in this issue
Ceremony on the Sand
The picturesque New Hampshire coastline attracts locals and tourists year round. It’s no wonder that couples wish to share their vows on the beautiful sands overlooking the Atlantic.
The trend of straying from the traditional, cookie-cutter wedding
has also boosted the popularity of a ceremony on the beach, however,
there are a few things you want to consider before planning one.
NH Weddings in State Parks
If the location you have chosen is a State Park you will need to contact the State of New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation. Odiorne Point in Rye, for example, is a State Park. This particular park is available by reservation for group-use Memorial Day weekend to Columbus Day weekend.
Couples must put in a request for a specific date, which will be reviewed and approved on an individual basis. Requests are honored on a first call basis provided deposits are received on time. Also, a Special Use Permit or Facility Use Agreement will be issued by the NH Division of Parks and Recreation for your event.
Keep in mind that each State Park has its own rules with different rates, hours of availability and parking capacity.
NH Beach Wedding
If the beach you are thinking of is not a State Park then there are certain limitations, as well. NH beaches are public property, unless otherwise noted, and you cannot close off an area of the beach for your specific event. Don’t be surprised to see strangers watching you say, “I do” or whistle as you kiss for the first time as husband and wife.
This also means you cannot stage your ceremony by bringing in an alter or table and chairs for your guests. Expect guests to stand, which may be suitable if you are going for a casual, beach themed wedding.
Guests at the Beach
A beach ceremony can be fun and fitting for those that love the ocean, however, it is important to think of the safety and comfort of your guests. Walking on sand can be a hazard for disabled or elderly guests.
There are certain parts of the coastline that are more stable and easier to walk on. Make sure you tour a few different spots to decide which is best for you and your guests.
Division of State Parks
Seacoast Regional Office