The wedding is a special day of celebration to mark the start of a couple’s journey to lifelong togetherness. Of course, you want yours to be special and extraordinary to show your uniqueness as a couple. A gorgeous beach is a perfect venue for that! At the seaside, you can have a stunningly beautiful ceremony, not just because of the natural scenery, but also because of the many fun things you can do to accentuate and bring a distinct ambiance to your location.
Beach weddings allow your imagination to go beyond the traditional, formal wedding go-to. From attire and décor to cakes and bouquets, here are some fantastic ideas for a wedding by the shore.
Because the beach is a natural setting, there are tons of alternative, non-formal themes you can have for your wedding.
- You can have a maritime-inspired wedding for your big day. Use blue and white stripes as your primary color and incorporate nautical items such as anchors, boats, and life-savers into your design.
- Or maybe choose the Hawaiian-chic bridal party. Have your sponsors and guests dressed in floral polos and summer dresses with leis. Instead of using the traditional veil, use a white floral crown. Dance to the tune of ukuleles and maracas after the ceremony. During the reception, make your waiters say “Aloha” while serving drinks in coconuts in your pineapple-centered tables.
- The shabby chic and vintage-inspired wedding touches also look great in beach weddings – it’s more unexpected than the nautical or Hawaiian theme. Use neutral or pastel colors and lace for your bridesmaids and groomsmen attire, as well as for your decorations.
- Another great look for the beach wedding is the Bohemian style. Be indie and hippie in your laid-back and comfy boho attire with your guests. Break away from the traditional veil by putting head wraps adorned with flowers, leaves, feathers or lace. Show off some glitter or henna tattoos instead of heavy makeup. Decorate tables with Moroccan lanterns and gypsy textiles.
A beach wedding means a lot of fun dressing options for you and your guests. The outdoor setting calls for light fabrics, in weight, and in color.
- Make yourself and your guests as comfortable as possible while the ceremony is ongoing under the sun. Chiffon gowns, button up shirts and jeans are perfect for beach weddings.
- The brides may wear short, simple dresses in tea-length. Or they may opt for daring gown styles with open backs, cut-outs or crop tops to suit the surroundings.
- The groom should always match the style of the bride. They can never go wrong with the white button down shirt. A suit is great, as long as it’s lightweight and in a lighter color. He can also wear suspenders or shorts for a more casual approach. Plus, you can skip the flower as a corsage and go for a starfish or seashell boutonniere instead.
- For the footwear, it’s not ideal to wear heels in the sand. The bride and the ladies can go barefoot in style with anklet rings or soleless sandals adorned with pearls, lace, shells or crystals. Or they can go for adorable flip-flops. Men can wear flip flops too, or loafers or sandals.
There are tons of ways to decorate the beach at your wedding.
- You can line your aisle with starfish stuck in the sand. Or attach starfish and raffia to chairs. Include starfish in bouquets. Basically, a seaside wedding must have starfishes!
- Make chairs for the bride and groom easily identifiable by putting hand-painted driftwood signs.
- Write the seating arrangements for the guests on seashells.
- The ceremony arch with vines and branches are perfect for an oceanfront, island vibe. Or you can use white or pastel-colored linen to adorn it.
- A garland made up of faux starfish, pearls or shells makes a pretty decoration for chairs, tables, and the ceremony arch, too.
- If you’re into DIY, suspend some beautiful origami stars or fill them in jars as centerpieces.
- It’s also great to decorate the beach with candles for a more romantic feel. String lights over reception tables will turn your event into an enchanting seaside affair in the evening.
- Instead of using cardboard as escort cards, write your guest’s name and table number on a sand dollar or sea shell for a more personalized ambiance. Or attach the card to starfish for a beachy vibe.
4. Ceremony ideas
Having your “I do” moment in a natural setting loosens up formalities. There are a lot of fun, laid-back gimmicks you can do.
- Literally, tie the knot by doing the fisherman’s knot. The couple will tie a knot together to form a very strong knot which cannot come undone – perfect for a nautical themed wedding.
- Present your wedding rings in a non-traditional “pillow” like tying them into seashells.
- Wedding ceremonies can be boring for kids, so make them anticipate something fun by putting your flower girls and ring bearer in a beach wagon and have them pulled during the processional.
- If you want to get playful, you can have your guests toss mini beach balls instead of petals or rice during your recessional.
- You can set a place where your guests can put their shoes if they want to protect it from the sand. Have a basket or a wooden shoe rack placed on the side and provide some flip flops for them to wear.
- To beat the heat in a trendy way, keep beverages cold in a cute canoe or kayak filled with ice.
- End the festivities beautifully by flying sky lanterns.
5. Wedding cakes
Cakes for weddings by the shore are better off when adorned with tropical motifs like corals, pearls, shells, and starfish.
- Create an ombre cake decorated with ruffled buttercream layers topped with kissing seahorses or a pair of poolside chairs.
- Have a simple fondant cake and embellish it with edible shells.
- Infuse your cake with whipped cream frosting and top it with tropical fruits.
Whatever theme you pick, you have to stick to it for every single detail – especially with bouquets.
- Include a starfish in the bridal bouquet.
- Fill your bouquet with contrasting colors like orange and blue.
- Embellish it with coral and seaweed.
- Skip flowers entirely and opt for a bouquet made of seashells.
Give something unique, memorable and useful for your guests instead of something that will just collect dust in their display counters at home.
- Because you’re at the beach, why not give each guest a towel with a personalized note for a keepsake?
- Fans are a must in a hot location. You can distribute fans they can use throughout the festivities. You can tie them up to chairs to serve as decoration as well.
- Make your ceremony programs dual purpose: print them out on a hand fan.
- Be practical. Give your guests little-woven bags with sunscreen, sunglasses, and flip-flops.
- Keep them hydrated with personalized water bottles. Stick your couple photo or a cute typography of the couples’ name as a label. People like seeing extraordinary stuff in mundane things – it’ll make a simple water bottle Instagram-worthy, for sure.
With the gorgeous blue sea as your backdrop, don’t miss out on capturing beautiful moments on your big day!
- Kiss while the waves are visibly moving behind you.
- Draw a heart in the sand and pose inside it.
- Have a jump shot with your ‘maids and ‘men.
- Take the plunge together and capture the moment.
- Pose beside jet skis, canoes, or other forms of beachy transportation.
9. Arrival and send-off
Steer clear of using a limo or a Volkswagen for a beach wedding.
- Use a canoe to make a beautiful entrance with your folks at your ceremonial venue.
- After the ceremony, cruise away into the night together as you ride a motorboat. Sweet!