beach wedding

Destination Beach Weddings in the United States

Unique Beach Wedding Destinations

by: Andee Schmidt

Whether you’re planning a royal affair on the open ocean or an intimate beachside bonfire, wedding options by the sea are on trend for nature-loving brides. The advantages of a beach wedding are endless; it’s a package deal of picturesque sunset backdrops, built in adventures, and easy access to a budget-conscious honeymoon. If you’re dreaming of a beachy wedding destination, keep in mind the following popular locales as potentially perfect spots to say, “I do.”

destination beach weddings

South Walton, Florida

Head to the Northwestern rim of Florida for a dreamy beach wedding on sugar white sand; South Walton offers access to several popular beaches, including Alys Beach. The town is famous for its walkability that you and your guests will adore. Enjoy a convenient stroll from the beach to the reception while admiring the beautiful Bermudan-style architecture and courtyard. With plenty of venues to choose from that also offer honeymoon packages, this coastal paradise is sure to be a hit for any beach wedding. Explore the endless list of ways to keep your guests entertained, like their nature preserve-a 20-acre protected forest with a quant boardwalk-or watch the sea turtles hatch and make their journey to the sea, then top the night off with a beach bonfire and stargazing.

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Corolla, North Carolina

Experience the quaint allure of North Carolina in Corolla, a beachside town that’s making wedding industry waves for its natural ocean beauty. Plan a small Corolla beach wedding at one of their many fine sand beaches, where treasured wild horses run free along the waterside, or throw a ball at Whalehead in Historic Corolla, a 1920s Art Nouveau manor that echoes country elegance. The small-town feel of Corolla offers guests the intimate experience of privacy, where time pauses just for your special day, and smiling friends and family become the most important thing in the world. This romantic destination is ideal for the active bride; kayaking, parasailing, and surfing are all available at the dock’s edge.

Bar Harbor, Maine

If white sand beaches don’t get your heart swooning, consider a rustic wedding in Bar Harbor Maine, a peaceful town on Mount Desert Island. Next to Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor is a union of deep green woodlands and epic rocky beaches overlooking the waters of Frenchman Bay. Propose a nature-lovers wedding at the foot of a majestic lighthouse with a fresh lobster bake reception; sea birds singing, whales on their seaward journey, and sunset of red-gold set the scene for this romantic provincial festivity. Nature hikes, ocean trails, and windjammer cruises all make for an exciting way to entertain guests before the big day.

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San Diego, California

With nearly perfect weather year-round, San Diego is the ideal spot for a luxurious wedding on the coast. Get hitched on a Victorian-era catamaran, with stained glass windows and an open-deck for the perfect sunset photo-op. As one of the more popular California wedding destinations, there is no end to the options for choosey couples seeking out their dream day, but it will come at a cost. A hotel or resort venue on the crystal-clear beaches easily accommodates a larger wedding party and often includes a swarm of event-planners ready to take the load off your shoulders for your big day. However, there are a number of wedding venues in San Diego that cater to the budget conscious bride, but you might want to plan ahead and search during off-peak season for the affordable beach ceremony of your dreams.

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Chesapeake Beach, Maryland

Look no further than the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland for a romantic waterfront wedding on the eastern shore. With easy access to the Atlantic Ocean, this coastal town is a hit with beach loving couples looking for a ceremony with all the heart of home. Fresh seafood and picturesque boardwalks, hiking and outdoor adventure, and a variety of venues are all at your fingertips, ready to make your wedding day an unforgettable affair. Book a ceremony at one of the nearby beach resorts with staff on hand to handle the more stressful parts of wedding planning or settle into a luxurious spa with your best pals for the evening before your ceremony and awaken to a sunrise feeling refreshed and ready to take a stroll into your new life as two.

chesapeake maryland beach wedding

Seabrook, South Carolina

This once hidden gem of a town is now making its mark as a serene getaway for the more elopement minded lovers. Seabrook Island, a barrier island in South Carolina, is just miles from the historic city of Charleston. Choose a wedding with a sunset view of the spectacular marshlands or keep it new-age traditional with a private wedding on one of Seabrook’s pristine white sand beaches underneath the sway of a breezy palm tree. This destination is guaranteed to deliver gorgeous photos and unforgettable experiences. Guests can fly into to Charleston’s newly renovated airport, where there are ample hotel options and unique bars and restaurants for a reception or bachelorette’s night out.

seabrook beach wedding

 About the author: Andee is a recent college graduate from Arizona State University with a love of writing, the outdoors, and funky cafes. You can usually find her hiking or planning her next trip. She is passionate about traveling, her family, and the perfect cup of coffee. Find her on Instagram as @andee_schmidt

Corey and Jake's Destin, Florida Wedding | August 11, 2018

Corey, who has the sweetest soul, married Jake Sleight on August 11, 2018 on the rooftop of The Henderson Resort and Spa in Destin, Florida. Their ceremony was intimate and gorgeous as it overlooked the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. Corey wore a gorgeous Anne Barge gown, and we are still swooning.

Corey shared special moments of her and Jake’s relationship and their memorable day. Read along to live their day again, and leave the new Mr. and Mrs. some love below.

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How did you meet your groom?

I met Jake in March of 2013 when I went out to San Diego to visit a girlfriend of mine from college. The day I booked my trip, she was telling me everyday, "I'm going to introduce you to Jake!". I hadn't dated anybody in about 4 years and really wasn't interested, but when she picked me up from the airport, he was in the car and went out with us that night. I was in San Diego for 7 days and it really wasn't until day 5 that we started talking. One night we stayed up all night watching Ridiculousness and talking. Neither one of us slept. I believe it was that moment that we knew there was something between us! Long story short, for the next 6 months, Jake flew me out every 2 months to see him. I then moved out to be with him in October of 2013, and the rest is history! He came into my life when I least expected him, but exactly when I needed him.

How did Jake ask you to become his wife?

Jake decided we should make a trip to Florida to see my family while he was on spring break. I asked him why he wanted to go to Florida, because it seemed kind of random (all while I was thinking to myself "maybe he needed to ask my family something...?!), but he replied, "Well, you weren't able to see them for Thanksgiving or Christmas so I thought it would be a good time". (This is about the time that I come back down to reality and realize that he's not up to anything!) My "Mom had planned beach pictures for my Mimi's 80th birthday", so we left Texas at 3am to make it to Destin in time for evening beach pictures. We were all in like colors and ready to go. My Dad, sisters, and Jake left for the beach before my Mom and I because my Mom was "running late", which if you know my Mom, is nothing new. Little did I know that while my mom was "running late", they were staging a great surprise! My Mom and I start walking towards the beach and my Dad meets us right before we walk down the boardwalk. I see our photographer taking pictures of me and I'm thinking, "I do not look cute right now, why is she snapping these candids?!" I look around and realize that everybody is looking at me, and Jake is standing there with our dog, Koda, with a sign around his neck. I said "Aw, the photographer brought props!" I make my way down to Jake and once I see his face, it hits me. All I can say is "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh"... He said, "Corey, I need to ask you a question. I LOST IT! He asked me to marry him in front of my family, as well as his, whom he flew out from Oregon and until this day, our families had not met yet! Obviously, I said yes! The engagement, the pictures, the setting, the was all everything I hoped for and more.

What was your favorite part of the wedding planning process?

DRESS SHOPPING DUHHHH! Seriously, without question, finding my dress with my close friends and family while sipping on champagne and eating macaroons. It was an experience I will never forget!


What is your favorite memory from the wedding day?

The ceremony, hands down. Standing in front of Jake, looking at him and absolutely nothing else, knowing that this day has been 5+ years in the making and we're finally here with our closest friends and families commenting to forever with one another. I was taking in every second.

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What is one piece of advice you would give someone preparing for their wedding day?

Make sure you choose great vendors, because they will make this process extremely fun! You hear horror stories about wedding's and how you "need to elope because of the stress". I never felt an ounce of that. All of my vendors were incredible in the months leading up to as well as the day of the wedding. I would plan our wedding all over again if I could!

Why did you choose Margaret Ellen Bridal? How did you know your dress was "the one"?

My twin sister/MOH found Margaret Ellen Bridal online while we were searching for bridal salons. We looked at her website and immediately called to schedule an appointment! The concept of a completely private appointment in such a beautiful store was something I knew was going to make for a special and memorable event!

I believe I tried on 9 dresses in total. I kept going back to number 4. Once Maggie put the veil on, and I had that "bride" moment, which of course started the waterworks, I knew it was the one. I couldn't see myself wearing anything else walking down the aisle to Jake.

Corey and Jake celebrated their marriage by honeymooning in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

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Erica Whitaker

Venue: The Henderson Beach Resort and Spa

Florist: Bella Flora 30A

Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Sherri Kuhn, Destin to Wed

Hair/Makeup: Gallant Glam

Dress: Blue Willow Bride by Anne Barge

Caterer: The Henderson

Cake: Bake My Day

Ceremony + Reception Musicians: GOT Groove

Invitations: Minted

Officiant: Jared Brown

Transportation: The Henderson

Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal

Tuxedos: Jos A Banks

Seamstress: Kathleen Cooper, Southern Simplicity