Kid Friendly Beach Wedding in Clearwater Beach

Whether it’s your own biological child(ren) or those of your friends/family, don’t overlook the importance of planning for kids on your beach wedding day. You’ll want your flower girl, ring bearer or other cute little guests remembered for all the right reasons. Not because they were crying, throwing sand, or partaking in other beach mayhem! So we have some tricks to help your wedding day run smoother than a baby’s bottom. ūüėČ Oh, and the kids will surely have a great time too with these kid-friendly beach wedding tips!

How To Plan For a Kid Friendly Beach Wedding 

So we’ve broken up these kid friendly tips into 3 categories. Pre, during, and post wedding. Most often moms and dads bring their own bag of tricks for during the wedding. But what about when it’s time to take photos after the wedding? Or those last few antsy minutes pre-wedding? Well, here goes:

Pre Wedding

The key here is don’t use up all your tricks before the bride walks down the aisle. You’re setting up for a ceremony with a restless, bouncy kid, who naturally will want to frolic and play on the beach. Tips pre-wedding:

  • Go for a Walk –¬† Ask the officiant or photographer approximately how long until the ceremony starts. Go for a walk/run in the sand to burn off some inherent kid energy. Stay within eyeshot of the ceremony site and be prepared to get back to your seats within a minute or two. If the child is in the wedding, it’s not advised to wander off on a walk. However, a run around in the nearby sand or some energy burning movement is encouraged. And the minutes leading up to the ceremony is a great time for a game of “I spy” or “Simon Says.”¬†
  • Snack Time¬†– A healthy(ish) snack before the wedding is a great way to keep kids happy. Don’t choose something that’s going to stain, spill, or cause a mess. Goldfish, pretzels, apple slices, raisins, Cheerios all make for the perfect nibble pre-wedding.¬†
  • Pep Talk¬†– Talk to kids so they know what to expect once the wedding begins. Kids are more likely to behave when they have a clear set of expectations and timeline. Let them know they are expected to be quiet, stay seated, and there is nothing wrong with a little incentive (incentive = politically corrected word for a bribe). ūüėČ The promise of a lollipop or bubbles post ceremony can be a great motivator. Now, kids under 2 may not understand the idea of waiting for a reward or understand the rules laid out, so more on that. But kids around 3 and up will totally understand. Kids in the wedding should have a clear understanding of what they will be during and where to walk/stand/sit during the wedding. Don’t assume anything here!

 

During the Wedding

It is NOT the bride or groom’s responsibility to be managing ANY childcare DURING the ceremony (biological kids or otherwise). This is YOUR wedding day. Holding a crying baby while exchanging vows is unromantic, impersonal, and quite frankly, unfair to your spouse. So plan for someone to be the “emergency” helper (preferably non-wedding party member).

Now there are a few different ideas here and the strategies for keeping kids quiet and content during the ceremony differs with age.

kid friendly beach wedding

  • Babies (non crawers or walkers)- The biggest task here is keeping baby happy. This means the caretaker will need to be in a position to stand, sit, bounce, or walk away with minimal distraction. Preferably the back row(s) on an end. Bottles, cereal puffs, pre-chopped food, quiet toys, pacifiers should be on hand, at all times! DO NOT keep a miserable crying baby at the ceremony site- take a hike (literally, down the beach)¬†Happy baby = Happy bride! ūüôā
  • Crawlers/Toddlers– Same goes for above. A clean, quiet snack (no crinkly wrappers or crunchy bites) or noise free toys are a great way to keep the little ones content and quiet. Even a shovel and bucket is a great toy to have on hand for easy entertainment. DO NOT expect a young toddler to sit for the entirety of the ceremony. So whatever keeps that little one happy, bring it, pack it, use it! Expect the best, prepare for the worst.
  • Young kids– Kids ages 4 and up should be able to sit through the ceremony (averaging 10-15 minute) without a hitch. A coloring book or sticker book and paper pad are easy, quiet kid tools to bring along though just in case.
  • NO TECHNOLOGY– Avoid iPads, iPhones, Leap Pads, and all other screens during a wedding. Unexpected alerts and sound effects can be very distracting. And, even if silenced, are just a distraction to other guests. Not to mention the whole sand/water mess factor. ¬†

 

After the Wedding

Whew! You did it, you made it through the ceremony. No criers, no screamers, no bored kids. You and your kid(s) deserve a pat on the back!

  • Reward good behavior– Bubbles, lollipops, a kite. Find something fun for the little ones. They just sat through a (likely un-exciting) event and now it’s time to do what kids do best. PLAY!¬†
  • Photo-ready. There will probably be at least one photograph with the kids so, again, remind the kids of the expectations. Smile nicely, listen to the photographer, and it will likely be quick and painless!¬†
  • You did it! That’s about it. Run in the sand and celebrate the day!

Ok now for the “grown up kids”- if you’re ready to take the next step into adulthood and tie the knot, click HERE to book your Clearwater Beach Wedding!

 

 

Beach Wedding Favors

Tips for choosing the best beach wedding favors for your Clearwater Beach Wedding

 

So you’re preparing and planning for your Clearwater Beach Wedding and you’re thinking about beach wedding favors. Well let’s assume you’ve already hired Your Clearwater Beach Weddings to organize and prepare the perfect wedding day. If you’ve done that, the only real necessity left to plan is what to wear and how to get to the beach. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Your Clearwater Beach Weddings can work with you to take care of everything for a perfect wedding from set up to officiant, photographer to music. Click here for proof and a break down of what Clearwater Beach Weddings has to offer.

So, now where were we? Your Clearwater Beach Weddings has everything covered, but you want to add a few more personal touches. Here are some ideas for favors and the do’s and don’ts of what to bring to the beach.

 

5 Ideas for Beach Wedding Favors at Your Beach Wedding:

  1. Keep it simple- There may not be immediate access to garbage cans and it’s likely your guests may not be bringing bags or purses onto the sand. So when choosing beach wedding party favors, avoid items with something involving lots of plastic wrapping or bulky items that are a hassle to carry.
  2. Sweet Treats- Want the perfect beach wedding treat? Match the salty air with some tasty saltwater taffy. Simply put these yummy treats in a clear baggie, tie with some ribbon, and you have an easy and colorful wedding favor. You can even buy local, Florida made taffy and have it shipped. Click here to order. ¬†Not into taffy? Choose another sweet or salty snack for your guests to enjoy, but be sure to stay away from chocolate or other fast melting foods that won’t make it in the Florida sun.
  3. Practically speaking- No one needs another trinket that’s likely to get tossed minutes after the vow exchange. Think of practical beach wedding favors your guests could enjoy the day of your wedding and in the future. A few ideas- personalized wedding sunglasses like these or fun drink koozies like these.¬†
  4. Follow the rules- There is a no glass policy on the beach and the general rule is to leave the beach the same (or better) as when you got there. So before you order those cute mason jars or votive holders, remember the rules.
  5. In the sand- There won’t really be anywhere to display your favors. Consider purchasing a basket to place in the sand near the seating area for favors. And don’t forget to assign someone to put it out before your guests arrive.

 

Beach Wedding Guests, What Do They Need to Know?

Beach Wedding Guests celebrating the newly married couple at their beach wedding in Florida

Having a Clearwater Beach Wedding is meant to be relaxing and enjoyable. In order to ensure a smooth beach wedding ceremony it is best to make sure your guests are will informed. Below are some helpful tips to make sure your guests arrive on time, know where to go, and don’t have to interrupt your relaxing wedding day.

  1. Most important:  Time of ceremony.  Your guests should arrive at least 15 minutes before your ceremony start time. This allows them plently of time to get to the beach, find parking, and mingle for a few. TIP: On your invitations put your ceremony start time 15 minutes prior to the actual start time, so you can guarantee your wedding will go off on time.
  2. Location of the beach wedding ceremony. ¬†If you all staying at the same hotel, or rental, on the beach and you just have to walk outside to the beach, great. ¬†But, if you are all staying at different locations, or they will be driving in, you need to provide them with an exact address of the beach area. ¬†As well as any landmarks, street intersections, etc…that can assist them in getting to the correct beach wedding location.¬† Your Clearwater Beach Wedding Company always provides detailed information about the beach location, and this should be shared with your guests.¬†
  3. How to get to the beach wedding ceremony. ¬†As you may know, parking in Clearwater, St. Pete, and surrounding areas is not always easy to find. ¬†We try and provide you with beach wedding location choices that are close to large parking areas. ¬†Keep in mind, most parking is paid parking (meters are usually found in the parking lot areas — they take cash, or credit card). ¬†Your beach wedding guests should be aware that most of the parking is paid parking, so they can be prepared. ¬†
  4. If you, and all of your beach wedding guests, are coming from out of town, you should provide them with a couple of hotel options. Or at least one, if you want everyone to stay at the same hotel.  You may want to contact the hotel directly, and talk to their group sales department.  They will be able to  provide you with information about how to block rooms.  This usually requires a five to ten room minimum.  You will receive a code to give to your guests when they make their reservation.  If you are having a smaller group, you can provide them a few hotels in the area, and they can make their own reservations.
  5. Provide your beach wedding guests with a general timeline of the day of the ceremony. ¬†This way, they know how much free time they will have to enjoy the day. ¬†And, what time they will need to arrive for the ceremony. ¬†You may also want to let them know about any after ceremony festivities. ¬†Such as meeting at a restaurant, or ¬†providing a small reception, etc…
  6. If you beach wedding guests have never been to the area, you can provide them with some interesting things to do.  In the Tampa area, you have the Florida aquarium.  And, the drive to all the major attractions in Orlando, is only a little over an hour.  
  7. Your wedding guests might be wondering what to wear. ¬†You can tell them make sure they are comfortable. ¬†There are many options to be “dress casual” and still enjoy the beach. ¬†For the gentlemen: Polo shirts, linen shirts, khaki pants or shorts, Boat shoes or flip flops. ¬†For the ladies: ¬†Comfortable sun dresses (tip: ¬†make sure they aren’t see-through in the sun), dress shorts, cute flat sandals, pumps, or flip flops. ¬†If dressing up, great — another hint, if the dress is too short, it may blow “up” in the breeze). ¬†If you want, you can even give them some color options. ¬†For example, you can let them know that it would be great if everyone followed a color them, and give them two to three choices of colors (for example, khaki, coral, and teal). ¬†This gives everyone some type of guidance, and it would make a great, color-coordinated group wedding photo!

If you make sure your beach wedding guests know where your Florida beach wedding will take place, this just means less stress for you. Because, if they don’t know where they are supposed to be, or what location, they will be calling you on the day of your wedding ceremony on the beach. ¬† You want the day of your ceremony to be filled with joy and laughter, not stress. ¬†So, remember, an informed beach wedding guest, is a happy guest! ¬†

Congratulations, and we can’t wait to see you, and your beach wedding guests, on the beach!