Top 10 Tips for a Perfect Beach Ceremony in Florida

The dream of a beach ceremony....The sun glowing in your hair with a gentle breeze, the sounds of the waves crashing while looking into the love of your life's eyes, the warmth of the sand underneath your feet. Beautiful. Then reality.... the sand is scalding, the breeze is whipping your hair into your lipstick and you can't see your love because the sun is laser-beaming your eyes out--a nightmare. I've got 10 tips on exactly how to make the dream a reality and the nightmare a fleeting thought.

1.Plan Accordingly

You know you want have that romantic look and not a bunch of strangers cat-calling you; schedule your wedding for a week day or the off-season (that's May- September for us). The beach will be far less crowded when all of the Floridians are hiding in the AC. If you want complete privacy though it is a great idea to rent a hotel, a beach-front restaurant or a private estate.

2.Choosing the right time

This may be the hardest decision of them all.

Early morning 7a.m.-10a.m. The beach is beautiful at sunrise especially on the East coast. The photos are gorgeous, the weather is cool, the breeze is not usually crazy, but did I mention 7a.m.?? So you'd have to be up at 4 a.m. to get you and your lovely party ready. This is mostly beneficial for elopements, small weddings and weddings without children.

Mid-day 11a.m.-2p.m. If you are being smart and having your beach ceremony in the off-season, I will highly recommend never having your ceremony at this time unless you like Hell. Then well okay. Seriously though, you will sweat, Grandma will faint, and you'll have 3rd degree burns on your feet. Mostly kidding but not really. In the winter months it's only a little better. The sunlight will still be harsh and you will still sweat unless it's the one day that Florida decided that it can be winter.

Late Afternoon-Early Evening 5p.m.-8p.m. The sun is going down, the weather has cooled, you will get gorgeous sunset pictures especially on the West Coast. This is likely an ideal time especially in the hottest parts of the year. Don't get me wrong though, it's still Florida and it still can be very hot.

3. The regulations

The perfect spot has been picked! You have your vision board and you are daydreaming about your big day at this fantastic location. SCREECH! Hold up! Did you know that even though the beach is considered a public use area, you may still be required to get a permit to hold your event there? They can range from $60-$400. A quick google search of "Beach Permit and selected city" will yield you fast results if you have to have permit or not.

4. The Setup

You've got your place, you've got your time and now you're ready for the set up! Minimal decor is preferred for a few reasons:

1. You have the world's best background (duh!)

2. It's windy on the beach. Decor that's not heavy or pegged down will fly away.

3. The tide! You don't want to accidentally pollute the ocean with more plastic! The tide rises far faster than I think a lot of people anticipate. (Don't worry, makes for epic pictures)

5. The Guests

If you are having a destination wedding and all of your friends and family are coming in from out of town, it's a great idea to treat them to wedding favors that are beach specific. Travel sunscreen, sunglasses, hand towels, personalized bottle of water are all great additions. You can find personalized items on and they also sell a ton of stuff in bulk

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Thank you for reading! Hopefully you are feeling more confident in your decisions to get married at the beach. I'm Lacy, I own Lacy Jessica Photography LLC. I spend the majority of my time at the beach and I've seen it all when it comes to beach ceremonies. Learn more about me and how I can help you capture your dream ceremony at the beach.