Small Beach Weddings: 4 Tips You Need To Know

General, Inspiration,
4 min read Jan 22, 2020

preparing for bad weather will become a whole lot easier if you have options to choose from


There’s a reason why having a small beach wedding sounds like paradise to your ears: celebrating with those you love as the waves crash against the shore, soaking in a picture perfect sunset with your toes in the sand is all just a small part of the allure to have an intimate beach wedding. And, with so many ways to interpret a nautical-themed soirée, you’ll find no shortage of beach wedding ceremony inspiration. But there are a few things to keep in mind before you invite those you love to celebrate the coastal wedding day of your dreams. Read on to see our top tips for hosting a small beach wedding.

Keep your guests comfortable

If you’re having a beach elopement with family and friends, then you might want to consider handing out useful favors prior to your ceremony. Think about which season you’ll be hosting your beach wedding ceremony: are you planning to get married in the warm summer sun? Gift each guest with a pair of sunglasses and some SPF. Hosting your small beach wedding in the fall? Have a blanket on each chair for guests to get cozy under if there’s a chill in the air. Your day is about you, but don’t forget the people who are there to support you, too!


Have a Plan B 

Not everybody wants to think about rain on their wedding day, but Mother Nature sometimes has other plans. If it’s looking like there may be inclement weather for your small beach wedding, ensuring you have a backup plan will keep any last-minute emergencies at bay. Whether you’re supplying umbrellas to all of your guests, renting or buying some type of tent for coverage, or know a local spot nearby with ample coverage from the elements, preparing for bad weather will become a whole lot easier if you have options to choose from. 

Re-think your ceremony time

A beach wedding ceremony is always beautiful, but with minimal coverage from the sun, it can mean sweltering heat and no shade – not the best place for a gathering of your loved ones! Look up the sunrise and sunset times of your ceremony location on your wedding date, and do your best to revolve your ceremony around those times. Keep in mind that the closer you are to midday, the hotter and harsher the sun will become. Do your best to avoid a ceremony that starts at noon – if you’ve got a bright and sunny day, lighting becomes tough and so do the temps!

Stay hydrated

Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink: that’s what you’ll be thinking if you forget to stay hydrated during your beach elopement ceremony. Fill coolers with ice and water bottles, or have decorative water dispensers available to you and your guests. If you want to make things extra fancy, consider adding fruit like lemon or oranges to give you and your guests a little extra pep in your step. Even if the temps won’t be sweltering hot, having water available is still a recommended option for any event, no matter the season or time of day!

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Having a small beach wedding is always in style: listening to the waves crash against the shore and feeling the sand between your toes all while being surrounded by close friends and family sounds like a dream come true. And for many couples who choose to have a small beach wedding, it is. Don’t believe us? Check out these stunning small beachside wedding ceremonies below and we’ll show you exactly what we mean.

Two rows of guests leading to the couple was a perfect layout for this small wedding at Smathers Beach.
A small beach wedding on Tybee Island shows guests gathered around both the bride and groom.
This small White Rock Beach wedding ceremony had only a couple of guests (and a very cute pint-sized one).
This couple kissed each of their guests at their Ironwoods Beach wedding.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house during this White Rock Beach wedding, where guests intimately stood just inches away from the couple.
This casual small beach wedding at Sunset Cliffs had a pop-up beach chair for guests who didn’t feel like standing.
This wedding at Yokahama Beach had bridesmaids stand beside the bride to show their love and support.
This bride and groom opted for seating and aisle decor at their small beach wedding on Tybee Island.
The bride and groom had a bridesmaid and groomsmen standing beside them at their small beach wedding at Makena Cove.
Guests carried pictures of the couple to hold and display during their small beach wedding in Kiholo.
Guests made a semicircle around the couple during their Yokahama Beach ceremony.

General Inspiration
Written by Karen Norian

Karen Norian is an elopement photographer and has photographed over a hundred elopements. Karen has also worked as an elopement planner for Simply Eloped. She's been quoted in the New York Times, Brides, Hello Giggles, Bustle, Yahoo, and more.