As a wedding officiant, I get all kinds of requests from couples. One of the more fun aspects is the wedding location. I’ve been privileged to participate in some very lovely locations, but I have to admit that my favorite locations are beach weddings. I just love them!
After living within an hour’s drive of the Jersey Shore all my life, I took my proximity to the ocean for granted. And then one year, I had it in my head to move to Montana. Beautiful, breathtaking scenery. But no ocean. I couldn’t cope with that. Within a year I returned to NJ, my adopted state, this time with a full and conscious appreciation of the beloved ocean. I even bought a home in the locality, just to be minutes from the surf. I just don’t feel like I’m home when I’m away from the sea.
I think the appeal of a beach wedding is a sort of homage to who we are, on the most primitive level, it’s instinctively home. There are so many fun options to include in a beach wedding. There’s a Unity Sand Ceremony, a tried and true beach wedding ritual. But the sky’s the limit in coming up with more original possibilities that tie a couple and their guests to the beach on their wedding day. Ask your officiant to deviate from the norm and you’d be surprised how much flair a personalized beach ceremony can have. Is your officiant willing to do a sunrise ceremony as well as the more popular sunset ceremony? Think of the possibilities as well as the advantages of having an early morning beach wedding. Think outside of the normal zone of comfort. What about a midnight under the stars ceremony on the beach? Think of the possibilities of that one.
Opt for a Sea Shell ceremony, or ask your officiant to invent one! Any officiant worth her weight in sand can create her own fun twists. Maybe you can include children by keeping them busy building a sand monster and then highlight the monster creation at the end of the ceremony in some way, maybe stomping on it in the tradition of breaking the glass, to represent the end of past fears and a bright new future.
As an aside, one of my more recent requests was to marry a couple atop a lighthouse, which is awesome except for the fact that it would probably kill me. I felt my heart racing in anticipation of all the possibilities. I researched the lighthouse to learn there were over 200 steps. Then I saw the requested payment range and thanked my lucky stars. If their price range was right, say double what they wanted to pay, I would have said yes. Their inappropriate sense of what it costs to hire the services of an officiant saved my life. All kidding aside, I mention this in conclusion to make a very important point: No expense is spared for the florist, the venue, or the photographer. Without the officiant, there is no wedding. An exceptional officiant with creative ideas, will be the highlight of your day. Budget for it!