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June 04, 2020 3 min read

Deciding on your venue is one of the most significant steps to take when planning your wedding. There are always traditional locations, like churches or historic homes, but your choices aren’t limited. Brides get creative and find new places to get married every year, especially when they want a waterfront celebration.

Water weddings are always popular because they provide a gorgeous, peaceful setting to say your vows. There's something inherently romantic about the beach or lakeside, but how does the location change how you plan?

Check out this guide if you want to have a water wedding. These seven points will help you figure out the logistics of your big day.

1. What’s the Theme?

Most weddings have a theme so that deciding on decor is easier for the bride. You might choose certain flowers or colors to guide your choices, but a water theme could help form your vision. Ceremonies on the beach invoke images of seashells and marine life. Lakefront affairs might use a boating idea.

As you browse venue options, see if any make you think of specific motifs that would make your planning easier.

2. Do You Have the Budget?

Your budget is one of the most crucial wedding planning factors to keep in mind. Depending on where you live and what your income looks like, you may have a tight budget that limits which venues are a possibility. Recent research shows that the average wedding costs $24,723, but that price varies by state. 

Make a list of venues you love and their rental costs. A ceremony on the beach might be cheaper than one inside a seaside mansion or historic home. You could also find a good deal on a riverside venue during the off-season months compared to hot months when businesses upcharge for the increased demand.

3. Have You Accounted for Wind Speeds?

You want to look great in your wedding photos, but wind can ruin your hair or blow your decor away. Water weddings often deal with blustery breezes because the wind picks up speed over open water instead of slowing down when it hits trees and buildings on land. 

The best way to handle a windy wedding is to visit your venue in the months before your ceremony and study the average weather in that area. If you visit and can't keep your hair out of your face or learn that it's a traditionally windy area all year long, you may need to choose a different waterfront spot.

4. What Are the Benefits?

Water weddings are gorgeous and romantic, and they can also help your mental health. In terms of the psychological effects of water, it can reduce stress and even improve confidence. If you’re feeling the pressure of planning, that’s a small upside to keep in mind.

Don’t feel nervous as you move forward with the process of wedding planning. In the presence of water, you can trust you’ll feel like your best self.

5. What Will Your Guests Need?

Most of the time, waterfront venues are outside. Outdoor weddings aren't impossible to pull off, but they do require some strategic planning to keep your guests comfortable.

Stock up on sunscreen and paper fans so that your loved ones can stay cool. Add citronella candles to table settings to keep pesky bugs away. You can also set up a hydration station complete with various beverages and fruit slices.

6. Is the Timing Right?

When do you want your ceremony to begin? Midday celebrations won't need to worry about the timing because the sun will be overhead, but that changes for evening affairs. Nothing blocks the sunset when you're outdoors, which means your guests might have to stare into glaring rays to watch you exchange vows.

Visit your venue ahead of time to see where you can best position the altar so that your guests aren't looking into direct sun. Try to position your seating so that the light is behind your guests. This setup will also improve the lighting in your photos.

7. Do You Have a Backup Plan?

Every outdoor bride should remember that there's no guarantee of good weather on your big day. Anything could happen in the hours leading up to your ceremony, so create a backup plan in case an unexpected weather system moves through. Supplies like an outdoor tent or backup indoor venue could save the day.

A Wonderful Water Wedding

If your heart wants a water wedding, go for it. You should have the celebration of your dreams, so use these tips to make planning easy. Consider your budget, altar placement and a backup plan so that you're prepared for anything when it's time to walk down the aisle.