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Mark Romine

Beach Ceremony Start Times for Warm Summer Months

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As we move deeper into the warmer months of the year here are some tips to consider for the sake of those attending your ceremony and for the benefit of better photos.

 

You may not always have a choice for the start time of your beach ceremony due to other scheduled events at the resort and/or availability of services or other vendors. But if given a choice we recommend scheduling your beach ceremony from one to one and half hours before sunset in the warm months of the year. Try to stay away from late morning up through late afternoon ceremony times. Your guests will thank you.

 

The heat from a mid day summer beach wedding can simply be brutal, even with parasols or umbrellas. A nice breeze can certainly make it more comfortable but a breeze can not always be counted on, plus if the wind is too strong then umbrellas will be useless.

 

Remember that heat and alcohol do not mix well. When guests are at a resort on vacation what does everyone like to do? Drink, and generally not water. Alcohol and soft drinks w/caffeine can lead to quicker dehydration which is the last thing you need on a hot beach. You do not want either your guests or yourself passing out.

 

So as the sun goes down so do the temps.

 

But heat is not the only enemy of a mid day ceremony time. You may actually pick a day when the temps are cooler and you have a nice breeze and everyone is comfortable. But then there is the other enemy.

 

Sun and beaches together act like a reflector and can be blinding. So the second issue of mid day beach weddings is, squinting from the bright sun. Your guests and the wedding party are not going to want to take their sunglasses off for photos because it is so bright out. Even if you can get them to do so, the squinting will be severe. Not pretty for photos. Squinting is not only an issue on sunny days but even on overcast days with the light bouncing off the sand. Although sunglass clad wedding party photos can be fun and creative, most likely you are not going to want to have all your family or group photos with sun glasses on. Again, as the sun goes down the easier it becomes to deal with the squinting issue.

 

Interestingly, some of my photographer colleges refuse to take mid day wedding ceremonies in the summer months because of the complications created by them. They will only take early evening summer beach weddings.

 

mark

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Good to know! My ceremony is at 5:00 PM on July 16th in Riviera Maya, Mexico. There isn't much of a beach there, and the ceremony is in a gazebo so I think we will be ok...what do ya think?

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Originally Posted by rach220 View Post
Good to know! My ceremony is at 5:00 PM on July 16th in Riviera Maya, Mexico. There isn't much of a beach there, and the ceremony is in a gazebo so I think we will be ok...what do ya think?
You should be better off than out on the beach at that time. Hopefully, in addition to the gazebo you will have some palms trees nearby too.

mark

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Thanks so much for that advice mark! I originally wanted a 4pm wedding, but FI suggested 6. We were in the Dominican just in April and i forgot that the sun stays out a lot later than it does here in Toronto. hehe. so 6 will be fine, right? Will we have to worry about sandflies? sandfleas? whatever they're called....

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Originally Posted by McToasty View Post
Thanks so much for that advice mark! I originally wanted a 4pm wedding, but FI suggested 6. We were in the Dominican just in April and i forgot that the sun stays out a lot later than it does here in Toronto. hehe. so 6 will be fine, right?
Sorry for the delayed response, been a bit busy.

According to my iPhone app, sunset for 8/3/10 in San José (only choice I have without actually being there) is 6:59, total darkness is at 7:21. So unless you have a really long ceremony you should be fine plus if it is a clear day you should get some nice sunset shots. So just do all of your photos before hand and you should be just fine.

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Originally Posted by McToasty View Post
Will we have to worry about sandflies? sandfleas? whatever they're called....
Wow, I really can't speak to the bug stuff, sorry.

mark

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Now I am worried! Our ceremony is scheduled for 4:30pm in Cuba. We have chosen a gazebo terrace locations, not on the beach, so I am hoping that squinting + heat would be minimized. I know for a fact they already have a 6pm wedding, as that bride is on this forum as well. So I hope it will be ok !

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Originally Posted by Virg View Post
Now I am worried! Our ceremony is scheduled for 4:30pm in Cuba. We have chosen a gazebo terrace locations, not on the beach, so I am hoping that squinting + heat would be minimized. I know for a fact they already have a 6pm wedding, as that bride is on this forum as well. So I hope it will be ok !
Some things you can check on that may give you peace of mind. Do you have any photos of the gazebo area at the resort? Does their website have photos or any brochures they may have sent you? Maybe photos from another wedding held under the gazebo? Do you know anyone else here who has already had their wedding at that location? The reason for asking is, the photos may show if there are any palm trees plated around the gazebo that will offer shade. It is not unusual for there to be trees or shrubs, maybe even shade from the resort building if it is located close enough to the gazebo terrace area.

Next option, will you be there a few days before your ceremony so that you can actually see where and what the sun is doing at the gazebo terrace location? If it looks like it is going to brutally hot and bright will the resort allow you to switch your location down to the beach so that you can schedule it at a later time?

mark

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We didn't have a choice: noon on June 29th, or pick a different date, which we weren't willing to do. Oh well!
Yeah, there sometimes just isn't much you can do. Maybe you will have a slightly overcast day. Either way, it will still be fun.

mark

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