beachpost1(Kelly & Russ|September 2008, Photos by Kelly Powers)

Beach weddings on Lake Michigan can be absolutely wonderful. The natural light, beautiful backdrop for pictures and open air can make a lot of couples want to host a beach wedding. However, you don’t want to pick your ceremony location without some serious consideration.  Give yourself some piece of mind by considering some important factors before deciding if a beach wedding is the right choice for you!

Choosing the right beach
I plan a lot of beach weddings, and in West Michigan you can throw a stone and hit 12 beautiful beaches. While your  first instinct may be to go with a beach you spent your childhood at, or a main beach with a great view of the lighthouse or boardwalk, unfortunately, these beaches are often the busiest. When you’re looking at locations, consider how busy it will be at the time of year you’ll be tying the knot. Will you be able to secure a private area? If you’re on a public beach, ask a designated friend or family member to watch your area during the ceremony to avoid bikini-clad onlookers from wandering into ceremony pictures. While you may think people have enough common sense to stay away, trust me…many don’t. If you’ve hired a coordinator, they can also assist with this. People can be surprisingly cooperative when they’re asked not to disturb a wedding!

The time of day
A 1:00 ceremony in a church may be quite pleasant, but on a beach in August, it very well may be a sauna for you and your guests. For a beach ceremony, consider a later start after 4:00 to avoid the heat, large mid-day crowds and that blazing sun which will wreak havoc with your photographs!

Part 2 is coming up tomorrow!