What about a British beach wedding?

Published date: 28th January 2019

We’re very used to seeing images of beach weddings overseas, and to hearing about or even attending such events. But as Britain has a vast coastline, with some of the world’s best beaches, isn’t it time more couples started to think about a Great British Beach Wedding?

Undoubtedly the first thought that springs to mind will be ‘but what about the weather?’ Setting aside the occasional hurricane, tropical rainstorm and plain dull day that can if you’re unlucky affect overseas versions, the weather in this country tends to be good enough for the beach on most days from May through September. Clearly there’s no guarantee, especially of bright sunshine and cloudless skies, but consider a few weather facts: East Anglia on average has 113 days a year when it rains; so that’s 252 when it doesn’t; London gets less rain than Sydney; and parts of Yorkshire get less rain than the capital. Historically the best months to avoid the rain are April to July, so pretty much wedding season then.

The smart thing to do is to have a back-up plan – a venue that is at the beach, so like the church fete, it’s indoors if wet. We list venues fitting that bill perfectly, not least a restaurant with its own beach, and several hotels a skimmed stone from the sea.

But why does a beach wedding have a special appeal? For us it’s the magic of childhood holidays, sandcastles and rockpools. There’s the invigorating air too, that stimulates appetites culinary and carnal – plenty of us cherish romantic teenage moments of beaches when the sun went down. A wedding at sunrise on the East Coast, or Sunset on the West will provide fabulous backgrounds for your pictures, but then so does the sea at pretty much anytime for a good photographer.

Back to the practicalities. A long white train and flimsy veil may not be the best ideas on sand (especially wet sand) and with the sea breeze blowing. So think shorter length, or for the daring going the full beach hog with the surfer look or just smart beach gear. At the right place too one necessity, transport, could even be a boat!

Another practicality is the party afterwards. Again, indoors if wet makes sense, but if it is dry there’s nothing better than a beach bash. Have caterers (or mates) fire up the barbie. Stroll the sands with classic beach picnic butties – egg salad anyone? Cornish pasties, Cromer Crabs, fish and chips, ice cream, or for the posher among us samphire and sea trout are all coastal favourites. Rock sweets for the kids (who’ll love you for that and the digging up). And if you’re bold, serve sex on the beach cocktails.

Please don’t think that it’s only in the south that such events should be contemplated. Scotland has some breathtakingly beautiful shoreline – Ben’s Beach near Mallaig; innumerable places on Harris and Lewis, the Uists, and Skye (and innumerable churches within a stroll of the beach too)… with May and June possibly the best times there (thinking of midges as much as the weather, though the sea breeze tends to keep them away). And Wales of course is famed for its resorts including on Anglesey, the Llyn Peninsula, and the North Coast.

So if your idea of a wedding is more shirtsleeves than top hat and tails, the open air rather than Westminster Abbey; and if you love the sand and the sea, it’s got to be worth at least a glance at our beach venues, if only to begin a bit of a dream.

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