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Tips for a Simple Summer Beach Wedding

If you’ve always dreamed of being a June bride and saying “I do” to the sound of the waves crashing, but don’t want the expense and stress of an extravagant, over the top affair, a simple summer wedding on the beach is the perfect option for you!  When all you want for your special day is to be surrounded by your closest friends and family as you start your life with the one you love, planning a simple summer wedding, without all the pomp and circumstance that often consumes many brides, can be a fun, low-stress experience that lets you express yourself and show your personality without getting so overwhelmed by wedding plans that you forget what the day is really about. 

Set the mood for your simple summer beach wedding with your invitations.  Choose beach scene personalized invitations with a fun beach scene, or, for something a little more unique, go with the message in a bottle theme and deliver the invites rolled up in glass bottles tied with raffia.  Don’t forget to sprinkle a little sand in the bottom of the bottle!  Be sure to include a map with exact directions to your wedding location so guests won’t get lost along the way.  Having a wedding banner printed with the bride and groom’s last names and hung at the entrance to the wedding location is also a good idea so that guests will know they’ve come to the right place. 

Mother Nature will take care of the majority of your decorations.  The sun, sand, and sea will provide a beautiful backdrop for your nuptials, which means you can focus on the smaller details that will set your wedding apart.  For the ceremony, this means the flowers, chairs, and wedding party attire.  While you might not want to wear bikinis and board shorts as you say your vows, a full length train and tux with tails isn’t appropriate either.  Consider light weight suits for the groom and his groomsmen and the bride can wear a simple dress that fits with the light, airy beach theme.  An ankle-length dress is a good choice to avoid dirty hems dragging in the sand.  For her bridesmaids, tea-length or shorter and light pastels or bright bold colors will all look great in the seaside setting. 

For a short ceremony, and a small, young crowd, you can have everyone stand around the couple and pastor as they exchange their vows, but if you have a larger guest list, elderly relatives, or a longer ceremony, you’ll need to have seating available for the ceremony.   Upgrade the standard folding chair by covering it with white chair covers with bows, which will give your beach wedding a more polished look.  For an extra touch of color, tuck a single flower into the center of each bow.  Have an aisle floor runner for the bridal party to walk down as well, just be sure to have someone smooth out the sand along the aisle before the ceremony so that no one twists an ankle!  For a simple summer beach wedding, consider flats, or going barefoot with pretty pedicures, and save the stilettos for another day as sand and heels just don’t mix! 

Summer has plenty of beautiful blooms for you to choose from when you’re planning your wedding.  If you’re trying to save money and have any artistic skills, you can create your own simple bridal bouquets with flowers you purchase from your local wholesaler, grow in your mom’s garden, or even find at the florist.  Hand tie bouquets with pretty satin ribbons from the craft store, secured with a straight pin, and you can have a fresh, pretty bouquet in no time.  Create beautiful table centerpieces for the reception by arranging bunches of wildflowers in glass vases from the thrift store or craft store and surround them with starfish, seashells, sand, and votive candles, all arranged on large, round mirrors.  Cover the tables with tablecloths in white or colors that coordinate with your wedding colors.  If you’re having the reception outside, at the same seaside location as your ceremony, string lanterns up to add some extra light to the evening and scatter votive candles in mismatched glass holders on any surface that will hold them.  For lower surfaces, consider using battery operated tea lights instead of real candles to avoid burns. 

Planning your simple summer wedding doesn’t have to stress you out and can be a fun experience for everyone.  With a little creativity and some unique ideas for your beach wedding, you’ll be able to have a beach wedding that you’ll look back on in fifty years and wish you could do it all over again, and not change a thing! 

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