Best Beach Destination Weddings
For laidback sun lovers around the world, it’s hard to imagine a better wedding location than the beach. From the cooling tidal breeze to the warm kiss of sun on your face; the musical interlude of the ocean waves, to the pillowy soft mat of powdered-sugar sand beneath your feet. For many, the coast is the picture-perfect backdrop for saying “I do.”
The hard part is in trying to decide which beach is right for your destination wedding. Here, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites across the United States, along with a few gift bag tips to make yours a best beach destination wedding your guests will never forget.
The bohemian boardwalks of Venice Beach, and the iconic Santa Monica Pier; the ritzy harbors of Newport Beach, the surging surf of Carlsbad, and the postcard-worthy playground of San Diego. Southern California is jam-packed with idyllic beaches and beach towns, offering something for every couple, no matter your idea of the perfect kind of playa. And with cool Pacific breezes ensuring mild year-round temperatures, there’s never a bad month to plan a wedding here.
As the largest estuary in the United States, the Bay spans an incredible 64,000 miles across six Eastern Seaboard states, offering a wide range of exceptional beachfront locales for exchanging your vows. Equal parts laidback and refined, weddings here offer ease of transport from a variety of airports, from Norfolk and Virginia Beach in the south, to Baltimore and Washington, D.C. to the north. And no matter your chosen stretch of shoreline here, your wedding dinner is sure to feature the freshest catch you’re likely to find anywhere in the world.
This 14-mile-long island just off the coast of Cape Cod is lined with sun-drenched wharves and quiet harbors, recalling its 19th-century fishing heritage. But this breathtaking Massachusetts outpost is anything but stuck in time, offering visitors a wide range of genteel accommodations—from cedar-shingled guesthouses to romantic inns—that also provide all the modern conveniences you could want for your beachfront wedding. With its latitude, seasonality is key to planning a wedding here, with the shoulder season months of March and April, September and October promising the most blissfully mild weather for your seaside affair.
Nestled among the Sea Islands of Florida’s Atlantic coastline, this luxury resort town brings together the many spoils of a year-round beach paradise—rolling dunes, sugar-fine sands, and perennially balmy days—with easy access from Jacksonville, just 30 minutes away. On editorial list after list, this sleepy island town is often ranked among the world’s best beaches, and its Historic District and Victorian-era homes and inns make an elegant backdrop to your beachfront wedding once the sun sets. Don’t miss a horse-drawn carriage tour through historic Fernandina Beach to cap off a romantic stay here.
South Padre Island
About a three-hour drive south from Corpus Christi, and nestled near the Mexican border along the dazzling Laguna Madre, this barrier island resort town is a popular destination wedding location year-round—and not just for Texas brides and grooms. Boasting an array of clay dunes and wind-tidal flats, along with the state’s only naturally rocky shoreline, South Padre Island is an ideal location for couples seeking a truly rustic beach wedding experience, but with close proximity to major US airports for easy transport.