How to Plan Your Beach Wedding in Texas

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

For most people, there’s simply no question that the best  all-around Texas destination for a beach wedding is Galveston. It has 32 miles of beautiful sand along the Gulf of Mexico backed up by both basic and high-end resorts, restaurants, and attractions. The major cruise lines depart and return here, which makes a honeymoon cruise an absolute snap. And for something really different, think about the Colonel, a 750-passenger, 19th-century-style stern wheeler docked at Moody Gardens, that offers a unique view of the Gardens and an enjoyable cruise.

For hearty souls looking for a really adventurous edge to their beach wedding, check out the Padre Island National Seashore, which is huge. Also worth taking a look at is the Matagorda Island State Park.

You will get tons of additional free info about these options  when you visit the links that 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 Texas offers. 

Padre Island National Seashore

Matagorda Island State Park

Surfside Beach

Galveston

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).

Texas  Legal Requirements
Texas has no waiting period except for folks divorced within the previous 30 days. 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 Texas county, and they can be used anywhere in the state. The bride and groom must appear in person and present a certificated copy of a birth certificate, driver’s license or other acceptable ID issued by any government agency. Bring along your Social Security number. (Portions of the application may be completed elsewhere if one party is unable to appear in person.)

Folks divorced within the prior 30 days need to show a certified copy of their divorce decree that waives the 30 day waiting period.

The license fee is $36.00 (cash only). The license is can be used anytime after a 72-hr waiting period (which can be waived due to active duty military service). No blood test is required.

The marriage ceremony must be conducted by a member of the clergy. The officiant will sign your marriage license, which must be sent to the County Clerk within 3 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.

 

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.