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When it comes to choosing a dream wedding destination, different people imagine different ideal scenarios. If you’re a beach person, like so many others, your perfect wedding would take place on a warm, sandy beach with warm, blue water and a spectacular sunset. For those who have that dream, this article explains how pulling it off is a lot easier (and cheaper) than you would expect.

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Besides booking the airline tickets and hotels for your beach wedding, there are a few more things that you should keep in mind. In some places such as Hawaii, all beaches are public. So if you want to have privacy, you might want to book a beach house with an adjacent area where you can set up canopies, tables and chairs for your ceremony. In other places, you’ll also have to get a license to get married on the beach.

Where possible, it’s advisable to get locals to provide the setup for your wedding ceremony as well as the food and drinks. Often, weddings have been ruined by those who have tried to bring everything from home because these items have gotten caught up in customs. You’ll find that locals are more aware of the problems you might run into because they’ve done all this before. The wedding planner from your hometown on the east coast may know all the ins and outs of weddings taking place in that locale but will probably be clueless when it comes to a beach wedding in a tropical environment. Locals, on the other hand, will know that flowers have to be weighed down on the beach or they’ll fly away in the breeze. The same goes for ceremony programs and tablecloths. Oftentimes, it’s actually cheaper to work with local suppliers, so this is also a great way to save some money.

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If you’re the bride, you also need to consider the heat, the ocean breeze and the sand when it comes to your wedding dress and shoes. Some dresses are going to be way too hot and inconvenient on the beach, besides looking a little incongruous. Flowing slip dresses in chiffon are probably your best bet. Also keep in mind that stiletto heels will sink in the sand. But you don’t have to give up high heels altogether. Just get a pair of platform heels or wedges and you can go as high as you want.

It’s also a good idea to prepare for sunburn by wearing lots of sunblock. You can even go one step further and prepare goody bags for your guests, giving each of them a tube of sunblock, a bottle of water and a pretty hand-held fan to beat the heat. If, on the other hand, it looks like it’s getting cool pretty early, you might want to provide your female guests with a basket of pashminas to choose from. Of course, these can be sourced locally as well.

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