How to have an awesome beach wedding in Pismo Beach

By May 31, 2019 1. Planning Tips, Blog

*How to have an awesome beach wedding in Pismo Beach –

Pismo Beach is a beautiful, quaint California beach town. It’s located half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles on highway 101 and highway 1. The beaches have a variety of backdrops – golden sandy beaches, darker sandy beaches, tide pools and cliffs. There are also forested beach locations. Depending on the ocean backdrop you’d like for your wedding, Pismo Beach has it all! 

Here are some tips on how to have an awesome beach wedding in Pismo Beach. 

Enjoy the beautiful backdrop

For a beautiful backdrop, with a lot of variety, have your wedding in Pismo Beach. Many of our locations were selected because of their beauty. If you are getting married at the beach with your toes in the sand, ocean in distance, and bright blue sky,  all those decorations are free for your special day!  They are natural and beautiful so don’t try to hide the natural beauty by adding a lot of decorations.  To keep things simple, a shell and driftwood aisle is a great way to keep the decorations minimal, but still create a space for the bride to walk down and guests to be on either side.  Or consider large lanterns. The large lanterns will finish off the look of the beach and be an anchor for where to stand during the ceremony.  A wedding arch is a nice touch also, but consider making that the focal point of the wedding ceremony.  

You wanted to get married at the beach so enjoy the backdrop and have an awesome beach wedding in Pismo Beach. 

As an extra tip – I always say that the location is already beautiful enough so why spend extra money on decorations.

Perfect California Beach WeddingThink outside the box for beach wedding colors

I’ve been seeing some really pretty options for beach wedding colors. 

My favorites are ones like below.

beach wedding colorsbeach wedding colors purplebeach wedding colors wineThink about the colors and your flowers also.  There are not a lot of great options for blue flowers.  If you love shades of blue for your wedding color, think about having a cream or white bouquet with pretty shades of greenery. Or I like doing a bouquet in shades of peach to blend with the blue color. The light peach also adds a little pop and softer romantic feel to your wedding.  For the lilac color, it also creates more of a romantic beach feel. Also, for the purple tones, different shades of purple can be added to the bride’s bouquet for contrast. For the wine and raspberry colors, they add more of a pop of color and make the wedding a little more dramatic.  The wine/ sangria color stands out in a good way against the backdrop of the ocean. 

But, my favorite beach wedding color was a juniper green color that a groom wore. His bride has red hair, so I think the green, red of her hair, and cream of the dress, cream and dark green colors. It all went so well together with the colors and style. To see their look click here watch highlights of their wedding.  They traveled from Florida to have an awesome beach wedding in California. 

When I got married, the Tiffany teal blue color was in. I had really loved that color and wanted to coordinate it with a fuchsia color. I was going for the more colorful theme.  I didn’t end up going with those colors and am pretty happy I didn’t.  My bouquet was going to be traditional with shades of white and I wanted  mercury glass vases and candle holders.  I later nixed the teal and fuchsia colors.  If you are curious of the direction I went in…here’s a little hint…it was a fall wedding and I selected a color and my fiancé got to choose his color.  The colors also matched the Spanish theme of the ceremony and reception location.  I wouldn’t have changed those colors at all!!  

Get married a little before sunset

Our favorite time to have a wedding on the beach is around 3 hours before sunset.  This is the best time for a wedding for the photos.  The golden hour is 1-2 hours before sunset.  If you want to still have that soft glow of the sun in your photos, have your wedding 2-3 hours before sunset.  If you want those silliotte photos where the sunset is coming through and the two of you darker, then go for 1-2 hours before sunset.  It’s also romantic to have the last wedding photo taken right as the sun goes down.

If your reception has a view of the ocean and you want to enjoy the sunset from your reception, then talk with your wedding coordinator about finding locations for photos where the sun isn’t as harsh.  There’s a great beach we like to use where the rocks hide the sun and it creates the perfect natural shadow.  

The sun can be harsh and sometimes not flattering for photos.  If you want to have an awesome beach wedding in Pismo Beach AND awesome beach wedding photos, then have the sun on its way down.  Below is an example of a photo during the golden hour.

Sunset Beach Wedding Pismo Beach

Stay and celebrate with an ocean view 

If you are coming all the way to the beach for your wedding, why not celebrate with an ocean view hotel room and reception venue. 

We work with some really awesome Pismo Beach reception venues and hotels. If you are curious about those, just ask! 

A wedding is a special occasion so spend a little extra on certain things like an ocean view room. 

My favorite ocean view reception location is at a local hotel. So, it makes it even easier to stay and celebrate all in the same space. 

Don’t overdo the beach theme

Having your wedding at the beach doesn’t mean all the wedding details need to be beach themed.  Pick 3-4 of your favorite beach wedding ideas and use those at your wedding. 

Here’s a few fun ones:

  • A cute wedding sign for photos that says you, me and the sea
  • Having a centerpiece with sand, shells, and a candle
  • A shell boutonniere for the groom or adding a shell to the bouquet
  • A basket for shoes
  • Cookies in the shape of shells or candy shells decorating your cake
  • Something nautical to use as a guest book – an ore or surfboard
  • Shell accessories- Shell earrings or a shell and sparkle sash. 

Keep it casual  

If you are going to have a beach wedding, think about having the dress code be a little more casual. Think beach chic for your guests- women in flowery sun dresses and men in shorts and a button up shirt.  No shoes on their feet – think barefoot in the sand for everyone (including yourself).  This is the beach chic.  The couple can be a little more dressed up – suit with a tie for the groom with the bride in a longer white dress. 

Or even the bride in a short white dress and the groom in khaki linen pants with a white linen shirt.  Whatever style you choose, make sure the two of you match. This means you want to match each other’s style. So, if the bride wants to be more dressed up the groom should also.  It always looks funny when the bride is in an elegant white dress with a veil and the groom has on a white shirt with pants on, like he’s just going out on a nice date. 

If you are thinking you want a little more elegant wedding, consider a location where the guests can be dressed up a little more, sitting on chairs, and enjoying the view of the ocean. For this location, the gazebo or gazebo cliff location at Margo Dodd gazebo would be my favorite location.  This is more of an elegant wedding location for our couples. Then the two of you can go to the beach for photos.

Find out about beach permits

Find out if your beach location requires a permit and even allows weddings on the beach.  The Central Coast beaches all have different agencies who are in charge of the beaches and permits. Each beach has different requirements, permits, and fees.  Knowing the rules before you set up a wedding will save you from having to cancel your wedding because the beach patrol shuts it down because you didn’t have a permit. Also, if a couple has paid for a permit and you set up your wedding there, it could ruin it for the couple who paid for the permit.  Imagine your guests crashing the other couple’s wedding.  

For a wedding in Pismo Beach, a beach permit is required to get married on the beach there.  

If you hire Coastal California Wedding, we know all about the local beach permits in Pismo Beach, Avila Beach, and Morro Bay.  

Having a permit and knowing the right way to get married on the beach allows you to have an awesome beach wedding in Pismo Beach. 

Choose the right time of year 

For a wedding in Pismo Beach, the best time of year for a beach wedding is surprisingly not during the summer.  The secret is that May, September and early October is the best beach weather for an awesome beach wedding in Pismo Beach.  

Get married in May, September or October to have an awesome California beach wedding.  Why these months? Here are some reasons why a California beach wedding in May, September or October is awesome:

  • The beaches will be way less crowded!  With these weddings, we didn’t have to worry about people in the background of photos.  Most of the time, we are able to find places to set up the ceremony where you are away from groups on the beach and away from anyone photobombing your wedding pictures.
  • If the beaches are less crowded most other things won’t be crowded either.  Think…no traffic, open parking spots, no lines at restaurants (though Splash and Hogies will probably have a line out the door at most times of the year), and less stress.
  • Lower prices on hotels since it’s off season.
  • In September and October, a lot of the reception venues will offer discounted pricing on their room rental fees.  At Coastal California Weddings, we provide lower priced options for couples all year.  
  • If you are planning a last minute California beach wedding, getting married in September or October might mean your date may be available since those times of the year don’t book as quickly. (Though if more couples read this article, those times will be our busy time of year. :)) 

  A lot of couples want to get married in the summer.  It sounds great – the kids are out of school, you can do a summer vacation and wedding at the same time, and going to beach let’s you escape the hot weather where you live. 

But, in reality, a summer beach wedding isn’t really ideal in Pismo Beach.  Here’s some reasons why we don’t really love summer beach weddings:

  • If you are planning on getting married on a Saturday the beaches will be pretty crowded.
  • With crowded beaches come parking issues.  You don’t want to have to wait for late guests because they can’t find parking.  
  • There will probably be people in your pictures. We try our best to keep people in the background from getting in our couple’s photos.  But, it’s really difficult to avoid crowds of people during the summer months.  Do you really want a tent or someone sun bathing in your photo?
  • June is pretty gloomy in Pismo Beach.  The fog rolls in, clears at about 2 and then rolls back in at 4.  Foggy days are the best for photos, but low fog, where you can’t really see the ocean behind you isn’t really the best backdrop for photos.  
  • Hotel prices are going to go up in the summer time and be more expensive than off season.

If you are ready to have your awesome beach wedding in Pismo Beach Coastal California Wedding is here to help you. 

Pismo Beach Wedding

Pismo Beach wedding where there are only a few people on the beach because it’s off season.