Helpful hints for planning your Jersey Shore wedding:
Size does matter when it comes to per person expenses. The simplest way to control your budget is by limiting the number of guests you invite to your wedding. More than half of your wedding budget will be spent on the reception – food, alcohol and don’t forget the invitations and favors. If you simply can’t cut your list, consider a more informal reception or changing the time or day – Many venues will work with you on pricing if you go with an off peak day, time or season.
Once you have agreed on the style of wedding you would like to have, you will need to be honest and realistic about what you can afford. Consider the financial resources you have available – bride, groom, parents, grandparents, benefactor – understanding who and what will be contributed will help you evaluate exactly what you have to spend. Every wedding has ‘fixed’ expenses – these are costs that will not change regardless of the size of the wedding (ie. ceremony site, officiant, marriage license, etc.) list these first in your budget, subtract that figure from your total amount to determine what you have left to spend. Set apart more money for the items that are most important to both of you, compromise or eliminate the items that are of least importance.
Beach weddings offer both the couple and their guests a unique experience and fond memories. Along with that come things beyond your control: weather, sand, tides, wind, public access to the beach, etc. Inevitably, some things occasionally go wrong. Be flexible, determine what is important – let the small things go and enjoy the whole experience.
Get Advice from the Professionals:
JSWA members are some of the top professional in their fields; they are local vendors, familiar with the area and well experienced in beach weddings. When planning a wedding of any size you should consider contacting a local JSWA planner who is experienced in the idiosyncrasies and unique challenges of beach events and can help you manage some or all of the details of your Jersey Shore wedding.
Consider the Elements when planning your wedding flowers:
Preserving the integrity of flowers on a beach with the heat, wind, sand, etc. is more challenging than in a cool air conditioned facility. Check with one of our local JSWA florists, each one of them are experienced and familiar with the idiosyncrasies of planning a beach wedding. They will be able to advise you on design and best flower selections that will hold up to the sun and wind on the beach.
Consider the Tides and Sunset times for your wedding day:
Beach weddings are beautiful and memorable, however, capturing your memories with an outdoor wedding can be challenging for a photographer not experienced nor equipped for it. Allowing for the direct sun, shadows, sand and other outdoor elements requires the talents and equipment of a professional – there are no ‘Do overs’.
When planning a Beach ceremony, be sure to check the Tide Charts for your date. And if you want those great Sunset shots plan your ceremony 1-2 hours before sunset, so the sun is not directly in everyone’s eyes and you have time to gather for those special shots. Click here to find the exact time of Sunset on the day of your wedding.
Choose a local JSWA photographer experienced with the idiosyncrasies of beach photography; they are familiar with the best locations, and can advise you on working with time schedules and natural lighting.
For Tide Charts, link to: http://www.saltwatertides.com/dynamic.dir/newjerseysites.html
Always have a Back-up Weather plan:
One thing you can count on is that you can’t count on the weather. When Planning a beach wedding, always have a Plan B. Select an alternate location for your ceremony. Set a specific deadline for the final change of plans to be made and have a call plan in place to inform your guests if a change of location becomes necessary.
Check Municipal Regulations:
The Jersey Shore is comprised of many small towns and communities. Some towns require a permit for a beach ceremony; this process may require up to three months’ notice. Others may only require notification of your intent. Most municipalities will allow you to place temporary seating, arches and chuppahs; very few will allow tenting. For more information on applying for your Marriage License go to our Jersey Shore Marriage Info page
Private Moments on Public Beaches:
With very few exceptions, the Jersey shore beaches are all public. While most people are respectful and excited to observe a beach wedding, you might want to select a secluded spot, or schedule your ceremony as late in the day as possible to avoid a crowded beach. Check with the Municipality where you are planning your wedding for restrictions, regulations and specifics. Click here to find the Local Registrar by County.