Make the most of your next beach party with these tips

While we still have months of lovely weather ahead of us, if you want to plan an outdoor event, there is very little time left to book your venue and line up vendors and caterers.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a fan favorite event that will let you take full advantage of the great outdoors… the beach party!

We’re not talking about building a bonfire and tossing a few blankets around and calling it a party. No, we’re talking about a full-on event, with all that the word implies.

And, if you want to do something in the next few months, we’d better get started STAT.

Party on the Beach? Consider the Sea, the Sand, and the Sun as You Make Your Plans

You’ve got the venue, the vendors, and the menu all picked out and ready to go… but your Beach Bash won’t be a success without taking some of the complications that come with sun, the sand, and the sea into consideration.

But, there’s something even more important to consider. Your guests. This is true of any event, but it’s especially true when the natural elements of a venue will pose challenges for your guests.

Keep this in mind and your event will be one your guests talk about for years to come… and for all the right reasons.

Dress Code… I’m looking at you, shoes!

First, let’s talk about dress code. Make sure your guests know exactly what to expect so they can dress accordingly. Have you communicated that this isn’t just a beach-themed event… but an event on the beach?

That’s going to be a key factor in helping them plan appropriate attire. Crystal clear communication helps here as well.

Let your guests know whether the event is casual or dressy and whether shoes are optional. Sand can ruin shoes, so if planning a more formal event, consider installing a temporary walkway so guests avoid ruining their shoes on the loose sand. This can help avoid falls too!

If swimming is not on the agenda, consider communicating that so you don’t have guests showing up in swimsuits and coverups.

Do you want casual attire but you don’t want your event to look like it’s beach bum central? Consider including this on the invitation. Attire: Casual… nice shorts and shirts, shoes optional.



Now, for accessibility. Installing a temporary walkway helps make your event more accessible to those using crutches, canes, and wheelchairs. If your event is small and you know accessibility isn’t an issue, still consider that walking on sand is a challenge for most. Check your site carefully to determine what you need to do to make it comfortable for your guests.

But, accessibility isn’t just about ADA compliance. It can also be simple common courtesy and taking into consideration mobility needs of all your guests.

Something as simple as chairs can make or break your beach event. Traditional chairs will dig into the sand when people are seated. This isn’t as challenging when people are seated for a ceremony, but if they are seated around a dining table where they’re more likely to get up frequently, a chair with its legs buried in the sand is difficult to easily push away as your guests stand to leave.

Again, temporary flooring or a platform work here, or consider chairs made for the sand.


Bring on the Shade

Depending on when your event is being held, the sun is another important consideration. We don’t want guests to get sunburned or overheated. A tent or cabana is a great way to enjoy the sea breeze without having to withstand the intense heat of a glorious sunny day.

There is a large variety of tents and cabanas and you’ll want to trust the pros on which one is appropriate to withstand typical winds where you hold your event. The last thing you want is for guests to be injured if your tent lifts up and blows away.


Finally… the Food

Food, sand, and wind, just don’t mix and many caterers will be wary about setting up on the beach without some consideration made for blocking the sand from getting in the food.

If your event is being held during a particularly windy time of year or if your event is on a particularly windy stretch of beach, consider setting the food service area away from the beach in a more protected area. Guests can walk between the different “rooms” of your venue as they dine and mingle.

Obviously, you’ll be focused on what you serve. You want your guests to enjoy the food. But, they won’t be able to enjoy anything with sand in it, so contingency plans should be in place.

But Wait! Don’t Forget the Swag!

The sun offers us our best party favor ideas. Imagine your guests arriving to find a personalized swag bag filled with branded flip flops, a hat, sunglasses, and sun screen. If your event is casual and your budget is generous, branded beach blankets can also be included. This is a wonderful way for guests to remember you and your event whether it’s a family wedding or a corporate retreat.

Choose swag bags that can serve double duty as a place to store their regular shoes as they dig their toes into the warm sand. Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen aren’t necessary for an evening event but with a little imagination, you’ll be able to figure out something suitable for your guests.

As you can see, an event held in a beach setting poses some extra challenges, but with a little extra planning you can host an amazing event on the beach or in just about any outdoor location.