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wedding help!

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Salem, Oregon...
posts: 6
wedding help!

I'm getting married on Tybee Island on June 22 of this year, and I'm planning the wedding long distance without a coordinator so I need some advice. We are planning to have our ceremony on the beach. What is the best part of the beach to get married on that time of year? I've read that people tend to stay close to the pier, so I'm planning to avoid that area. I've also read that the north end of the beach is the least crowded because of the riptides, but that it's farthest from parking. We are having about 75 guests and we are going to need to do all the set up (chairs, arch, aisle runner, etc) and take down ourselves, so we don't want to be miles away from the parking lot.

Is the north beach a good area? About how much available parking is there normally? About how far away is the parking? Would it be fairly easy to map out for out-of-town guests? Is there another area I should be looking at? Any other suggestions would be welcomed with open arms...we are on such a tight budget that we are having to do everything ourselves and that's really hard when you're planning a wedding from the other side of the country!

Boston
posts: 2,912
reviews: 25
1. Re: wedding help!

First question- have you checked with the Tybee Island City Hall to make sure you are allowed to use the beach for a group gathering? I would strongly suggest that you do if you haven't already.

I love every speck of the whole beach. That being said, my experiences on Tybee over the last 3 years or so tell me that driving to the North Beach area by car is tough! The area is full of tiny roads. I have only seen parking where the North Beach Grill is so again, I would check to make sure you are allowed to hold a wedding there and if you can park multiple cars there. Maybe they can suggest another lot but so far, that's the only lot I have seen and I don't know if its meant only for Grill patrons or who? Secondly, if you got permission to hold the wedding there, I would go well in advance and thoroughly map out the directions from Rt 80 directly to the parking area as its really, really easy to get lost there.

Other than the North Beach area, how about doing something way down to the far right of the Pier? You will still be around day trippers but the further you walk out, the fewer people you might see. If you haven't already thought of this, hold the wedding (assuming you can with permission) early in the AM or close to dinner time so you avoid the majority of the day trippers who want the Noon sun. Congrats and good luck with the planning! Oh yeah, make sure your guests know how strict the local police are about parking and that they absolutely must keep the meters filled with money or a ticket will be their parting gift after your wedding.

Mississippi
posts: 13,000
reviews: 9
2. Re: wedding help!

I second Karrieb. Tybee has some strict regulations. The city does not want anything to happen to a great place to visit. It's getting like that just about all great beach communities. The FL Gulf Coast has some very strict regulations. I hope you have a gret wedding.

Salem, Oregon...
posts: 6
3. Re: wedding help!

Based on what I read here http://tybeeislandweddingassociation.com/ and on the city website, it's fine to just walk down and get married on the beach without a permit, but if you want to set up chairs and such you need a permit. It's very affordable so we definitely plan to go the permit option because then we can set up in such a way that it will be semi-private. So I know it's okay to hold the ceremony.

I haven't read about any restrictions regarding the number of vehicles that can use parking... A lot of our guests are out-of-towners so we're hoping to use a shuttle to get them to and from their hotels. But there will be those who drive themselves so I appreciate the heads-up about the meters for sure! If there's no available beach parking in the North Beach area and it's confusing to get to we may have to look at other options. Any further suggestions are once again greatly appreciated!!

Boston
posts: 2,912
reviews: 25
4. Re: wedding help!

I'm glad to see that you find a good website. I would never discourage you from this wonderful idea, but it is good to know ahead of time. Can you get down there to map out the "route" over to the North Beach Grill area? Maybe they could give you a good set of directions and maybe they could help you out with the parking situation if you use them for some food? Just a thought! I am thinking that it will be much quieter there than around the Pavilion/Pier area.

Salem, Oregon...
posts: 6
5. Re: wedding help!

Part of the problem is that I live in Oregon, and I won't be in Savannah until the week before the wedding...I'd like to have our specific location nailed down before then so I can send maps to my guests along with their invitations. Maybe I will call the North Beach Grill and see what their prices are, maybe they will let us park in their lot if we have the rehearsal dinner there or something.

I really appreciate you guys' help!

Clearwater
posts: 2,721
reviews: 53
6. Re: wedding help!

I would think the north end would be the best. There is a huge city owned parking lot at the north end of the east facing beach. Look on the satellite view on google maps you will see it. There is a little walk across a wooden walk over the dunes but it is maybe a block. I guess everyone would need to feed the parking machines.

That part of the beach tends to be far less busy than further south and especially in the late afternoon and evening.

North beach grill is right across the parking lot and the lighthouse could probably be in some of your photos.

The tide that day is high about 10:30 am and going out til 5 pm or so, so that works out nice. If your wedding is around ebb, the wind may lay down some too.

Salem, Oregon...
posts: 6
7. Re: wedding help!

BrianO, I really appreciate that information! My aunt had driven down from Statesboro to take some pictures of different areas and get some information for me and I just got those in the mail today. She also sent a map, and based on that and on the information in this thread, I am confident that the North Beach would be our wisest decision. We are planning to have the ceremony around 5 or 5:30, so it sounds like that will work perfectly! And I am glad to know there is public parking! That was really worrying me.

Thank you guys all so much for your help! I really appreciate it! :-)

Boston
posts: 2,912
reviews: 25
8. Re: wedding help!

Hi, Sessha, I would love a follow-up report on your plans if you don't mind. I am asking because our daughter and boyfriend have a vacation planned there in September and know we have learned that he is popping the question to her this weekend!! So I wonder if she, as a big fan of Tybee, will want to consider a "destination wedding" there. I would love to know what you decided and how the plans went. Thanks

Salem, Oregon...
posts: 6
9. Re: wedding help!

Hi Karrieb!

We actually haven't had the wedding yet, it's about 7 weeks away! Plans are going well; a lot of what we're doing is very informal and nontraditional so depending on what your daughter would want, I may or may not be much help :-)

Having seen some maps of the beach, discussed it with the city facilities coordinator, had some family members take pics, and of course received the info from you lovely people here on the forums, we have chosen the North Beach area for the ceremony, between the Grill and the lighthouse. We will be using the public metered parking for the ceremony and posting signs directing guests to our spot on the beach. The city allows 4 hours total from setup to takedown, and they apparently do not require a permit/fee unless you have 75 or more people (we have 52 including bride, groom, and bridal party).

We are looking to use the local wholesale flower market for our florals (the girls and moms and I will be going a day or two before the wedding to purchase flowers and DIY-ing the bouquets; all our reception decor is nonfloral--shells, driftwood, lanterns and the like). Some relatives in Savannah have offered up their home for a backyard reception up next to the salt marshes, and they are arranging a low country boil (I probably would not recommend DIY catering for a larger group but again we are only 52 people, and low country boil lends itself well to bulk cooking). We have a family member who is a wedding photographer and one who bakes cakes and they have both offered their services.

So we really have very very few outside vendors, mostly because of budget constraints. However, I have lots of information on Tybee and Savannah vendors, wedding planners, and accommodations, as well as a solid list of online resources, so if you are interested in any of that information by all means let me know! And I will definitely post another update after the wedding to let you know how things turned out for us! :-)

Edited: 8:57 pm, May 02, 2012
Boston
posts: 2,912
reviews: 25
10. Re: wedding help!

Thanks SO much! I sent you a PM and would appreciate a response to that so I can send you my personal email address. I am very happy for you, you are planning what I think is an ideal wedding!