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Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and Los Angeles, Santa Monica offers a breathtaking backdrop for couples dreaming of a beach wedding. With its iconic pier, stunning sunsets, and pristine sands, it's no wonder many Los Angeles residents look to Santa Monica as the perfect locale to say their vows. As experts in wedding planning, Nexa Events is here to guide you through every step of planning your dream beach wedding in this picturesque setting.

Choosing the Right Venue

Santa Monica is home to a variety of beachfront venues, from luxurious hotels to the more casual, sandy shores near the Santa Monica Pier. When selecting your venue, consider the size of your wedding, your budget, and the style of your event. Some couples may opt for the elegance of a hotel like Shutters on the Beach or the Casa del Mar, which offer comprehensive wedding services and stunning ocean views. Others may prefer a more intimate ceremony directly on the beach, followed by a reception in a nearby restaurant or event space.

When planning a beach ceremony, it's crucial to check with the City of Santa Monica regarding permits and regulations. Public beaches require permits for gatherings, and there are specific rules regarding décor, noise, and access to ensure the public's enjoyment of the beach is not disturbed.

Timing Your Wedding

One of the most magical aspects of a beach wedding in Santa Monica is the opportunity to say your "I do's" against the backdrop of a California sunset. Timing your ceremony is crucial to capturing this moment. Generally, planning your ceremony to begin an hour before sunset allows for ample daylight for the ceremony itself and provides stunning sunset colors as you transition to your reception.

Be mindful of the season, as sunset times vary throughout the year. Additionally, consider the local climate; while Santa Monica enjoys mild weather year-round, mornings can be foggy, and evenings can get chilly, especially outside of summer months. Advising guests on appropriate attire and providing comforts like blankets or heaters for the evening can add a thoughtful touch.

Designing Your Beach Wedding

A beach setting offers a natural beauty that doesn't require excessive decoration. However, thoughtful touches can enhance the ambiance and reflect your personal style. Consider an altar framed by the ocean, with simple floral arrangements or fabric draping to complement the natural surroundings. For seating, wooden chairs or benches blend seamlessly into the beach environment.

Sustainability is also a consideration for beach weddings. Opt for biodegradable confetti or flower petals for your send-off, and work with vendors who prioritize eco-friendly practices to ensure your celebration has a minimal impact on the environment.

Navigating the Logistics

Beach weddings come with unique logistical challenges, from ensuring guest comfort to managing sound and music. Renting a quality sound system is essential so your vows can be heard over the sound of the waves. Consider providing flip-flops for guests to navigate the sand comfortably, and have a plan in place for lighting if your reception will extend into the evening.

Transportation and parking can also be challenging in Santa Monica, especially during peak tourist seasons. Providing shuttle services or valet parking can alleviate these concerns and ensure a smooth experience for your guests.

Making It Official

Lastly, ensure your beach wedding in Santa Monica is legally recognized. Work with a licensed officiant familiar with beach ceremonies and understand the legal requirements for marriage in California. This includes obtaining a marriage license from the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's office before your wedding day.


A beach wedding in Santa Monica is a dream come true for many couples. With its stunning landscapes, romantic sunsets, and the soothing sounds of the ocean, it offers an unparalleled setting for your special day. By carefully considering your venue, timing, design, logistics, and legal requirements, you can ensure a beautiful, memorable, and seamless celebration. Nexa Events is here to guide you through every step, ensuring your beach wedding is everything you've envisioned and more.


Yes, a permit is required for any wedding ceremony held on the beach in Santa Monica. The City of Santa Monica has specific guidelines and requirements for beach events, including weddings. It's important to apply for a permit well in advance of your wedding date to ensure all regulations are met.

Santa Monica enjoys a mild climate year-round, making it a great location for a beach wedding in any season. However, late spring through early fall offers the warmest temperatures and the least likelihood of fog, optimizing your chances for a sunset ceremony without the evening chill.

For beach weddings, consider the elements—provide amenities like sunscreen, hand fans, or blankets for cooler evenings. Advising guests on appropriate footwear and offering seating options that are both stylish and comfortable can also enhance guest comfort.

Yes, music can be a beautiful addition to your beach wedding. However, consider the use of a professional sound system to ensure music and vows are audible over the sound of the waves. Be sure to comply with any sound ordinances specified by the City of Santa Monica.

Parking in Santa Monica, especially near the beach, can be challenging. Offering shuttle services from a designated parking area or a nearby hotel is a considerate way to manage transportation logistics for your guests. Additionally, providing detailed parking information or valet services can greatly enhance the guest experience.