10 Best Beaches for a Beach Wedding Ceremony
Not all beaches offer wedding permits and free beaches have their drawbacks. You don't want to get photobombed by screaming kids or college spring breakers behind your altar. If you're dreaming of a romantic beach ceremony, check out these locations for a little more privacy, plus stunning views and a stress-free setup.
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Best Florida Beach
The Florida Keys is a popular choice for destination weddings without passports but boy is it expensive! Just a hotel in Key West is enough to blow any budget. But there are so many incredible pockets to explore in the Keys that won’t break the bank and now, more than ever, the Keys need support after Hurricane Irma. One of the best Key West alternatives is Islamorada, a village made of up six teeny, tiny keys. The Moorings Village at Morada Bay has a gorgeous beach with swaying coconut trees and technicolor sunsets. The oceanfront private villas are perfect for wedding guests to share and cut down on lodging costs.
Best Hawaii Beach
There are so many beautiful beaches in Hawaii, each with its own unique personality, but if you’re looking for a wedding venue with privacy and fewer tourists, head to the Island of Hawaii (the big island). Just outside of Kona, The Four Seasons at Hualalai has incredible lava rock shores to tie the knot. The resort features a serene adults-only pool and one of the most relaxing spas in the world with an outdoor tropical oasis. When you book, ask for a suite with an outdoor lava rock shower.
Best National Park Beach
When you think of national parks you probably imagine the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone, but the National Parks System includes some of the most beautiful shores in America, from protected seashores in Florida to dramatic dunes in Indiana. The Virgin Islands National Park has become a very popular spot for wedding parties since no passports are needed to visit St. Thomas or St. John. The park’s Trunk Bay is one of the most popular spots to tie the knot with couples booking a suite at the historic Caneel Bay Resort inside the park. Unfortunately, the US Virgin Islands are still assessing damage from Hurricane Irma and Caneel Bay may be closed for the rest of 2017. If you’re looking to book an immediate wedding this year, try Cape Lookout National Seashore in Florida.
Best LGBT Beach
Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage and Provincetown has been hosting LGBT weddings for decades. While popular Herring Cove Beach might be your first choice, you might have some nude photo bombers in the background so head to Race Point Lighthouse for an incredible backdrop and gorgeous sunset.
Best California Beach
If you or someone in your party is a wheelchair user, a beach wedding can turn into a logistical nightmare, but San Diego has some of the most accessible beaches for wheelchair users on the planet. You can find both manual and power wheelchairs throughout San Diego County, including popular Mission Beach, Coronado Beach and Ocean Beach. Reservations are free and on a first come, first serve basis so call ahead once you know your wedding date.
Best State Park Beach
They may be a little more chilly than California, but Oregon has some of the prettiest beaches on the west coast such as the Heceta Head Lighthouse State Viewing Area. Just off the legendary Highway 1, have your wedding ceremony in the state park and then continue to cruise down the Pacific Coastal Highway for your honeymoon.
Best Mexican Beach
Not only does Tulum have beaches with vibrant turquoise water but unlike other resort towns, there are so many beautiful backgrounds for photos, from the Mayan ruins to the dramatic cliffs. Bonus: It doesn’t have the party crowd like Cancun or Playa del Carmen. And if your wedding has a strict no-kids policy, head to the adults-only Be Tulum, a luxury beachfront resort with a champagne bar.
Best Mediterranean Beach
Mykonos has a bit of a party reputation thanks to Paradise and Super Paradise Beach, but the glamorous Greek island isn’t always that rowdy. Head to the north coast for less touristy beaches such as Kapari. The island is also great for LGBT families as it’s one of the most popular gay summer destinations in Europe.
Best Caribbean Beach
Want an entire island practically to yourself? Klein Curacao or Little Curacao is an uninhabited island a couple of hours boat ride from Curacao. You can book a cruise with Mermaid Boat Trips to visit the island during the day and use their private beach house. The island even has an abandoned, historic lighthouse that’s great for first look photos. Have a sunset ceremony overlooking crystal clear waters then cruise back to Curacao to party the night away.
Best Budget Beach
If you’ve always dreamed of a beach wedding but have a tight budget, check out the Gulf Coast. Your money can go a lot farther in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach, Alabama than popular Florida beach towns and you get the same sugar white-sand setting.