring your day runs smoothly.

Choose who carries out what role carefully! You want people you know you can rely on to be helpful rather than those who are just going to be hitting the dance floor once evening celebrations start!

The place cards

Place cards are the perfect way to personalise your wedding table settings. From quirky wooden beach house designs to beautiful palm leaves etched with your guest’s names, there are so many creative design ideas to choose from.

The sitting chart

Whether you want traditional seating plans with a top table and place cards, or you prefer a much more informal lounging style, a wedding sitting chart is a great way to avoid confusion by clearly showing everyone where they’re meant to sit.

The wedding favours & goodie bags

Beach themed wedding favours and goodie bags that include practical items such as small bottles of sun cream and insect repellent, as well as some traditional seaside sweets like sticks of rock, will go down a treat with your guests.

wedding venue by the sea

The reception sitting area

If you’re looking for some creative ways to shake up the reception breakfast, consider leaning into the relaxed vibe that comes with beach weddings by opting for picnics on the beach instead of the more formal seating arrangement of a traditional wedding.

Beach wedding ceremony setup

Noise levels and guest comfort are two of the most important things to consider when it comes to setting up ceremonies at a coastal wedding venue.

Make sure you have enough seating for everyone, including those who may need special accommodations, and set up speakers so that everyone can hear the officiant.

The ceremony entryway

The ceremony entryway is a great place to be creative with your decor. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!

You can go with a traditional runner, but don’t stop there! You can also use tree-lined aisles, colourful ribbons or playful balloon displays.

Beach wedding ceremony decorations

Fronds of Pampas grass, garlands of shells, and floaty white linens are some of the most on trend beach-themed elements that can be used to decorate beach wedding venues with.

Looking for beach wedding venues that don’t need too much dressing? Then Arches is the perfect place for you. With stunning views of the sea, and a flower wall that is perfect for wedding photographs, it doesn’t need much in the way of decoration.

Beach wedding ceremony music

When it comes to selecting the music for your beach wedding ceremony, you have a lot of options. You can go with traditional hymns or songs that reflect your faith, or you could choose something more upbeat and contemporary.

What matters most is that the music reflects who you are as a couple, and a great place to start is with your bridal processional music.

But do make sure you choose a track that’s reasonably paced as you don’t want to take forever getting down the aisle, or end up feeling rushed either.

beautiful wedding venue on the coast

Beach wedding ceremony photos

When planning your wedding ceremony photos, remember that the best time of day for outdoor photos is within an hour or two before sunset.

Taking advantage of this ‘Golden Hour’, will mean your photos will look like they were taken by a professional photographer, even if they weren’t!

Beach wedding ceremony cake

When it comes to destination weddings, instead of having a traditional wedding cake many couples opt for a more creative option . For example, easy-to-hand-out cupcakes or a fun ice cream van!

Ceremony drinks bar & menu

For your wedding at the coast, enjoy drinks that are beach-themed, like summery cocktails, Pimm’s and refreshing coconut water. And for the food, how about an English classic like fish and chips or even a BBQ on the beach.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to your drinks and food menu, and the best beach wedding venues will be totally flexible and allow you to use your own catering.

Wedding dress for your beach ceremony

Beach wedding venues are the perfect place for a stunning Boho wedding dress, to give you a very floaty and beautiful aesthetic. They can also be decorated with delicate embroidery or appliqué, which will look stunning as it catches the breeze.

Groom attire for your beach ceremony

When it comes to beach weddings, three-piece suits aren’t always the most suitable choice for grooms. A loose fitting linen shirt and trouser combo is often the more comfortable option for an outdoor ceremony.

What should my guests wear

Beach weddings are all about fun, so we recommend keeping the dress code for your guests relaxed and informal so that they can remain comfortable and happy throughout the outdoor ceremony.

beach wedding venue

Beach wedding makeup tips

Airbrush makeup is a great option to keep your makeup looking fresh and flawless throughout the ceremony. It’s hydrating and natural, so it won’t feel heavy on your skin, plus it’s waterproof so you’ll be able to maintain that just-got-back-from-the-beach glow all day long!

Beach wedding ceremony bouquet

Shore up your choice of flowers for your seaside wedding with an edgy bouquet full of bold colours and exotic blooms.

For your own piece of paradise, create a bouquet with mixed orange lilies, cymbidium orchids, pampas grass, delphiniums and eucalyptus.

Beach wedding ceremony readings

Create a meaningful ceremony with unique readings that are important to you both. Whether they’re religious, cultural or timeless works of literature, your wedding ceremony readings are an ode to your love and remind people of how much you cherish each other every single day.

What about the wedding party

It’s best to choose a venue that allows your party exclusive use of at least a room for you to prepare for the ceremony.

What about the bridal suite

The bridal suite at Arches is a dream for the bride who wants to relax and get ready with her best friends. With its stunning views of the Devon coastline, it’s an ideal location for pre-wedding photos too.

What about the honeymoon

From a luxury stay at a beachfront thatched gazebo on a tropical island to remaining closer to home and enjoying a more rustic getaway along the North Norfolk coastline, where you choose to honey is down to personal choice – and budget of course!