How to Plan Your Beach Wedding in Mississippi

Beach weddings in Mississippi are remarkably laid-back, fun, and can be very affordable. 

Combine cuisine, arts, history, atmosphere, and all of the southern charm found along the Mississippi Gulf Coast in a romantic destination wedding celebration. Stunning beaches provide the perfect picturesque backdrop for a ceremony overlooking the sparkling Gulf of Mexico.

Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, in case you haven’t heard, are coming back in a big way. Twenty-six miles of soft white sand outlines gentle waves that dance on the water’s surface offering an exceptional view from U.S. Highway 90, aka Beach Boulevard! A chain of barrier islands limits the amount of strong waves reaching the beaches, making the resultant calm gentle waters ideal for water-based activities and weddings!

Biloxi’s eight casino resorts are back in operation, and a host of visitor amenities – restaurants, golf courses and other attractions — is up and running, with more closer to opening every day.

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,
Sarah Forrester

Location. Location. Location.
Check out these links to fabulous beach areas that Mississippi offers. 

Gulfport

Biloxi


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. 

BEACH PERMITS:

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).

Mississippi  Legal Requirements
Apply for the license in person at any County Clerk’s office. Each of you will need to have a picture ID (driver’s license, military ID). Your Social Security cards and birth certificates may also be helpful. And you’ll need to know your parents’ addresses and your mothers’ maiden names.

There’s a 72-hour waiting period, but this can be waived for residents by a judge of any court in the jurisdiction where either applicant lives and if you are over 21 years old. The license is valid indefinitely. A blood test for syphilis is required within 30 of applying for the license.

If you have been previously married, you must provide the exact date when your last marriage ended and how that occurred. If it ended due to divorce within the last 6 months, you’ll need to bring written proof that can be left with the Clerk.

The license fee is $22 (cash only).

The marriage ceremony can be performed by clergy, mayors, local Board of Supervisors members, and judges of the state of Mississippi Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Circuit court, Chancery court, Justice court, or County court.

Because marriage license requirements can change, please do not regard this guidance as legal advice. 

Heat & Rain & High Tide
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.

And What If…?
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,
I discovered an inexpensive and highly readable book that spells everything out for you.
I mean everything! Click here and check it out for yourself!

– Your host, Sarah Forrester

Wedding Secrets

Get my wedding stress reducer! Download my amazing and free Secrets for the Most Affordable and Best Beach Wedding!

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Highlights

The most popular destination weddings are held on beaches. There are terrific beaches on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts. Each of them can provide a truly memorable setting for your wedding. So many choices!

ATLANTIC COAST

Florida
North Carolina
South Carolina
Georgia
Virginia
New Jersey
New York

GULF COAST

Florida
Texas

Alabama
Mississippi

PACIFIC COAST

Southern California
Northern California
Oregon
Washington
Hawaii

CARRIBEAN

Destinations that do not require a US passport for US citizens:
San Juan, Puerto Rico
St.. Croix, Virgin Islands
St. John, Virgin Islands
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

Although it doesn't boast of a real beach, don't forget that Las Vegas can be a great bargain for a destination wedding.