The treasured town of Montauk is located at farthest tip of Long Island. It is a charming weekend away for busy New Yorkers and an excellent alternative to an urban venue or a traditional destination wedding. Over the last few months I have had the pleasure of spending time in Montauk with a special couple planning their September wedding. Surrounded by water and serving up scrumptious seafood, the easy breezy beach town is intoxicating, but hosting a beachfront wedding is ironically not so simple.
While there is no shortage of beautiful, inspiring and sometimes misleading ocean front photography on the internet, setting expectations and filling inspiration boards of alfresco inspired couples, planning that wedding in Montauk can prove challenging.
Location: Always one of the most important decisions when planning a wedding, the location sets the stage and tone for the entire event. Montauk is no exception. In fact this element takes a heightened significance if you are considering a wedding that showcases Montauk’s natural elements. (beaches, cliffs or the lighthouse)
Weather: Check the average forecasts and temperatures for date you are planning to get married. This will help you prepare for heating units, generators and umbrellas if necessary. This will also allow you to inform your guests, so they can dress appropriately and come prepared to be comfortable, enabling them to enjoy your wedding.
Logistics: Note sunrise and sunset times so lighting can be addressed. Unless, you have hired a planner, caterer or a venue that will oversee everything, remember to consider restrooms, electricity and sound systems.
Regulations: Speak to someone locally. There are rules about the volume of amplified music in the evening, serving alcohol on the beach and permits. Permits are necessary for weddings of fifty guests or more. Using a tent? The fire marshal must come and inspect the tent at the property. There is a fee for this. Private beaches or residences are ideal options, but accessing them without a personal relationship or a huge budget is difficult.
Season: Summer is easily Montauk’s peak season, which means the small town will be bustling. Accommodations are in greater demand, minimum night stays will be enforced, negotiating power is weak and traffic is heavy. If you can get married in Montauk before Memorial Day or after Labor Day, you’ll save money and your guests will enjoy the value associated with this fishing town.
There are many things to take into consideration when planning a wedding at “The End”, but with careful planning the effort is worthwhile and you and your guests will thoroughly enjoy your Montauk wedding and the entire experience.