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Beach Wedding Location Ideas!

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Feb 18th, 2014, 12:46 PM
  #1
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Beach Wedding Location Ideas!

I need some guidance for a small (25-40 guests) beach wedding. Ideally I would like to keep it "affordable", not exceeding $10,000. I'm not having any luck finding a resort or beach that would accommodate a "private" wedding. Any suggestions on location?
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Feb 18th, 2014, 12:54 PM
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Your post doesn't say what locations you're considering, so it's hard to give advice. But...

I'm getting married in Maui in October of this year. Beach weddings in Hawaii now require a permit, are limited to < 25 in size, and there is no guarantee of privacy since beaches are public. For that reason, I've opted to get married at Merriman's instead in Kapalua. $500 for ceremony location fee, $5k minimum food/beverage, + extra for everything else (officiant, music, flowers, tax/gratuity, etc). The ceremony will occur before the restaurant opens for the evening, which pretty much ensures privacy (with a view).
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Feb 18th, 2014, 01:04 PM
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How far in advance did you have to book? Hawaii, the Caribbean, and U.S Virgin Islands have all caught my attention. Id like to stay somewhat close to the U.S for traveling expenses.
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Feb 18th, 2014, 01:29 PM
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What month?
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Feb 18th, 2014, 01:50 PM
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Congratulations beanweb24! I'm so happy for you!!!

To the topic of this question: Places I have vacationed that offer weddings on the beach include Puerto Vallarta Mexico, Cabo San Lucas Mexico, Honolulu/Waikiki Hawaii, Maui Hawaii, and Negril Jamaica.
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Feb 18th, 2014, 01:55 PM
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I'd like to have the wedding between August and October. How is Negril Jamaica? I've heard a few things but not much to go off of.
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Feb 18th, 2014, 02:03 PM
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"Id like to stay somewhat close to the U.S for traveling expenses."

Where are you and your guests traveling from? Does it have to be outside the Continental US?
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Feb 18th, 2014, 03:17 PM
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It does not have to be outside the continental U.S; the wedding party is traveling from Kansas and Georgia.
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Feb 18th, 2014, 03:25 PM
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Negril Jamaica is very beautiful. There are some nice resorts (both AI and non) and also more rustic places, graden cabins, etc. It is a bit off the beaten path, but not terribly so (it's a 90-min drive from the Montego Bay airport). Not knowing your group, some people are less than comfortable traveling in Jamaica.
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Feb 18th, 2014, 05:19 PM
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Thanks, Suze! I'm pretty excited.

JeanaA - the wedding coordinator said that most people book their dates 4-5 months in advance. But when I called in January to reserve for an October wedding, the first 4 dates I suggested were already booked! So I went with my fifth choice, still in October (a Thursday), and had that locked in by mid-Jan. And I already sent out my save the dates...invites to go soon.

I will be thrilled if people come, but don't expect them to given the distance/cost. I'm also planning for 25-40 guests, though a lot more people seem to be coming than I originally planned!

October is low season, so lodging is cheaper. For example, some condos I'm looking at are $299/night in October but go for $675/night during whale season. Flights are usually still pricey, but deals can be had, miles can be used, etc.
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Feb 18th, 2014, 06:20 PM
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I know destination weddings are big, but I wonder about the trend. I should think a location closer to home and/or dear to the hearts of the couple & family would be so much nicer and, in particular, make it possible for those you love to be there without the stress of distance & expense. To me, the honeymoon is the getting away part, not the wedding. It sounds to me like an old jet-set inclination brought into current fashion as a gimmick for the travel industry. "Budget" and "destination wedding" seem not to belong in the same sentence and a simple, romantic, close-to-home ceremony followed by an exotic getaway for the couple seems so much easier and thoughtful, not to mention sexier. I'm obviously having trouble with the whole concept.
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Feb 18th, 2014, 06:39 PM
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I think something simple, romantic, and close to home is sexier, easier, and more thoughtful to YOU. So I would recommend that YOU not have a destination wedding.
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Feb 18th, 2014, 07:03 PM
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Indeed, stating the obvious.

To continue, given the lack of a destination that's compelling her, as well as a budget, I believe simplifying might be a concept worth revisiting. I fully realize the important person here, JeanaA, has no doubt considered all the options and likes the idea of a beach wedding. But dividing things into the traditional 2 parter, ceremony then honeymoon, may solve several problems inherent in the long-distance planning difficulties, including cost.

Another thought, Southern California has some beautiful beach locations. Indeed, the entire west coast. But it is hard to make suggestions with only "beach" to go on.
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Feb 18th, 2014, 09:18 PM
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As far as the destination of a home wedding goes my fiancé and I both ruled that out because it would appear we would have a wedding party of 500+ guests. Maybe an exaggeration but we are very private in our love life and wish to have a ceremony that resembles us making the journey from individuals to a united couple. I'm going to school for marine biology and we both share an extreme passion for water (surfing, kayaking, etc). It only made sense for us as a couple to start a new chapter of our lives in our favorite setting: the beach. As for the honeymoon, we are planning on taking a year to travel across the world; thus the wanting to stay on a budget for the wedding. If he had it his way we would get married in Vegas and spend all the money on traveling, but we compromised for a small private wedding. As far as the "beach", like I said we are wanting a very private wedding and are wishing for a destination that aids in that desire. And thank you so much for mentioning the planning ahead for booking (time if year, cost, etc!) It seems like I'm planning so much the simple stuff escapes me! I guess to narrow down the beach idea, we want something that isn't on a resort with 2,000 rooms available. Something very simple, elegant, and secluded.
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Feb 18th, 2014, 09:27 PM
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With that information it all makes perfect sense.

Have you ruled out the West Coast? If not, I'll give it some thought. Along with "simple, elegant & secluded", would rustic be appropriate or not?
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Feb 18th, 2014, 09:50 PM
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For some, simplifying IS having a destination wedding. It's really not that hard to plan. And not everyone wants a "traditional 2 parter." I have a thousand reasons to avoid tradition and have a destination wedding, as I'm sure JeanaA does, and I don't think we need to debate why or why not a destination wedding makes sense. It makes sense for some, and not for others.

JeanaA, this article is a few months old, but well worth consideration when you start thinking about making decisions on where to spend your money for a wedding.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/13/living...rticle_sidebar

We're spending our money on food and beverage primarily. We don't want a photographer (SUPER pricey - about $4k for a wedding package - seriously!) and instead will use a family member who takes lovely photos. We're having my fiance's sister be the officiant instead of paying for one. No favors. Music will be reserved to a duo (ukelele and guitar) that is $350/hour (and I reserved for 2 hours). Flowers are one thing I'm def spending some money on (to dress up tables) and that will be between $1000 and $1500.

For clothing, you might want to think more casual for beach wedding. Tommy Bahama has a collection for beach weddings for men. For women you can be more creative. I have two dresses that I've bought from TB, and just deciding which one works best. I love that either option is under $150 instead of the $1200 I spent on a dress the first time around (yup, this is my second wedding).

http://www.tommybahama.com/TBG/Women...Maxi+Dress.jsp

http://www.tommybahama.com/TBG/Swim_...Maxi+Dress.jsp

Of course you mention "elegant," and neither of those dresses probably fits the bill. I also bought and loved this dress but returned it, as it's just a little too formal for what I'm looking for. But I think it's beautiful for a beach wedding and still is pretty budget friendly.

http://www.anntaylor.com/silk-floral...aultColor=0900

Invitations can also be expensive. I love the stuff at Serendipity Beyond Design and got this save the date:

http://www.serendipitybeyonddesign.c...-the-date-maui

...and I'll get invites from her, too. Planning on spending <$500 total for the "paperwork."

There's lots you can do to keep the budget somewhat reasonable.

Be careful of hurricane season if you're considering Caribbean...though of course you might be able to get a "deal" that way.

Other beach options to consider:

* Renting a private home in Sayulita, Mexico (outside Puerto Vallarta) -- really some AMAZING homes suitable for a wedding that are very affordable (note, though, that you will incur a fee of $1200? for getting your license translated from Spanish to English as part of a marriage in Mexico)
* Dreams in Puerto Vallarta - all inclusive resort, great more private beach, have seen a wedding take place here and it was lovely. Like Sayulita, there are some pretty great private rentals.
* Puerto Rico?
* Cozumel? Secrets is another all inclusive and pretty nice.
* Think outside the box...large oceanfront rental homes can be a great option - just hire a caterer and celebrate "at home"

MmePerdu has a great suggestion in SoCA as well. I live in Seattle and there are some gorgeous beaches along the Oregon coast, but I feel like August/September is high season, so lodging may be harder to get and at a higher premium. Even East Coast (think Outer Banks, etc) has some lovely beaches.

FWIW, I like your fiance's suggestion of eloping and spending the money on your round-the-world trip. That sounds amazing!

We're skipping a honeymoon and will have a mini-moon (3 nights) in Maui after the wedding. Will save a grander vacation for next year when our wallets have recovered a bit.
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Feb 18th, 2014, 10:06 PM
  #17
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Beanweb24 you have been a god sent! Honestly! I will go through all of those suggestions and see which one we think fits us the best! All wonderful ideas. Thank you so much!!!!
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Feb 24th, 2014, 06:37 AM
  #18
 
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Sanibel Island or Captiva Island FL on the Gulf -- fly directly into Ft. Myers; lots of beachfront accommodations without high-rises. Many restaurants, biking trails, few roads, essentially residential. Of course CA, other Caribbean islands, Hawaii, are options, but thinking that you are US based with guest list from same. Check their websites.
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