Your guide to New Zealand beach weddings

Here are our top tips to make your beach wedding a huge success.

If you’re planning a beach wedding ceremony, there’s a few things you need to think about to make sure it’s the romantic occasion you’re dreaming of. The Hauraki Blue Cruises team are experts in beach weddings – let us help you put together an unforgettable wedding with these handy pointers.

Choose your beach wedding location wisely

Remember that beaches are exposed to the elements, especially wind. Try to pick a sheltered area out of the direct wind for your ceremony, and think about where the tides will be on the day. You don’t want Mum’s hat blowing away and your guests getting their feet wet during your vows! Metservice has a handy Auckland tide chart.

Think about where the sun will be coming from as well, to avoid a photo album full of people squinting and shading their eyes! Try to visit the beach in advance at the same time as your ceremony will be held. If you’re having a summer wedding, check whether there are any shady areas nearby or think about having umbrellas or parasols available for your guests.

Tick all the boxes and make it official

If you want to hold your wedding ceremony on an Auckland beach, you’ll need to apply for a permit from Auckland Council. This will give you priority use of the area (but not exclusive access). They suggest you send in your form at least eight weeks ahead of your wedding to make sure it is processed in time – we recommend sending it in even earlier if possible.

Setting up for a beach wedding

Make sure your ceremony location has seating for elderly or disabled guests and think about accessibility for those who may have trouble walking far. Hauraki Blue Cruises has a tender (small run-about boat) that can ferry passengers to shore and has steps at the front to help them access the beach.

Your guests will want to be able to hear your ceremony loud and clear – don’t let your vows get drowned out by the ocean! Talk to your celebrant about options like handheld microphones with a portable PA system.

You might also like to put together a basket of useful items for your beach wedding, like sunscreen so your guests don’t get burnt, insect repellent to keep the bugs away, bottled water if it’s a hot day and jandals for anyone struggling with high heels or hot sand.

Beach weddings need backup plans!

With Auckland’s changeable weather there are no guarantees that your wedding day will be fine. If you’re planning a beach wedding, you’re going to need a plan B in case of bad weather. Our cruise catamaran Ipipiri’s main deck is semi-covered, giving you a second option for your ceremony – just in case.

What to wear at a beach wedding

The short answer is – whatever you want! Ladies, if you’re dreaming of a traditional wedding dress and romantic veil, the photos will be stunning. Do keep in mind that the sand can make walking in a long gown and high heels tricky, so consider flat shoes for your ceremony (you can always swap them for something more glamorous later on). A beach wedding is the perfect occasion for a slightly less formal look – shorter wedding dress lengths and floaty fabrics will help create a laidback vibe and keep you cool.

Gentlemen, bear in mind that a formal tux might be a little on the warm side for a summer wedding on the beach, but really, anything goes. And if shorts and/or short sleeves are more your style, you’ll feel right at home – just have fun with your look.

If you’re planning a beach wedding and need advice, get in touch – our expert team will be happy to help with any questions you may have.

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