Dreams made of sun and sand: Beach Wedding

A seemingly brilliant alternative to the elaborate extravagance that surrounds a traditional wedding, is a beach affair. A textbook beach wedding would have one imagining pristine gold-kissed sands lined with palm trees swaying in obedience to a cerulean-blue sea; a gentle breeze blowing, kissing your lips with crisp salty air with the setting sun as a witness to your big day. In reality however, things are often very different with strong winds tousling your hair and affecting your outfit, passersby and tourists thronging to get a sneak peek at what’s happening and the sun and briny air ruining one’s make-up. So if you’re thinking about getting hitched in Goa, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Dress appropriately

While selecting your wedding dress, keep in mind that it’s preferable to have something simple and easy to maneuver as opposed to a traditional heavy and elaborate gown. Walking on the beach in itself can be a task and trying to do so with a dress weighing you down will be a nightmarish walk down the aisle. While selecting the fabric of your dress, something light and flowy would be preferable, since materials like brocade or lace tend to get stuck or pick up fragments along the way. Heavily beaded dresses ought to be avoided as well and instead go with light airy fabrics like silk chiffon or organza.

Pair your beautiful dress with a glamorous pair of flats or sandals. Wedged heels could also work as they offer more support when standing on uneven sand.

Simple is the new smart

When considering what hairstyle to go with, it may be wise to go with an elegant updo that will allow you to go footloose till the wee hours of the morning. If however you would like to wear your hair more naturally, do invest in a stylist who would be able to manage your look all day as the humidity, breeze and salinity could ruin your look on the big day.

Considering simpler alternatives to a long veil since it is quite difficult to manage on a beachfront. Something vintage and whimsical with a Bohemian twist such as a delicate wreath made of flowers and seashells, headbands, hair-combs or embellished fascinators are elegant options.

Inform your guests

Your guests would need to be dressed appropriately as well, so make sure that they know the affair is happening on the beach and not just at a hotel along the shore. In addition one can provide a few necessities in the welcome kit, such as sunscreen lotion, water bottles, fans, wipes and maybe even a pair of shades or flip-flops.

Get one with nature

Have a minimalistic approach to the  décor and embrace the beauty and serenity of the natural layout. Your colour theme could be inspired by the ocean and sands, using natural elements such as sea-shells, rocks and seaweed ornately, with an occasional spray of flowers to add a pop of colour.

Permits and ordinances

Make sure that you fill out all the necessary paperwork permitting you to hold your ceremony on the beach. Also be sure to strictly adhere to the sound restrictions. In case you are looking to have a private beach function, check for the possibility of obtaining a permit wherein an area of the beach can be cordoned off. Also in order to install a mandap or a gazebo, chairs, aisle runners etc a special license would need to be obtained after paying a certain fee. If all this seems like too much work, the best option would be to go through a hotel that owns a private beach. This will ensure that privacy is maintained and all the paperwork is taken care of.

Cover all bases

Ensure that sufficient shade is provided by means of canopies so that your guests aren’t sweaty and distracted during the ceremony. The canopies could also double up as a shelter in case of any unforeseen circumstances. A station could be set up for your guests to change into flip flops or something more comfortable in order to enable them to dance the night away. Also, make sure to provide sturdy seating that won’t be affected by strong winds and plenty of refreshments to keep everyone happy and hydrated.

Timing is everything

Ensure that you have a timeline in place and that someone is kept in charge of making sure that things go according to plan. Lighting is fundamentally important, so time your ceremony accordingly, such that it ends well before the sun sets, enabling your photographer to seal your vows with romantic pictures.

Loud and clear

The roar and crash of the surf coupled with squawking seagulls may end up drowning out your wedding vows.  Beaches don’t come equipped with power outlets, so ensure that a portable power station is arranged to provide sufficient amplification so that all your near and dear ones gathered can hear you say ‘I do’. Liven up the party with music courtesy your own DJ or one man band, but keep in mind the power required as also the sound restrictions.

Always be prepared

When you’re at the beach, you can expect it to be windy, so be prepared to secure anything that could possible fly away. If you have a detailed schedule or ceremony program, menu card or napkins, ensure that they are weighed down with pebbles, shells or perhaps even driftwood. Let your creativity unfurl when coming up with ideas to windproof your beach wedding. Carry bug spray in the event that there are any creepy crawlies or flying insects that show up at the party. The latter part of the evening can get quite chilly, so you might want to keep a box with warm woolies and shawls for your guests to use.

Make sure to find out if there are washrooms close to the beach that you can use and if not, hire a portable one for the event. Last but not the least, ensure that a back-up plan is in place in case the weather plays up. Have a tent or an indoor venue ready, if push comes to shove.