If you’ve dreamed of getting married on the beach with waves gently breaking in the background, your family and friends gathered around to share your joy…look no further than the Jersey Shore!
There’s More at the Shore! Our miles and miles of unspoiled beaches, unique ceremony spots, wedding facilities, great dining, accommodations with breathtaking views, golf courses, fishing, amazing water sports all create an awesome setting for a Destination Wedding. Destination locations are generally chosen because they hold special memories or sentimental appeal to the couple ~ what better place than the Jersey Shore!
Today’s couples are opting more and more for domestic locations for their Destination Wedding
- Saves you time and money
- Does not require a passport nor immunizations
- Is easier and more economical for your wedding party, family and friends
- Provides a greater sense of security for you and your guests
Typically, a Destination Wedding limits a couples’ guest list dramatically. Choosing a destination location that is centrally located and easily accessible is key. Because the Jersey Shore is within a tank of gas for nearly one third of the nation’s population it is an ideal option for those who don’t want to sacrifice their guest list for a unique location.
If the idea of planning a Destination Wedding seems a bit overwhelming. The Jersey Shore Wedding Association is here to help. JSWA offers a wealth of resources including experienced local vendors and wedding specialists who will help make the process as stress free as a day at the beach!
Helpful Hints for your Destination Wedding
Destination Weddings offer you an exciting alternative to the traditional wedding. It is your opportunity to share your personal style, creativity and fun with your family and friends. Destination Weddings do, however, have their own set of challenges. With the wealth of resources on the internet available to help, such as JSWA, planning your Destination Wedding at the Jersey Shore can be as much fun as a day at the beach.
- Start the Planning process as soon as possible: Selecting a local Wedding planner who understands the complexities of planning a Destination Wedding is vital. They will work with you on a full time or ‘as needed’ basis and will ultimately save you time, money and from making costly mistakes.
- Select local wedding professionals who are familiar with the area and it’s resources: Local vendors deal with tides, wind, sun, traffic and all the uniques elements of the shore on a regular basis, they will be a valuable asset in guiding your choices. JSWA offers couples an invaluable tool in selecting quality professionals to meet your needs.
- Guest List: Destination weddings tend to be smaller and more intimate. You can anticipate at least 25% to 30% of your guests will not be able to attend due to time restraints, scheduling, the expense or the logistics of traveling. But, since the Jersey Shore is easily accessible for most of the northeast, don’t count your regrets’ until they come in.
- Send out ‘Save a Date’s: Traditional wedding invitations are sent out 6-8 weeks before the wedding, since your guests will need to make travel & accommodations plans, give them as much advance notice as possible. Send out ‘Save a Date’s’ six to twelve months in advance with travel and accommodation information at several different price levels.
- Plan a fun Itinerary: If the idea of spending the day before and after your wedding relaxing on a beach with family & close friends, a Jersey Shore Wedding is the place for you! Destination weddings generally span several days and allows for ‘play time’ with your guests. Be sure to have an itinerary and welcome packet for your guests who will be staying over. Include maps, information about local attractions, places of interest and activities.
- Rehearsal: With a Destination Wedding guests typically arrive early. Many couples opt to include early arrivals at the rehearsal dinner, but, make it a more casual, scaled downed affair. Another option is to include only the wedding party & immediate family for a dinner, then invite the rest of the overnight guests to join you for dessert or drinks after.
- Get them to the Church on Time: Consider providing your guests with shuttle service to the ceremony & reception sites. Also check into easy guest parking or valet services for areas with limited or restricted parking.
- Beach Wedding Attire: Whether you choose casual beach attire or a formal wedding gown, consider the weight and train length when selecting your dress. If you choose to wear a veil, have it weighted at the bottom to keep from blowing in your face, around the groom & onto the officiant during the ceremony. (Also true for flared skirts and long hair.) The men might feel more comfortable in light weight suits made of breathable fabrics, if you opt for tuxedos, rent them locally, it will save time and returning dilemmas.
- Kick off your Heels: Maneuvering the beach in heels is difficult, consider barefoot sandals or foot jewelry, flip flops, ballet slippers or just going barefoot for your ceremony. Place a shoe drop and bucket of talc (to help remove the sand) at the entrance to the beach for your guests & wedding party.
- Nix the Aisle Runners: Aisle runners are a hazard, when walking on sand. Instead opt to line your aisle with hanging buckets of flowers, potted sea grasses, shells or rose petals.
- Sand Ceremony: If you like the sentiment and tradition of the Unity Candle, replace it with a Sand Ceremony. The bride and groom each have a vial of sand that they pour into a larger decorative bottle or vase which will become your keepsake (similar to the lighting of the Unity candle). There are many variations of this ceremony that can include other family members.
- Picking up the Tab on a Destination Wedding: You may be pleasantly surprised to know that Destination Weddings are generally less costly than the traditional wedding. The size of your guest list will determine the size of your budget.
Who pays for what:
- It is customary that the bride & groom pay for the accommodations for their attendants; some couples may pay for travel costs as well, however that is not necessary. Since there will be additional expenses, and to avoid confusion, you will want to make the financial details clear to your attendants when you ask them to be a part of your wedding.
- Guests are responsible for making and paying for their own accommodations and travel expenses.
- Welcome Parties, After Parties or a Morning After Brunch should be hosted (and paid for) by the couple or their families.