Think about it, what could be more romantic than getting eloped on a beautiful beach?
Even if this is your dream come true, putting it all into action is another story. You might be wondering, how do you even begin to put something like that together?
You’re not alone. Thousands of couples every year opt to get married on the beach, whether through an elopement or more traditional means, and there is some planning that has to go into it if you want to get everything right!
Choose a Beach Destination That’s Right For You
Not all beaches are the same! The first step in planning any successful beach elopement is deciding where you want to have it.
There’s the obvious choices of tropical hotspots like the Florida Keys and Hawaii.
However you may want to go for the simple charms and rugged shorelines of Maine or Washington. You may also be interested in the sightseeing and quaintness of New Jersey’s white sand beaches or surfing at California.
Maybe there’s a beach that has sentimental value for you as a couple.
Regardless of your choice, this is a major part of making sure your elopement is just the way you want it.
We personally recommend beach elopements in Florida simply because of the gorgeous shorelines and attractions available all within a short distance of each other.
Dress For the Occasion
With any exotic wedding or elopement comes additional challenges.
You might want to hold off on wearing that long trailing gown or anything too elaborate if you have your heart set on an amazing beach elopement.
Shorelines tend to be naturally breezy, and even under nice weather conditions can be downright windy. Add trudging through the sand, and you have the perfect recipe for an elopement blooper reel!
Take the time to pick out a simpler dress that fits the occasion and your style, which isn’t too billowy, long, or delicate. Boho style gowns and tropical style party dresses work remarkably well for beach elopements.
Don’t feel pressured into sticking with the traditional white wedding dress. Part of the benefit of having a beach elopement in the first place is comfort and the ability to do what you want to do, without tradition weighing you down.
In other words, yes you can get married in that simple flowery tropical dress you love!
Don’t Worry About a Chapel
You could have your ceremony at a nearby chapel and then migrate over to the beach of your choice, but why bother? Hold the whole thing at the beach!
One of the benefits of a beach elopement is the freedom to make it as whimsical as you want. Do away with tradition and let your imagination call some of the shots.
If you’re looking for a bit of cover from the sun and a kind of centerpiece to the ceremony, you could always hold everything on a gazebo at the beach. What could be more perfect than getting married under the shade of a white gazebo only feet from the rolling waves of your favorite shoreline?
Evening Works Best
Unless you’re a stickler for crystal clear blue skies for your ceremony backdrop, we recommend evening hours as the best time to get married on the beach for multiple reasons.
One, it’s simply a more romantic mood and atmosphere. You’re already imagining what it would be like to get married on the beach with the setting sun in the background, aren’t you?
There’s obviously other perks as well, such as better lighting for photography, cooler temperatures, less risk of sunburn or dealing with a harsh bright sun in general, and the ability to immediately follow your ceremony up with a nighttime party on the beach!
Party on the Beach?
Speaking of which, if you’re going out of your way to get married on the beach of your choosing, why not take advantage of it?
Depending on what city or location you choose to get married, there are certainly no shortage of activities you could do after you tie the knot, but if you invited several guests, you might want to think about having a classic party on the beach.
If you take the time to plan your ceremony with a party event in mind, you could have catered food, raffles, and other activities right on the beach, without having to disrupt the magic and go to another location.
Alternatively, if you haven’t invited many guests and wanted your elopement to be more personal, a romantic dinner for two on the beach following your ceremony might be the perfect end to an unforgettable day.
The key to having the ultimate beach elopement is not letting yourself get confined to typical wedding traditions and don’t be afraid to take some risks and have fun. After all, it’s your special day!
Just remember to plan everything ahead of time. Even the most whimsical weddings need a bit of foresight to go off without a hitch!
There’s a lot that goes into an elopement to make it so magical, but the photographer might be at the top of the list.
The photographer is arguably the lynchpin of the entire ceremony, who is often tasked with capturing every moment and helping to make the vision of the couple come to life.
It’s important that you have someone reliable behind the camera, almost like a conductor, ensuring that your special moments are preserved forever.
So you’ve made up your mind, you know where you’re going, when you’ll go, the color and cut of your dress, and even what kind of cake to have.
But you haven’t picked a photographer yet?
No worries, we’ve put together this guide to help you know what you’re looking for and what to expect at every step of the way.
Plan Ahead and Do Your Research
First things first, if you’re in the market for an elopement photographer, you have to be prepared to do a bit of research.
Elopement photographers live and die by their online reputations. This isn’t an industry where you can mess up too many times and get away with it. So you know right off the bat that the crème rises to the top, and good reviews and praise are a great indication that you’re dealing with someone who knows how to capture the magic.
Once you narrow down your search, begin to compare packages and prices. This is not an area where you want to skimp, however. In the photography world, cheap usually equals bad.
Photography is an art, and it’s a lot harder than just snapping pictures. Just the editing process can take hours of labor, to say nothing of having the skill and intuition to know when to capture the perfect moments and bring out the best in the bride and groom.
Elopements are typically cheaper than weddings and elopement photographers understand this, so don’t expect to be paying wedding prices for a simple elopement package. Typical elopement photography packages range anywhere from about $700 to $1200 depending on the quality and location.
Your primary goal here is to simply make sure the photographer is in your budget and does quality work. See their reviews and social media comments. Do they get glowing praise or are their socials pretty empty? Do they have 3 reviews at 4.1 stars or 50+ reviews at 4.8 stars?
If you do the research, the results will meet your expectations.
Make Sure Your Elopement Visions Match
This is crucial. Just because the price is right and the work seems quality, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve found the perfect photographer. There’s different styles to think about.
You want a photographer that will match up well with the vision you have for your elopement and can help you bring it to life. You want to be sure that the person you’re entrusting with this responsibility knows exactly what you want and how to bring it about.
Photographers all have different styles, different areas of expertise, comfort zones, and other factors that all make them unique. There is also personalities to think about.
This is why it’s important to get in touch with potential prospects you may consider for the job and get to know them a little. Do your due diligence, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
A great elopement photographer will also do the same. They will take the time to ask questions and take interest in your plans, so that they can help bring your vision to life. Even if it’s as simple as a basic chapel elopement, you’re going to want those memories preserved the right way, and that means finding the right person for the job.
Integrate Them Into Your