Can You Have A Formal Beach Wedding? 5 Ways To Make It Happen

When many couples choose a beach wedding venue, they pair it with a relaxed, bohemian or island vibe. But what if you want an elegant, formal, classic wedding look? Can you still exchange vows on the sand? Yes! Here are a few planning tips to get the best of both worlds. 

1. Add Structural Features

Beach weddings can have a lot of furniture and decor, or they can be as simple as a group standing around a ceremony arch. The more elegant you want your coastal wedding, the more structure you should give it. Stiff runners help the wedding party and others walk on sand. Chairs get them off that sand. And structured, solid ceremony decorations stand up against wind and sand. 

2. Consider a Tent

A tent is a good idea for many beach weddings, especially if you want guests to spend longer on it. But a tent is an even bigger benefit if you want a more elegant oceanside wedding. Don't want to lose the beach feeling and aesthetic? Try a sheer tent whose sides and ceiling allow everyone to enjoy the environment while being out of it. 

3. Keep It Short

The less time you spend on the sand, the fewer things can go wrong. Guests in formal attire will appreciate not being asked to stay in the sun for longer than necessary. The wedding party will spend less time exposed to the coastal elements and mess up their look. And you can then spend more time in a more structured, elegant reception venue. Consider skipping seating entirely and hosting a short, standing ceremony. 

4. Host In Shoulder Season

When should you hold your beachside nuptials? Summer is the most popular season in most areas, but it's also the hottest. Because you and your guests will be wearing thicker and less forgiving clothing, you may find it much more comfortable in cooler months. Plan for the so-called shoulder season — between high season and off season — to balance temperature and precipitation. 

5. Make Concessions

Beach weddings tend to be more laid back in order to avoid fighting the elements. If you want to buck this trend, make some smaller concessions to the location. Pass out flip-flops for guests to trade for their high heels on the sand. Make elegant parasols your wedding favor. Go barefoot under your fancy dress. Tweaks like these make things more successful and won't affect your elegant aesthetic too much. 

Where to Start

Want more tips for a beautiful, romantic, and formal wedding on the beach? Meet with the staff and tour a beach venue such as Maui Wedding Adventures.