10 ways to help your guests relax at your Florida beach wedding

1. A wedding rehearsal

If you have a large wedding party and especially if some of your group aren’t familiar with the traditional order of the processional, a fun, light-hearted (but ultimately informative) rehearsal one or two days before the ceremony will help relieve stress on the big day.

2. Keep cool

It can get warm in the sunshine state so planning ahead with fans or bottles of water for each guest during the wedding can help guests stay hydrated and cool.

custom water

3. Have an ‘unplugged’ ceremony

Trusting your professional photographer takes the pressure off family and friends. Taking this one step further, an ‘unplugged’ ceremony invites guests to leave their phones and cameras so that they can be fully present and enjoy every moment with the happy couple.

beach wedding photography tips

4. Pick a seat, not a side

pick a seat chalkboard

Traditionally, families and friends of the couple sit on opposite sides of the aisle. A beach wedding is the perfect opportunity to let people mingle, bringing a modern and stress-free twist to the seating plan. For something totally different, banish traditional rows of seats and choose one of our spiral seating plans.

turquoise spiral

5. Sandy Toes!

Enough said! Nobody can be stressed when they’re barefoot. Sandy toes rule on the beach.

6. Bring the fun

In place of confetti (which damages the beach), think out of the box when celebrating the “I Do’s”. Beach balls are great fun for everyone and they make fantastic photo portraits.

beach balls

7. Make the fun

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Selfie stations and props are the perfect excuses to not just smile for the camera, but to genuinely laugh! Oversize sunglasses, hats, masks – let your imagination run wild, let the good times roll and end up with some crazy keepsakes to remember the fun.

selfie station

8. Hire a professional

A day-of coordinator will help smooth any bumps in the road as your wedding takes place. They have the experience to remain calm, the local connections to formulate a ‘Plan B’ and your guests will know that everything is in hand and they don’t need to worry or step out of their comfort zone.

wedding day emergency kit

9. Choose a fun soundtrack

To get your guests’ toes tapping and get the children rocking, choose some upbeat songs which everyone will recognize. A little dancing goes a long way to having a memorable and fun day.

10. Have fun yourselves!

Everyone else is here to celebrate your special day. When your family and friends see you having a great time, they will, too! Don’t sweat the small stuff and make sure everyone understands how much better the day is with their company. Love, laughter and Happily Ever After!

love laughter1

 

If you’re ready to start planning your own Florida beach wedding or vow renewal, give us a call at Suncoast Weddings, we’re always ready to make the magic happen.

727-443-0039

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10 Florida Beach Wedding DIY Projects

If you’re feeling crafty or just want to take care of some of the details before the big day, we’ve some great ideas for DIY projects which will give you a head start on your beach wedding. It’s a great way to

  • save money
  • reduce stress before your wedding or vow renewal
  • have fun and get family or friends involved
  1. Make your own bouquet

Fresh Flowers are not your only option and when you’re saying your vows on the beach, there is plenty of inspiration from the ocean. For the bride, the ultimate bouquet and for the Maid/Matron of Honor and Bridesmaids, you can craft similar versions but each with their own flair and personality. Seashells, starfish, sea urchins, sand dollars and pearls bring not only a stylish and unique twist to your bouquet, you’ll have a keepsake afterwards, long after fresh flowers have gone.

Here is some inspiration for seashell themed bouquets

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If the ocean doesn’t inspire you, then we’ve also seen truly spectacular bouquets made from brooches and jeweled pins. These glimmer in the sunshine and you can incorporate family pieces which make the connection to your bouquet even more personal.

2. Don’t forget the guys – make your own boutonniere

Tick another one of those boxes not to worry about on the wedding day by making the boutonnieres for the groom and groomsmen. Be as quirky and fashion forward as he will dare because it’s the little details which all add up to a magical experience and fantastic portraits afterwards to enjoy forever. We’ve been lucky enough to have super stylish Suncoast Weddings grooms, here are some of our favorite looks.

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3. Make your favors

It’s easy to shop for favors and buy guests a generic gift. Why not plan ahead and make unique favors which will be a perfect symbol to remember your wedding and say ‘thank you’ to friends and family who have gathered to join you as you celebrate your love. We love the sentiment of inviting your loved ones to a beach ceremony and giving them a momento to remember the day forever. This couple engraved favors with their names and the date of the wedding and then filled them with sand from the beach and some small shells. You could easily buy the shells, but equally if you have willing helpers who want to scout out the best seashells, it’s a great way to get children involved in helping. The local beaches are full of beautiful and colorful seashells.

seashell favors

4. The Ring Box

It’s a big part of the ceremony and especially if young hands are carrying in the rings, a personalized ring box makes the moment extra special. We were inspired by this box which was etched with the date of the ceremony. A reminder of the big day, you could replace the twine or ribbon in the box afterwards to keep forever when those rings don’t need their box anymore!

5. Make your centerpieces for the reception

Plan ahead and whether your reception is on the shore or indoors, make the centerpieces ahead of time and then box them up ready for the party. It’s one of the great budgeting tips to use any fresh flowers from the ceremony again at the reception but that does take time and organizing, it’s certainly not going to be high on the list of priorities for the bride and groom to be doing. If you aren’t using fresh flowers, be creative and make a talking point of your unique centerpieces. If you’re traveling in for a destination wedding and don’t want to be packing bulky items like this, talk to us at Suncoast Weddings, we’re happy to work with you on all the details for your reception and can provide centerpieces as an add on to your package.

6. The style statement that steals the show

If you’re the type of person who wants to surprise your other half and all the guests, think out of the box to wear something nobody has seen before, something that mirrors your sense of style and will be perfect for either the ceremony or the reception. A picture is worth a thousand words, here’s an example of wedding day style that takes a day from great to spectacular.

shoes

7. Seating Plan

Sure, a document typed up and pinned to the door can hold a seating plan and get your guests to the right seat but prep ahead and you can make the necessary logistics into a stylish element at your reception. Personalizing such a routine detail shows your guests how much care you’ve put into their experience and shows that no detail is too small. It’s a great way to incorporate your theme in another way and bring a pop of color and texture. You can do this ahead of time and let the worries pass you by..

find your seat pearls

8. Make your own beach wedding signs

This is a hugely popular trend for beach weddings. Signs can be static at the start of the aisle or can be carried by members of your party. They add a bit of fun to the day but also look great as props when it’s time to take pictures. Here are some of our favorites.

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We also have boards and signs which can be rented for your Suncoast wedding as part of your package. Here are some of the most popular ones.

9. Make a Wedding Wishes Tree

This stands at your reception along with small pieces of paper and twine or ribbon. Guests are invited to write a wish for the happy couple and tie then onto the branches. It’s a focal point which builds and ‘blooms’ throughout the evening as more people add their wishes. Be unique and get crafty!

wishes

10. Make your cake topper

The cake may be delicious, but everyone’s eyes are drawn to the topper. Make it yours! Make it personal and make it bring a smile 🙂

Most of the time is taken planning what you need. If you want an ocean inspired topper but are flying in from nowhere near the sea, plan what you want and then hit the seashell shops when you arrive. If you know what you plan to do, the actual time needed will not be significant and it’s a project you can do a few days before the wedding when you are relaxed and enjoying sunny Florida

 

We hope we’ve given you some ideas to personalize your big day. When you’re ready to start planning, we’re here with plenty more ideas and inspiration. Give us a call at Suncoast Weddings and we’ll start the countdown together!  727-443-0039

We still do …vow renewals

vow renewalWhen your job is planning weddings, it can be hard to think of a more emotional, sentimental, meaningful, ‘won’t forget this in a lifetime’ day – then a vow renewal blows us away. You’ve committed once and because of everything that has happened or despite everything that has happened, it just feels right. It is a celebration with no strings attached, a celebration of a love which has already thrived and survived.

vow renewal3When is the best time? There are no rules, every year or every ten years… it’s totally your commemoration and a chance to dress up (or not), invite family and friends to share (or not) and dance the night away as if it were your first dance. We love vow renewals – they lift spirits and celebrate the partnerships that mean the most.

Reasons to renew your vows (you don’t need a reason but maybe these ring a bell):

  • You did what was expected the first time around and now you can choose for yourself
  • You have family (kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews) who you want to be involved
  • You want a different setting, a different mood to say “I Do” again
  • You want to declare your love … simple as that!
  • You’ve beaten the odds and it’s worth a party
  • Your priorities have changed and you still want to share your life with your soulmate
  • It’s a fantastic and joyful way to unite your family
  • You want to surprise your other half by making the ultimate romantic gesture
  • You want to celebrate this moment in time with a reaffirmation and make memories from now
  • there are just some things that should be said for all to hear – a declaration of love is surely the most endearing of all
  • you want to wear your wedding dress again or have an excuse to buy a new dress to stun in ….
  • you know it will make your other half feel like the center of your universe

vow renewal5

There doesn’t have to be a particular day, it doesn’t have to be your anniversary – switch things up and make it a birthday of your child or the day your team won the championship – you’re making a new day to celebrate (not instead of your anniversary, as well as your anniversary!)

 

It’s also the perfect time to write your own vows. The nerves are gone, the funny stories abound – embrace them and celebrate your love. If you’re looking for a vow renewal with sand between your toes and a relaxed atmosphere, welcome to Suncoast Weddings, let us make your vow renewal unique and tailored to you two.

vow renewal6

Personalize your day – we love this sign charting Adam & Stef’s journey celebrating their 10th anniversary with a vow renewal …

vow renewal 10

and making the most of the surf!

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Ready to start planning? We are! Let’s celebrate a love that endures with a vow renewal on the Florida shores!

Tel: 727-443-0039

Website: www.suncoastweddings.com

Email: inquiries@suncoastweddings.com

10 Ways to highlight the beach at your wedding

Beach Weddings are our passion. If you’re like us then you want to enjoy every second on the shore and we have some great tips to maximize the fun and amp up the beach atmosphere. A little planning up front saves a lot of stress down the line, allowing you to savor each precious moment.

1. Go Barefoot

Feel the sand between your toes and ditch the heels. You’ll feel more relaxed and so will your guests. For stylish brides, check out foot jewelry to bring extra glamour. Think ahead with this as the decision could impact the length of your wedding dress.

beach wedding sign  foot jewelry

2.  Have a starfish lined aisle

Brown sugar starfish or white starfish make stylish aisle markers and add drama to your ceremony. Choose one color or alternate.

As a variation on the theme you could also consider alternating with conch shells, especially if your color theme has shades of blush as the inside of the shell will fit in perfectly.

 

3. Beach bouquet inspiration

The sky is the limit, think of seashells, pearls, starfish, jewels. Flowers can still be a traditional base or you can totally reinvent the bouquet and create something unique. If you craft your own bouquet from shells, starfish or sand dollars you also have a wonderful keepsake to remind you of the day.

 

4. Pictures in the surf

You’re at the beach and the waves are calling. You can cool down and have some fun to get some great candid portraits or choose the backdrop for romantic shots. Memorable and exhilarating, you’ll forever be reminded of your beach ceremony.

 

5. Wipe the sand from your toes

Beach wedding signs are hugely popular. Quirky and personal, make the most of the beach theme by inviting your guests to wipe the sand from their toes – keep the mood relaxed by displaying it with some paintbrushes.

 

6. Groom Beach Style

It’s not just the brides who can shine in the style department, take inspiration for a boutonniere with a difference. Shells, starfish, alone or combined with flowers. Echo the details in the bridal bouquet with a miniaturized version for the groom and groomsmen. When it comes to beach wedding etiquette, you choose your dress code. Grooms may be formal in a tuxedo or casual in a Hawaiian shirt. Let your guests know in advance so that they know what to wear for the occasion and also your wedding coordinator so that the minister or officiant are prepared.

 

shells for the groom

7. Beach Ring Bearers

Shells and starfish make for a stylish entrance when the ring bearer walks down the aisle. Remember to tie a ribbon around the rings just in case as dropping a ring in the sand on the beach leads to a difficult search. The ribbon can enhance your color scheme and will give a little extra confidence to your ring bearer, especially if they are young and a bit nervous for their starring role.

 

8. Beach makeover your reception

Take the elements of the shore and weave them through your reception. Ideas include piping on the cake, starfish toppers or shell decorations.

Carry the theme through to beach themed centerpieces which highlight your favorite beach themes.

9. Ring Shots with imagination

Classic ring shots show them stacked in front of a bouquet or on a pillow. Bring some beach inspiration with a handful of sand or use the arms of a starfish to showcase the symbols of the day.

One of the most creative ways to showcase the rings on the shore is to make handprints and then place the rings in the sand in those prints as if they were wearing the rings. It makes for a surprising album shot.

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10. Sunset Magic

On the west coast of Florida we’re lucky to enjoy spectacular sunsets. If you want the sunset to give you one of nature’s best backdrops, look to plan for a service about an hour before the scheduled sunset so that you can enjoy your ceremony and have time to relax and take some group portraits before the photographer focuses on romantic shots with the happy couple and the setting sun in the background. The light is sublime, the mood is intense and you’ll get magical portraits.

Sometimes moody skies make for even more spectacular shots as the sun sets.

 

Beach weddings and vow renewals offer the opportunity to think outside the traditional box. Look for a beach wedding specialist who knows how to adapt to changing weather, respects the beach (take only photos, leave only footprints) and has suggestions to make your day stress free and fun. Think about taking beach toys to keep youngsters engaged while the photos are being taken or give them a disposable camera to take their own snapshots. When your potential gatecrashers are pelicans and dolphins, make sure to enjoy the beach and make the most of your tropical paradise.

Destination Wedding OOT bags

You’ve either clicked because you want some cool ideas for OOT bags or because you are wondering what is an OOT bag anyway?

Well – if you are planning a destination wedding – or if you live near the beach and have landlubber friends and family coming into town for your big event, you may want to surprise them with a little gift bag to make them feel at home away from home. These Out Of Town bags are known as OOT bags for short.

Will it cost a lot of money? It needn’t.

Can you make it personal and functional at the same time? Certainly.

Will it be a nice surprise to guests who have no idea what an OOT bag is? Yes 🙂

First things first – the bag. It can be a canvas bag or a paper bag, for kids it can even be a bucket to make sandcastles on the beach. You can personalize it and have special ones made, or just pick up anything that works. It needn’t be expensive and you don’t want to give everyone something that will be difficult or bulky to transport back home.

  1. A handwritten note

This is an easy one – take the time to personalize a handwritten note to each guest (or couple) saying thank you for being a part of your celebration. They may have traveled a long way and a warm welcome always brings a smile. You could even put a nautical twist on the note and write it as a message in a bottle – literally..

message bottle

2. The itinerary

If you are planning events together like a rehearsal dinner or an excursion, let them know the general plan so they know how to plan their own time when they are not with the group. It saves time and avoids confusion. Include guidance on the dress code and any other information your guests would want clarified before they turn up to the beach bar in their tuxedo 🙂

3. A local map

A local tourist map will show places of interest and you can circle the important places for your ceremony / reception

4. Trail mix / granola / snacks / dried fruit

Everyone has the munchies sometimes!

5. A water bottle / koozies for drinks

water    fish sea

6. A few postcards

So they either get to keep a momento of the beach or they use them to send back to friends

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7. Brochures

If you know they are looking for kid friendly attractions or local places of interest. If you know one of your guests loves fishing, maybe pick up a few brochures for the deep sea fishing charters that go daily from John’s Pass. Maybe directions to a jet ski rental on the inter coastal.

8. Handy essentials

Tissues / hand sanitizer / chapstick / band-aids / sunscreen / stain remover / mini sewing kit

9. Skip the candles

Many hotels don’t allow candles to be lit so although it sounds like a nice idea, realistically it would end up being taken back home.

10. Music

If you know your guests have your taste in music then you can make or a soundtrack of your destination wedding – great for playing in the rental car and a great reminder of the good times afterwards (bonus: it’s light and easy to transport back)

11. Fresh fruit

It’s hard to beat locally grown Florida oranges

12. A little charm / keepsake

We are surrounded by great gift shops with shell jewelry, shells, charms. If you have young girls in your party, maybe a shell necklace or bracelet. For young boys, how about a shark’s tooth to take home!

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13. A taste of Florida

Shells and corals are a really nice gift for guests who long to be near the sea – we found this heart shaped coral and couldn’t resist. If you are only making up a few bags then you have the opportunity to look for something more unique. If you’re making up lots of bags then it could be easier to buy in bulk.

coral heart

It’s totally up to you although if you decide to make up the bags, it’s easy to get a head start in advance and then have a list for when you arrive in Florida. Especially if you are arriving a couple of days ahead of your guests, you can get everything picked up in a couple of hours. It’s the planning and making decisions that takes the time.

Tel: 727-443-0039

Website: www.suncoastweddings.com

Email: inquiries@suncoastweddings.com

Beach Wedding Ring Bearers

Tradition may hold many rules but when you’re having a beach wedding, there is an opportunity to get creative and make a serious duty into a fun walk down that sandy aisle.

It is certainly true that without exception all of our ring bearers take their duty very seriously. Some have even been known to wear a tux.

Button-the-dog

Others try to steal the show with big eyes and effortless style

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Traditional pillows are also a popular choice (did you know that it is thought the pillows are symbolic of those used in Ancient Egypt to carry precious jewels during wedding ceremonies)

prewedding-rings

These customized pillows fit into the ceremony theme of turquoise and lime.

turquoise and lime ring pillows

Beach Wedding Ring Bearer Tip (learned after some frantic searches for golden bands in the golden sand) – tie a ribbon to the rings. If nervous hands (especially young, excited hands) slip and the rings fall, they are really (really!) hard to find in the sand. Tie them with a small ribbon and the pressure is off.

There are some beautiful decorative pillows which will remain a keepsake afterwards.

ring bearer with sunflower lapel

You’re at the beach so how about some fun with a beach wedding theme … Seashells (here a scallop shell with added bling and some starfish jewels)…

scallop with rings

seashell and rings

Starfish …

starfish and rings with blue and peach

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starfish ring holder

For those with artistic skill and flair, how about something uniquely yours …

with this ring boxhis and hers ring box

Perhaps with the date …

ring box

It’s a great way to let someone special contribute to your day making them feel truly involved. Check out our pinterest boards for more inspiration from Suncoast Weddings. Let’s get planning!

 

Tel: 727-443-0039

Website: www.suncoastweddings.com

Email: inquiries@suncoastweddings.com

happily ever after sign