The Pros and Cons of Hosting Beach Nuptials

The perks and drawbacks of holding your "I dos" on the beach.

The Pros and Cons of Hosting Beach Nuptials

Photo: Jose Villa Photography

pros and cons to having a beach wedding

Outdoor weddings in general have existed for centuries, but the ability of a couple to personalize their alfresco vows has evolved exponentially in the last few decades. When people hypothetically refer to what type of open-air wedding they want, exchanging vows on the beach is often a top choice. Many reasons that engaged pairs desire to host an oceanside event come down to subjective, personal points – perhaps the sea has sentimental value to you and your partner – however, there are a few big arguments for and against this setting for a couple's “I dos.”

Here are the pros and cons of planning a beach wedding:


-  Beautiful views of the ocean. Even if your wedding ends up being on a cloudy day, the open water will always look dreamy and romantic.

-  Built-in décor. The sand doesn’t allow for much in the way of installations, but guests also will not expect anything extravagant. Make the chairs look extra nice with covers or floral garlands linking the rows together, and that’s about all you really need.

-  A relaxing start to your new life. Wedding planning can be stressful, but the big day doesn’t have to be! The ocean breeze can calm you and your beloved while you exchange vows. 

-  No need for heels. Without a solid aisle to walk on, towering pumps are actually a bad choice. Use this as an excuse for some comfortable sandals – or perhaps no footwear at all. You won’t need to pack extra dancing shoes when you’re not wearing heels to begin with. 


-  Mother Nature is unpredictable. Though it’s an issue with all alfresco nuptials, weather can be more temperamental by the shore. Depending on the climate, there could be heavy winds and tropical storms. Even a sunny day could be too sweltering for you and your guests.

-  Lack of privacy. If you wed on a public beach, there’s nothing except common decency to keep onlookers from gawking and potentially distracting from your ceremony. 

-  Sand. It’s a fickle element. Though it means wearing comfortable – or non-existent – footwear on your big day, it also means you and your guests will be spending a lot of time trying to get it off after the day is done.

-  Intense reflection of the sun. Though it’s true that natural lighting is best for wedding photography, the brightness of the sun's rays bouncing off of the water’s surface can be quite the negative effect on pictures – not to mention, your guests’ eyes!

Decided to go for it? Read our guide to planning a beach wedding and browse real weddings that took place on or near the beach here for inspiration.

Opening photo by Lauren Feddersen Photography