Your Simple Coastal Wedding

Photo by Hallie Olszowy

Photo by Hallie Olszowy

A simple coastal wedding brings to mind beautiful images of soft sand and crashing waves, your loved ones gathered around as you are immersed in love and natural beauty. Coastal and beach weddings always look so effortless and simple, but that doesn’t mean you and your wedding party can hit the shore for a wedding, and expect it to go smoothly.

Follow these tips for a simple coastal wedding!

Plan a Beach Ceremony and a Separate Location

You’re wanting to take full advantage of the coast by having your ceremony and reception right on the beach. It sounds lovely, but while planning a ceremony on the beach isn’t so difficult, having a beach reception is a different beast all together. Consider these factors:

  • Setting up tables, chairs, and serving on sand is tricky at best.

  • Getting permits for a reception is much more difficult than permits for the ceremony

  • Sand in everything...Including the food!

Instead, have a coastal wedding ceremony and the reception in a location with lovely views and the feel of the sea breeze.

Keep Your Guests Comfortable

While the coast is beautiful, it is not always comfortable, especially in formal wear. Remind guests to dress for a beach wedding, and include a checklist of things they may want to remember (sunscreen, sunglasses, comfortable shoes). Or, factor their comfort when you create wedding favors and provide sunscreen, a fan, and even flip-flops!

Seating and Decorations Around a Sea Breeze

The breeze coming off the ocean is one of the biggest appeals to having a coastal wedding. However, wind can be a major inconvenience if you don’t plan accordingly - chasing chairs and flowers that are blowing down the beach is not the best way to spend your wedding day! Instead, consider allowing nature to provide the decoration. Simply have a wooden arch for you and your partner to stand under, and instead of lightweight folding chairs, rent sturdy benches.

Photo by Hallie Olszowy

Photo by Hallie Olszowy

Also, factor in the climate when you set up your coastal wedding. If you’re getting married in a hotter location, such as the Carolina Coast or Gulf Coast during the summer, set up a canopy over the seating area so your guests can get some shade. Provide coolers of bottled water to keep your guests safe, healthy, and hydrated.

Dressing for the Beach

No, we don’t think you should get married in a bikini (unless you want to!), but many traditional wedding dresses simply don’t work for a coastal wedding. Heavy fabrics are sweltering, and long trains and lace snag and pick up debris. Here are some guidelines to help you staying cool and comfortable while looking amazing!


  • Heavy fabrics - too hot!

  • Long trains - they often snag on shells and rocks, the same for lace

  • Long veils - they’re so light, the wind will be blowing it all over the place

  • High heels - walking in sand in high heels is nearly impossible


  • Light, simple gowns like sheaths or fuller chiffon or organza skirts

  • Pretty hair accessories like combs

  • Flip-flops or flats

If you’re preparing for a coastal wedding, find the coastal wedding dress at Lyra Vega Bridal! We have an array of gorgeous, high-quality dresses for any occasion! Schedule your free online consultation today!

Note: The photos were taken at a styled shoot at Halfmoon Beach in Gloucester, MA. We want to give special recognition to Halie Olszowy for the gorgeous photographs! Follow Halie on Instagram @byhalie