Beach Wedding Permits 101: Everything You Need to Know - torezmarguerite.com

Beach Wedding Permits 101: Everything You Need to Know

California Beach Elopement on the cliffs in Big Sur

So, you want to get married on a beach? It’s been your dream ever since you can remember. You grew up in San Diego – a hot beach and destination spot and there’s just no alternative. It’s the beach or nothing. How the heck do you do this? Do you need a permit? How do you get a permit? And how much are they? Or maybe you’re not in San Diego or even California for that matter but I still want a beach wedding; what do you do? Well, I am here for YOU! Everything you’ll need to know about beach wedding permits. So, let dive in!

California Beach Wedding Permits 101

Californian Permits

California, a state we all know and love with lot and LOTS of beaches. Seems pretty logically to think a lot of people want to do beach weddings here. In California, the beaches are governed by counties so, that’s where you’ll want to look to get a permit. A beach wedding permit will typically cost between $100-$150 depending on the county. And then, there’s also an additional insurance fee of around $100. The county will typically need advance notice of the nuptials but there are some exceptions like in Santa Monica where it’s first come first serve for weddings. Meaning that you need to grab your spot nice and early.

For more information on permits, officiants, and some other nitty gritty check out this some but helpful guide here.

Hawaiian Permits

Hawaii – a beautiful state – again with lots of beaches! I would even dare to say this is the state with the most beach weddings nation wide. Don’t fact check me please!! Again, you’re going to want to check with the local county to figure out the exact cost of a permit. However, something else that is needed is liability insurance. You’ll need liability insurance to even obtain a permit for your beach wedding. You’ll most likely want to hire a local wedding planner to help with all of these details. They can most certainly help with obtaining a permit. Especially, since there are also lots of other rules that you will need to be informed of. Like for instance, that weddings over 25 or 30 people will mostly likely need additional permits or that no large structures or decorations are allowed.

Some of the most popular islands to get married on are Oahu, Maui, and Kauai. Your planner should have vast knowledge of rules and regulation so be sure to ask lots of questions so you can fully understand. For some additional information about planning you Hawaiian wedding check out this article on the Knot here.

Pacific Northwest Permits

Pacific Northwest Beach Wedding Permits? Do you need them?

I really wanted to give you the most information about California and Hawaiian weddings because that’s where most people thing about having a beach weddings. (Also because I’m located right here!) But those, of course aren’t the only beaches in the U.S., Oregon and Washington are over here on the west coast too!

Oregon wedding beach permits are pretty relaxed and what I mean by that is you typically don’t need a permit assuming your wedding is less than 50 people. Of course it’s always a good idea to check with the local county because you can never be too sure until you hear it from the horse’s mouth. And you can also check this document out about special event permits here.

For the state of Washington you’ll want to obtain a special activities permit. You’ll want to apply sooner rather than later with at least 60 days for review of your application. The application fee is $45 with additional fees assessed during the processing. And you’ll also be required to show proof of insurance for $1,000,000. Your photographer and videographer will also need special permits so be sure to let them know, though they probably already do. This is the case for most state park in Washington just to give you a heads-up.

The East Coast

I feel like the east coast in general is just a completely different ball game. Like everything can be so vastly different across the country. In Florida, the need for permits varies depending on county some need them while others don’t so be sure to call your county to check.

I think you can pretty much get the theme by down. Call the county and they’ll know if you need beach wedding permits also know as a special events or activities permit. Things that tend to vary are of what capacity. In Myrtle Beach, you don’t need insurance for your special activities event as long as it stay within certain parameters. So, be sure so to do you research and call the county whenever you’re not too sure.

International Beach Wedding Permits

I mean this list could go on on. Listing beautiful beaches in places around the world. But, ain’t nobody got time for time soooo…… here’s what I would do if you’re planning a destination wedding. I would look into have a planner in that destination and that hopefully specializes in beach weddings or elopements and they should 100% know if you need a permit of not.

Of course some countries are going to be more relaxed than others but check, double check, call whoever you need, ask friends, and be sure because that would sure put a damper on your day.

Planning Resources

Torez Marguerite is a Californian wedding photographer specializing in shooting couples, weddings, and elopements locally where she is based in California, all around the United States, and internationally. She loves photographing weddings and elopements along the California coast to destination weddings in Hawaii, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Washington, Tulum and all around the world.

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