The Checklist before the Checklist

Checklists are often used by vendors and brides when they are planning and coordinating a wedding. Not only do they keep you on track, they also provide a means to share your process, your needs, your plans and your progress. Checklists give you focus and confidence.

We created the following “Checklist before the Checklist” to help you find your beach wedding experience. From Hawaii to Florida, United States beaches are more inexpensive and offer less confusing legal requirements than beaches in the Caribbean and Mexico. Couples have called me saying that although they started working with a company in Mexico or the Dominican Republic; but they changed their minds because decided a company stateside would be more secure and it would be less of a hassle for friends and family to join them for a destination beach wedding.

Did you know it is super easy to get married in Florida? With no wait period, witnesses or blood tests required, it is as simple as Las Vegas and as beautiful as any other beach location in the world. Of course I am partial to the Gulf Beaches Area of Tampa Bay (where we do our work). The variety of beach communities, accommodations , places to celebrate and the affordability, coupled with our 17 years experience helping brides and grooms of many different tastes and budgets make us partial to this outstanding Gulf of Mexico community.

Check the items within the following “Checklist before the Checklist” that best apply to you. Sometimes you will want to check more than one. That’s okay because each decision you make will bring you closer to your waterfront ceremony and celebration. It will propel you to better searches and better use of your time. Lastly, you and your partner will be freed to discover how much you already know about your future destination beach wedding!

What type of community vibe am I looking for?

  1. Casual
  2. Ritzy
  3. Cozy
  4. Mix of quaint beachy lifestyle community & upscale living

When is my beach wedding?

  1. Spring
  2. Summer
  3. Winter
  4. Fall

Do I see myself at a beach in…

  1. Hawaii or California
  2. Florida
  3. South Carolina, Georgia
  4. NJ or Maryland
  5. New England

How many guests will I invite?

  1. Less than 20 ct
  2. Up to 50 ct
  3. 50 to 75 ct
  4. Over 100

What time of day would I prefer?

  1. Sunrise
  2. Mid-Morning
  3. Afternoon
  4. Late Afternoon
  5. Evening
  6. Sunset

What type of lodging?

  1. Inexpensive/doesn’t have to be facing the beach
  2. Condo or apt with kitchen that can accommodate up to 8 ct
  3. Waterfront, casual
  4. Waterfront, many amenities

What type of reception?

  1. Brunch Buffet or BBQ
  2. Restaurant
  3. Banquet Hall with entertainment
  4. Dinner Cruise

What do I want to wear?

  1. Natural, Bohemian style with a halo of flowers in my hair
  2. Big dress with a big statement
  3. Form fitting dress with a flowing, lightweight fabric
  4. I will know when I find it

What do I want my fiance to wear?

  1. Linen or cotton shirt and slacks or khaki shorts
  2. Tuxedo
  3. Semi formal vest & slacks outfit
  4. Jacket and slacks

What is my color scheme?

  1. Blues
  2. Bright colors
  3. Greens
  4. Whites & Ivories

What flowers do I prefer?

  1. Natural, such as a wild flower or dried flowers bouquet
  2. Tropical florals
  3. Seasonal
  4. Roses

What is my total budget (including accommodations, dress, florals, etc )

  1. With accommodations
  2. Without accommodations
  3. With reception
  4. Without reception

Budget Note 1:  to determine the price per person for your reception:

  1. Total Budget:
  2. Minus personal expenses (dress, florals, accommodations, travel expenses, etc):
  3. What’s left:
  4. Guestimate what you’d like to spend on your wedding ceremony – say, $2,000 for 50 ct:
  5. Minus that from your personal budget:
  6. Divide it by 50 ct (to determine the per person rate):

Budget Note 2:  Save money on your destination beach wedding by…

  1. Not booking chairs
  2. Making your own bouquet  & boutonnieres (use shells & used silks you find at a thrift store)
  3. Choosing a beach where the permit is less than $250
  4. Wearing casual clothes

Budget Note 3:  Save money on your destination beach wedding reception by…

  1. Having a morning wedding with brunch reception
  2. Hosting a bbq at a nearby picnic shelter or outdoor pavilion
  3. Arranging a reception at a restaurant that already has entertainment
  4. Booking an all inclusive dinner cruise with entertainment

Once you complete this “Beach Destination Wedding Checklist“, it’s time to create your actual checklist! Use WeddingWire’s free digital checklist. If our area supports your vision, write to me or give us a call. The Wedding Concierge Service at Weddings On a Whim is free and very informative!   Contact us 727-581- 3446.