7 Reasons You Should Have a Beach Wedding

To be honest, I was never that little girl who dreamed about planning a big, extravagent wedding. I have, however, always been a big fan of tropical getaways and *love*. If I ever get married, you can be sure that it will be somewhere warm and sandy with a guaranteed beautiful sunset and probably no shoes. After all, your wedding should be about you and your partner and setting up the ideal day for you and your loved ones — whether that's at a lavish church or a secluded beach. Because it's a little off the traditonal road, you may not have considered a seaside destination for your own ceremony, but with a little inspiration from the US Virgin Islands, we've devised a pretty convincing list of reasons why a beach wedding could be totally right for you.

There are a few obvious factors that might have you convinced already, but just to confirm our suspicions, we chatted with bona fide wedding expert, attendee of at least 10 destination weddings, and founder of Bridesmaids For Hire, Jen Glantz. Spoiler alert: Glantz did make a tropical destination wedding sound like the best idea ever, but also got into the nitty-gritty of why they work so well for some couples. From travel logistics and decorating to activities, family, dress code, and beyond, we've covered all the bases. Here are the top seven reasons to consider your own beach wedding.

1. Your Style Is On The Relaxed Side

As Jen confirms, beach ceremonies are best for laid-back couples who love a little adventure. "In my experience, people are moving away from having cookie-cutter weddings," she says. "They're looking for something different."

This probably means that your dream dress is more understated and elegant than flouncy and embellished, and you really don't mind ditching high heels for sandals — but, in St. Croix, would you go for anything else?

2. You Want An Intimate Affair

When you plan a destination wedding, it's important to realize that fewer people will be there — but for many, that's a plus. As Glantz points out, "It gives you an excuse to spend more time with your guests. At a 'traditional' wedding you only get a couple of hours, if that."

The people you're closest with will make the journey, and you'll end up with a tighter group of people that you actually want to spend time with. No second cousins (twice removed) or random friends of your parents here!

3. You'll Get Ambiance You Can’t Put A Price Tag On

This overlook in St. John is the stuff that dreams are made of. You can deck out any banquet hall with flowers and tea lights, but even the most phenomenally decorated venue will not hold a candle to a warm, idyllic beach at sundown. If you agree with me here, this case is practically closed.

4. Your Schedule Is Packed, So Finding The Time For A Honeymoon Is Tricky

One major plus to destination weddings is the built-in vacation. You're already away, so you might as well tack on an extra week, right? The two-in-one deal is pretty convenient, and what could be better than some of those carefree vacation vibes on your wedding day?

5. Your Squad Loves An Adventure

You probably already have an idea of whether or not your group of friends would be excited about this. Glantz points out that there's way more time for activities when you plan a destination wedding, and opportunities for you and your guests to enjoy things like boating, snorkeling, or simply hanging on the beach together.

6. It's Easier On Your Budget Than You Might Think

A destination wedding might sound pricey, but it's important to think of all the places you'll be saving. When your venue is the beach, a lot of the work is already done — instant atmosphere! Your dress code will probably be more casual (i.e., dresses will likely cost way less), and amazing seafood and exotic flowers are much less expensive when they aren't being shipped in. Lastly, beachside destinations (yes, like the U.S. Virgin Islands) are more than equipped for this sort of thing.

"When you plan a destination wedding, they're usually all-inclusive," says Glantz. "A lot of the planning can be done for you!"

7. You Dream Of An Endless Summer

When you close your eyes and visualize "vacation," do you see sandy beaches and warm blue water? When winter snow storms hit, do you start counting down the weeks until June? Some of us are just beach people, and what better time than your wedding to be in your happy place? Your wedding should be totally tailored to you and your loved ones, and if a tropical locale like St. Thomas sounds ideal, it's a lot more doable than you think.

This post is sponsored by the US Virgin Islands.

Images: U.S. Virgin Islands (6); Matt Wade / Flickr (1); Navin75 / Flickr (1)