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Blue Satin Bee’s Top Tips for Beach Weddings | Coastal NC Wedding Planning

Updated: Feb 6, 2021

Oak Island Beach Elopement Couple sits on bench together Blue Satin Bee elopement package couple with KMI photography

Our beautiful beaches here in Brunswick County are the perfect backdrop for a wedding! For many of our couples, the beach has special meaning to them, and saying their vows in front of their friends and family with the sparkling blue Atlantic behind them is a dream. We love beach weddings!

To make the most of your beach wedding, here are our favorite tips, some you may not have thought of!

Make a Plan

Because mother nature is in charge, we need to have a “Plan B” in case the weather conditions are too rainy or windy for an outdoor wedding. This is especially important if you have a wedding planned anytime during the months of June-November, which is hurricane season here in North Carolina. An indoor plan will give you peace of mind!

Wedding insurance is also something to consider. Just be sure to read all the fine print to see what is covered and what is not!


Ocean Isle Inn Frank Hart Photography Blue Satin Bee

The best time for photographs is “the golden hour,” which is the hour before sunset. This gives you time for a brief ceremony, family photos, wedding party photos and couple photos at sunset.

Earlier in the day or midday can have harsh shadows from the sun being directly overhead, and it can be hot at this time of the day. Discuss the timing with your photographer for the best results with your photos!

Public Beach Things You Should Know

If you’re getting married on a public beach, then be aware that there may be other people in the area. Some of the popular beaches to get married in the area are Oak Island, Holden Beach, and Ocean Isle Beach and during peak tourist season, they can be busy.

While we hope people will be courteous, on public land, you can’t ask them to leave. Talk to your photographer about how they approach this situation and if they are able to photograph in these areas without disruption to your wedding photos.

Let Nature Shine

Ocean Isle Inn Frank Hart Photography Blue Satin Bee

The great thing about a beach wedding is that nature takes care of the décor! Don’t overdo it with items that you bring in, including chairs. If your ceremony is brief, a few chairs for elderly relatives and parents are fine, and your guests can mingle around and watch you get married behind them.

Don’t forget that we are often dealing with wind on the beach, so items must be wind-friendly and weighted down, so they don’t blow over.

Speaking of Wind

Wind gently tossing your hair or veil is cool, but not being able to hear your vows is not. Even with a small group, wind can carry your voice away, and people can miss your sweet vows. We recommend that you have a wireless sound system so everyone can hear you.

Most DJs will provide this service, and they have equipment that can be set up discreetly to blend into the surroundings. Ask them about freestanding mics that are white that blend in and are not as visible in photos.

Accessibility and Parking

If you’re renting a private home, be sure to check in to any rules about guests parking near the house, as well as if there are any noise ordinances in the area. If a wheelchair is needed, some local beaches do have beach wheelchairs free of charge. Call the municipality or ask your planner to find out more!

If a shuttle makes more sense, then you can arrange for guests to be picked up at a local hotel and encourage locals to carpool. Beach parking and noise ordinances are taken seriously, and you don’t want police showing up to your wedding and ruining the fun.

Couple after beach wedding ceremony. Hen House Photography captures this Southport, NC wedding.

Attire and other Tips

Having some fun in the sun before your wedding is encouraged, but don’t forget the sunscreen and a hat! Sunburn and “raccoon eyes” from sunglasses will show in your photos.

No shoes, no problem! Encourage guests to shed their shoes at your ceremony by letting them know that being barefoot or wearing flip flops is welcome. Maybe even include it on your invite! Having a cute area for a shoe drop is a good way to get them to shed those heels on the beach. You might even want to provide paint brushes for guests to get the sand off their feet before heading to cocktail hour!

Remind guests that the beach can get windy so bring a light wrap in case it gets chilly. Or, if you want to provide a meaningful gift they can reuse, you can provide a basket of pashmina-like scarves in your wedding color!

Bride and groom on deck to beach wedding at Oak Island NC Beach elopement package couple for fall beach wedding

We are Beach Wedding Planning Experts!

We work with so many amazing couples helping to plan their perfect beach wedding! Check out Ashley and Orry's wedding at Ocean Isle Beach!

If you have questions about your beach wedding, let’s chat. Get in touch with us here, or call us at (919) 616-6911.

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