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What to pack for a beach wedding

Barefoot vows and sunset ceremonies, capped off with tropical drinks and sultry music. Ah, beach weddings, there’s nothing like them. Thanks to the ever-accommodating beach wedding venue, more couples are turning their wedding day into a destination stay. So what do you need to pull off a beach wedding? Here’s a look at historic locales and the necessities (or lack thereof) you’ll need to execute a captivating beach wedding.

Swimsuit(s) and sunscreen

Aside from the all-important wedding attire, you’ll want to pack your swimsuit to perfect your tan before slipping on that white dress. Jekyll Island offers nine miles of unspoiled beaches, from the spectacular Driftwood Beach to the island’s majestic dunes. The concierge at Jekyll Island Club Hotel can help you arrange a romantic two-hour paddleboard tour, an exhilarating way to explore these pristine beaches.

High heels (just kidding)

At the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, you don’t have to pack your dress shoes unless you want to. Located on Oahu, this historic hotel features barefoot vows with Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head serving as a breathtaking backdrop. The calm waters of the island are perfect for pre-wedding (or honeymoon) surfing lessons.

Boat shoes

The only shoes you might need are your boat shoes. The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort, off Georgia on St. Simons Island, offers a one-of-a-kind Shrimpin’ Cruise aboard the Lady June. Traveling through scenic marshes, this two-hour experience introduces wedding guests to the island’s wondrous wildlife, including dolphins, seagulls and pelicans, along with the marine life the crew wrangles up from below.

An extra suitcase
for destination weddings

After your romantic beach wedding, you might need an extra suitcase to carry home any wedding keepsakes like your own decorated broom. A wedding tradition on St. Croix, a U.S. Virgin Island, couples at The Buccaneer can enhance their ceremony with the “Jump the Broom” ritual. A centuries-old African tradition, couples start their new life together with “a clean sweep.” Designed by an artist exclusively for the couple, the broom is a personal keepsake you’ll want to make room for in your suitcase.

Binoculars

If you’re starting your new life with a Harbor View Hotel of Martha’s Vineyard beach wedding, you’ll want to pack the binoculars. More than 300 species of birds are known to frequent the island, with coastal storms relocating some rare species here, including the European cuckoo and any number of exotic warblers. Your binoculars will also come in handy if you want to take in the island’s five lighthouses, one of which, the Edgartown Lighthouse, is located right on the hotel’s property.

Golf clubs

Martha Vineyard is also known for the seaside Minks Meadow Golf Course, and if you’re exchanging vows at the Kelley House of Martha's Vineyard, guests are provided access to this historic course, located in Vineyard Haven, a short drive from the hotel. Famed golf architect Wayne Stiles built the golf course in 1936, taking advantage of the island’s rolling terrain and ocean views. Golf, a popular pastime on Martha’s Vineyard, is a perfect escape for your groom and groomsmen before the wedding ceremony.