December 19, 2022

Is Planning a Wedding on a SoCal Beach a Good Idea?

Getting engaged is one of the most exciting things to happen to a young couple. You’re ready to spend the rest of your lives together—but first, you must choose a wedding venue. Will you opt for indoor or outdoor? Country cottage or house of worship? Mountainside or beachfront?

The beach is a go-to choice for many couples who live in Southern California or who want to plan a destination wedding there. Just picture tying the knot while standing in the sun-kissed sand with scenic waves behind you and a gentle breeze blowing through your hair. It all sounds so perfect!

Still, you have a lot to consider when planning a wedding on a SoCal beach. Make sure the ceremony goes off without a hitch by thinking of all the little details ahead of time.

bunch of white chair with walking path in middle

Is the Beach Public or Private?

Most beaches in Southern California are considered public property, making it easy to schedule a wedding there. However, public spaces are open to everyone, increasing the chance of uninvited guests crashing your party, or at least ending up in wedding photos. The price to rent a private venue is well worth it to ensure an intimate, undisrupted ceremony.

How Accessible Is the Beach?

The dreamiest beach may not be realistic for your wedding if it’s hard to get to. Choose a venue that’s easy to find, offers plenty of nearby parking, and is accessible to any guests with mobility limitations.

Do You Need a Permit?

Many beaches in Los Angeles County require permission to hold a wedding there, it’s best to check with the city. The last thing you want is to get in trouble for having alcohol, loud dance music, or too many guests. In the event that a permit is required, be prepared to pay relevant fees and obtain liability insurance, if needed.

What Should You and Your Guests Wear?

It’s important to consider the casual, sandy setting when selecting a gown for a beach wedding. A light, airy, relatively casual wedding dress with a shorter cut and rhinestone sandals are preferable over a formal beaded ball gown with a long train and stiletto heels. As for your wedding party, ask the ladies to dress in a similar semi-formal fashion, and consider having the men swap suits for polos and slacks. Then, advise guests to wear whatever they like, including bare feet if desired!

How Will You Keep Guests Cool and Comfortable?

The SoCal region can be hot and humid, so it’s wise to schedule your beach wedding for the morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat of the day. You can also rent a white canopy to shade your guests while they watch you exchange vows.

What Will You Do in the Event of Bad Weather?

Wind and rain are always possible, even in SoCal’s idyllic climate. For this reason, it’s highly recommended that you choose a beachfront wedding venue with indoor space. Even on a nice day, this provides an escape from the hot sun, and it can be a lifesaver if the weather turns sour.

Where Will Food Be Served?

This is another reason to choose a SoCal beach wedding venue with an indoor space. After all, no one wants to eat hors d’oeuvres that have been searing in the sun for an hour. Besides, the buttercream frosting on your wedding cake will melt if left to the elements. Don’t take any chances—plan to serve food and drinks inside, even if people then choose to mingle with their plates outdoors.

What About Decorations?

Decorating for a waterfront wedding means using items that can withstand the sun and wind. Loose flower pedals, ribbons, and balloons may be out of the question, but thankfully, the gorgeous scenery speaks for itself. If you do choose to add adornments, consider choosing natural nautical elements, such as decorative driftwood, seashells, palm leaves, and starfish.

Book Your Waterfront Wedding in SoCal

If you dream of saying “I do” while overlooking the beach and sparkling harbor water, California Yacht Marina has the venue for you. Our event space at Cabrillo Marina, known as The Plaza, is the ideal setting for wedding ceremonies and receptions. The Plaza is ideally situated in the San Pedro near Palos Verdes, Torrance and Long Beach, with ample free parking and nearby hotels for out-of-town guests. Competitive pricing and complete customizability will make your wedding day unforgettably perfect! In addition to The Plaza at Cabrillo Marina, we helm three other luxurious marinas in Wilmington, Chula Vista, and Port Royal. Choose the best waterfront venue in the South Bay, your happily ever after begins with California Yacht Marina! Call us at 424-201-0467, send us an email, or contact us online to book a waterfront venue for your big day. You can also call ahead to schedule a tour of our facilities to ensure we’re the right fit.