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San Diego Beach Wedding Tips

Saying “I do” amid the sand and sea sounds extremely romantic, but unexpected challenges can arise when planning a San Diego beach wedding that can make your big day become a nightmare. Plan your beach wedding in San Diego or any other seaside destination by following these beach wedding tips to avoid unwanted surprises that could jeopardize your special celebration.

Beach Wedding Tip #1 – Apply for a permit (if needed).

The City of San Diego and many other coastal communities require a permit for most weddings and events hosted at parks and open spaces. Whether a permit is needed depends on the location and event size, so see the General Park Use Permit Rules and Regulations for full details. It’s never too early to begin planning your San Diego beach wedding; permits are issued up to year in advance for most public San Diego ceremony venues. No permits are issued for city holidays or from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Beach Wedding Tip #2 – Compare locations and parking options.

Certain San Diego beach wedding venues are best suited for smaller, intimate wedding ceremonies. Compare location sizes to ensure there’s enough space for chairs, the wedding arch and other decorations. A commonly forgotten beach wedding tip involves parking, which can be hard to find even when an event isn’t occurring. Evaluate all parking options around your San Diego beach wedding ceremony location to ensure convenient, safe and cheap parking for all guests, especially guests who are older or have children.

Beach Wedding Tip #3 – Be okay with getting hitched in public.

Beaches are extremely popular during summer, making it difficult to have an intimate wedding. Permits do not mean a private reservation; parks and beaches remain open to the public during weddings and private events. If you don’t want to risk having swimsuit-wearing tourists watching your San Diego beach wedding, consider dates outside of summer or opt for a private beach wedding venue like Paradise Point.

Beach Wedding Tip #4 – Decorate and dress appropriately.

Remember that while peaceful and serene, a beach wedding venue can also mean strong winds that affect your veil, microphones, music and décor like candles or flower petals. It also means reminding guests to bring a light jacket, and to avoid high heels since they’ll be walking through sand.

Beach Wedding Tip #5 – Help guests beat the heat.

The seaside sun can be brutal, so consider some additions that will help your guests combat it. Consider a tent or other type of shaded area covering seats. Have ice-cold bottles of water and sunscreen handed out as guests arrive, or to set up a self-serve refreshment station. Guests should be comfortable and in the moment at your San Diego beach wedding, not counting down the minutes until they can retreat to the shade.

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