I’m doing a beach ceremony in March.
Neither my Fiance or I was much interested in hiring live musicians, but our venue provides a sound system with large speakers for the music, as well as a wireless hand-held microphone so that our guests can hear our vows. I’m not sure where you’re planning on having your wedding, but here in Florida you definitely don’t want to say your vows on the beach without a mike; the waves are just too loud.
I’m not sure what music I want to walk to yet- I’m thinking probably the traditional wedding march anthem. But I think you should just pick whatever you and your Fiance prefer, regardless of the fact that you’re walking on the sand. 🙂
As part of the wedding package, the hotel/spa is doing all of the setup and removal of our chairs, so no fuss for us. They’re charging a flat fee for that at my venue- I can’t remember exactly how much it is off the top of my head, but it was a couple hundred bucks. Some other venues will charge you $5-$8 per chair instead.
As for the site, it really depends on which beach/which county you end up in. If you get married on a public beach, most counties require a fee for the use of the beach. If you go through a hotel for your venue, they usually take care of getting the permit, and may or may not pass the charge along to you, depending on whether or not it’s included in your agreement with them. If you’re on a private beach (like a beach owned by the hotel/venue) then it depends on whether they charge you for the use of their beach or whether it’s included.
I was absolutely terrified of tourists refusing to be courteous and ending up with a bunch of sunbathers right in the middle of my ceremony pictures. Usually if you go through a hotel/beachfront venue for your ceremony/reception, the beach will do the set-up of your arch (if you have one) and chairs earlier in the day, to try to discourage people from setting up their blankets/umbrellas there. On a public beach, if someone *does* camp out right in the middle of your venue, the hotel staff will usually ask them nicely to move, but if they refuse there’s really nothing they can do.
This was one of the reasons I went with a resort that has a private beach for its guests. Because they own the property, they actually can force a rude beachgoer to get out of your space.
I’m sorry so much of this was related to hotels/resorts! That’s just what I learned from the process of selecting my venue, since down here in Florida we have so many of them all up and down the beachline that it just made more sense to me to have the ceremony/reception all in one location right on beachfront property. So a lot of my experience was with dealing with venues where I was also renting ballroom space for the reception, which I’m sure influences things, but hopefully some of this was still helpful! <3