Tips for Beach Weddings: What Will your Wedding Look Like? (third in a series)

{{Planning a beach wedding? This blog–third in a series–will help you plan your wedding down to the tiniest detail. Our first two blogs–Is a beach wedding for you? and Choosing your beach–may also be helpful as you plan your Big Beach Day. Have a question not covered here? Our wedding coordinators will be happy to help you plan your St. Augustine beach wedding–just call us at 904.824.4301. Happy planning!!}}

You’ve likely pinned about 120 pins on beach weddings by now, and it’s finally time to start planning your own. You can start with a photo you like and use it as a blueprint for your day, or you can customize your event and start with a feeling (that’s how the whole engagement thing happened, isn’t it?) What kind of a beach wedding do you want? A formal affair where everyone is dressed up with hats or parasols? A laid back casual event, where you slip your shoes off at the beach entrance? The kind where you roast marshmallows with your guests as the sun goes down, and the men can wear shorts without anyone looking at them funny?

Start with the feeling you want, and then let’s take it from there.

Your dress. You’re the center of the day, and your dress will be a big indicator for people what kind of day it’s going to be. If you want a formal dress (yes, we’ve seen trains on the beach), just remember that the dress will be full of sand and mud by the end of the day. If that’s okay, go for it–you’re going to have a formal event.

beach wedding in St. Augustine bed and breakfast

A long but flowing gown blends formality with breezy flair.

Want something more casual? Consider an ankle length dress, which is especially nice with bare feet. You’ll still have a long lean line in photos, but it will be easier to walk in the water for beautiful photos later in the day.

Want something fun and sporty? A short dress would work for you–either straight and cotton or poufy with tulle. Short dresses are especially carefree when done in a color–or with very colorful accessories (picture fuschia flowers, for instance, or bright bangles on your bridesmaids). You can wear any type of shoe with a short dress–pretty sandals, kitten heels, ballet slippers (again, color can be fun with this style).

Short wedding dress in St. Augustine Florida

You can always change your shoes before photos if you want a vampy heel.


Your shoes. Yes, your dress style will dictate some of your shoe decisions, but make sure that the look you choose is practical. Visit the beach you’ll be married on before you buy your shoes. If the sand is hard packed, you can go with ballet slippers or flip flops. If it’s soft sand, you may want to go barefoot (for better traction), or even wear water shoes (Land’s End has white ones). Is it a shell-filled beach? Wear shoes that close–those shells are beautiful, but they will slip underneath your beautifully pedicured feet and stab you as you hobble down the aisle. Definitely not cute. If you’re getting married on a pier or boardwalk, heels work too. Just check the distance between boards and make sure your heel is thicker than that…you don’t want to get stuck on your way to “I Do!”

beach wedding in St. Augustine

This bride opted for beachy shoes and a short dress.

Hair. I’m going to sound like my mother here, but you really don’t want big clumps of hair blowing in your face, batting your new eyelashes or sticking to your pale lip gloss.  Ask your wedding planner which way the breeze typically blows, and remember that you will be standing on the left side of the officiant. Get your hair done a few weeks before your event, and head out to the beach (or stand in front of a fan). Ask the stylist for some extra pretty bobbie pins to help you keep your tresses under control on the big day. Headbands can be cute, too, but if your hair is long it still will whip in your face.

Attendant dresses. Start with color. Any color will go with any style (formal weddings can have baby blues or navy, hot pink or soft blush–casual weddings can be all pastels or lots of lace–fun weddings can be saturated colors or even all white. The style will be dictated by the cut of the dress, not it’s color). Once you’ve chosen the color palette, think about the dress lengths. Generally they follow the same rules as your dress: longer for more formal, shorter for more casual. Ruffles are good for attendants–not gaudy ruffles but gently tiered skirts, soft sleeves, anything that moves. Wispy fabrics look beautiful on the beach, and create magical photos. Your attendants may have great legs, but keep in mind that a beach wind can make long skirts short and short skirts obscene. Empire waists are less likely to blow up than dresses with regular waistbands–your bridesmaids will thank you for keeping their unmentionables unviewable as well!

wedding beach bridesmaid in St. Augustine Florida

Soft colors, soft hair, and a pop of pink.


Boys’ wear. Weddings often become beach weddings because of the groomsmen–the bride loves the idea of khaki suits against the sand. Or white shorts and blue shirts. Or fun surfer shorts in a range of colors. Obviously, if you want your bridesmaids to wear long silk turquoise gowns and your groom wants his attendants’ to wear surf shorts, you’re going to have to talk about compromise. Again, it can be helpful to think about what you will be doing later that evening (dinner at a nice restaurant, s’mores and beer), and make sure that the groomsmen’s outfit matches the feeling of your event.


beach wedding in St. Augustine, Florida groomsmen

Does it get any cuter?

St. Augustine Florida beach wedding groomsmen

You can go with color in the shirts, or color just in the ties.


Your flowers. Go back to the beginning–is your feeling formal or tote casz? For casual bouquets, think about beach flowers–blanket flowers tied with twine instead of satin ribbon or daisies with sea grass accents. Sunflowers are beautiful against the blue of the water, and definitely look laid back. Formal tropicals like ginger, birds of paradise, and orchids are lovely and look exotic. Can’t decide? Consider succulents–they are structured enough to look formal, and unusual enough to look casual. Plus, they won’t wilt no matter how hot it gets or how long you carry them!

Flowers for beach wedding in St. augustine, Florida


Beach wedding flowers in St. Augustine Florida

iris add some color

Once you’ve chosen the style of your wedding, and you’ve filled in the details with your dress, shoes, hair and flowers, you’re ready to start planning the larger picture. Tune in soon for a blog on beautiful beach wedding decor–from seaside colors, to elegant neutrals, to brights–to complete your perfect day.