How to Plan a Beach Wedding on a Budget

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 02/02/24
How to Plan a Beach Wedding on a Budget

How to Plan a Beach Wedding on a Budget

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 02/02/24

Part of the Wedding

How to Plan a Beach Wedding on a Budget

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 02/02/24
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It doesn’t matter if you’re a beach lover or you’re simply needing a cheaper wedding option, beach weddings are hot and popular and best of all it’s not going to break your bank. So not only can they be very elegant and romantic, but they can also be extremely affordable. If you want a full breakdown of pricing and how to plan a beach wedding on a budget, read on! 

The first thing we have to talk about when it comes to the wedding budget is…

The Wedding Venue

Beach Wedding Venues on a Budget
Wedding venues are one of the most expensive items when it comes to wedding planning, however unlike traditional weddings, beach wedding venues are one of the most affordable venue options for a wedding. Depending on the beach wedding locations, the times of year, and the affluence of the surrounding areas a permit can range between $20 to $500. 

Although it’s not free, beaches are one of the best places to get married and then you can relocate your party to a reception venue on the water after the beach wedding ceremony. Though, let’s take a look deeper into how much this gorgeous outdoor ceremony is going to cost.

Here’s a breakdown of a beach wedding budget:

Beach Permit: $20-$500 depending on beach wedding location

Marriage License: $10-$200 depending on the state

Officiant: $150-$500 depending on the state and experience

Wedding Attire/Wedding Dress: $1,500, though this will change if you’re budgeting for the wedding party’s clothes as well

Dessert: $150-$300 for cupcakes for 50 people

Chair Rental: About $500 for rental and delivery for 50 guests

DIY Wedding Arch: Anywhere from $50-$150 depending on the material and size

Flowers/Decor: Around $500 

This means you could have an entire wedding between $2,880 – $4,150, which is typically the price of a traditional venue by itself. There are also great hotel beach wedding packages like the ones at The Grand Hotel in Cape May, FL where you can get full wedding planning assistance or access to the Sundeck Cocktail Hour space that’s available to rent for $10 per person for the wedding reception. As for lodging, be sure to check out the Hilton Honors Program, to cash in the savings on all Hilton Hotels.

The Guest List

Beach Wedding on a budget guest list
The next thing you have to think about is the guest list. How many people do you really want to see on your wedding day? Once you start going over 100, the overall price will increase, meaning if you’re trying to stay within a budget you’ll want to decrease the number of folks on the guest list. One way to help narrow down which guests to invite is to make a spreadsheet of everyone you’d like to have and then slowly eliminate the ones you don’t talk to at least once or twice a month.

If the list is still really long, remove plus ones and kids. If, after all that, your list is still not under your desired amount, narrow it down further by evaluating your friendships with the people left on the list. This means your mother’s friend-of-a-friend shouldn’t be on there unless she has a significant impact on your life.

Weddings Things To Skip

Beach Wedding Ideas to skip on a Budget
There are always a few “must haves” you’ll read about on wedding blogs, but what if you don’t have an unlimited budget and time? Here’s our list of “not must haves” and wedding tips that can be taken out or substituted to lower the wedding budget.

The Wedding Planner

Wedding planners are great to have if you have a large wedding or if you’re not sure where to start, however, if you have a tiny wedding with 15 people you’d be wasting your money with a wedding planner. 

Party Favors

No one really goes to weddings and says, “wow, the party favor was the best part.Skip the tacky bundles of candy or custom-made water bottles and opt for a fun photo booth with a polaroid or disposable camera instead.

Open Bars

Your wedding party guests should be there to celebrate you, not celebrate their drinking habits. If an open bar isn’t important to you and your partner then going without it will save you tons of money. You also have to worry less about drunk party-goers ruining your big day.


Most DJs just play the specific playlist you pre-select for them and say a few words to announce you and your new spouse, but if you’re not interested in spending thousands of dollars on that then borrow or rent some speakers and connect someone’s laptop to it and play the same playlist you would have given to your DJ and save the extra couple hundred dollars and use it somewhere else.

Planning A Beach Wedding On A Budget FAQ

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one asking. Here are a few commonly asked questions and their answers when it comes to planning a beach wedding on a budget:

Is it cheaper to have a beach wedding venue?

The short answer is yes. Venue wise it’s much cheaper to get hitched on the beach, however, if you’re traveling out of state for the beach view then traveling fees can add a hefty couple hundred to your budget.

What is the cheapest month for a beach wedding?

In America, off-season wedding months are January, February, July, and November, though the best time of year to have a wedding on the beach is April, May, September, October, and early November. In our opinion, November is the best time to get married on the beach since it won’t be too hot (if you’re in the southern region) and rates are still very low.

What is the most expensive part of a wedding?

The most expensive part of the wedding planning journey is the costs associated with the reception venue, including tables and chairs, serving food or alcohol, and decor. However, if you budget properly and devise what’s important to you on your dream wedding day and you want a more expensive venue you’ll have to cut corners with other aspects of your wedding like getting a cheaper dress or a smaller cake.

What color is best for a beach wedding

Light blue, turquoise, coral, peach, and yellow are among the most popular wedding colors. Varying the shades of the specific color and adding lots of green and white or cream will bring it all together. 

What is a good budget for a simple wedding?

For traditional weddings with a ceremony and dinner reception, estimate between $500-$700 per person, at least $10k for an elopement, over $20k for a larger destination wedding, and $2,000-$4,000 for a small destination beach wedding.

Get to Planning!

Large, traditional weddings aren’t the only option–if you have a tight budget, plan a beach wedding with limited people and great ocean views. By choosing the beach as your venue, narrowing down your guest list, and skipping unnecessary expenses, you can have a beautiful and affordable wedding. With the right planning, you can still have the wedding of your dreams without breaking the bank. Remember to take advantage of the off-season months and consider a beach wedding package as well.

Hopefully, this guide has given you some helpful tips and answered some of your questions about planning a beach wedding on a budget and if you’re looking for more wedding tips check out our wedding page for more advice.  Happy planning!

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