How Much Does a Beach Wedding Cost?

Last Updated on December 18, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

For engaged couples, visions of exchanging vows along warm sandy shores as ocean waves gently lap nearby holds a powerful allure. But transforming cinematic dreams into reality requires considering countless issues aside from just showing up barefoot to some idyllic tropical venue. Still, proper planning and foresight make beach weddings wonderful experiences.

How Much Does a Beach Wedding Cost?

The average cost of a beach wedding in the U.S. is $7,000. But prices can range anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000+ depending on your location, the scale of your event, and what’s included in your package. The most important factors that influence cost are explained next.

For example, the Gown Cleaner notes that beach weddings may cost between $5,000 and $50,000. The price varies because of things like location choice or number of guests. Public beaches charge a permit fee.

Gulf Beach Weddings offers various wedding packages, with prices starting at $1,195 for an intimate wedding and vow renewal package designed for zero guests in attendance, and going up to $1,995 for a larger beach wedding package that allows seating for up to ninety guests.

Paradise Beach Weddings provides cost estimates for beach weddings and receptions at a destination wedding in Florida, with price ranges from $4,500 to $6,500 plus tax for 30-50 attendees, and $200 to $2,500 plus tax for live streaming and professional quality films for 70-80 attendees.

Factors Impacting the Cost of a Beach Wedding

Four main things affect how much you’ll pay to get married oceanside:

Location – The most popular beach spots in destination locales like Hawaii or Mexico are more expensive. Getting married along the Jersey Shore costs less.

Guest Count – Catering, rentals, and other wedding elements cost more with 100 guests vs. 50 guests.

Inclusions – Opting for an all-inclusive package with attire, flowers, wedding cake, and photography bundled together is pricier than a simple ceremony-only option.

Season – Summer weekend dates are the most popular for beach weddings, so you’ll pay peak rates compared to a Thursday in April.

Now let’s explore each cost factor impacting a beach bash budget…

Location Matters

Where you wed makes a huge difference in expense. A short flight away to a tropical locale means spending big bucks. But staying local to cut costs is very doable.

You might also like our articles about the cost of a beach wedding at Montage Laguna Beach, Pelican Hill, or Mar a Lago.

To illustrate the location price spectrum, a dreamy oceanfront wedding in Hawaii costs around $15,000 for 50 people. Meanwhile, gathering at the Jersey Shore for a casual ceremony and luncheon costs only $4,000.

Category Location Costs
Cost of a Destination Wedding Hawaii Starts at $12,000
Mexico Starts at $8,000
Caribbean Starts at $7,000
California Starts at $5,000
Regional Beach Costs East Coast $3,000 to $7,000
Gulf Coast $4,000 to $8,000
West Coast $5,000 to $10,000
Great Lakes $3,000 to $6,000

Saving money comes down to location more than anything else. Look around nearby lakes or State Park beaches to uncover budget-friendly sites that still offer beautiful backdrops worthy of your nuptials.

Guest List Impacts Extras

When you picture your perfect seaside soirée, how many guests make the scene? Picking your guest list carefully is an easy way to control costs. Catering, rentals, and almost everything scale up based on headcount.

Having more than 75 guests means you’ll likely exceed $10,000 with all the incidentals. A more intimate guest list of 30 to 50 people makes hitting a $5,000 budget very likely. Settling on your guest count first allows you to research pricing for venues that can accommodate your crew.

Inclusions and Rentals Add Up to Destination Wedding Costs

Going beyond the basics with an all-inclusive package adds considerable costs for elevated amenities. But you can pare back too if needed to make beach weddings more affordable.

Here’s a breakdown of popular add-ons and their average pricing:

  • Photography – $2,000+
  • Florals – $500+
  • Officiant – $200+
  • Décor – $300+
  • Chair & Table Rentals – $500+
  • Tent Rental – $500+
  • Catering – $15+ per person
  • Bar Package – $12+ per person

Having a simpler ceremony-only gathering without any costly extras is the best tactic to curb spending. But if your vision includes impressive florals, fine dining, and free-flowing cocktails, be prepared to bankroll the enhancements.

Peak Summer Means Higher Prices

Beautiful Beach WeddingBeach locales are most popular for summer ceremonies given the gorgeous weather and summer vacations. So you’ll contend with the highest rates for oceanview venues, travel, and lodging during June, July, and August.

Shifting your date to the off-season of April, May, September, or October (depending on locale) means significantly lower pricing across the board in most beach destinations. Savings can amount to 30% or more compared to summertime.

Additional Beach Wedding Cost Considerations

Beyond the main elements impacting the budget, here are a few more expenses that pop up:

Transportation – Providing shuttle service from hotels for out-of-town guests or hosting welcome/after parties in another location means budgeting for transportation too.

Accommodations – Blocking off room blocks at nearby hotels and budgeting for your suite during the wedding weekend costs more.

Outfit Change – Having a separate dinner or evening reception dress adds another $500+ for attire.

Hair & Makeup – If you’re hiring pros to handle beauty services for the bridal party, costs can exceed $1,000.

How to Save When Planning a Destination Wedding

If an oceanside wedding is the goal but prices initially seem out of reach, here are savvy ways to trim expenses:

Have an Off-Season Date – Prioritizing affordability means dodging the peak summer rush!

Invite Fewer Guests – A super small guest list of your VIPs makes everything cheaper.

Find Hidden Gem Wedding Venues – Check state park beaches and metro lakes for deals.

DIY Décor – Make centerpieces and other accents instead of renting.

Simplify the Menu – Casual BBQ, tacos, or brunch fare saves over plated dinners.

Buy Alcohol – Provide your own liquor instead of having a hosted bar.

Have a Friend Officiate – Ask a close pal to get ordained online to perform the ceremony.

Hire a Wedding Planner – Although counterintuitive, as a wedding planner will come at an additional fee, hiring a wedding planning professional can help you spend less on your event by using places where they have discounts and figuring out ways for spending less that you might not think about.

Final Words

Selecting the ideal seaside venue setting a gorgeous celebratory stage still only constitutes half an equation alone. Adding distinguishing personal touches throughout the event puts an unforgettable weekend production into existence.

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