Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Get Ready For Your Beach Wedding Early

Getting Ready for Your Beach Wedding ... Early!

Feel like a fish out of water planning your seaside soiree? From selecting invitations to managing mosquitoes, we've got tips for making your beach wedding a total breeze.


Have you checked local ordinances and obtained necessary permits? A wedding on the beach can be a blast -- but some prep work and research are required to pull it off without a hitch. Here's a working list of must-ask questions:

  • How many guests are allowed?
  • Can food be served?
  • Can a tent be pitched?
  • Is smoking or alcohol permitted?
  • What about wheelchair access?
  • Are there restrooms for guests? (You may
    have to rent portable toilets if there are no nearby public restrooms). If
    not, is there a dressing room in the area?
  • Are electrical outlets available? If not, how can electricity be made available?
  • What are the rules for lighting fires: bonfires, candles, torches, citronella, etc.?
  • Who cleans up the area?
  • Are pets allowed (in case you want your pooch to join in the fun)?
  • What is the tide schedule? Be sure to check -- tides coming in are noisier than tides going out, plus you risk the chance of water creeping up on you as you wed. For a tide chart, visit Tidesonline.com.
  • What time does the sun set? Visit here for a sunset time chart.
  • Is there a time limit? If so, when does the beach close?


    Set the mood of your seaside affair six months in advance when you send your save-the-date cards. This way, guests can properly prepare for fun in the sun. Even if you're having a formal wedding, these cards can be casual. Play up the beach theme by filling the envelopes with a pinch of sand and small seashells. Go all out and print the essential info on a beach ball, squirt gun, plastic fish, sun visor, bathing cap, coolie, or water bottle. Or attach the card to a beach bucket, plastic shovel, starfish, mini umbrella, beach bag, sunglasses, lei, or a pair of flip-flops. Love to read? Design your save-the-date to look like a book cover -- the steamy beach reading kind. Decorate your envelopes with beach-scene stamps or stickers. Or buy return address labels with seashells, tropical fish, or palm trees.


    "For a beachside ceremony, you shouldn't use the phrase 'request the honor of your presence,'" advises New Jersey wedding consultant Carolyn Bodner, in regard to wording invitations. "That's reserved for ceremonies taking place in houses of worship." Instead, she suggests the following text: "Mr. and Mrs. Smith request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their children Leigh Elizabeth and John Philip at an oceanside ceremony..." Or let your creativity take the helm and compose an original line of your own. For the design, navy blue type and embossed seashell borders or a single letterpress scallop shell at the top add nautical touches. ( Wedding Supplies you can get seashells, raffia table cloths, blow up palm trees and more here)


    Bring your setting into the ceremony with beach-inspired ideas. For readings, Anne Lindbergh relates relationships to the changing tides in Gift from the Sea, and Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet contains a passage
    describing love like a moving sea between the shores of your souls. In her book, I Do: A Guide to Creating Your Own Unique Wedding Ceremony, Sydney Barbara Metrick suggests ways to personalize your ceremony by including elements from your surroundings. Consider a symbolic "sand ceremony" where each of you pours a glass of sand into a larger bowl, mixing the sands together to represent a blending or union. To make the
    ceremony even more personal, write your own vows.


    Here are some of our favorite (or just plain different) beach-theme decorating ideas:

  • Create a walkway made of seashells
  • Place a lifesaver or anchor amidst the buffet
  • Arrange place cards atop a surfboard
  • String colorful fish lights or paper lanterns above the reception tables
  • Set out party favors inside colorful inner tubes
  • For a natural setting, use potted herbs and grasses. For serving tables, use boxes of wheat grass -- a decorating trend we love
  • Arrange flowers in large conch shells or colorful beach pails as centerpieces
  • Conjure up an underwater landscape by combining blue and green florals with neutral-color props such as sand, sea grass, shells, coral, and greens
  • Make a splash by arranging flowers underwater in a large glass bowl or vase
  • Forgo the water altogether and put sand in the bottom of a cylindrical vase, with a large pillar candle in the middle surrounded by small shells or beautiful stones


    Your wedding pictures will be anything but ordinary -- hugging your honey with the sand between your toes, waves crashing in the distance, a sunset backdrop beside the water's edge -- take advantage of the beauty of your natural surroundings. For great candids, loosen up! Kick the sand, throw a Frisbee, turn a cartwheel, or simply stroll hand in hand. But in addition, make sure to prepare a list of must-have shots.


    Wind, rain, bugs, noise. Just a few things to be aware of before your wedding on the beach. Keep the environment beautiful and your guests happy with these six tips:

  • Bust the Gusts

    Beaches are breezy, so keep decorations simple. Be sure flowers are well secured and your aisle runner is weighted down -- think decorative but heavy rocks, sand-filled pails. Or forget the runner and create an aisle using seashells, rocks, or torches. If you want an archway, remember the narrower, the less chance a strong gust will knock it over.

  • Let It Rain

    You hope your day will be filled with blue skies and balmy breezes, but Mother Nature may have other plans. As a preventative measure, renting a tent is recommended.

  • Fend Off Pesky Pests

    Light some citronella candles or torches to keep nasty mosquitoes and other fierce flyers at bay. In addition, set out a basket of insect repellent alongside the place card table for guests to use at their leisure.

  • Quiet!

    Crashing waves, gusty winds, crying seagulls, vocal beach-goers -- the sounds of the surf can drown out even the most seasoned speakers. Minimize the number of onlookers by having the ceremony early in the morning or around sunset if possible.

  • Brrr...It's Getting Cold

    It's always a bit cooler at the shore, but what if the temperature really drops? On your save-the-date card, include a note that lets guests know to bring a little something warm. Another idea: provide a small throw blanket on each person's chair, maybe as your wedding favor. For a sunset ceremony and if the local ordinances allow it, a bonfire is a romantic way to keep toasty. Of course, you may want to skip the bonfire if children are attending.

  • Fresh Air

    Many public beaches have patrols that comb the areas to remove debris where it is a problem. Again, make sure to call your local beach authorities for details. If they don't have a removal team, gather up your attendants a few hours before the ceremony for a little pre-wedding clean up -- just make sure no one gets sunburned in the process.

This article originally appeared here.

Looking for a wedding gown fit for the beach? This is my favorite all time gown. A. because it's gorgeous and B. Reusable and C. as of press time, on sale for under $80.00 at A. B. Lambden.:


Make sure you buy shoes that are easy to wear and summer styled. A nice summer sandal in white, gold, ivory or silver works well too. Another option that I think is adorable, is the new style of wearing white crocs. Comfortable, you can kick them off and hey, your gown is going to be long any

  • Your Tan

    I am going to spill one of my secrets. As a very fair skinned person, it takes a long time for me to get a tan. I cheat by taking "Canthraxan," which I purchase from RPM
    Total Vitality
    . Here is the excerpt from their site (which I am not receiving any money from them to tell you about this, nor any other monetary or otherwise transaction from them.) I just simply use the product and I am sharing because the side effect of it is a beautiful golden tan. And as you can see, Clint Eastwood has used it. And, in my book, what's good for Clint, is good for me. Canthraxan can be purchased in any health store or
    online. I have found the best price to be through RPM Total Vitality.

    The following excerpts about Canthaxanthin
    are from Durk Pearson's and Sandy Shaw's #1 best-selling book

    Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach

    " The use of very high doses of beta carotene to reduce photosensitivity does have a cosmetic drawback, however. The beta carotene will color your skin yellow (which can also occur if you eat a great many carrots), making you look jaundiced. Of course, it isn't really jaundice (caused by liver failure), and your doctor will
    realize it immediately when he sees the whites of your eyes have not turned yellow. Nevertheless, you may not want to be carrot-colored. There is another carotenoid, canthaxanthin, which is very closely related to
    beta carotene. This is the material that makes flamingos and certain shellfish pink. We think it provides better protection from ultraviolet light and singlet oxygen better than beta carotene... "
    " Any plant containing chlorophyll but no carotenoids will be killed by a few minutes of exposure to sunlight since about one photosynthetic reaction in a thousand allows a dangerous molecule of singlet oxygen to escape. Like plants, we can protect ourselves from sunlight with carotenoids. (pgs. 422-423) In the spring of 1981, I added a carotenoid, canthaxanthin to my formula, ... for the very substantial protective effects of the carotenoids. The results have been better than expected."

    " 'Mr. Smith' says that there was a 'real dramatic' effect on his skin's resistance to sunburn when he used
    canthaxanthin, a carotenoid (chemically related to the yellow coloring matter in carrots, beta carotene). His skin is relatively light and sensitive to sunlight, especially his nose. He began using about 120 milligrams of canthaxanthin per day, then went to the same dose every other day. He looks as if he has a beautiful golden-bronze suntan....* " (pg. 743)
    * Mr. Smith is commonly known to be movie star Clint Eastwood

    Side note: I have to put a disclaimer here. I have no idea the safety of this product except to say that I use it, and have had no problems. Many of my friends and family members use it as well. I will post a note from the FDA addressed to RPM. So please read all of the information on this product and use at your own discretion and risk.