3 Tips For Planning A Waterfront Wedding
by Emily Joseph
Whether you already live along the coast or have your sights set on a destination wedding, there’s no questioning the ambiance of a wedding on the water. Let’s face it, you have an amazing built-in backdrop. However, while most of the logistics mirror a traditional venue, a waterfront setting comes with a few additional factors.
Choose Your Setting and Theme
A waterfront wedding can mean multiple things: a luxury yacht, a sandy beach or a restaurant overlooking the water. Depending on your personal preferences, location and time of year, you must narrow down the specific setting - and book fast. Keep in mind that your location and the time of year will dictate both the venue availability and scenery for your day. For example, in February, an event venue in Tampa will likely provide sunny, breezy weather versus a wedding in Boston, where the forecast might dip below freezing.
Next comes the fun part: decor. While many brides select a theme for their big day - maybe even an aptly themed nautical wedding - the beauty of a wedding on the water is simplicity. The interior of a ship provides a pristine foundation for flower arrangements and subtle decorations. The color and exact placement is up to you, and many brides choose to use flowers to accent the aisle during the ceremony.
Plan For Rain
Regardless of the body of water - the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River - plan for rain. Even if rain isn’t typical that time of year, plan for rain. No matter if you have all the lucky pennies and four-leaf clovers in the world, plan for rain.
If you do that, the worst thing that can happen is you end up with a sunny, cloud-free wedding reception in Florida. And even if you don’t, your worst-case scenario on the waterfront is still going to be a step above other venues. Rain means the chance of a rainbow, an excuse to be more cozy, the opportunity for photos with umbrellas (an underappreciated prop) and even good marriage luck.
Keep Your Guests Comfortable
First, if you’re choosing a destination wedding, as 24 percent of couples do, keep in mind the additional planning needed. While guests will spend 3-4 days at your destination, brides and grooms should expect to spend a week total there, arriving at least three days before the big day to finalize decisions. Put together a welcome bag for your guests with a suggested itinerary of popular things to do in the area. This is a great way to introduce your friends and family to the special location.
Then, consider the logistics of the venue and how to make your guests feel at home. For instance, if you choose to have a beach ceremony, custom flip flops are a great party favor to pass out to guests beforehand. And depending on the time of day, a yacht wedding may call for some extra hats and sunglasses. In general, a relaxed dress policy will keep your guests more relaxed and likely to stick around for dancing.
These three tips, along with your standard go-to advice for food, photography, flowers and music, will keep the bridezilla at bay. Just imagining the beauty of a ceremony or reception on the water is enough to get started planning—engaged or not.
Emily Joseph is a freelance writer for Yacht StarShip, providers of Starship cruises through the Tampa Bay waterways and wedding ceremonies on their three luxury yachts, providing exemplary award-winning service with one of a kind views.