How to Plan a San Diego Beach Wedding

View of palm trees near coastline of San Diego.

You’ve been dreaming of this day for a while now (possibly your entire life!). You’ve thought about the flowers and the cake, the music and the dress and, of course, the person standing at the other end of the aisle. And you’ve always pictured it in one very specific setting: the beach. Fortunately, this type of San Diego wedding is easily accomplished. However, there are just a few necessary items for you to keep in mind and on your agenda before you show up at your sandy cove of choice.

Location, Location, Location

Most beaches have a few common characteristics, especially in San Diego. They’re sandy. They’re white. They occasionally have lifeguard towers and wooden piers and, sometimes, they’re incredibly crowded. Know which beach you want – whether it’s Coronado’s broad expanse of sand or the La Jolla Cove’s backdrop of hills. And don’t forget the time of day. A sunrise or sunset wedding just might help you avoid having a crowd of beach-goers in the background of your photos.

Get Permission

While an impromptu affair – i.e. arriving with your wedding finery and family in tow – sounds entirely fitting with a laid-back beach ceremony, don’t forget one crucial thing. Your permit. All of the beaches in the area require permits, and most can be applied for online. Cost varies with the number of event “participants” and some beaches even require damage and cleaning deposits. Keep in mind that the application process may take a few weeks.

Always Be Prepared

No, we’re not Boy Scouts. But while the weather in San Diego tends toward perfect on a year-round basis, it isn’t a total guarantee. Make sure you and your guests are prepared for the particular potential for wind (which, in our experience, can wreak total havoc on a good updo), as well as the sandy surface. And, like any outdoor event, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan in mind.

P.S. Don’t forget to use the best planning tools around — our wedding websites are perfect for communicating with your guests and sharing the details of your wedding day and registry.

about the author
Anne Anne is a serial optimist and hopeless romantic living in a big red barn in Colorado with her husband Shayne. She loves black and white films and making messes in the kitchen and considers life wholly incomplete without a regular dose of dark chocolate.

See more posts by Anne