If you love the idea of marrying your spouse-to-be on a beach surrounded by only your closest family members and friends, you may be investigating the idea of a destination wedding in the Bahamas. While a beach wedding can be short and sweet (and involve no more preparation or decoration than arranging driftwood into an aisle or picking some nearby flowers), hosting a reception for even a small number of people can become complicated when you're doing most of your planning from hundreds (or thousands) of miles away. What can you do to create an enjoyable reception atmosphere your guests will remember forever? Read on for some ideas on throwing a once-in-a-lifetime Bahamanian wedding reception. 

Set up a tent and barbeque

If you're planning for your wedding to take place on the beach, one easy way to host a low-key reception is to simply pitch an event tent and rent a barbeque or a few sets of chafing dishes to keep food warm. Depending upon the weather forecast, you may be able to get a tent with breathable side curtains to help keep rain, sand, or insects away from your food without impeding your view. 

When it comes to food for your reception, catering is your best bet -- although you may be able to easily cook for a small crowd under normal circumstances, trying to recreate a full kitchen on the beach while engaged in other wedding festivities could leave you too scattered to make the most of your wedding day. Having food brought in or prepared on site can save you time and hassle without costing you much more money. 

Charter a catamaran

Although chartering a yacht for your wedding reception can sound pricey, a catamaran is a fun and relatively inexpensive way to enjoy the natural wonders of the Bahamas on your own private sailing vessel. Catamarans are smaller and lighter than luxury yachts, helping them squeeze into tight quarters or navigate shallow sandbars more easily than these larger ships without sacrificing deck space. If you're planning a fairly small wedding with just close family members and friends, your guests should easily fit on a single catamaran -- and there will even be sleeping quarters in an enclosed cabin for anyone who needs to sleep off seasickness or a hangover.

If a member of your wedding party is an experienced sailor (and has the credentials to prove it), you may be able to rent a "bareback" catamaran -- one that doesn't require an outside crew member. Otherwise, you'll be navigated around the beautiful beaches of the Bahamas by a chartered sailor who can direct you to specific sites or just let you drop anchor and enjoy the views. Whether you choose a catamaran or a yacht charter Bahamas-style, the views from the ocean will be unforgettable.