11 Best Beach Wedding Venues (Plus Top Beach Wedding Questions Answered)

Wedding party on beachPhoto: Bella Bridesmaids Sacramento / Taryn Baxter

You’re walking down an aisle of warm, silky, white sand, surrounded by everyone you love. Gentle harp music mixes with the sound of waves.

If you dream of a beachfront wedding, we’re here to make it come true.

We’ve picked some of the best beach wedding venues, from East Coast to West (including the Great Lakes!), to inspire you.

No need for an extravagant Hawaii getaway … we have the secrets for the most romantic beachside nuptials on any budget. Plus, we’ll answer your FAQs and provide tips about preparing for the unexpected.

So, grab your sunscreen and towel, oops — pen and paper. We’re spilling our wedding idea secrets!

Our Top Beach Wedding Venues

Everyone who dreams of a beautiful beach or ocean view wedding can have one, and we’ve picked the best of the bunch. This list includes gorgeous venues and state park beaches, each with equally stunning views.

Please note: Permits are necessary for some state park beaches. Apply well in advance so that you don’t have to change the date of your wedding celebration last minute.

1. Navy Beach — Montauk, NY

This popular restaurant is a boss in the wedding arena with its waterfront dining room and private beach. Navy Beach is a premier wedding location with staff who work hard to bring your vision to life.

Say ‘I do’ outdoors under a gorgeous arbor along the shore. Then, retreat indoors for the reception. 

Best Wedding Weather: May through October 

2. Cape May, NJ

As the southernmost county in New Jersey, Cape May offers vast uninterrupted stretches of exquisite beach. Forget pesky details like square feet; you’ve got miles of beach. 

Permits for oceanfront outdoor ceremonies here range from free to a couple of hundred dollars. So find the sandy beach you love, and apply for the appropriate permit. 

Then, head to a local restaurant or book a reception venue nearby.

Best Wedding Weather: May through September

3. Santa Monica Beach, CA

Bride and bridesmaids posing on beach in front of palm treesPhoto: Bella Bridesmaids Los Angeles / Tiffany J. Gentry Garafola

There’s no permit required for a wedding ceremony on iconic Santa Monica Beach. Simply share your vows as the Pacific laps at the shore, and book one of the (many) nearby restaurants for the reception.

Another Southern California option, nearby Malibu Beach, does require a permit. Check out the Malibu City website for more info.

Best Wedding Weather: Year-round! (Just be prepared for tourists!)

4. Carillon Weddings — Panama City Beach, FL 

Do you crave simple elegance? If so, the award-winning Carillon Weddings is the ideal high-end beachfront resort. 

This private gulf-front beach resort community takes care of planning your luxurious big day. Of course, you’re also free to customize and add details. 

This state-of-the-art outdoor wedding venue provides ample accommodation. It also provides top-notch amenities and a personalized concierge service. 

Soak up the white sand beaches, crystal clear emerald water, and a warm, gentle breeze.

Best Wedding Weather: May through October

5. Little Talbot Beach, Jacksonville FL

Little Talbot Beach is one of Florida’s best kept secrets. This turquoise surf of this little hidden gem near Jacksonville, Florida extends over white sandy beaches, framed by gentle dunes. 

However, its greatest asset may lie in what it doesn’t have: crowds. 

wedding permit here costs $50. You can also check out the themed wedding packages from Sun and Sea Weddings or dream up your own. 

Hold your ceremony under an arbor on the warm sand. Then, gather at the beachside picnic pavilions to relax in the sunshine while sipping spritzers.

Best Wedding Weather: April - October 

Don’t forget to pair your beachy venue with stunning summer bridesmaid dresses. (We reveal 7 of our all-time faves!)

6. Mansion by the Sea — Aransas Pass, TX

A sprawling deck that stretches over the water? Check.

Sandy stretch of beach? Yes!

At Mansion by the Sea, there’s space to accommodate every aspect — the rehearsal dinner to the outdoor ceremony — on the beach or out on the deck with the water sparkling below. 

Best Wedding Weather: April, August, and October

7. Monterey Beach Station — Monterey, CA

Located down on the sandy shore, this beach wedding venue ticks all the boxes: 

• Gorgeous beachfront access for a ceremony with toes in the sand
• A historic venue with clean, modern furnishings for the reception
• Beachside firepits to roast s’mores on the shore under glittering stars

    Check out Monterey Beach Station’s wedding packages. These include an in-house award-winning menu and wedding planning assistance.

    Best Wedding Weather: Year-round

    8. Oregon State Beach, OR 

    The rugged coast of Oregon is spectacular and is less highly trafficked than urban beaches. Check with the State Parks department to determine if you need a permit on the pristine beach you choose.

    Best Wedding Weather: May through October

    9. The Woodmark Hotel — Kirkland, WA

    Beach wedding or mountains, who says you have to choose? Here at the shores of Lake Washington, you get the best of both: a sparkling lake framed by the backdrop of the Olympic Mountains. 

    The Woodmark Hotel is fully equipped to accommodate every aspect of your special day. With wedding planners and more, they provide a list of preferred vendors. 

    Best Wedding Weather: May through October 

    10. The Peninsula Room — Traverse City, MI

    From ceremonies to receptions, you’re covered. At the Peninsula Room, you can exchange vows amidst the perennials on the Great Lawn, shaded by leafy trees with expansive lake views. Then, move to the stone patio for cocktail hour, and head indoors for the reception. 

    Best Wedding Weather: May through September

    11. Sleeping Bear Dunes — Lake Michigan, MI 

    Sleeping Bear Dunes in Lake Michigan is perfect for small intimate weddings. You can gather along the sandy shores for your ceremony and enjoy uninterrupted Lake Michigan views. 

    Permits cost $50, and you should apply for one a year in advance.

    Best Wedding Weather: May through September

    Beach Wedding FAQs

    Bride and bridesmaids walking on beachPhoto: Bella Bridesmaids Grand Rapids / Fern and Frame Photography

    Have questions? We’ve got answers! 

    Here are some commonly asked questions about beach weddings:

    Are Beach Weddings Cheaper?

    Like planning any wedding, costs fluctuate, and there are ways to cut costs without skimping on the overall experience. 

    A simple DIY beach wedding is very affordable. All you need to consider is permit processing fees (if applicable) and anything else you’d like to include.

    Be mindful that, short of a picnic (which can be excellent; think cheese and crackers, finger sandwiches, and sparkling cider), receptions and alcohol aren’t permitted on most beaches. 

    Do you want to celebrate with a full-service meal and bar before cutting loose in a grand ballroom? Then, securing a nearby venue to host the reception is an excellent idea.

    How Do You Plan a Simple Beach Wedding? 

    Be creative! 

    Bring an arbor to say your vows underneath, and use a painter’s drop cloth for your guests to settle on. Your décor can be as simple as pampas grass or gorgeous branches displayed in tall narrow vases or propped up in the sand.

    Bring flowers and silks and, if available, incorporate large pieces of driftwood as seating. Mother nature has done most of the décor work. All you have to do is show up.

    Also, be sure to follow all ordinances posted. 

    Pick a fabulous nearby restaurant, winery, or event space rental for the reception to continue the celebration there.

    Check out this article for some tips on planning a destination wedding itinerary.

    What Is The Best Month To Have A Beach Wedding?

    Tourists… rain… cold, windy weather … depending on where you’re tying the knot, the prevalence of these varies. Check your desired location online first. 

    If you’re booking a venue, ask about the weather and tourists — and don’t forget to inquire about their backup plan in case of rain.

    What's the Best Type of Makeup for a Beach Wedding?

    We have a whole guide on that topic here!

    What Should I Wear to a Beach Wedding as a Guest?

    We have a guide on that too!

    Beach Wedding Preparation Tips

    Bride and bridesmaids on beachPhoto: Bella Bridesmaids Long Island / Basia Ambroziak

    Before you begin officially planning your beach wedding, there are a few things you should keep in mind: 

    • Make sure the beach is accessible to everyone invited
    • Do a sound test first to ensure your guests can hear your vows
    • Your décor should be windproof
    • If it’s sunny and hot, provide shade. For a beach wedding, you can buy attractive neutral collapsible gazebos
    • Have a plan B in case of rain

      Shop literally hundreds of designer bridesmaid dress styles in the Bella Bridesmaids collection!


      Whether closer to palm trees or pine, a beach is a destination wedding everyone loves. No matter where you choose to have yours, we’re shore your celebration will be beautiful!

      Craving even more wedding day inspo? Follow us on Instagram to stay on top of the latest trends and styles.

      You May Also Be Interested In...