We put together tips for planning weddings by the sea, on the beach or on a yacht. L.A.’s Marina is just 4 miles north of LAX and a quick drive to L.A.’s top attractions. Marina del Rey venues vary from elegant event spaces and ballrooms to outdoor patios, rooftop decks and luxurious yachts. Check out local event planners’ tips and things to consider when planning a coastal wedding.
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Location, location, location!
Choose a venue that reflects you as a couple. Perhaps it's a place you visited together? Maybe you've always wanted a dreamy beach wedding? Or maybe you're longing for a dramatic backdrop of the harbor, sea and sunset?
According to FantaSea Yachts,
"the right location comes with views, views, views. Our guests are often wowed by fiery sunsets perched upon a shimmering ocean and viewed aboard a stunning party yacht. You’ll experience unparalleled views of the Los Angeles coastline and even see an unexpected wedding guest--a dolphin or two. A FantaSea yacht wedding serves up million dollar views in a romantic setting that are beyond Instagram worthy."
Don't forget about waterfront restaurants and yacht clubs in the Marina. From smaller, intimate wedding ceremonies to receptions by the water, these venues are also fantastic wedding day options that can accommodate any size or budget.
What's better by the sea: Daytime or evening wedding?
When it comes to a beach wedding or wedding on a yacht, the time of day and season can definitely affect your guest experience, ambience and of course, your photographs.
The event planners at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey tell us that, "daytime photographs highlight the California sunshine, the palm trees against the blue sky and the myriad of colors from the lush greenery to the marina. We’ve had couples get married and charter a sailboat for a quick sail in the marina with a photographer and return to the celebration within an hour. "
For timing on a boat wedding, FantaSea Yachts advises that "daytime is also great for seeing wildlife (always a hit!) and yacht spotting in the harbor. But the magic can also come alive at night. Think special lighting enhancements (gobos and sparklers) and other fun details."
Toes-in-the-Sand Beach Wedding?
A destination wedding on the beach is fun and perfect for those seeking a more casual, laid-back vibe.
For beach-loving couples, here's a tip from the event planning team at Jamaica Bay Inn:
Research whether or not you may need to acquire a permit from the City or County. For example, Marina "Mother's" Beach is owned and regulated by Los Angeles County of Beaches and Harbors, and they do require a permit for beach ceremonies. If you require sound equipment for your beach ceremony including microphones, speakers, music, etc., find the closest power connection (or generator) and do a test run within the week leading up to the wedding.
Lastly, make sure your guests know about the sandy beach ceremony. Tell them to keep the stilettos at home...you may want to set up a 'Sandal Station' as a fun touch and/or keepsake for your guests.
Getting Ready...by the Sea?
Ever wonder where you'll get ready if you get married on a yacht or on the beach? Luckily, there are options galore on land and sea. The catering and event planning team at Jamaica Bay Inn says, "Go for the bridal suite! Having a bridal suite at or close to your venue makes getting ready all that much smoother. You'll be able to soak in the morning with your closest people and your photographer will capture all the precious 'behind the scenes' moments leading up to the big day."
Have no fear, most yachts including the large party boats offer rooms below deck as bridal suites and groom suites, too.
Why choose Marina del Rey?
How do you eventually pick a location? We know there's plenty of research when it comes to venues. It helps to identify the theme and overall style of your big day so you can pair the vision up with the perfect location. The event planning team at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey shares a bit of advice on why couples choose L.A.'s Marina:
"Couples regularly tell us that Marina del Rey reflects an authentic Southern California vibe. Being on the waterfront adds to the romance of the occasion. The California sunshine reflecting off the water and the boats in the marina create the ideal backdrop for a romantic wedding. There’s a special tranquility here that allows couples, families and friends to slow down and focus on each other when they are here in Marina del Rey. "
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