Michell é brant Celebrant

exclusively uniting only the coolest couples in the world

Beach Wedding Blunders – a Celebrant’s point of view

The ceremony I performed at Tallebudgera Creek on the beach in February was the ultimate example of beach weddings errors.
While I was driving thereI was so pleased. Mother nature was on my side that day, I thought. The sun was out, the water was warm, the groom and groomsmen were smiling.

Beautiful weddings had set up a most amazing ceremony decor.  

There was hardly any wind, the ocean was quiet, and there were no birds in sight. Basically no noise for my PA to compete with. 

 
It was going to be a beautiful beach wedding.
Well, that is what I tell myself at the beginning of every beach wedding!
Beach weddings are beautiful, but they bring with it a tonne of problems that really need serious consideration before you choose a location for your big day.
This is not to say “don’t do it”, just that you will need to think carefully about every component, potential risks and certainly contingency plans. 
At 2 PM, although still, the temperature hit a record 39° in the beating hot sun. There was no shade, and no breeze.  
The guests were left with no option but to huddle under a small tree in the background while they waited for the bride. Many were elderly, and getting cranky and thirsty. 

No one was certain as to whether or not to take their shoes off in the sand. What is the correct etiquette?

That decision was made for them, because the sand also hit a record 39°!
While I waited with the groomsmen and the crowd huddled in their patch of cool shade, we waited, and waited… And waited.

I got word that the limousine, driving the bride, had been delayed. In short, she was 45 minutes late!
Have you ever stood in the blazing sun in February, on a beach, in formal clothes, and no shade?

I don’t recommend it. Within the first 10 minutes my make up had dissolved and melted down my face onto my neck and settled along the collar of my shirt. Small droplets of perspiration popped up on my back and dripped down my spine, all the way into my underpants.

 My clothes began to feel damp. The groom and groomsmen were sweating bullets. The guests were fanning themselves with any fanlike item they could find.  

Some of the guests were late too. It turns out that going to the beach on a hot Saturday in February is quite a popular pastime for the general public. Therefore , no carparks. Guests had to park in the next suburb and walk. 
As I was preparing my PA system and microphone, the perspiration on my hands was so intense that I dropped the microphone into the sand.

Microphones and sand are not friends! I was heartbroken for the loss of my dear little mic. Lucky I have a back up.
When the bride finally appeared, there was a sigh of relief from the crowd. But understandably, very few of them wanted to sit in the designated seats for fear of heatstroke. Her dress had a train about a meter long. By the time she reached me, she was dragging about 20 kg of sand inside the petticoats of her gorgeous gown. 
I shortened the ceremony so that my audience would not be tortured for any longer which was appreciated. 

Nevertheless, an ambulance was called shortly after as one of the elderly aunts fainted just after the wedding kiss.
All in all, the couple were happily married, but the beach wedding in itself was a complete nightmare. Some might say that Mother nature had her way after all, and for reasons out of our control, things did not go to plan.
But I disagree. There were several ways in which this wedding could have been turned around into successful and enjoyable event.
Contingency plans – “extreme weather conditions”, whether it be heat or rain, should be taken seriously, and if the weather forecast suggests an uncomfortable environment, you should decide which venue to hold your event. It may not be what you pictured originally but it will be safest for everyone involved. 
Preparation – your guests need water. Prepare an esky with small bottles to hand out to guests should they need it. 

Consider a bucket full of thongs/flip flops. This will mean that ladies with heels can simply slip on a temporary pair of shoes. 

Shade is important. Discuss with your stylist the options of umbrellas and marquees.
Parking – go to the beach on a Saturday, and note the number of available carparks. Then inform your guests of the best locations to park.
Remember that your marriage celebrant is a person too! Carrying a PA system, paperwork and sometimes table & chairs, I have often struggled across the beach. Ask a friend to be in charge of looking out for the wedding celebrant and helping them with their equipment. 

Dress appropriately! If you have divine images of flowing gowns and men in tuxedos, you might get a rude shock on the day!

It comes down to being sensible. Pinterest may boast a host of wedding photos that you dream of. But in reality isn’t it better for you and your guests to have an unforgettable experience (for the right reasons) than to chase an almost impossible dream?

By Michelle Anderson Celebrant

http://idocelebrant.com/
0400207913

Advertisements
Leave a comment »