Beach Wedding on Kauai – I do?

When brides and grooms picture a destination wedding, the idea of a serene, breezy beach inevitably comes to mind. What could be more memorable than sharing this most intimate ceremony with those you love while the sun sets over the ocean and the waves ease in and out of the shore. There seems nothing more picturesque. Still, before you book your flight, you want to be completely aware of exactly what you are getting yourself into. With all of the benefits of planning a beach wedding, there are also costs. As a seal, I’ve attended my share of beach weddings, and I have a few pros and cons to share that may help in planning your big day on the sands of Kauai.

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Beaches are Forces of Nature
That which makes beaches so appealing is also what makes them so unpredictable. The dynamic nature of a beach – the combination of rolling waves, soft sand, and expansive ocean – is endlessly mesmerizing. On the right day, there is nothing more romantic – believe me, I’ve shared many a romantic swim with a fellow seal. However, on the wrong day the ocean can be frightening and the beach can be miserable. Planning a beach wedding requires an awareness of weather patterns that can still change up to the day of your ceremony. Setting up a “plan B” will allow you to rest assured that, regardless of rain or shine, your ceremony and party will still go on without a hitch.
In sum
- Pro: The exoticism of the beach is picturesque
- Con: The exoticism of the beach is unpredictable

Beaches Provide Their Own Soundtrack and Backdrop
For the money-saving couple, the beach is ideal. Who needs a manufactured backdrop or soundtrack when you have Mother Nature on your side? Let the subtle ebb and flow of the waves set the mood for your ceremony; it will put you and your guests at ease. The beach and ocean also provide a beautiful background to gaze at while walking down the aisle or making vows. Not to mention your photos will be fabulous regardless of the time of day – you might even see me in the background! However, while a nice breeze adds to the ambience, a strong wind can be distracting and will make it difficult for your guests to hear the ceremony. Once again, checking weather patterns beforehand can be a great help in planning your wedding date.
In sum
- Pro: Beaches provide a natural soundtrack and backdrop
- Con: Beaches can be windy making it difficult to hear ceremony

Beaches Are in Abundance
The island of Kauai is ready and willing to share their beaches with you so acquiring a permit is relatively simple and cost-effective. (For information on reservation and paperwork, go to our post Getting Married on Kauai: The Perfect Destination Wedding under “Paperwork”) If you are planning last-minute, scheduling a beach is going to be much easier than scheduling another venue. Although beaches are plentiful, there are certain regulations. For example, you cannot bring chairs or any other structures on the beach which means your guests must either stand or sit on blankets. For some guests, walking barefoot on the beach seems ideal, for others – especially those who struggle walking – it may be a hassle. Planning a ceremony on the beach but further inland from the shore could be a good compromise.
In sum:
- Pro: Beaches are easy to reserve and cheap
- Con: Beaches do not allow chairs for your guests

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Considering all the pros and cons of planning a beach wedding, perhaps the most enticing thing a beach wedding has to offer is intimacy. By nature, beach weddings encourage small groups of those dearest to you. Plus, if you plan your wedding on the beach, I can attend! I’ll even dress up for the occasion. With the ocean waves on one side, your friends and family on the other, and your love right in front of you – there may be nothing more perfect.