6 Popular Questions As You Plan Your Island Wedding

1. Do I wear a veil at a beach wedding? If so, when do I take it off?

Veils are symbolic and romantic. For beach weddings, generally the attire is more casual and hair pieces incorporating local island flowers are typical. However, a traditional veil can still be a beautiful compliment. You might select a shorter length to keep it more manageable. As for taking it off, a bride generally removes the veil just after the ceremony, or after the first dance at a reception as everyone is sitting down. You can use your veil to decorate your chair.

2. What about transportation for my wedding party to the reception?

You’re responsible for getting your wedding party from your ceremony to the reception. If you’re going casual, be sure to let them know ahead of time that they can simply drive over. Otherwise, consider renting a limo or use one of the local island open-air taxis for a cultural experience for the whole group.

3. Will my wedding planner be at the reception?

The beauty of hiring a wedding planner is that he or she will plan and coordinate all the parts of your wedding day to ensure the day runs smoothly for you. They may or may not, however, come to the venue on the day of your wedding. Be sure to ask the planner if they will be attending and when they’ll leave. The planner may come to the wedding but not the reception. If the planner doesn’t attend, ask what he or she will handle on the day of the ceremony. Also, ask about after the ceremony: will the planner stay to clean up?

4. What are the traditional wedding reception rituals?

Generally, the first thing to start a reception is the entry of the wedding party. The wedding party is announced and they enter into the reception area.

After this, there’s often the first dance between the bride and groom. This dance is observed by the guests, and then the rest of the wedding party is led in to join them.

Next, there’s the toast by the best man and others: guests remain standing as the best man starts the toasting. Or, the best man may do this after the main course and before the cake cutting. Another tradition is to have the toast just after the wedding party has been announced.

In the midst of the dancing, the bride dances with her father in a farewell dance, and the groom dances with his mother. Later, the bride may also choose to dance with her father-in-law and the groom with his mother-in-law.

Towards the end is the cake cutting and, optionally, the bouquet and garter tosses. The couple may choose to only toss the bouquet or to skip this part.

Be sure to tell your photographer what the plan is for the reception so he knows to stay through everything.

5. Do I feed the band and the wedding professionals?

Some professionals will include in their contracts that they must be fed. However, it’s unnecessary to provide alcohol, as they are on the job. If they do not request a meal to be included, it’s a nice gesture to offer it. You can serve them something lighter than the main entree, like sandwiches, or you can ask the caterer if they offer different pricing for the wedding professionals, band and photographer.

6. What if it rains and I’m having a beach wedding?

If you’re getting married on a beach and the clouds roll in, ask your wedding planner what they do in the cases of rain. The islands generally have rain showers that come and go, especially during their “rainy” season. Your island wedding planner will have a back-up plan for this–either cute umbrellas and a memorable ceremony on the beach with rain drops, or a venue change. Ask in advance what happens in situations when it rains on wedding days.