Beach Wedding Locations – How to choose?

There are many factors which should be considered when choosing the perfect beach wedding location for you and your wedding party. Here we explore a few of the obvious and not so obvious points you should take into consideration.

 

Nostalgia

If you’ve vacationed to the same beach area throughout the years and already have a firm favorite, that’s going to be a hard beach to beat. It could be the beach you proposed on, the beach you shared your first kiss or your dream beach that you’ve pictured in your mind forever. If you already have that venue in mind that is calling your name, look no further!

 

Parking

If you have lots of guests driving to the ceremony then you may want to choose a beach where parking is straight forward and plentiful. There are many beaches which fit the bill and some of them require parking meter fees – not a problem as long as you know in advance what to expect!

 

Proximity to your accommodation

Believe it or not, there are hotels and inns nearby where you can literally step out of your room, onto the beach and down the aisle. If that appeals, we know the best local places to stay and take transport off your wedding day ‘to do’ list.

 

Close to your reception

Maybe you are looking at a ceremony not even ‘close to’ your reception, but at the same place! There are beautiful venues nearby where we can set up your ceremony and then you and your guests can step straight into cocktail hour or your reception. This doesn’t have to be a sunset only option. Brunches and lunches also work and could be a more cost effective alternative. In this scenario you can stop worrying about transporting your wedding party from one place to another mid-celebration.

 

Wheelchair Access

There are some local beaches (particularly those in local parks) which have done a fantastic job of making their beach access accessible. Once the pathways and boardwalk have been crossed, a location with a relatively ‘narrow’ beach at the time of the ceremony (beaches always change with the tides so a picture might not be the best indicator) can make the logistics easy.

 

Location, location, location

Some beaches cannot be replicated no matter how soft the sand or how perfect the sky. For a location like our ‘Mangroves By The Sea’ venue, a spectacular beach of natural outstanding beauty, the location is unique.

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Likewise, if your dream backdrop is a pier or rocks on the beach, we have local beaches that would be perfect for you.

 

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Permit Fees

Most beaches now require permits before you say “I Do” however the price varies in different areas and may also change if your wedding party rises above a certain number of guests. Some permits require filing a minimum number of days in advance. This can be complicated and the fee structure has changed frequently so give us a call to find out the latest information.

Access to Gardens, Private Property or Parks

If you’re lucky enough to own property locally (or know someone who does!), that may become your wedding location. It needn’t be a beach – we have performed beautiful ceremonies in gardens. The looks you see on the beaches can be recreated in gardens or parks.

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Shower-proof Cover

If inclement weather is likely to be an issue then consider a venue with a back up option. Sunset Beach has a pavilion which can be rented – it also acts as a picturesque backdrop for portraits.

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A long aisle walk

If you are worried about walking a long way in the heat or you simply want the drama of walking down a short aisle before you’re seen, consider a beach where you can access the aisle directly from a boardwalk or a beach that is relatively ‘narrow’. Some of the locations have wide expanses of sands and even dunes which you may walk across before approaching the arch.

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Ready to get planning? We are! Give us a call at 727-443-0039 or visit us online at Suncoast Weddings

Help! My Beach Wedding Dream doesn’t fit any Package

There is no doubt about it – planning your wedding can be stressful. Maybe you’ve dreamed about this moment for as long as you can remember – maybe the dream has changed or maybe you never thought it would happen until you met  the one.

At Suncoast Weddings, we’ve got you covered. We’re all about taking the stress away – we don’t claim to be experts in everything, but we live and breathe weddings every day. We pride ourselves on personalizing every ceremony and we bring the expertise to plan an intimate service for two people, an elaborate celebration for family and friends from around the world and everything in between.

We offer Beach Wedding Packages to ‘bundle’ certain features, basically offering a selection at a reduced price compared to all the components added together. Sometimes that fits perfectly – for others their dream service might be a bit of mix and match – the Island Oasis without the palms for instance. That’s fine with us! In fact it’s really just a starting point to kick off the discussion. Nor do you have to be an expert in all our packages to get the best deal from Suncoast Weddings, if you let us know what you want, we’ll find the best savings for you and put together a clear proposal with all the costs itemized. No surprises, no last minute clean up fees and maybe extra savings you didn’t even know you were eligible for (we are proud to offer a 10% discount to military personnel and all first responders).

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If you look around the galleries on our website, instagram and on pinterest it’s clear that every ceremony is unique. In fact it’s quite a challenge to characterize each package with a set of images because they look so eclectic!

 

Some of our couples choose to further personalize their day in some way with premium aisle  décor or fresh flowers so taking any package as a starting point makes even more sense.

So if you’re reading this and have been stressed because you don’t want to compromise to fit into one of the predefined packages, just give us a call (727-443-0039) or drop us a line (inquiries@suncoastweddings.com) because we don’t want you to compromise either!

Maybe your uncle is a minister and you want him to perform the service, or you have no idea how many guests you will have yet, you’re not sure which beach you prefer or even which date fits best. That’s OK! Planning your wedding is a process (a fun one at that!) and once you get started, we’ll help put the details in place until you’ve arrived at your dream vision. Then you can relax and focus on enjoying the build up, the countdown and the big day itself.

Still unsure? Give us a call and ask for Sue or Michelle – we know we can make your dream come true.

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Florida Beach Weddings and ‘bad’ weather

If there is one worry we hear the most from couples on their countdown to a perfect Florida beach wedding it sounds most like

“But what if it rains?”

We’ve seen enough weddings to know that the day isn’t about how warm it was or how brightly the sun shone. The memories are made when you look into your soulmate’s eyes and say your vows, they are made when you embrace family and friends and when you dance the night away with happiness. The photos taken will catch the joy and the laughter and they aren’t dependent on the weather. Besides, Florida beach weddings are popular precisely because the weather is usually in your favor, only rarely does it misbehave and then hopefully it is short-lived.

In fact, after rain showers you may be lucky enough to get a rainbow to frame your portraits.

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Rain

We have seen couples literally delight in the rain and their laughter lights up their photographs. If it rains, don’t let it dampen your spirits.

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It is no exaggeration to say that portraits under ‘moody skies’ are among our all time favorites. The dramatic backdrop adds such emotion to the scene.

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We do have some suggestions though if it looks as though rain may be a factor on your day.

  • Consider a venue with a shelter nearby. There are several options where you could be under cover and still on the beach – like the pavilion on Sunset Beach (which can be booked if you want to reserve the space)

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  • Use parasols as umbrellas!

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  • Ask for some landscape shots to capture the beauty of the setting

 

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  • Consider a morning wedding

Often in Florida if a shower develops, it is in the afternoon.

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  • Think seasonally

Ask us about the monthly trends and chances for showers as some times of the year are more favorable than other.

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Generally, light showers are not a problem. If the showers look as though they will end imminently then it may be possible to adjust your ceremony time.

 

A strong breeze

If it is windy for your beach wedding you’re in for a treat – the surf will look spectacular and the crashing waves add a soundtrack which will be hard to imagine on a calm day. In addition a breeze could blow away ‘bad’ weather in record time.

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If you have long hair, think about an up-do instead and if you are planning to wear a veil, consider weights for the veil so that it is more predicable in a breeze.

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Get ready for some awesome shots as your wedding dress billows in the breeze 🙂

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Storms

We’re lucky to have a great climate most of the time in Florida and inclement weather only affects very few ceremonies, however if a storm is forecast then it may be necessary to make alternate plans for the sake of safety. Nobody should be outside on the beach in a thunderstorm as it is dangerous.

Sometimes we have been able to move weddings indoors and although the overall ‘look’ is not ‘the beach’ we do our best to recreate inside, your color scheme and the ‘look’ of your décor. If the forecast a few days before your ceremony looks troublesome,  don’t  stress as Florida weather can change constantly.  But give us a call and we’ll  discuss possible options.

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Life would be boring if it was totally predicable and Florida can look even more picturesque without permanent blue skies.

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We had one bride who was stationed on Guantanamo Bay.   No surprise that she was unable to find a wedding dress on Guantanamo so  had to wait til she was able to fly to Florida, just four days before her wedding to start looking for a dress.

The day before her flight back she developed stomach pains and put it down to pre-wedding nerves.  The pains got more intense during the flight and she was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery to have her gall bladder removed.  It poured on her wedding day and with all that had gone before, she could have been very stressed – but it was the opposite.  It’s no exaggeration to say that she is a perfect example of a bride who was not going to let one or two setbacks spoil her day and she smiled throughout.  And guess what?  We were able to find a break in the weather – her  pictures were beautiful and the event was memorable to say the least!

The number one thing to remember is not to sweat the small stuff – a rain shower pales into insignificance next to the journey you are beginning together. Welcome the day with every promise it holds because

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about dancing in the rain!

 

If you’re excited to start planning, give us a call at Suncoast Weddings – the future looks occasionally cloudy with a chance of extreme happiness! 727-443-0039

 

 

Florida Beach Wedding Sweeping Aisle

When we first coined the term ‘sweeping aisle’, we had in mind an elegant entrance similar to the curve of a grand sweeping staircase. Translate that to the sandy shores and you get our famous (and very popular) ‘sweeping aisle’.

We are giving you an inside look at several sweeping aisles to see if it fits your vision for the day – the best part of all? There is no extra cost! When we plan your ceremony this will be one of the choices – do you want a straight aisle or a sweeping aisle?

First – let’s look at what it isn’t.

This is a traditional straight aisle where you enter directly opposite the arch and can walk down towards your partner.

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There are also ceremonies and packages that don’t include an aisle, so obviously our sweeping aisle does not feature there… (like our ‘Toes in the Sand‘ Package and the ‘Gulf Beach Ceremony‘ with a heart in the sand of fresh rose petals.

So on to the ‘sweeping aisle’ ….

The drama

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This aisle demonstrates the sweeping curve which we craft for your walk down the sandy aisle. It looks very dramatic especially when they are no chairs.

The way it mimics a wave

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This aisle sweeps around to an avenue of pomanders on the way to the arch, reminding us of the waves lapping up onto the shore.

Reinforcing your color scheme

 

The colors on the aisle décor can be paired with your ceremony theme

Adding height and interest

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Grasses add height to the aisle borders and grant extra definition to the lines of the sweeping aisle

Your partner can’t see you easily!

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Keep your outfit a secret longer – as you have to round a curve, they won’t be able to see you at first!

 

It’s less intimidating for children

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Starting out down a straight aisle can seem a little daunting for younger members of the wedding party. A sweeping aisle leads them to the arch along a less direct path.

It fits any beach wedding package with an arch

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This sweeping aisle leads to our Island Oasis.

 

We like to think our sweeping aisle gives you an extra chance to customize your wedding day. You have the opportunity to be unique and with Suncoast Weddings, we don’t determine your color scheme or décor – everything is tailored so that it fits the two of you  perfectly. We have even had a wedding with two sweeping aisles – one from the left and one from the right, curving together towards the arch so that both partners reached the arch at the same time. We work with you to form the blueprint for the day so that you can relax and enjoy every second – we’ll take care of the rest.

With a sweeping aisle or without, with Suncoast Weddings arranging your wedding or vow renewal, you’ll be sure to relax and enjoy every second. Give us a call today to start planning. 727-443-0039

 

 

 

 

 

5 Ways to bring Holiday Cheer to your wedding

It’s that time of year and if you’re getting ready to say “I Do” over the Holiday Season, we have some ideas to help incorporate that Holiday magic into your wedding day.

A bold red wedding dress for the bride or the bridesmaids.

There are no rules when it comes to bridal style – whatever makes you feel special is absolutely the right choice. Any time of year, red is a striking and stylish choice, maybe even more so at the Holidays.

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Baubles with your own photos

For the reception or even for around the unity candle ceremony table, buy some of the clear baubles that can be personalized and print off some of your favorite photos, perhaps telling your journey as a couple or even showcasing engagement photos. What a great talking point and unique keepsakes.

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Music

With Suncoast Weddings, you choose the soundtrack, so why not lock in ceremony memories with a favorite Holiday song. Every year around your anniversary, you’ll hear that song and be transported back to your wedding day.

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Color Theme

There are so many color combinations you could choose from to be festive – red and green, gold and red, whatever calls to you. Tailor your colors to the backdrop you want as you say “I Do” to your soulmate.

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Under the mistletoe

What could be more romantic than saying your vows and then kissing under the mistletoe. We can arrange to hang mistletoe on the arch for you so as soon as you’re officially ‘just married’, you can kiss under the mistletoe.

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A few other ideas to inspire:

  • Use pine cones as placeholders at your reception
  • Weave holly leaves and berries into your bouquet
  • Instead of blowing bubbles or throwing beach balls, invite guests to ring jingle bells as you walk back down the aisle
  • Use colorful baubles to decorate the arch and fill lanterns to line the aisle – we can handle that part of the inspiration – let us know your color scheme 🙂
  • Make custom photo gift tree ornaments to give out as party favors

With Suncoast Weddings arranging your wedding or vow renewal, you’ll be sure to relax and enjoy every second. Give us a call today to start planning. 727-443-0039

 

7 Ways to set your Beach Wedding Mood

We’ve had weddings with tears, we’ve had weddings with laughter, and plenty of ceremonies with both! How do you picture your special day? Serious and sincere or lighthearted and uplifting?

We’re looking at ways you can help set the mood for the day – for yourself and your guests. A bit of pre-planning can reduce your stress levels and set the stage for a fantastic experience.

Music

If you are having music at your ceremony, think about the tone you want. You already have the soundtrack of the waves, how do you want to enhance that? Here are a few suggestions:

  • If you want a really tropical vibe, consider steel drums. We can help arrange the musicians and you’ll be dancing down the aisle.
  • If a friend or family member sings or plays an instrument, maybe they would like to perform. We have microphones and speakers for hire if you have a large gathering.
  • Traditional and instrumental pieces of music can bring sentiment and emotion to the occasion.
  • Play “your song”
  • Choose lyrics that make you feel good – a popular choice for 2016 has been Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”

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Dress Code

From tuxedos and gowns to flip flops and Hawaiian shirts, the dress code will change the mood of the day. Whichever choice you make, formal or informal, make sure all your guests have some expectation so that they feel comfortable and know what to expect.

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Beach Balls and Bubbles

Not just for kids! To bring an element of fun to the celebration and for some awesome photographs, beach balls or bubbles are beach friendly and easy to arrange. In addition, if children are in the group, they will love the distraction and your only problem may be keeping them waiting for the “I Do’s”.

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Your Own Vows

Surely the part of the ceremony where we’ve seen the most tears! Vows can be heartfelt and also humorous at the same time. Speak from your heart and rehearse your vows before the big day.

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Have fun with the Cake

Set the mood to deliciously relaxed by decorating your cake informally with a beach theme. We love starfish and shells and the sky is the limit when you get inspired.

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Time of Day

Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico is magical and romantic so if you want those beautiful wedding portraits with the sun setting, aim for a ceremony about an hour before the sunset. If you want vibrant blue skies, then consider a morning wedding. Cooler temperatures, less change of inclement weather and a whole day to party!

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Take a Dip

You’re at the beach – why not! Whether you plan ahead or the mood just takes you, get ready for some serious fun and some great pictures.

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When you’re ready to start planning, call us at 727-443-0039 or visit us online at SuncoastWeddings.com.

Should I wear a veil to my beach wedding?

If you are lucky enough to be planning your wedding and have dreamed about this day for months (or years!), then you probably already know the answer. Some brides have always imagined wearing a veil and having a beach wedding certainly shouldn’t get in your way. We’ve got some super ‘looks’ to share with you from our Suncoast Weddings albums as well as some ideas to inspire.

toasted8If you’re worried about a breeze on the beach, remember that you can buy small weights to keep the veil under control. To be honest, some of our most beautiful bridal portraits are when a breeze does catch the veil – the look is romantic and ethereal.

 

Cathedral length veils

These tend to bring the most drama and the ultimate ‘bridal moment’. Here are some portraits with long veils. Ironically, the length of the veil actually makes them less likely to blow up or misbehave in a slight breeze. To get movement into a portrait, you may need a willing helper to lift the veil then duck quickly out of the shot.

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Echo the veil in the train

This look gives the illusion of a long veil although in fact the veil is mid length and the train of the dress appears to follow the veil’s lines.

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Short Veils

Sharp, modern and sassy, these veils give the bridal look without any worries about a breeze. As an added bonus, they can be easily paired with accessories to enhance the look.

THAT photo op!

Yes – there are some brides who cannot imagine their wedding album without the classic shot of the kiss beneath the veil. Here are some of our favorites.

Showing off the veil

It’s also a great portrait shot when the bride revels in the one day she will wear a veil – maybe that is the ultimate charm of the veil …. this is the only occasion it will ever be worn.

What are the alternatives to a veil?

There are certainly options if you opt not to wear a veil. Here are some of our favorites.

Jeweled Clips

Starfish as hair accessories

Peacock Feathers

Flowers

Jeweled Headbands

When it comes to your wedding day, there are no rules, just follow your heart and the day will be perfect. If you’re ready to start planning, call us at Suncoast Weddings today 727-443-0039