There's nothing like a beautiful beach or headland wedding right? Well in theory it sounds wonderful and it can be the perfect way to celebrate your marriage, however it can also be fraught with danger and disaster.
The thought of a dreamy ceremony surrounded by family and friends, bling wedding sandals, sand in your toes, light breeze brushing your cheek...or was that a hurricane blowing everything everywhere !
Over the past couple of weeks I have conducted 4 weddings in beach locations, each one very different and yet one thing in common, you can't avoid being exposed to the elements.
There are some really important things to SERIOUSLY think about if you are considering a beach or headland ceremony.
The WEATHER - Sounds obvious right? But I'm not talking about rainy, storm lingering, change the venue weather, I'm talking about bright sunny days, not a cloud in the sky, weather.
The first wedding was held on a late summer afternoon in February. We arrived at the headland where the ceremony was to take place. It appeared the most idyllic spot, overlooking the sparkling blue ocean, a lighthouse majestically towered over the coastline. I got out of the car and whoosh.. I was nearly blown over with the wind. Now when I say it was windy, I mean I struggled to get out of the car. The set up was crazy, it was hard work ensuring that the signing table/cloth and chairs didn't become airborne. Not one for tying my hair back, I secured it as tight as I could to ensure I could actually read the ceremony and look in control.
The PA rocked from side to side, the wind in the microphone almost muted my speaking voice and the music being played was carried swiftly on the high knot winds. Enough about me.
When the beautiful bride arrived, she looked stunning. She had spent a lot of money of having her gorgeous long hair perfectly curled and styled and her floral arrangement was manicured. By the time she walked from the wedding car to the headland, her gorgeous style started to unravel. The wind whipped her hair across her face and her photographer must have been having a fit. The small intimate group in attendance also became wind whipped and despite my best efforts to have the bride face the wind to avoid her hair being in her face, it didn't help. The signing of the Marriage register and papers was at least, a huge challenge.
I know the bride and groom loved the ceremony and location, but I couldn't help but feel that the focus was on the wind and not the beautiful vows and promises they made to each other.
The 2nd wedding was pretty much the same as number one only it was earlier in the day. This time the wind was ever present and I became very concerned when the wedding arbor, which was adored with stunning floral arrangements crashed down in the wind 5 minutes before the bride arrived. All went well but the hair do's and sweat covered faces of those in attendance may not have made for pretty pictures of the ceremony.
The other two beautiful weddings were in more protected locations on the water, but with that comes the stifling heat when there is no breeze. The men in suits almost pass out, the elderly try to take cover under shade nearby, the brides makeup has usually run off from the car to the ceremony and well coiffured hair is limp and wet by ceremony end.
TIPS: If you have found the perfect beach wedding location - consider the good weather. Think about a hairstyle that won't look like you've been jogging for an hour. Opt for a park near the water which has shade and is protected. Seriously think about the time of day you have the ceremony, early mornings and on dusk, the wind is often more settled.
As a professional speaker, warmth, sincerity and feeling is crucial to any ceremony, it creates the atmosphere. If you and your guests can't hear over the wind or crashing waves, much of that is lost.