Texas' large coastline means that the state's landscape includes many beaches. Numerous Texas cities allow weddings and wedding receptions to occur on their beaches.
Public Beach Weddings
The City of Galveston, located on an island about 40 miles south of Houston, allows weddings on any of its numerous beaches. Beaches are on the Gulf of Mexico and most are within walking distance to local restaurants, bars, and other attractions. There are two types of beaches in Galveston: those managed by the Galveston Park Board of Trustees and those under the purview of the City of Galveston.
Galveston Park Board of Trustees Beaches
Beaches under the purview of the Board include some of the city's larger beaches, including the Seawall Beaches, East Beach, and Stewart Beach. You must obtain prior approval from the Board's special events coordinator to host a wedding for more than 75 guests on one of these beaches or to rope off an area for your wedding. Approval extends to your ceremony and reception. A fee may be charged for this permission.
City of Galveston Beaches
You must obtain a permit from the City of Galveston's special events coordinator by filling out the Special Events Application to host a wedding for more than 75 people on any City-managed beach. The cost of the permit depends on the size and location of the wedding, whether any amplified music will be played, and whether you are renting one of the city's pavilions for your reception. The cost of renting a pavilion depends on the number of attendees, and range from $70 to $2,700. Additional fees may be charged for additional hours for your event, a stage, or a podium.
South Padre Island
The beaches on South Padre Island are part of one of the longest barrier islands in the world. Its beaches are some of the widest in Texas and draw a huge Spring Break crowd. Hosting a wedding on the beach requires a permit from the City. However, the permit does not allow you to exclude other beachgoers from the beach. The cost of a permit is $25, but may increase depending on other elements of your wedding, such as sound amplification. Information about how to acquire a permit and what the permit includes, meaning reception space as well as ceremony space, and the cost of the permit can be obtained from South Padre's City Hall.
The beaches of Port Aransas, which are bordered by the Gulf of Mexico, are reportedly very clean, large, and easy to access as noted by reviewers on TripAdvisor. A permit is required for weddings on Port Aransas beaches. Permits can be acquired from the City's Parks and Recreation Department.
Your reception can be held on the beach, in one of the city's public parks, or in a pavilion. The cost of the permit depends on whether alcohol will be served, the amount of insurance you purchase, and any facilities, such as a pavilion, that you rent.
Rockport Beach is located in the City of Rockport on the Aransas Bay. Rockport is a fishing village and so its beaches offer casual and calm backdrop for your big day. In addition to having a wedding on the beach, you can rent one of the beach's 61 pavilions. Reservations are required to use any of the city's public spaces for a wedding and can be acquired through the city's Parks and Leisure Services.
Private Beach Venues
You can also hold your wedding on a private beach venue. Many times, private beaches are owned by a restaurant or hotel. Some of these facilities include:
- Mansion By The Sea is located on a beach in Red Fish Bay, which is near Port Aransas. Your ceremony can be held on the beach and your reception either indoors or on the Mansion's outdoor deck. An on-site wedding coordinator helps couples plan their perfect day.
- Port Royal Ocean Resort and Conference Center is located on Port Aransas beach. Weddings can be held on its private beach space and receptions in any of the hotel's meeting spaces. Although the hotel does not provide beach decorating services, they can provide vendors who do.
- San Louis Resort is located in Galveston. Couples wanting to marry on a beach can do so on the resort's gazebo that overlooks the beach. A reception can be held in one of the hotel's many indoor and outdoor spaces. An on-site coordinator helps couples plan their wedding.
- Pearl South Padre is located on the southern end of South Padre island. Ceremonies can be held on the beaches right outside the hotel's door, while receptions can be held in one of the hotel's ballrooms.
- Plantation Suites and Conference Center is located in Port Aransas and offers wedding packages to couples looking to marry on the beach. Receptions can be held in one of the hotel's conference spaces.
Several wedding planning companies in Texas specialize in beach weddings. A few of these companies are:
- Brio Beach Weddings and Events specializes in weddings held on beaches in Port Aransas. It offers five packages that range from merely providing assistance in finding and working with an officiant and creating basic décor to full-planning packages that include décor, wedding setup, photography, and take down. Pricing for packages start at $595. The company also allows couples to personalize a package.
- Two Doves in the Sand is located in Corpus Christi. It offers three planning packages ranging in cost from $695 to $1,450. Packages may include vendor referrals, budgeting assistance, rehearsal coordination, and management on the day of the wedding. Weddings can be held on any beach of the couple's choice and packages include assistance obtaining required permits.
- Baroque Events Galveston planners specialize in beach weddings on any of the Galveston's city beaches. The company offers six planning packages, each of which includes different types of décor. Packages start at $575.
Planning a Texas Beach Wedding
As with planning any destination wedding, there are a few considerations when planning a wedding on a Texas beach:
- Weather: Although Texas doesn't experience a frigid winter, temperatures drop in the state in the fall and winter months. Check on the typical temperature in any given month in the city prior to planning a beach wedding to avoid a chilly wedding.
- Beach cleaning: Some Texas cities clean their beaches on a schedule. If you want a clean beach or to avoid the heavy equipment that is normally parked on the beach during these times, check into the cleaning schedule for the city in which you are planning your wedding.
- Spring Break crowds: Texas beaches become rife with college-age students during Spring Break. Check with the beach's chamber of commerce to determine the busiest Spring Break times of year to ensure that you avoid the mayhem.
- Texas culture: Texas is a unique state: its residents are friendly and its pace is calm. Keep the state's culture in mind when planning your wedding.
Your Texas Beach Wedding
There are dozens of beaches, both public and private, within Texas that may suit your wedding. Most public beaches require a permit. Inquire with the city's department of parks and recreation or special events to determine the permit requirements that apply to your beach wedding.