Image: via Wedding Chicks
Flip flops, slip slops, jandals, thongs (seriously, Australia, that’s just wrong). I’m a fan. I pretty much live in flip flops all summer (I would do all winter if it didn’t mean a touch of frostbite) and ever since I discovered them a couple of years ago, Havaianas are so my fave. They are just the comfiest shoes ever, and as much as I love me a good pair of Louboutins, if I think of what I’d like to be wearing to a beach wedding, it’s Havaianas every time. They’re also what I’d like to be wearing at the end of the night on the dancefloor (and following a couple of bad experiences, they usually are). So I was super pleased when I found out that the good folks at Havaianas have a fun range of flops just for weddings. And even better, they’re sharing advice for beach weddings today as well! Planning a beach wedding is fun, but it does have challenges that other weddings do not. There’s a lot to think about to ensure everything goes off smoothly, so here are Havaianas’ top tips for the perfect beach wedding.
1. Visit the beach at different times to see how busy it gets
If you’re planning to take your vows on a public beach (especially if it’s a weekend or public holiday), make sure you don’t make the mistake of scouting it out late one afternoon or early morning off-season without finding out how busy it may be on your big day. Nothing worse than ceremony photos full of curious bystanders! Find the most intimate spot you can, or consider getting married on a week day.
2. Have a Plan B
Yes, we all hope the day dawns with a cloudless sky, but just in case, you should always have a Plan B (or C, if necessary). Arrange an alternative indoor ceremony and reception venue, and be sure to find out exactly how much time will be needed to set up so that if you have to make the call on the morning of, you don’t leave it too late. Put your alternative venue on the invitation, so that guests know where to go, and to avoid spending the morning of your wedding making frantic phonecalls.
3. Get the appropriate permissions
Depending on where you’re planning your ceremony, you may need to buy a license or organise permission with the local council or municipality. Do your research and complete paperwork well ahead of time to avoid any last minute complications. If you’re planning a wedding in another country, consider enlisting the help of a local wedding planner to help you navigate any bureaucratic nightmares. `
4. Sand + high heels = disaster
Walking on sand in high heels is almost impossible, so you’ll want to make sure that you have beach-ready footwear for your walk along the sandy aisle. Havaianas have a special line of pretty bridal options that are perfect for this. Don’t forget to warn your guests to do the same – or why not provide baskets of flip flops for them to wear or basins where they can wash their feet? If any of your guests have disabilities, you may want to consider temporary decking.
5. Time and tide wait for no man
Check tides as early as possible and schedule your ceremony with a bit of time to spare so that you don’t end up floating out to sea even if you’re running a little late. Choose the time of your ceremony carefully, taking tide, heat and how busy the beach is into account.
6. Beat the heat
Keep your cool by providing parasols, beach umbrellas, or some other shade for your guests. Keep the ceremony short and make sure everyone has water to sip on. Wind is another potential problem – be sure to seat guests with the breeze at their backs.
7. Have a relaxed dresscode
Most beach brides dream of a chilled out, toes-in-the-sand, boho bash, and your guests will love you for it! Think cool summer dresses for the ladies, no jacket and tie required for the men – do include this information on your invites. The boys of the wedding party will be especially pleased to be able to wear their flip flops – be sure to get them matching pairs for some fun photos!
8. Be heard
It can be difficult to hear the sound of music or voices over crashing waves, so a PA system is usually a good investment. Your venue and co-ordinator can recommend the best way to make this work for your ceremony.
9. Dress the aisle
Because a beach is quite a wide open space, it’s useful to create a focal point for your ceremony, including an aisle, and some kind of altar or chuppah. There are some really gorgeous (and natural) ways to do this, and your photographer will thank you for it! Not that you have to have a straight aisle setup – consider a circular or spiral aisle for a more intimate ceremony (do take sand level into account however). On a similar note, make sure your ceremony area is clearly signposted, or transport guests in a group from a central location.
10. Hit the dancefloor
If you’re planning to party Lionel Richie style (all night long) then remember that the temperature often drops on or near the beach, and be sure to give your guests snuggly blankets or pashminas to wrap up in. And, of course, you’ll want comfortable footwear for the dancefloor, even if you’ve been wearing smart heels for the reception – keep a pair of flip flops at the ready, or do as celeb bride Ivanka Trump did and give a pair to each of your guests as a favour.
You can find Havaianas’ fab bridal range here – or check out the customisation option to create a unique look for you and your wedding party.