Top Tips for Beach Weddings

Image: Deborah-Ann Photography/Wildeflower on SouthBound Bride

Hello friends! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, so my apologies for being so scarce on SBB. I’ve been working on a Kickstarter campaign for Aisle Society that is just seven days away from deadline and wow – what an experience! I’d love it if you all would check it out and consider supporting us (even $1 is very much appreciated!). But meanwhile, I’ve been dying to bring you the beachy inspiration I have lined up, especially since I’m heading for the Caribbean tomorrow for the Aisle Society retreat! So beach is very much on my mind ;) Beach weddings, I have to tell you, are a huge favourite of mine – although I’ve yet to actually attend one in person, *sad face*. I just adore the whole feet in the sand, relaxed but elegant vibe. But while planning a beach wedding IS fun, it does have challenges that other weddings do not. There’s a lot to think about to ensure everything goes off smoothly, so here are SBB’ top tips for the perfect beach wedding.

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North Coast Tropical Chic Wedding at Burndale by Oh Happy Day

Durban North Coast Tropical Chic Wedding | Credit: Oh Happy Day & Dane Peterson

Sometimes I see a wedding and I immediately not only fall in love with everything about it, but with the couple as well. This is one of those. Maybe because I love Durban so, along with everything tropical, maybe because Dominique and Josh managed to not only pull off a totally unique, totally stylish, totally them (AND proudly South African) theme, and maybe because they chose to work with one of my favourite wedding pros ever, Joelene of Oh Happy Day. Whatever it is, I have a great big crush on this wedding and the couple who dreamed it up, and I have been absolutely dying to show it to you ever since I first spotted  it on Jo’s Instagram feed. Basically, if you turned all the best things about the North Coast into a wedding, this would be it. Tropical print bridesmaid separates… strelizia bouquets… plenty of light and white and rustic texture. And the tropical greenery wall is everything. So get your pinning fingers at the ready coastal brides, because this is a special one!

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Intimate Surf Lodge Wedding by Long Exposure

Surf’s up! This laid-back, beachy wedding took place at a local surf lodge – the perfect venue for a couple who first started noticing one another during early morning sessions. With this natural coastal setting in place, they set about infusing their ‘I do’s with soft blooms (including the bride’s sweet flower crown!), rustic elements, and nods to their love of sea and sand. With an intimate guest list and long trestles set up under the trees while paper lanterns swung in the breeze, Alice and Joel’s wedding has the feeling of a family dinner in the garden rather than a buttoned up formal do, and it’s no wonder, as all the details (including the customisation of Alice’s dream dress) were a labour of love by the bride’s mum and other dear family and friends. It really makes you smile, and happily, Christie Long was there to capture all of the love!

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Ocean Blue Wedding at Maroupi by Lightburst Photography

Can you smell the salt air? A breezy colour palette of sea blues and greens makes for a soiree guaranteed to evoke the ocean, even if you’re not throwing a toes-in-the-sand beach bash. When you add in elegant florals, a to-die-for lace gown, and bridesmaids in gorgeous Gelique gowns for that extra touch of mismatched blue, and the whole wedding becomes that much more beautiful – a fusion of coastal and chic that we adore. Lightburst Photography was there to snap these dreamy pictures that make Sam and Darryn’s happy day come alive, including the most romantic, windswept beach portraits you can imagine.

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Elegant Pink & Gold Wedding at 12 Apostles Hotel by Tasha Seccombe

Today’s wedding really has it all. An absolutely breathtaking Cape Town location (12 Apostles, caught between sea, mountains and big blue sky), sweetly sophisticated African-inspired details (including gorgeous stationery, a marimba band, and a biltong bar – love!), and crazy gorgeous florals from our favourite ladies at Green Goddess. Dieter and Daniella met in another iconic Cape Town location (the Waterfront) and decided to seal the deal with their familes and friends with one of the best views in the country (and in my opinion, the world). From their elegant gold and pink palette, to the dreamy beach portraits, to a darling gold-touched cake, and not forgetting Tasha Seccombe‘s beautiful pictures, it’s the perfect mix of classic and contemporary with a healthy helping of homegrown.

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Elegant Cape Town Beach Wedding by Samantha Clifton

Elegant Cape Town Beach Wedding by Samantha Clifton Photography

I may have got a little carried away when choosing the pictures for today’s feature. But who can blame me, because after all, what’s more romantic than a beach wedding in beautiful Cape Town. You can almost smell the sea air in Samantha Clifton’s stunning pictures, and although Lise and Tiaan were married on Clifton Second, it’s like they were on a private island in the middle of nowhere, with white sands and tumbling waves as their witnesses. And as if that wasn’t lovely enough, after the ceremony they adjourned to the Royal Cape Yacht Club for an elegant reception with the lights of the harbour reflecting the warm glow of candlelight within. Let’s just take a moment to mention Lise’s gown, because I am absolutely loving this bride’s style, especially paired with a soft cathedral length veil and a gorgeous protea bouquet!

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Boho Beach Festival Wedding in Hermanus by Coba Photography

I can’t help but smile like crazy when looking at this gorgeous celebration of love, hosted festival-style on the beach in Hermanus (which you might also be able to tell from the fact that I included a bumper crop of pics today!). It’s basically the best. Boho goddess bride, bright colours, a fabulously mismatched (and colourful) wedding party, a ceremony on the sand, and a relaxed reception filled with flowers, greenery, and a rainbow of glassware. There are so many adorable, stealworthy ideas dreamed up by this DIY couple: 3D guitar boutonnieres, paint brushes to clean up sandy feet, leather music festival-style bands which doubled up as favours, tiny origami birds used as confetti. I love everything from the rich palette to the donut desserts – and who better than Coba Photography to capture this super fun affair?

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Ocean Glitz Wedding at The 12 Apostles Hotel by Aglow Photography

This wedding had me at hello, and by hello, I definitely mean Michelle’s shut-the-front-door-drop-everything beautiful dress. The images of her and her new husband Bertie floating across the sands of a private beach in that Maggie Sottero gown are the stuff that wedding dreams are made of. And then I got to see the rest of this seriously gorgeous wedding, from the ceremony with a view, to the gently rustic decor to the glittery proteas. GLITTERY PROTEAS, you guys. It’s glamorous and elegant, but so soft and romantic too, and Celeste from Aglow Photography has captured every moment to perfection with her exquisite imagery. LOVE.

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Beach Bohemian Wedding at De Vette Mossel by Anina Harmse

I’m not exactly known for being at a loss for words (Gaby by name, gabby by nature), but I honestly don’t know where to begin with this wedding. I properly love every single thing about it, from the bride’s stop-you-in-your-tracks AMAZING boho ensemble, to the beach ceremony, complete with Moroccan touches like carpets and lanterns and drapes, to the super laid-back rustic oceanside reception in shades of scarlet and protea, to the gorgeous portraits of Conrad and Lucinda by photographer Anina Harmse on the sand. I kind of had to pinch myself a couple of times when it landed in my inbox, and I have definitely gone a little overboard in the photo selection, but I just couldn’t resist the mix of boho perfection and toes in the sand chill. It’s awesome. And let’s just take another moment to talk about Lucinda’s dress and her sandals, because bride looks like an absolute goddess, which was actually her inspiration (and which, by the way, I loved). So I’ll stop going on, trying and failing to introduce this bohemian loveliness, and let you get an eyeful instead.

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DIY Beach Wedding at Grootvlei by Ronel Kruger

001-J&R DIY beach wedding by Ronel Kruger

Considering how amazing our beaches are in South Africa, we get relatively few beach weddings submitted to SBB so I’m always thrilled to see a lovely one, especially when it’s a down to earth, toes in the sand West Coast affair like Jaynie & Rudi’s was. This wedding goes beyond in the DIY category thanks to a super creative bride and her family – even the wedding dress was a labour of love. All that time spent creating something special and meaningful makes this aspect go far beyond the wedding day, because you also get memories that last a lifetime, long after the fabric has faded and the flowers have died. And that’s really what this wedding business is about isn’t it? The love, first and foremost. Ronel Kruger was on the scene to capture these lovely pics of Jaynie and Rudi’s big day.

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