|Beach wedding receptions can be big and outlandish or small and casual. It all depends on your budget and your desires.
Your beach wedding reception is the celebration of your beach wedding ceremony!
This is it…the moment you’ve been waiting for…the wedding ceremony is over–let the fun begin! You’ve just married the man of your dreams and now it’s time to celebrate the occasion with family and friends at your beach wedding reception party!.
You’ve fussed and mussed over every little detail of the wedding ceremony and the wedding day…the flowers, your hair, your dress, your shoes, your veil, headpiece, the bridesmaids, the flower girl, the ring bearer, the guests, the invitations, the honeymoon, the weather, you name it…you’ve thought about it a time or two…or ten!
Now it’s time to let all of that stress leave your body and have some serious FUN! This is not a time for stuffiness or fussiness anymore. Just relax…be yourself and enjoy being the bride in the spotlight at your beach wedding reception!
It’s YOUR day!
If you’ve planned a large wedding reception directly following the ceremony, you won’t have far to travel for the fun to begin.
Keeping the Beach Wedding Reception Costs Down
The reception is probably where the largest costs will be in the overall beach wedding expenses, excluding resort travel of course.
Perhaps your wedding ceremony is taking place at a beach wedding destination far from your hometown and, not many guests, if any, have traveled with you for the occasion.
You may opt to have a small reception at the actual wedding site then, have a larger reception for friends and family back home that were unable to come to the wedding. This is perfectly acceptable and, it makes a lot of sense too.
Your idea of a perfect beach wedding may in fact be either just the two of you or, your immediate family members at a great beach destination. This certainly cuts down on expenses in a beach resort location.
If you do plan a reception at a later date in your hometown, shop around for a less expensive venue. This way you can invite as many wedding guests as you like, at a fraction of the cost!
The old fashioned church hall reception is a low-cost way to include many more guests than any other venue. Depending on your church, you may not even be charged a rental fee use the fellowship hall if you’re a member of the church.
Some churches even offer catering services by various womens’ groups within the church. This can be extremely affordable.
Since we weren’t active church members at the time, our wedding reception was held in a historic home, the Governor Thomas Bennett House, in Charleston, South Carolina (our hometown).
Plan the time of your wedding ceremony or wedding reception to take place at a time other than the lunch or dinner hour. This allows you to serve hors d’oeuvres as opposed to a sit-down dinner or buffet.
So, to recap some ideas to keep your wedding reception costs down:
What’s my budget for a beach wedding?
Finances play a major factor in which beach wedding locations you’ll be considering. Take a look at your finances–maybe you’ve already set aside money for your wedding or, maybe you’re one of the few lucky brides whose parents are able to cover your wedding expenses. If you and your groom are footing the bill, it’s a good idea to sit down now and decide just how much money you’ll have to spend.
When we got married, we chose December as we wanted a cool-weather wedding and honeymoon. However, if you prefer vacationing (which is what your honeymoon really is) in warmer weather, you should choose a warm-weather month or a warm weather beach wedding destination to exchange your vows.
Since you’re planning to exchange your wedding vows on the beach, you may want a really casual wedding ceremony– one where your wedding officiant is dressed in beach attire and conducts a simple ceremony covering just the basics…like your vows and blessing of your wedding bands, etc.
Or, just because your wedding venue is by the sea, doesn’t mean you can’t opt for a more traditional wedding ceremony complete with music, a large wedding party, guests, etc.
If you’re thinking of a very small romantic beach wedding location, you probably wouldn’t choose a beach known for it’s party atmosphere such as, South Beach in Miami, FL.
You get the idea here…the beach wedding location you choose will have the same “personality” as your ideal wedding ceremony.
Now’s your chance! If you’ve dreamt of vacationing on a tropical beachsomewhere and being served drinks with little umbrellas while basking in the noonday sun, this may help to narrow the scope of your search for the perfect beach wedding destination. For example, if you’ve always wanted to visit the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and your wedding finances are in order, then tying the knot there makes perfect sense!
My first wedding (yes, I’ve been through what you’re about to go through twice) I had six bridesmaids and six groomsmen. Why?Because, like you’re about to find out, it’s hard to leave out “cousin Martha” or your husband-to-be’s sister (even though you’ve only met her once). Or what about all of the guys whose weddings he was best man at or, all of the women whose weddings you were a bridesmaid (and still have the tafeta dresses to prove it!)?
So, that said, you really have to do some deep thinking on just where to draw the line.
You may find that, a beach wedding location farther away from your hometown may provide you with the perfect opportunity to scale down to a bare minimum number in your wedding party.
Or, if you’re truly dreaming of a large beach wedding party filled with high school and college friends as bridesmaids and groomsmen, or perhaps you come from a big, close family and want them all by your side as you exchange your wedding vows, then, you may decide that a beach wedding location closer to home would be the best choice for your beach wedding.