Gulf Shores Beach Weddings
Getting married on the beach is becoming increasingly popular. There is a big cost savings, the tone is casual so everyone has fun, and if your guests come to the beach for the wedding, your guests get a mini-vacation too. Everyone loves ot go to a beach wedding. This page has lots of beach wedding ideas and advice plus wedding services and rules for weddings in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan, AL.
The official rules: There are no permits required for a beach wedding around here. There is no cost to have a wedding on the public beach. If it is to be a big event, the cities encourage you to let them know by filling out a special events permit so they can be sure everything is safe and in line w/ codes. There is currently no permit fee. On the public beach: No silly string, no helium balloons, no rice as these things harm wildlife and make litter. No fires are allowed and fireworks are suppose to be illegal. So here we go...
One of the most fun beach weddings that we have attended was at Romar House Condos in Orange Beach. The wedding ceremony was down on the sand. Guests sat in rented folding chairs. As they arrived, guests were handed a cocktail to take with them down the short flight of steps off the deck terraces. This was an especially nice touch. A string quartet was outdoors on one of the condo's lower terraced decks and played softly as guests arrived. After the ceremony, an dance band played outdoors on the upper deck and the food was located inside the adjacent meeting room which also had restrooms. I was told that the out of town guests and the wedding party all stayed in Romar House Condos so no one had to do any driving after the party that lasted way into the night.
A wedding on the white sugar sand of the Alabama beaches has great appeal. You can have a backdrop of a colorful sunset over the dunes and the soft lap of the waves provides the nature's music. A beach wedding is an opportunity for some great photography too. You can get a classy but at the same time casual feel for your wedding on the beach. Attire is most often "dressy casual' which to us always means "expensive casual" :o)
Expect guest to arrive in everything from seersucker and white linen suits to Tommy Bahama tropical shirts and shorts. With such a beautiful natural setting freely available, few local couples opt for the traditional stuff indoor wedding. Remember that public beaches are open to everyone, so don't be upset if your favorite photo has strangers in it.
From a practical stand point, be sure to have a back-up plan in case the weather is not cooperative. Besides the Gulf beaches, you also have numerous local bays and lagoons to consider for your wedding location. Picking a spot that offers a sheltered facility for 'just in case' is a smart idea. The Orange Beach Waterfront Park has long been a favorite spot for an outdoor waterfront wedding. It offers a breath-taking grassy view of the bay, tall trees, picnic tables, clean restrooms, and a gazebo as well. There is even an elaborate playground so the kids can entertain themselves while the adults do a bit of celebrating. Just let the City of Orange Beach know about your plans first.
Large Beach Wedding Ideas:
Rent a big beach house that is up on stilts. Have the ceremony on the beach in front of the house and then plan the reception to be in the shade under the house! You will have a concrete driveway that is perfect for dancing into the night. You can use creative lighting to illuminate the party area as the sun sets and it becomes darker. The large beach house will make for some excellent photo opportunities both inside and out. Since you will be in a more remote part of the beach , away from large condos and public beach access, you will have a much more private beach wedding setting. One idea is tiki torches wrapped in silk flowers to mark the beginning and end of the “aisle”.The wedding party can arrive as early as they please and stay in the beach house and it offers a kitchen, restrooms and just about everything you could need for a grand, large wedding on the beach.
Beach Wedding Considerations and Tips
This Excellent Beach Wedding Advice is from :Event Planner Robyn Bomar's Blog: Mix, Mingle & Glow
1. Find a less populated area of the beach and stake your claim as early as possible, so as not to risk Melba from Alabama in her bikini in the background of your photos. I have found that most people are extremely respectful of beach weddings, but coming in and trying to set up less than an hour before the ceremony is not going to guarantee you the perfect piece of paradise you are hoping for. Steer clear of major public accesses; instead look for smaller ones, maybe without restrooms or lifeguards which will likely mean less people. People are good about making room around what is obviously a wedding setup, but don’t expect them to move from where they’ve been sitting all afternoon when you come in at the last minute with the decor.
2. Photographers generally prefer the guests to be sitting in chairs in order to capture the best photos of the Bride and Groom. However, if you don’t want to spend money to rent chairs or benches, then get creative with the set-up. Consider having the guests stand in a circle or semi-circle around the couple. The organized, clean lines photograph beautifully, give the guests an excellent vantage point of the vows and provide a sweet feeling of being surrounded by loved ones, especially when the guest list is very limited.
3. If you can’t spend a lot on decor then have your guests be your decor. Ask guests to wear a certain color. Everyone in shades of blue or white and khaki, or whatever color you choose will serve as a lovely accent to your backdrop and not cost you a dime.
4. Assign someone - anyone - to be “in charge”. Let me rephrase that. Do not ask your mom, his mom, your best friend or your Grandpa. Someone who is NOT close family or already in the wedding party. Someone you doesn’t mind overseeing things, giving directions to guests and participants, and asking those wet, screaming children, cute as they may be, to please stop throwing sand so close to the ceremony. Maybe a friend of your mother’s from church, or your cousin’s wife. But I realize that it is also something that so many people think they can do without, and while they can, it could and SHOULD run so much smoother by asking someone to take on this responsibility
5. Be very selective who you ask to set up your “setup”. A beach wedding is a bit of an arbitrary location; no real parameters and a wide open space. Today we watched as the Groom and Best Man spent nearly an hour trying to figure out the best way to place 4 tiki torches in the sand. They really tried, bless their hearts. But it was extremely obvious they weren’t really sure and at some point, also obvious that they just stopped caring. Have a rehearsal before hand, just like you would in a church, and if at all possible, ask the officiant to attend, as well as anyone who will be in the wedding party. Use a stick (or your foot) to delineate in the sand the area and and arrangement, including how far from the boardwalk and water’s edge as well as where people should stand and where the aisle should be.
Obtaining a Marriage License -Quick & Easy in AL !
Alabama residents wishing to get married on the beach may either obtain a marriage license in their home county or at the Baldwin County Courthouse in Bay Minette, AL. You will need to bring two forms of identification, such as a valid driver’s license and a certified copy of your birth record. This courthouse is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please call Baldwin County Courthouse at 251-937-0260 or visit their website for all the information about obtaining an Alabama marriage license. FYI: A marriage license is valid in Alabama for 30 days from the date it is issued. A premarital blood test is no longer required in Alabama and there is no required waiting period after the license is purchased. The licensing process takes about 15 minutes. The prospective Bride and Groom must be present to obtain a marriage license. The fee for a Marriage License is $40.00. If you are married in their office, the fee for the marriage license and ceremony is $55.00. The only acceptable form of payment is cash.
In Gulf Shores, and Orange Beach there are city facilities for rent for receptions such as the off-beach Orange Beach Adult Activity Center, Orange Beach Art Center (waterfront see photos below), Orange Beach Community Center, Gulf Shores Ernie Meyer Civic Center and The Gulf State Park Beach Pavilion in Orange Beach is good and has a small fee.
Sea shell wedding accessories from Julia at Fins & Flowers LLC
508 North Martin Suite 2
Pell City, AL 35125 firstname.lastname@example.org
PRINTER FRIENDLY version of all the resources listed below
WEDDING CAKES & CATERING:
A Specialty Bakery & Party Shoppe, (251) 968-CAKE (2253)
Glenda Tant Cake Art - (251) 981-3352
The Beach Club-Fort Morgan Road, (251) 224-2500, (888) 260-7263 Website
Amelia's Deli & Catering,
(251) 968-8333 Website
Beach Sisters- (251) 981-2474
Cliff Stapleton Catering- (251) 626-5680 Website
Cosmo's Restaurant Catering-(251) 948-9663 Website
Gayle Marie Services, Inc.- (251) 978-9195
Ginny Lane Bar and Grill at The Wharf, (251) 224-6500 Website
Hazel's Family Seafood Catering- (251) 981-4628
Jesse's Restaurant-Magnolia Springs-(251) 965-3827 Website
Katy's Catering, (251) 943-7427 Website
Lester's Catering, (251) 974-2525 Website
Live Bait at The Wharf, (251) 224-2248 Website
Moe's Original Bar B Que, (251) 981-7427
Riley's Catering (Sylvia Or Clint) (251) 621-7277
Fancy Affairs Catering (Mary Ann) (251) 634-0837 / 633-4236
Big O's (Owin) (251) 948-6969
Old World Bakery and Pizza, (251) 948-3838
If you have your event catered, please ask if the seafood will be FRESH GULF SHRIMP & SEAFOOD or frozen imported. It is important that you ask, or you just don't know if they will be using fresh, local seafood or frozen Asian seafood.
WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS & WEDDING VIDEO (No shortage around here !)
Christy Ann Goldman - 251-752-8942 Website COUPON
Renaissance Portrait Studio - Tammy & Jason Odom - (251)928-5944 - Beach Portraits - No Flash
A Studio on Wheels-Richard or Carole Bousquet- (251) 981-4209 Website
BeachPhoto.us - Photography by Sam & Nicki Whitt- (251) 986-6420 Website
Carleton Photography-George or Patsy Carleton-(251) 981-3888 Website
Just A Pose Photography (Daphne)-Susan Caver-(251) 609-0872 Website
Lightwave Photographs- Mark Worden-(251) 752-2340 Website
Making Memories Photography -Megan Miller-(251) 989-6656-(251) 747-2956 Website
Picture This! Photography-Debra Housch-(251) 747-1389 Website
Ron Wainscott Photography-(251) 978-0778 Website
Sun Shots Photography-Ryan Caver-(251) 968-2119 Website
Surf Side Photography-Ron or Renee Guzlas-(251) 948-5597 Website
The Picture Man-Chuck & Noreen Bell -(251) 948-3686 Website
C-Side Photography-Eric Knieper-(251) 233-7492 Website
LaCoste Photography- Trisha & April LaCoste. 251-961-PHOTO
Patsy Brown Photography- (251) 970-1372 Website
Alabama Gulf Coast Video-(251) 923-9273-Website
Camelot Photography & Beach Prints Gallery (251) 928-8082, (877) 980-2322 Website
(Budget $) Corrine's Creations Photography- (251) 937-8802 Website
(Affordable $) Donahue Photography- (251) 233-9905 Website
East Hill Photo- (850) 438-4797 Website
Grand Photography - (850) 346-7286 Toll Free: (888) 880-4301 Website
Wedding Media Group of N.W. FL, Debra Garlo 251-209-4949 or 1-800-842-8687 Website
The terrace overlooking the Gulf at The Beach Club on Fort Morgan Road.
RENTALS, WEDDING & EVENT PLANNING SERVICES
Beach Bride Weddings-Karen-850-497-8489 -Website
All in the Details-Charli Linn--(251)300-4313 or (251)929-0554 Website
Ultimate Beach Weddings--Tracey--(850)-936-6647--Website
A Grand Affair- Judy Robertson-(251) 943-8188, (888) 943-8188 Website
Dream Weddings- Pastor Glenn Henson-(251) 504-0368 Website
Everything Green Flowers-Millie Sumner-(850) 292-8585 Website
Gulf Shores Wedding Chapel- Elaine Harper-(251) 968-6222, (251) 510-7465 Website
Miller's Grand Events, Inc.-Stanette Miller-(251) 928-1938, (866) 928-1938
Paradise Beach Weddings-Robert or Amy Bullock-(251) 971-1899 Website
Weddings by the Bay-Linda Center-(251) 967-8672 Website
Perdido Beach Resort, (251) 981-9811, (800) 634-8001 Website
Quality Restaurants Catering, (251) 981-7200
Reds Catering-(251) 980-7337 Website
Villaggio Grille at The Wharf, (251) 224-6510 Website
Michelle's Beach House & Blooms on Canal Rd in Orange Beach is a wedding one-stop shop.They will handle cakes, catering, flowers, sell you and your mom a dress and bejeweled flip-flops.
Jessie Faulkner (251) 689-1552
Gwen Bloch (251) 987-1437
Soiree Beach (866) 323-2077
Linda Killiler (251) 344-8854
Kathryn Dameworth (251) 968-7480
Terry Lynn Productions (Wedding and Event Planner), Orange Beach, AL (251) 979-9981
Photos below are from Orange Beach's Waterfront Park and the Art Center, both on Canal Road. A nice waterfront wedding location.
The Orange Beach Art Center. It was a hotel many years ago.
Gulf Shores Wedding Chapel--on Hwy 59 is a quaint spot w/ a pond, gazebo, small tables, and a 125 person reception hall. It is a full service wedding spot that provides all inclusive wedding packages for beach weddings, park weddings or ones at their chapel. The can help you orchestrate a sunset beach wedding and then have the reception on their chapel grounds. A beautiful location, unfortunately located behind a screaming yellow Loan Shop on Hwy 59 in Gulf Shores.
WEDDING RECEPTION / REUNIONS / MEETING FACILITIES
The Beach Club-Fort Morgan Road, (251) 224-2500, (888) 260-7263 Website
Jesse's Trout Lodge-: Captain Ross & Karen Whitworth-(251) 955-2248, (877) 228-2486 Website
MOB Music/Auction/Activity Center-Dan and Carolyn Maldet- (251) 980-1502
Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club-(251) 968-8009,(251) 968-8010, (800) 391-8009 Website
Lost Key Golf & Racquet Club
Gulf Shores Civic Center (251) 968-1173
Hilton Garden Inn (Orange Beach) (251) 974-1012
Courtyard By Marriott (Gulf Shores) (251) 968-1113
American Legion (Foley) (251) 943-3114
Orange Beach Community Center (251) 981-6141
Orange Beach Water Front Park (Canal Road / Wolfe Bay) (251) 981-6141
Summerchase (Orange Beach) (251) 981-9731
Cotton Creek (Gulf Shores) (251) 968-7766
Gulf Shores Plantation (800)211-5055 Website
Every age enjoys a beach wedding...that can't be said for other venues !
Considerations: Ask about color, make, model, passenger capacity, rates, minimum hourly requirements, the co's legal status, signs on the car, if liquor in the ride is OK.
Wedding Specialist, Luxury Limo can provide a non-smoking Limo. www.luxurylimollc.com
Above All Limo (850) 444-3777 Pgr. (850) 436-0067
Professional Limo (251) 621-1248
Grey Line Trolley/Shuttle (251) 432-2229
Top Of The Bay Limo Services (800) 514-9361
All American Limo (Darwin) (850) 476-0095
Vip Limo (Shane) (866) 900-4589
Rhonda Cockrell email@example.com
Rev. John Burkhardt (251) 979-3403
Rev. Jerry Peebles (251) 949-7587
Judge Adrian Johns (251) 580-2596
Judge R. Wilters (251) 580-2570
Rev. Danny Andrews (251) 987-1349
Fred Saas, Minister, Beach Weddings - (251) 987-1200 website
Performance Karaoke & Sound (Jon Archer) (251) 709-1954 website
East Bay Breeze (Band) (251) 947-3640 Or (251) 626-3788
Splash (Beach Music) (Mitch Rencher Or Jr Owens) (251) 661-6610 Or (251) 955-5367
Entertainment Booking Services (Joy Turner) (800) 476-4988
Lonn Spencer (Dj) (251) 689-6226
Robinson Entertainment (Troy Robinson) (877) 431-2430
Cb Entertainment Services (Clay Battle) (251) 978-0057
Mark Sawyer (One Man Band) (Dr. Hook's Nephew) (251) 626-3788
Jubilee Express With Mark Sawyer (Band) (251) 626-3788
Andy Smith (Band) (318) 367-7706
Bob's Bands (251) 962-7753
Marty Raybon (Gospel/Some Country) (Jeff & Stephanie Hunter) (251) 945-3669
Penny Shenkel Orchestras (Penny Or Bud) (One Piece To Full Orchestra) (850) 435-9942
Kenny Graves (Dj) (251) 928-6327 Or (251) 605-8883
Damon Collins (Dj) (251) 970-1310
Chicago Bob Ravenscraft (Dj) (850) 435-1020
Brent Burns (One Man Band) (251) 948-8863
J. R. Owens (One Man Band) (251) 955-5357
Don Stafford (One Man Band) (251) 978-2462
Greg Memphis (One Man Band) (251) 981-3487 Or (251) 767-4703
Capt. Lee Lindblom (One Man Band) (251) 978-1710
Tony Bowers (One Man Band) (251) 602-0312
Greg Tucker (Elvis Show) (205) 919-0262
Stephen A. Tullos (Piano/Vocals) (251) 626-7823
Dr. Music (Wade Wellborn) 251-990-3412 or 251-233-3147 website
Cindy Emmett (251) 490-0022
Judy Robertson (251) 943-8188
Want Elvis at your wedding? Gulf Shores area has its own 'Elvis" impersonator. Shane Tucker of Foley, AL.He is also an assistant principal at Foley High School and has quite a fan base.(251) 943-6795, 251-943-2221 also Greg Tucker (ELVIS SHOW) (205) 919-0262
Flowers By The Shore (Rodney) (251) 968-8033
A Grand Affair (Silks) (Judy) (251) 943-8188
Tree House Nursery (251) 968-6280
Occasional Paradise Holly Joyce (251) 923-9505
Gotta Go Portables (251) 471-6160