Perhaps nothing is more romantic and evocative than a wedding on the beach; ah; the sun, surf, beautiful vistas. Even in a light drizzle, the scene is idyllic.
HOWEVER, here are a few words of wisdom from me, “Worst Case Scenario Woman”.
Let people know that the ceremony is going to actually BE on the sand; this way they can plan. (You can work that caveat into the invitation wording.) A big basket of flipflops in your wedding colors at the entrance to your ceremony site is a thoughtful and practical touch. (Imprinted flip flops make great favors too.) If rain looks impending, a basket of big umbrellas couldn’t hurt either; your reception site might even have some to lend you.
Let your officiant and musicians that you will BE on the sand; they will need to provide cordless amplification for your service and ceremony music; crashing surf is a loud partner in the day, make sure they are prepared for that. Their music and words should reflect the very obvious fact that your on the ocean, and why that is meaningful to you.
Plan your apparel and footwear (or lack there of) so you’re comfortable and steady on your feet. Consider wind when you’re planning your hair.
Arrange for an archway, some torches, plants, driftwood or other props to mark your ceremony space, but skip the runner; you’ll just get stuck in it. A viable alternative to an aisle runner might be a trail of flower petals, a walkway marked by shells or driftwood, of luminaries (if it’s not too windy).
If it’s manageable, have your guests toast you on the beach, at the end of the ceremony; barefoot servers can march down to the shore and pass champagne (or your signature drink; I like something turquoise in this case….) to your guests to give your reception a sparkling start.
Consider a date in the off season; May or October, for instance, at the Jersey shore. Your guests will have an easier time travelling to the location; you’ll spend less on just about everything, including accommodations, and the competing crowds will be leaner.
Make sure your officiant knows exactly what town your beach location is in; moving 15 feet in one or another direction can put you in another town, which is important when the license is filed.
And lastly; take a moment, before or after the ceremony; maybe in the middle of the reception, or when everyone has gone to bed, to walk by the water and reflect on the exciting and transformed life ahead of you.