Beachfront nuptials are the epitome of a summer wedding, a classic choice particularly for a destination affair. And it's easy to see why—there's nothing quite as dreamy as the wide expanse of the ocean blue as your ceremony backdrop, a vividly dazzling sunset, or the whisper of a balmy breeze in your hair as you exchange vows.
Besides the movie-worthy setting, there are several advantages to having a wedding in such paradise. For the bride who wants an affair without all the bells and whistles, the beach offers a much more casual and relaxed option. Swaying palm trees and a sandy floor automatically set the stage for a laid-back ambiance, the latter of which practically requires you to forgo heels. Seriously, what more could you ask for in a wedding than an excuse to wear flats or sandals or—gasp—no shoes at all!? And if it's a destination wedding, the beach also offers a more intimate vibe since those truly closest to you will make the trip. While you might think a destination wedding may extend past the boundaries of your budget, think again—the gorgeous background of a beach creates an atmosphere that stands on its own, without the need to spend on any décor to dress it up.
Of course, there are a few factors you'll want to take into consideration to perfect your big day on the beach. As with any outdoor wedding, you should keep a close eye on the weather, including the wind, which is stronger near the coastline. Because the beach often brings on the heat, hold your ceremony in the morning or around dusk for more comfortable temperatures; an hour before sunset is the right time for optimal lighting. Once you have these things nailed down, you'll get to enjoy one of the best parts that come with a relaxed beach wedding: less stress.
If that's not enough to convince you, these gorgeous photos will.
If this isn't bliss, we're not sure what is. Watercolor skies and a graceful sea of vivid teal serve up a serene setting.
Nothing paints picture-perfect romance quite like running along the shoreline hand-in-hand.
A curving coastline from a bird's eye view makes for a stunning backdrop to this couple's portrait.
With waves splashing against black rocks hosting an elegant bride and groom, this shot is pure seaside magic.
A small cove with a spirited vibe marked by crashing waves and craggy rocks is the perfect photo-op spot for adventurous couples.
Rugged cliffs and a roaring ocean combine for a majestic feel with a breathtaking view.
A foggy day on the beach proves just as beautiful as a sunny one, especially when paired with a romantic dance for two.
Nature's elements come out full force in this adoring shot, with a soft golden light and balmy breeze working some photogenic magic.
A misty haze brings grey seas and skies for an understated elegance with an indie edge.
Sand like velvet and water smooth as glass—an aerial perspective captures the shoreline in a new light, making a romantic setting for this chic couple.
Softy, dewy hues across the horizon bring a subtle glow to the foreground in this fairytale overlooking the sea.
Being shipwrecked isn't so bad when you're stranded with the one you love. This castaway shot has some serious jungle island vibes.
There's beauty in the rough—an outcropping of lava rocks and a powerful current create a gorgeous effect.
The golden hour lives up to its name in this playfully romantic shot, creating an amber ambiance as this couple takes their beach photos to a whole new level by daring to trash their dress and tux.
This sky explodes like a roaring bonfire in a sunset that is literally everything. A mountainous landscape and vivid sultry hues mimicked in the shoreline—what more could you ask for in a beach portrait?
Brilliant sunshine casts an ethereal light upon this doting couple, who found themselves the perfect boulder for privacy.
It's hard to find a more dreamy setting than this one rich in pastel tones, from periwinkle skies to aqua waters.
A sliver of choppy sea framed by busty boulders makes a grandiose backdrop for a newlywed kiss.
Palm trees, azure ocean, and a sandy shore? This shot is straight out of paradise.
Nothing says wedding beach perfection like a sweet kiss among a spray of waves against a rocky shoreline.
Seaside cliffs overlooking the crashing surf are mesmerizingly breathtaking.
Lush fauna frames an intimate moment made all the more magical by a setting sun that elicits cotton candy skies.
This shot literally takes our breaths away. The deep blue is taken to a whole new level as it merges with husky mountains and hazy clouds, peppered by a glittering coastline.
A gentle tide, rugged coastline, and white sunshine lighting up the horizon create one picturesque beach.
A rosy sunset floods over a frothy sea for a mystical effect.