Most little girls dream of their perfect wedding from a young age. From the dress to the flowers to the venue, most little girls start thinking of all the details early in life. When it comes to the actual day, most girls have an idea of what they want their wedding to look and feel like.
And a large majority of those girls are dreaming of a beach wedding. They dream of the wedding with white sand, crystal blue water and nature as the background to the most special and precious day of their life.
Sometimes when we dream big, we think those dreams are out of our reach. For many of us as adults, a beautiful beach wedding can feel like a fantasy we need to give up. But, having a beach wedding doesn’t always have to break the bank! Did you know there are so many inexpensive wedding venues right on the shore that can offer you the wedding of your dreams?
The Secret Formula for Your Dream Beach Wedding: Pair Inexpensive Wedding Venues With DIY Wedding Design
Look for a beach wedding package at a beach resort or wedding planning venue. Cut down on extra fees and personalize your wedding by doing much of the planning and work yourself! It may require some creativity and planning, but you CAN have your dream beach wedding without breaking the bank!
We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to reduce costs but still have an incredible time and beautiful wedding ceremony. One of the polled brides paid $4K total for her dream beach wedding! Read on to find out how you can emulate an inexpensive, beautiful wedding experience.
Be Wise When Choosing Location: Scope out Inexpensive Wedding Venues
Beach weddings can be extremely affordable and a fun vacation for you and your guests, but some people can’t afford to travel great distances. While a beach wedding on the sands of Hawaii or Jamaica may sound amazing, it’s probably not the most affordable trip for everyone. Look around - there may be stunning inexpensive wedding venues right down the road or a few states over from you! The United States offers many beautiful beaches that are a drive or short flight away.
Consider the Season When Choosing a Date
After you’ve decided on a location, make sure to look at the seasons and weather before setting your heart on a month or even specific date. Offseason weddings can mean less tourists and cheaper prices, but you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t mean rainy season in some areas! If you don’t live close, call around to local wedding shops and ask for recommendations on the best time to have a wedding. And of course, you can always find your wedding planner first and let them help you decide on the date.
Shop Around for a Local Wedding Planner
There are many companies that offer beach wedding packages, but there is often a huge charge for this service. Choosing a local wedding planner can be a great way to find quality help at competitive pricing. They often have the low-down on inexpensive wedding venues in the area. You’ll want to shop around online and/or interview any local family or friends you have in the location you’d like to get married. Another tip? Look for a family business. One beach bride stated, “I love using family owned businesses and they are normally cheaper!”
State or Public Parks Make Great Inexpensive Wedding Venues!
If you choose a location inside the United Sates, look around for a beach with a state or public park. The beach will be well maintained and beautiful, and because you will most likely pay a small fee for beach space, people won’t wander onto your designated beach space. If you choose a state park, this fee should cover admission for all your guests. You may pay another small fee to rent a local gazebo for the reception, but once again this means the public can’t use the gazebo while you’re decorating or dancing the night away. If there isn’t a gazebo you’d like to use, you can rent or purchase a canopy for the ceremony AND reception.
Have a Friend or Family Member Officiate
While some ministers will perform ceremonies free of charge if they know you, if you are having a destination wedding, you probably don’t know the minister. This means another small fee. Instead, you can ask a friend or family member to officiate. Anyone can get certified online to officiate a wedding! You can offer to pay your loved one, but most likely, they will just be touched when you ask them to play such an important role in your day. Plus, this make the ceremony even more personal and special!
Find a Fun, But Elegant Wedding Dress
An advantage to a beach wedding is that you don’t HAVE to have a typical, elegant, fancy wedding dress. With the laid-back scenery, it makes sense to have a more casual wedding dress. IMPORTANT NOTE: casual does not mean your dress will be any less beautiful or special! Not only can you purchase a casual wedding dress new, you can also purchase second-hand, you can purchase a pretty dress from a department store or off the rack, or even rent a dress. Many second-hand or rented dresses are beautiful and your guests will never know you didn’t splurge on your special dress!
Buy Your Wedding Cake at the Local Grocery Store Bakery
Your wedding planner can help you with this, but one bride recommended buying your wedding cake from the local grocery store bakery. Local bakeries can provide almost any design you want at a fraction of the cost. They may also offer transportation services, so you don’t have to worry about the cake while you are getting ready for the big day!
Make it a Roadtrip If Possible
If you don’t live locally, driving to the wedding is a great way to cut costs! Even if you are traveling long distances, gas is normally cheaper than a flight AND it cuts out the need for a rental car. If you can’t drive, find a travel agent that will offer competitive pricing for wedding parties or groups.
Decorate D.I.Y. Style or Buy Second-hand
Make your own decorations. Pinterest has endless ideas for making your own decorations to cut down on cost. You can also browse online or local shops for used wedding decorations. Many people will sell decorations after their own wedding at a fraction of the cost. You can get beautiful decorations by purchasing used. Also ask family or friends to decorate for you on the day of your wedding while you’re getting ready. But be mindful, you don’t have to decorate much because the beautiful scenery surrounding you is decoration enough. Also, think outside the box and decorate minimally with fresh flowers. You have plenty of fresh flowers around you! Using inexpensive wedding venues doesn’t mean your event has to look cheap by any means!
Think Outside the Box for Food
Depending on the time of day, you can be creative with food at the reception. If it’s morning, you could have a waffle or pancake bar. For lunch you could have sandwich trays. Wine and cheese reception, anyone? How about hiring a food truck to come park close so guests can walk to the food truck and make their own food choices. If you really are looking to save money, you can cut one corner by offering a limited bar to a certain cost point.
Use a Personal Device for Music
You’ll probably want to have rented speakers for the ceremony, so it may be wise to cut out the cost of a band or DJ. You can cut musician costs by using your own device (phone, tablet, computer) hooked to rented speakers during the ceremony and reception. If your heart is set on a DJ, you can ask a friend or family member to DJ and handle the music for you.
Creative, Natural Wedding Favors
Wedding favors aren’t required, and many couples choose to skip this altogether. However, if you decide to give wedding favors as a thank you to your guests for attending your wedding, you can be creative and use nature to help create a reminder of your special day and their beach getaway. Use seashells or driftwood to create unique compilations that can be used as decoration upon your guests’ return home.
Be Cognizant of Guests
This is a tip so your guests feel cared-for and acknowledged on your day. Think of any guests that may have a difficult time navigating the sand: wheelchairs, walkers, strollers, and crutches are all next to impossible to get through the sand. If one of your loved ones may have trouble navigating the sand, ask your wedding planner if there is a ramp or if the reception is close enough for them to observe the ceremony. This also may help you decide on location!
Having an inexpensive beach wedding is not only possible, but also likely to fulfill the wedding of your dreams! This list is not exhaustive when it comes to using public beaches as inexpensive wedding venues, but it’s a great start and comes from personal experience!
If you decide you can’t make the beach your wedding venue, but still love the water and ocean, take a look at Electra Cruises. Electra Cruises offers affordable, all-inclusive wedding yachts to make your wedding dreams come true. You can have the beach and ocean view in your pictures and as your background but celebrate in the cover of a beautiful yacht. Electra Cruises offers a unique wedding experience that you and your guests will remember for a lifetime!
Your wedding day is a special day and no matter what your wedding desires are, cost shouldn’t stand in the way of having the wedding of your dreams!