GUEST POST | Covering all your bases in advanced for a beach wedding from an experienced wedding planner

Hi Friends! Today I have the pleasure of having James Barnes, a wedding planner expert, give us a few tips on planning your dream wedding at a beach location, like Puerto Vallarta. Read on to learn his helpful tips and make sure you share with a bride who is planning her beach dream wedding!

Many women dream about having their dream weddings on a beach, however, this also means that beach weddings are not like regular weddings. As such, brides who want to get married on the beach should think about some specific details when planning their beach wedding.

From my experience as a wedding planner, I can say that these weddings, and details, require timely planning and arrangement so that way, brides and grooms can avoid potential stress and mess. 

So, here’s what I suggest to my clients who want to get married on a beach. 

 Set the dress code

When it comes to traditional weddings, people already know what to wear. They either wear smart or semi-formal clothes. It’s known that no one comes to a traditional wedding reception dressed in shorts. 


However, a beach wedding could cause some confusion for many guests. Some people might still think that they should wear a tuxedo or high heels and others might dress too informally and wear bikinis at your wedding reception. 

To settle any confusion, I recommend that you set a certain dress code so that you can inform your guests on what to wear and what is appropriate attire for your specific wedding. You can include these helpful  instructions in the invitation card, as well. It helps guests know how to arrive dressed properly for your wedding ceremony, cocktail, and reception.


 Plan the cocktail hour

I have seen many different warm-up arrangements before the wedding ceremony as a wedding planner. Some couples don’t like to let their guests wait for too long. So, they don’t leave too much time for the cocktail hour. While others want their invitees to mingle and spend some time together before the ceremony. 


I believe that your decision should take into account on the type of guests, location, and overall feel and look of your wedding.. However, I would always encourage my clients to plan a cocktail hour for a beach wedding to set the mood and allow guests to enjoy the sites and sounds of the beach you have chosen.

You can arrange so many beautiful fish hor d’oeuvre and drinks for such an occasion. Don’t forget the cocktails, of course!


When your guests get into the right mood for the wedding, the wedding reception can begin. 

 Find the place for valuables

Organizing an outdoor wedding ceremony always raises some safety issues. The brides and grooms for whom I have planned beach weddings have expressed concerns over valuables. 

I have found that finding a secure place for valuables like purses, cameras, and other items guests have on hand with the venue manager. They can suggest or even have a special place for such things so nothing gets left or goes missing.


For instance, if you’re going to have the ceremony at a beach bar, you can install a safe inside the bar. This is where you can keep the rings before the wedding. Also, your guests can leave some of their personal belongings there. 

Even then, you should find a trustworthy person who can stand by the safe during the ceremony. Hiring a professional security officer is another practical way to keep the eye on the valuables. 


And if you’re organizing your beach wedding where you don’t know anyone, avoid leaving valuables in plain sight.

Ensure accommodation for the guests

Since most of us don’t live on the beach, organizing a beach wedding usually includes some travel. What’s more, it also includes providing proper accommodation for your guests. 

Having guests stay at the same place where the wedding is being held can be really convenient.

Having guests stay at the same place where the wedding is being held can be really convenient.

If possible, find a venue that also has rooms and suites for your invitees. That way, you’ll kill two birds with one stone (or a pebble from the beach). 

On the one hand, it’s convenient since all of the wedding activities will happen in the same place. I also know, in my experience, that many couples don’t like guests having to drive after the festivities or having to find transport to another location. This way, you and your guests are in the same location for the duration of your wedding.


On the other, you might be able to negotiate lower prices for the venue and the accommodation. Many managers of venues are ready to modify their offers if you opt for the whole package. 

Arrange the post-wedding period 

Brides and grooms sometimes forget to plan the initial period after the wedding. This is an important thing to do because it takes some planning to cover all the bases here, as well. 


For starters, set your honeymoon budget. Many couples use money from gifts for their honeymoons. My philosophy is somewhat different. I think that you should travel with the money that you already have so you’re not betting on a budget that you might not reach. The money from the wedding can then be used when you get back from your honeymoon.

Moreover, choose one or more places that you’d like to visit. Think about spending a few days with your best man and your maid of honor or even a group of friends. For instance, the Annex events complex has all sorts of wedding and post-wedding deals for their guests. 


After that, you can continue your honeymoon and your journey alone, as a newly wedded couple. 

If possible, buy all the tickets in advance. Also, I think that you should be straightforward with your guests on this travel. So, let them know what expenses you’re going to cover and what they’ll pay alone. 



When I talk to my clients about a beach wedding, they see that it looks different in practice than on TV.  Since it includes several more features than a traditional wedding, it requires different planning, as well. 

What’s important is to inform all the guests in advance about the type of celebration, costs, accommodations, and general planning that guests will have to either pay for or arrange on their own.

Finally, you should decide before the wedding how and when you’ll travel after the ceremony. All these things will ensure that you organize your beach wedding in a relaxed and breezy way. 

Gust post author James Barnes is an experienced wedding organizer and blogger at He specialized in organizing outdoor wedding events. When he isn’t writing about weddings and marital life, David usually goes swimming or playing squash.

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