Wedding Planning From Your Vendors’ Point of View {Miniseries} ~ Planning a Beach Wedding

Fundamental Tips To Plan A Great Beach Wedding- By Kirsten Turonis

Beach wedding, OBX, beach planning

Everyone has their idea of a dream wedding and for some it’s their unity in front of the gorgeous background of a deep blue ocean. The calm waters are so peaceful and surreal that it’s no wonder why beach weddings are the most popular destination wedding choice. But planning a wedding on the beach involves very specific steps – here are 4 fundamental steps to take:

Location: Okay, so you brought everybody to a gorgeous beach and your officiant conduct a maestro-like ceremony. What about the reception?

You and your guests will be much more comfortable if ceremony and reception take place close to one another or even at the same location. Several venues (hotels and oceanfrount houses too) offer private beach access, with reception space within walking distance.  Plus, these venues will be much more equipped to address any sudden precipitation.

Catering: A lot of beach weddings are held, naturally, on the beach, in the sand, and if you also plan on having an outdoor reception you will want to get a caterer that knows how to prepare and keep your delicious food from spoiling.

Make sure you get references from the caterer (and check up on them). It’s not intrusive to ask if they found any sand on their food, or if the guests enjoyed their meals.

Photography: This is going to be the biggest day of your life and you know you’ll want to capture these unforgettable moments in the best light. However, shooting under natural light is very tricky, specially if the sky is cloudy (which makes everything greyish).

With digital cameras more and more accessible, brides now have a difficult price range to deal with. Should you go with a cheaper photographer that may not have as beach experience or hire a more expensive pro that can turn every snap into a treasured picture?

beach, wedding, planning, OBX

We see that all the time on the OBX, and one of the most popular Outer Banks weddings photographers  actually consists of a husband and wife team. Their price is competitive with most pros, but you get 2 photographers instead of one. In the end, browse a good amount of their work and make sure they can shoot under any setting.

Music: You will want to have some sort of musical entertainment for you and your guests and when choosing the right band or DJ, make sure you decide on where exactly you’ll want your music played. A lot of these professionals will need space to set up and a means to power their equipment. It’s hard to have a full band right next to the water unless they’re all acoustic

Some pros, however, offer their own generator-backed equipment for a surcharge. It may be worth looking into, but consider what the equipment noise might do to your ceremony too.

Help From The Pros

Beach weddings are indeed beautiful, and they seem simple enough, but it’s important to get the best professionals available. Wedding shows are a great way for those of you who are just starting to plan your big day. Click to see a full list of VA Bridal Shows coming up, of you’re thinking of giving the OBX a try, The Outer Banks Wedding Show is just around the corner. The OBX show actually takes place at the beach, so you just might experience a pre-wedding while you’re there.


Congrats and Good Luck!


“Kirsten Turonis is an Outer Banks local, photography lover, and writer for, your best resource for Outer Banks Weddings


Are you planning a beach wedding?  If you have any questions, please feel free to comment and we will get back to your questions with some answers.


Happy Planning!