How to Plan Your Beach Wedding in Georgia
Beach weddings in Georgia are remarkably affordable, fun and so easy!
Located 18 miles east of Savannah, Tybee Island is a small barrier island that boasts a wide, 3-mile long beach that’s backed by sea oat-covered sand dunes and is perfect for sunbathing, people-watching and frolicking in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
St. Simons Island has glorious beaches that can stretch out for hundreds of yards at low tide. Coast Cottages is located at the largest part of the St. Simons beaches, just south of East Beach and the old Coast Guard Station. This is the finest beach on the island.
Jekyll Island’s 10 miles of unspoiled beaches are perfect for sunbathing or swimming, for leisurely walks invigorating jogs or beach weddings. These beaches are a bonanza for guests who enjoy shell collecting.
St. Marys, the gateway to Cumberland Island National Seashore, is well worth considering if you and your guests are truly adventurous and are looking for spectacular natural splendor. As part of the US national park system,it has rules and regulations that you won’t usually find on state-owned public beaches.
You will get tons of additional free info about these options when you visit the links I display below in my “Location. Location. Location” panel.
In considering which of hundreds of potential beaches to site your wedding ceremony, keep in mind the nearest airports, accommodations and “civilization” (caterers, wedding cake bakers, musicians, photographers, and restaurants to provide for your guests before and after the wedding itself). Also, think about whether it is important to be on the beach at particular times of the day (such as sunset) and where the sun is likely to be at that time.
Huge beach houses can often be rented more affordably than putting up most people in a resort hotel. They also often offer large decks or entertaining areas that would be great for the rehearsal dinner, the wedding reception, and even the post-wedding breakfast.
So, explore! Enjoy! And relax!
All the best,
All the best,
Check out these links to fabulous beach areas that Georgia offers.
In general, larger cities and towns are going to have more choices of hotels, motels, and bed & breakfast inns (as well as restaurants, bars, and entertainment for your guests) than remote locales. But don’t avoid considering those remote beaches. They are often far less populated, which will give you more privacy and fewer worries about gawkers and potential party-crashers.
Some municipalities may require you obtain a special permit in order to hold your wedding on their beaches. A few may also ask you to show proof of liability coverage before issuing a permit. The permits are generally very modest in price, but vary widely among communities (starting at $0.00).
Georgia has no waiting period between obtaining the license and the wedding. Since you’ll have plenty to do in the days before The Big Day, it’s a good idea to take care of this about a month beforehand.
Marriage licenses are issued by County Clerks in each Georgia county, but they can be used anywhere in the state. The bride and groom must appear in person and present a picture ID (driver’s license, passport) and a Social Security or I-94 card.
Folks divorced within the prior 6 months will need to show their divorce decree.
The license fee is $65.00. Couples who have completed a state-sanctioned marriage prep course within the past 6 months earn a $35.00 discount. The license is can be used anytime. No blood test is required.
Only members of the clergy can officiate at weddings. The officiant will sign your marriage license, which must be sent to the County Clerk within 30 days of the marriage for it to be legally recognized.
Because marriage license requirements can change, please do not regard this guidance as legal advice.
Planning so far in advance for a beach wedding means that you need to equip yourself with facts about the weather (temperature and possibility of precipitation) for the beach location that you have in mind.
Although there certainly are exceptions, when it comes to weather, the past is a pretty good predictor of the future. and it will almost always be better than a wild guess. This link provides historical weather data over nearly 50 years for thousands of locations in the world.
You won’t want to have the bridal party standing at the water’s edge for the ceremony if the tide’s coming in. But when will that be? Find the time of the high tide for your beach location for any day in 2009 with this link.
What if a major storm occurs or the groom has an accident that requires the wedding to be postponed or even canceled? What if an important vendor goes out of business before the wedding and you can’t get back your deposit for the cake or the music?
Consider wedding cancellation insurance. It is available online for as little as 1 cent for every dollar of insurance, and it can cover the honeymoon, too.
Here’s one site that has designed a special insurance policy just for coverning wedding -related events: http://www.wedsafe.com/
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED READING
To help you through the sometimes mind-boggling decisions that you must make,
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