10 Things You HAVE to know for Your Beach Destination Wedding! 



1. Decide if the Beach is Right for You.  

Ahh the beach…sand, water, a light breeze – a beautiful natural oasis that time has perfectly balanced into a idyllic place for your ceremony and your pictures. There is nothing like feeling the breeze and the sun on your face as you say your vows before your family and friends, and the universe as it floats above your heads. We like to say that God is our wedding decorator.  Getting married on the beach is saying, we love nature, we reject the stale catering hall. A beach wedding is less expensive, more fun : it’s unique and special, like the two of you. Moreover, you have the pleasure of knowing that the people who travel to your wedding are ones who REALLY love you . Not some colleague that you HAD to invite to fill up the table!  


The beach is not a controllable environment. You HAVE to be flexible. There is no guarantee in nature. If you are not flexible, or if you are a bridezilla, a beach wedding is NOT for you. For instance, here in Florida in the winter typically, it will not rain, typically in the summer it will rain at least 1 hour of the afternoon. Typically. Not always. Factors like temperature and wind are also variable. The beach is almost always breezy. The temperature could vary 20 degrees from “normal”. If you are a lover of nature and the outdoors, GO FOR IT!!!  


2. The Back Up Plan 

It’s like bringing an umbrella or having insurance. If you have a plan B, you probably won’t need it. But you might. The best easiest and most affordable back up plans are a restaurant or hotel near the beach. There are also pavilions available at beachside parks. When you plan your after – ceremony activities, meal or party, just ask them that in case of rain, you can come an hour early, or if the hotel has a meeting room that you can set up in for an hour. Ideal I Do’s has set up in restaurants, bars, hotel lobbies, meeting rooms, you name it!  At Ideal I Do’s we let YOU call it. We will set up everything except electronics if the weather is inclement. We also let you change the locations up to 2 hours before with no charge.  Be communicative with everyone! Give your cell phone to someone who will always answer it on your wedding day for you. 

YOU HAVE TO KNOW: A back-up plan may be necessary and your after- ceremony restaurant or hotel you are staying in should be glad to accommodate you if you communicate with them consistently and directly.  

3. The Ceremony 

If the minister you grew up with is not coming and your uncle is not a Florida judge, we will provide an officiant. We take the time to get to know you – either by skype, phone or in person, and then make a custom ceremony just for you. We make sure you are comfortable with every word that is said.  We email the ceremony to you so that you can be sure that it reflects you: it’s your wedding ceremony. A beach  wedding ceremony should be above all, short and sweet and meaningful.  Other things to consider: sound doesn’t travel well outside so if you are having more than even 10 people, you will want a microphone which comes with our “custom music list” option.

YOU HAVE TO KNOW: A beach wedding is informal by definition. But you have as much control of your ceremony as you want. Make sure that your ceremony reflects you 100% in its tone, spirit and words. Consider having soft music playing in the background, or being close enough to the water to hear the sound of the waves and the seagulls. Make sure you have microphones – sound does not carry outside, and your guests want to hear your ceremony! 


4. The Music 

Music adds so much to a ceremony and to every occasion. It s sets the atmosphere and mood for everything! As your guests arrive music should be playing, and you should have your playlist populated with your favorite songs. Songs that reflect YOU. To walk down the aisle you don’t have to dispense with tradition all together, Jonathan Cain’s Bridal March is a perfect down the aisle beach song. A live musician is also really nice, (be prepared to spend $250 and up) but if they are playing a guitar, or harp, instruments that are soft sounding, they will want amplification also. Your music should reflect your surroundings – The wedding march has so many variations by now, on piano, synthesizer, guitar, that the pipe-organ version is just not necessary, and doesn’t fit in. 

YOU HAVE TO KNOW: Many of our packages come with a “custom music list” which allows you to  Get your favorite songs on there! YOUR wedding should sound like you! If hiring musicians make sure they can bring amplification to the beach. Music sets the scene. Unless you have steel drummers, no one will hear the live musician and that would be a shame.

The Decorations 

Natural is the word that you want to keep in mind when you are planning your decorations. You are in a beautiful natural oasis. Again, work with the environment.  On the East side we have soft sugar sand, when we put a white or burlap aisle we use garden staples to keep it down. We also design an aisle that is swept flat and defined on the sides either by seashells, flowers or tropical plants like ferns and seagrass.  

The beach is almost always windier than the inland. Don’t expect ribbons, your hair, flower petals or other light-weight items to stay in place. I know in the pictures everything looks like it is just sitting there – but that is not reality. They wait for the wind to die down to take those pics. The wind is what cools your face from the sun – wind is good – just prepare your decorations realistically. We love doing rose petal aisles – but sometimes the wind doesn’t cooperate. This is where flexibility comes in! Have a flower girl do your petal aisle, or do a sea-shell aisle. 

YOU HAVE TO KNOW: Just like everything on a ship is nailed down, everything at your beach wedding has to be wind ready. Stick to beach-y things like sea shells, palm fronds and sand – these natural beach items will work best for your beach wedding.


6. The Location 

OK – you have decided you want a beach wedding. Now you have to pick a beach. I must say that my home state of Florida has 800 miles  of beaches for you to choose from and we cover more than 150 miles of them. As Florida is built for tourism, you will find it easy to pick a location that will work out in all the details. For instance, the hotel you want to stay in should be near the beach you want to have your ceremony on.  The restaurant or other reception location should also be in easy walking or taxi distance, (assuming you will not have a car or limo at your disposal) from your beach wedding location. Here in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Naples, we have tons of hotels right on the beach – some will even give you a free room the night of your wedding if you have even a small reception there. 

YOU HAVE TO KNOW: Pick a beach that is easy and convenient to where you are staying and plan your reception nearby. Look at the maps and the satellite images if you are thinking of driving to see where the parking, hotels and restaurants are. Ask the hotel if they have a shuttle service from the airport or to the cruise docks.  Don’t rent a car if you don’t have to. A limo can take 10 – 15 people – consider renting one for the day or night for you and your guests if you have to get from one place to another. It’s a lot easier than coordinating 5 taxis. 

7. The Clothes/Hair  

Consider your setting. You’re on the beach. We all have a dream bridal gown. I know a “gown” is defined as floor length – but you are non-traditional – opt for a tea-length (or shorter) gown to keep cool on the beach. Heavier silk satin is great for a cooler day; a lighter, flowing fabric like silk organza is optimal for a warmer one. The weather on the beach can change hour to hour – a light covering gown does best – a heavy one with a lacy train does worst (and loves to pick up seaweed). If you are wearing a gown that reveals skin – put sunscreen on! Nothing is worse than having a sunburn on your honeymoon. Well, a few things are worse, but that is bad, and uncomfortable. And avoidable. Think also about your flight – Your dress has to be in a suitcase for at least 6-10 hours. Fabrics like chiffon and lace travel well, while others, such as silk taffeta, crease easily. Play it safe by packing your dress with tissue paper in a carry-on garment bag. Your hotel has a steamer for on- location touch-ups. 

THE HAIR AND VEIL: Ocean breezes can be an issue; keep things simple by forgoing the veil and accenting your hairstyle with a sparkly headband or fresh blooms pinned in strategic places. Long loose hair will end up mangled in the wind and it does not look good in pictures.
FOR HIM: If you put your soon to be husband in a tuxedo in the middle of summer, you will have an unhappy groom. The pictures will also be bad because he is sweating so much! Again, think cotton and linens
Shoes: Any nice shoe you wear on the beach will never be
the same. Period.  YOU HAVE TO KNOW: Be comfortable. Be casual. Keep it simple. Wear sunscreen and sandals or wedges – no heels! 


  8. The Time of Day 

The time of day is just as important and anything. Many couples want to have their beach wedding at sunset, as it is so beautiful. But you have to time the pictures right. It will get dark quickly once the sun begins to set. It’s just a good thing to remember when you are getting married at sunset, it may limit your photos so be sure to talk with  your photographer. We like to start our sunset weddings 1 1/2 hours before sunset.

 Keep in mind – I know this seems silly – that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. So on the east side we do not see the sun hit the water like we do in Naples, and they do not see it rise like we do. With a sunset wedding you also have your whole day to enjoy yourself. Another way to save is to have it on a weekday instead of a weekend. Many wedding companies (Ideal I Do’s included) offers weekday rates, (10% off) and restaurants and hotels will show their appreciation as well. 


You can’t predict the temperature or the wind, but you can save money by being flexible. Ideal I Do’s offers “Rainy Day Assurance” where you postpone your wedding any time! 

9. Paperwork 

Beach Wedding Permits. For many beaches there is a permit required to hold a wedding because beaches are public and they are managed by the city or county they are in. Getting a permit does not mean it is YOUR beach, beaches are still public. As we are there 2 or more hours b efore your wedding, other beachgoers will have plenty of opportunity to make way for your wedding. You WILL have spectators. People love to see a wedding! No permit is required for Fort Lauderdale beach or Bal Harbor Beach. Palm Beach does not give out wedding permits but they allow weddings. By the way, we have never been  asked to show a permit in 10 years except in Miami Beach.    

Marriage License: Thankfully here in Florida they made it easy for people from out of state to get married by forgoing the waiting period that Florida residents must wait (3 days). There is no blood test (what were they checking for anyway?). All you have to do is bring your Social Security Number and driver’s license or passport to any courthouse in Florida.  Takes less than an 1/2 hour – but there are typical government hours – 8:30-430 Monday through Friday. If you are not going to be here during government hours, you can still get your license through marriedbymail.com – they will get the license for you and deliver it directly to your officiant.

YOU HAVE TO KNOW: You can do most of the permitting online on the city’s website, but get there on a weekday to get your license, get settled etc. Don’t tempt fate. Don’t come in on Friday to get married on the weekend, if you miss your flight or it is late, and you miss the government’s hours, you can’t get a marriage license. 

10. Choose Ideal I Do’s 

Of course this is number 10. 

If you’ve signed up for a wedding package from Ideal I do’s, you know that everything about your ceremony is going to be taken care of.  We are a 1 stop beach wedding shop. You don’t need a  wedding planner for your ceremony. Save big $$ with Ideal I Do’s. See our packages now and feel free to mix, match and modify to suit your needs and your budget! Let us know how we can make you a perfect wedding day! 

We supply: 

The officiant, the arch, aisle, chairs, music, photography and videography, decoration, and refreshments – even receptions on the beach! Call us today to reserve your date!  

10 things to know for your beach wedding in South Florida
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