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A Guide for Beach Weddings

Posted Oct 01 2008 5:02pm

There are a number of things to consider when planning a destination wedding including location, photography, the price for you and your soon-to-be spouse and the price for your guests. A destination wedding, although still a wedding, has many idiosyncrasies that need to be paid attention to.

The first thing to focus on are marriage laws.

Laws vary from county to country so it’s recommended that you research this first and before you become too attached to a particular location. Here are a few popular beach wedding destinations and their laws.

beach_weddingsAruba: To get married in Aruba you need to send in the proper paperwork at least 14 days in advance. All civil ceremonies must take place at the Civil Town House in Oranjestad, but a religious or other ceremony can be held elsewhere.

Mexico: Here foreigners are allowed to be married but it must be done by a Registro Civil officer in a civil ceremony. A series of documents and steps need to be taken—for example, blood tests and applications—so be sure to gather the necessary documents before you arrive in Mexico.

Greece: In order to get married here you have to get special permission from the president of the community you choose.

Jamaica: You need to be in the country for at least two working days before you tie the knot.

Florida: Like some other states, Florida offers a state-sanctioned marriage preparation course. Although it’s not required, it does reduce the marriage license fee and decreases your wait time to receive the actual license.  The wait time is typically three days, and there are no out-of-the-ordinary requirements.

Second, think long and hard about average temperatures, precipitation, and time of sunset.

A search on will give you average temps and inches of precipitation for each month. Although its romantic to have a beach side wedding, nothing is more disappointing than having to postpone your nuptials. Choose a location during a time when your chances for good weather are high.

Also, consider the sun light for your wedding. You want your photographer to take photos with optimal lighting. Although sunsets are beautiful, they may be harder to capture.

Third, it’s not just your budget that might be breaking.

Yes, weddings are expensive and no matter how hard you try you may spend thousands instead of hundreds. Just make sure to be sensitive to the budgets of your guests. Just because the wedding package in your chosen destination is less expensive than another, it doesn’t mean it will be affordable for your grandmother. Always double and triple check plane ticket costs, hotel rates, and food expenses before you agree to anything.

Last, three rules all brides and grooms must follow.

There are some rules that apply to all weddings whether it takes place on a beach or not.

1. Wear a dress that you can stand to be in for 12 hours.

2. When in doubt, don’t invite your crazy relatives and friends.

3. Last but definitely not least, say yes like you mean it.

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