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Beach weddings are special destination for couples, families

By Jessica Rodrigo
Jan. 7, 2013 at 11:03 a.m.
Updated Jan. 6, 2013 at 7:07 p.m.


Things to consider

•  Choose a time and place for your wedding

• Check the credentials of your wedding planner

• Purchase wedding insurance

•  Check availability of hotels/condos for out-of-town visitors

• Watch for inclement weather

• Have a contingency plan, in case of an emergency

Beaches are special places. They are the places where we have family vacations, celebrate special occasions and, to some, they are a place to exchange vows.

Joanne Soward, outdoor wedding coordinator with Port Royal in Port Aransas, has been working with brides-and grooms-to-be for almost four years to make their dreams come true.

"It's really about the people," she said. "We specialize in personalized weddings."

Soward and her team provide a planning service for couples, including yacht and wedding chapel packages, and can help plan a memorable wedding from a small intimate gathering to a fully-loaded ceremony, complete with a string quartet.

A lot of clients, she said, have been to the beach before and hold a sentimental value for it. For others, it's a central location where family can travel without going out of state.

"It's not the Bahamas, but (Port Aransas) is very clean and well-kept," she said.

She offered extra advice to those planning a destination wedding.

"It is a beach, and it's beautiful," Soward said. "It's Mother Nature, and there's some give and take."

She remembered a couple from San Antonio who got married in the rain around the time Hurricane Ike hit the area. They were dedicated, and that made it really special, she said.

Knowing the tidal patterns, weather forecast and availability of hotels and condos are places to begin when planning a destination wedding, she said.

One thing she is always sure to tell the couple or the couples' parents is to purchase wedding insurance. It's about 1 percent of the budget but can vary depending on insurance coverage and can be made with the couples' regular insurance company. Things happen, she said, and you'll want to make sure you can recover costs in case of an emergency.

Also, make sure to have a backup plan. With hurricane season stretching through the bulk of the summer wedding season - June through August - it's important to have a reserve location in case of inclement weather.

"If you want something set in stone, (a beach wedding) is not for you," Soward said. "It's for certain brides and families."

Magnolia Beach, Indianola, Seadrift and Port O'Connor are great for beach weddings, too, she said. All it takes is good planning to achieve a dream beach wedding.

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