Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I do, I do


If you have ever thought of exchanging wedding vows in the romantic spots by the water there are a few things to consider before you send out the invitations. Weddings by the waters edge offers many options : a family cottage : on a boat or cruise ship : at a beach location close to your home : and one of the most popular choices, a destination wedding to a beach resort.

All inclusive five star resorts offer some of the best options for couples tying the knot at the waters edge. On a trip last year to Excellence Resort in Punta Cana we witnessed at least one couple exchange vows each day during our two week stay. The weddings varied from the simple ceremony with the bride, groom and witnesses on the beach, to the elaborate wedding celebration with a total of 60 guests at the resort.

Excellence Resort - Punta Cana                                    whisper of the waves

While beach location weddings first started out as something casual with couples opting to say 'I do' by the shoreline, many brides are now looking for something more defined. Resorts are grabbing the opportunity to host wedding groups, but not all of them have the facilities to accommodate the modern day brides needs. Look for a resort that offers five star facilities specific for weddings and who have a high review rating.

Wedding party carriage at Excellence Resort Punta Cana

If you want the fun and happy mood of a beach destination yet yearn for some of the traditional settings, choose a resort that offers multiple options such as:

* a beach pagoda or platformed area for the ceremony {instead of standing on the hot sand}
* wood walkways to get you to the alter without kicking up too much sand
* a pagoda in the resort garden area
* guest seating area that offers some shade or market umbrella's
* a rain day option that still offers a view - lanai or open covered area that will give guests the ocean view {even if the surf is raging in the background}
* a beach wedding location in the sand and at the shore ........... if that's your thing
* a semi-private or private dining area for your wedding dinner - even if it's a small party of 4
* resorts who rope off the beach wedding area in advance to give the wedding party the opportunity for 'open privacy' get full marks from me.

formal wear on the beach is not required                           via beachweddingpackages

Beach weddings are the opportunity to relax and still have a great celebration.
Here are some tips for couples heading to the waves at the water .......

* eliminate the veil and long train dress from your shopping list. Beach weddings are in an ultra hot setting with sand blowing, you won't regret a flowing and breezy style.
* groom and groomsmen should wear casual light coloured pants and cotton tops - add a cotton blazer if you really feel the need. Shorts on the groom and groomsmen look dressy only if the men are wearing Bermuda shorts, a dress shirt and fresh coloured ties - very Hampton style. Wear deck shoes without socks instead of flip-flops.
* and for the ladies.......  flip-flops are named because of the noise they make. This is not a romantic or elegant statement to make while walking up the aisle. Instead chose an elegant strap sandal or a little foot jewellery to adorn your toes.
* bride and maids - paint your toes a bright colour. This brings a finished look to your beach walk and will look cleaner once your toes dip into the sand and surf.
* everyone - especially the boys......... get a pedicure, your tootsies will be on full display and photographed.
* it is usually breezy at the beach so make sure your hair is styled and secured so that it is not blowing around your face.
* because of the casual nature of the event it is even more important that all attendants were the same head-to-toe.
* consider holding your ceremony as the sun is setting
* before you 'put a ring on it' - put a thin ribbon on the ring, then if it is dropped in a moment of nervousness, it will not be lost in the sand.

don't forget to paint your toes a pretty colour

Make it comfortable for everyone : ask your resort host to provide.......

* seats for all of the guests - I prefer the bench style seating in the sand.
* many resorts have formal chairs with covers - ask instead to leave the chairs natural and adorn them with colourful ties, flowers or fans. Make it your own.
* attractive umbrella's and/or fans for guests will keep them comfortable in the heat
* a microphone and speakers is needed so that all guests can hear the ceremony over the sound of the waves and for the music interlude.
* ask the resort to rake the sand just prior to your guests arrival - suggest they get creative with a design between the rows and aisles.

Bench fasteners will make sure your fans do not blow away.

use natural elements                      via Erin Hart

create a ceremony area                via Erin Hart

rake the sand                                   

Make it unique and your own:

* consider meeting each other walking along the surfs edge and then walk together up to a ceremony area. After all, marriage is about meeting each other half way. Marrying at the waters edge is the reason you've chosen a beach destination, so make it memorable for you as a couple. This also offers guests and a photographer great opportunities for pictures.
* celebrate the colour and playfulness of the islands - decorate with brights.
* the party will continue on when the sun goes down, in addition to torches and candles add some fireworks on the beach.
* request that all of the guests wear a specific colour ........ that all of your attendants are wearing as well {all white is my favourite for a beach wedding}.
* small items like wedding favours and decor items that fold flat in luggage can be easily taken to your destination wedding to make it personalized.
* take a moment at the shore after your vows and set something to sail or skips a few stones while sharing a wish together.



personalize your beach wedding - prepare in advance

personalize items can easily be transported to the destination


Celebrate your love and union with a beach destination wedding

                       ............. and listen to the whisper of the waves.

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