Many couples have different reasons for choosing Cape Cod as their wedding location, one of which is that their number one requirement is having their ceremony on the beach with everyone’s toes in the sand. This is a fabulous idea and can be done quite easily depending on the time of year and vicinity to your reception location, but there are rules towns set on using the public beaches for ceremonies which vary from town to town. Below are a list of certain things to consider when planning to have your ceremony on the beach on Cape Cod.
Each town on Cape differs for their regulations, but here are some things that you should be aware of and look out for when asking the town for their details. Most towns have a small fee to have a permit for the ceremony - ranging from $15-$30. At most beaches, you have to set-up 30 minutes before the ceremony and take everything off the beach within 30 minutes after the ceremony and if the beach is packed full of people, without a permit you can’t really ask anyone to move. Also, some towns allow for only one permit per day, so be sure to get yours early. Visit the town website or town hall to get the best and most up to date information.
Venues with Beach Access
The easiest way to ensure a smooth beach ceremony is to choose a reception with beach access. They can then be in charge of setting up the site, ensuring other beach goers are close to out of site, and take down your set-up after the ceremony takes place. Most venues will have a fee for a ceremony on site, but others include it in their fees.
Chairs or Standing
When considering a beach ceremony at a public beach and the set-up and clean-up have to be done promptly, you will have to make a decision if it makes more sense to bring in the chairs and break them down or to just have a couple of chairs for parents and elderly guests and the rest of your guests standing. Most ceremonies last anywhere from 10-30 minutes long, so after timing out your ceremony, make the call that is best for your budget and your stress levels!
Time of Year & Time of Day
One of the biggest things to consider when having a beach ceremony is the time of year you are getting married and the time of day you choose. Always check the sunset calendar before planning when you will have the ceremony. Also, if you are getting married on the beach from Memorial Day through Labor Day your guests would have to pay for parking until 5pm and beaches will be packed until around around just before dinner time.
Check the tides! If you choose to get married on a north side beach at high tide, there may not be much beach for you to have your ceremony on. Ideally, with north side beaches, low tide is the best due to the fact that you have more of a choice of locations for your ceremony and typically beach goers are far out on the flats.
Beach ceremonies are beautiful, romantic and ultimate “Cape Cod”, but just remember that there are lots of things to bring together to make it all happen!
Callie wanted a tea party birthday with her friends and their American Girl dolls so my friend Jen, Callie's Mom and owner of Dulce Press, reached out to me and her team of vendors to come together and to pull of a fun tea party at her home for her daughter's birthday! Of course I said yes as we love planning and designing birthday parties whenever we can on Cape Cod - especially for a cute group of girls! We helped Jen pull together the decor and tablescape, while Judy from All About Flowers brought in stunning flowers to decorate the table and Kerry from Cape Cod Lollicakes provided cake truffles for the girls. Jen purchased fun decorations for the event, but also made a lot of it herself. From the printable, personalized napkins, to the colorful bunting and the pom-pom chair decorations, Jen can do almost anything when it comes to paper products. Ralph Alswang stopped by to capture the setting and got some pics of the girls having a fabulous time!
November thru April on Cape Cod is what us locals call the “off-season”. It gets quiet and cold, businesses close down for the winter and rates for weddings get more affordable! Imagine having your dream wedding with an ocean view and saving thousands of dollars! That is what the off-season on Cape Cod can do for your wedding and your wallet. Here are some things to consider when choosing your wedding date and when it is okay to realize your wedding will be just as beautiful when it is below 60 degrees on the Cape!
Negotiating Made Easy!
If you like to get a deal and negotiate with vendors, then the off-season is the time to do it. Most vendors will offer at least 10-25% off their normal pricing - especially January-April. the best place to do the negotiating at venues is the rental fees, but sometimes they can even discount the food, just to get you in during those quiet months. Want to discount even deeper - look at a weekday or Sunday to hold your off-season event.
Water View or No Water View
In the off-season the water views are just about non-existent after 5pm due to the time change. So when looking for your location and selecting your date, be sure to check the sunset times. If you are looking to have a 5pm ceremony with a water view, the sun may already be set! And there are definitely still locations on Cape Cod that can offer you an inside location on the water to have your ceremony! Check out the Boat House at the Chatham Bars Inn or the tented patio at the Wequassett!
I’m Dreaming of a White Wedding!
Think sparkles! How beautiful would it be to wake up on the morning of your wedding to a snow covered view? Find yourself a warm, fluffy shrug and step out into the landscape for some stunning photos! It could make a great “Trash the Dress” session late night as well with some snow angels! Now just as you are not guaranteed a perfect beautiful day in the summer, you may not get the snow you had always dreamed of in the winter either, but it can happen!
Off Season Rates
When starting your venue, and vendor, research - be sure to ask about off-season rates. When do those rates begin and end? Do they have certain packages that would fit into your budget? Ask to see the regular rates as well and find out how big of a discount you are getting for booking your wedding in the off-season.
Plan. Relax. Enjoy.
At Cape Cod Celebrations, your vision is our brand. Learn more about how we can help you pull together your beautiful Cape Cod Wedding.