How To Plan a Wedding in Ocean City, MD
The beaches of Ocean City, Maryland are a beautiful place to get married. With miles of open beaches and no permit required, this coastal town is an ideal setting for a beach ceremony. It’s no wonder Ocean City, Maryland tops our list of favorite places to plan a wedding. Here are our top reasons for planning a wedding in Ocean City, MD:
- Clean beaches
- Free parking
- Endless locations
- Great hotels
- Delicious restaurants
- Fun nightlife
- Free beach weddings (no permits required)
- And as an added bonus, the OC Police Department offers wheelchair rentals for family and friends who may need some assistance onto the beach.
If you’re ready to start planning your wedding in Ocean City, MD, follow these steps to kick off the wedding planning process:
Hire a Wedding Planner
Planning a wedding is both fun and exhausting. With a seemingly never ending to-do list and countless decisions to make, it makes sense that these days many engaged couples turn to wedding planners for help. The benefits of hiring a wedding planner far outweigh the cost. They’ll help keep everything organized throughout the planning process, provide you with vendor recommendations (and sometimes discounts), and give you peace of mind on your wedding day.
At Sunny Beach Weddings, we love helping couples plan the beach wedding of their dreams. We offer three beach wedding packages or the ability to customize a package that fits your specific needs. All of our packages include custom ceremony planning, a wedding officiant, filing of your marriage license, one hour of wedding photography, portrait posing, downloadable high-resolution image files, and city permitting assistance. We also provide a variety of la carte services that can be added to any of our packages.
Set a Date for Your Wedding
If you’re hoping to get married in Ocean City, we recommend planning your wedding during the months of April, May, September, or October. These off-season months bring cooler temperatures, more affordable accommodations, and greater privacy during your ceremony. During the summer months, the weather is hotter and the beaches are more crowded. It’s for these reasons that we only offer our services for weddings held before 9am or after 5pm during the summer season.
Choose a Wedding Venue
Whether you choose to get married on the beach or at a local venue, deciding where to have your ceremony and reception will likely be one of the first decisions you have to make. Being a beach town, we can’t deny that the beach is our favorite location for wedding ceremonies in Ocean City, MD. With the waves gently crashing behind you and the sand beneath your toes, the beach makes for a breathtaking ceremony setting. If you choose to have a beach wedding, there are plenty of wonderful reception venues throughout town. We collaborate with over 15 venues in Ocean City alone and we would be happy to share our recommendations with you.
Share Your Wedding Vision
Once you’ve chosen your wedding venue, that’s when the fun begins! The next step in the planning process is choosing an aesthetic and setting a tone for your wedding. Do you prefer a traditional wedding? Something a little more casual? Whatever your preference, we can help you take the vision you have for your wedding and transform it into a reality. We love partnering with couples to understand their unique personalities and plan a celebration that truly reflects their style as a couple. From writing your own vows to incorporating a sand ceremony, we love to dream up ways to bring your love story to life.
Select Your Wedding Vendors
To bring everything together, you’ll need to select a team of vendors that can help make your vision a reality. You’ll need to hire an officiant, photographer, florist, caterer, and more. Since you’ve already started working with a wedding planner, they should be able to help you through this process. When you work with Sunny Beach Weddings, you can check many of these vendors off your list. We provide you with an officiant, photographer, videographer, DJ, and even decor items for your ceremony. When it comes to other vendors, we’re happy to recommend you to some outstanding vendors in the area, including hotels and caterers.
Get Your Marriage License
Your day is quickly approaching! After the majority of your planning is done, it’s time to get your marriage license. If you’re planning to get married in Ocean City, Maryland, you’ll have to obtain a marriage license from the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office in Worcester County, Maryland. You can also print the non-resident marriage license affidavit form for the State of Maryland. Although you must obtain your own marriage license, after your wedding, our officiant will file the license with the county on your behalf.
Get Married and Celebrate!
And finally, it’s time to make it official! This special day signifies just how far your love has come and marks the beginning of an exciting new season in your life. Once all the planning is done and the big day is finally here, we’ll jump into action to ensure everything goes off without a hitch. All you have to do is soak up every moment and enjoy the magic of the day. And of course, celebrate this exciting milestone in your life. Congratulations!
Tips for Planning Your Ocean City Beach Wedding
Obtain the Required Permits
When planning a beach wedding, it’s important to make sure you’ve obtained all the proper permits. Fortunately, the city of Ocean City, Maryland does not require a permit to get married on the beach. However, if you’re considering other beach locations such as Bethany Beach or Rehoboth Beach, then be sure to obtain a permit ahead of time. Don’t worry, we are happy to assist you with this process!
Consider The Time of Day
The ideal time of day for a beach wedding is about an hour and a half before sunset. With temperatures cooling off, you and your wedding guests will enjoy more comfortable weather, as well as less crowded beaches. This time of day also allows for golden hour photos following your ceremony. Just an hour before sunset, the golden hour produces the best natural light for your wedding portraits.
Ditch The Veil
Most often, the weather for beach weddings in Ocean City, Maryland is pristine. With warm sun and clear skies, rain is usually not a factor. However, from time to time, the coastal winds can be an issue. It’s for this reason, we recommend forgoing a long veil that may be distracting in windy conditions.
Although we love big and beautiful formal wedding gowns, they are not always the best option for beach weddings. Choosing a more simple, form-fitting wedding dress will often prove to be a much more comfortable choice. We also find that most times a simpler wedding gown ends up being a better match for the groom and groomsmen’s more casual beach wedding attire.
Skip the Heels
We always recommend brides and their bridesmaids swap out their high heels in favor of flat-soled sandals, espadrilles, wedges, or any shoe that won’t sink into the sand. Sand and high heels just don’t mix. Whichever you choose, make sure to have your wedding gown hemmed for the shoe you’ve chosen to wear. Although you may prefer to go barefoot, keep in mind that depending on the weather, the sand may be hot on your wedding day.
Protect Yourself from the Sun
If you plan to soak up the sun before your wedding, don’t forget to use plenty of sunscreen to protect your skin and avoid any sunburns or noticeable tan lines on your wedding day. Remember to remind your groom, groomsmen, and bridesmaids as well to avoid any unwanted sunburns in your wedding party group portraits.