If it's your wedding dream to pledge your forever love on the sandy shores of a beach, it will take some planning. Preparing for the trip is just as vital a part of making your wedding day perfect as preparing for the ceremony itself. When it comes to packing, how comfortable and memorable the wedding is will depend on what items you bring. Here are five must-haves for a destination beach wedding.
From running around pulling together last-minute details to exploring the locale post-wedding, having shoes that provide a comfy home for your tender toes is a must. Shop for shoes that are comfortable and versatile so you can wear them when running to the store or walking along the beach. Pack more than one pair to ensure you have choices for each day, and should one pair get wet you have a fallback.
The whole point of going to a beach is hanging out on the shore. Instead of filling your suitcase with clothes you'd wear every day, put extra effort into your bathing suit packing choices. Purchase a collection of new bathing suits, including one in a bridal-appropriate white. For when you are walking along the beach or touring the little street shops nearby, you'll want a cute cover up. Pack a collection of classy cover-ups, giving you the coverage you need to feel comfortable while still keeping you beach appropriate.
Many destination-wedding couples elect this wedding option because they share a love of experiencing new places. Equip yourself with a tool to use in exploring the location in which you land by taking a filled-to-the-brim tour book. While you likely wont have time to tour the locale before your wedding, after your ceremony you will find yourself with more time to look around.
A sunburn can instantly ruin your perfect wedding and honeymoon. Prepare yourself to fend off the sun's rays by packing sunscreen of at least 45 SPF and using it religiously. Pack some aloe lotion in case some of the suns rays do manage to penetrate your layer of protection. Slathering on this cooling lotion can immediately take the sting out of your sunburn, making it easier to handle.
Pack something that will help you take a break from the hectic wedding planning and post-wedding celebration. Tuck your eReader or a collection of traditional paperbacks into your suitcase. If you wear contacts, consider prescription sunglasses. You can order custom frames and lenses from online retailers such as Vision Direct, and you can even get fashionable brands like Ray-Ban and Oakley. Each time you need to unwind, take your reading material and venture to the beach for some ultimate relaxation. When you run your toes through the sand while reading your book and you will feel your stresses melt away. —Caroline Spencer
Top photo: Jerry and John married on the beaches of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Read their Real Wedding feature here. Photo by Karen Lisa Artistic Photography
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