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Beach Theme & Seaside Nuptials

tiki torch centerpieces
large sea shell for wedding decorating

Save 10% on your ENTIRE Beach Wedding Themed accessory purchase at WhereBridesGo.com! Use coupon BEACH at checkout.

Many couples today are looking for a more relaxed approach in planning their wedding. Is there anything more relaxing than listening to the crash of the waves as they hit the shore? Strolling along a beach with the one you love is the epitome of romance. There’s just something about being near the ocean that’s so magical and rejuvenating—perfect for the beginning of your lives together—and it can be a snap to plan.

Planning a beach-theme wedding is easier than you may think. Beach resorts are well equipped to help you plan the wedding of your dreams. They often have staff devoted to helping brides with long-distant wedding planning. Be aware that these services are charged for in addition to the cost of the actual wedding. Don’t be afraid to ask detailed questions. However, if you are planning your beach wedding without the assistance of an on site wedding coordinator, don’t worry. These tips can make planning your seaside wedding like a…well, a trip to the beach!

Location: If you are getting married at a beach resort, the best times of year for planning a wedding are just before and just after the high season. Not is this more economical, but it also ensures that you and your guests are not overrun by the other tourists. If your wedding is going to take place inland all it takes is a little imagination to transform the location into an island paradise. Seaside or not, if your wedding is to take place outside, be sure to have a good backup plan in place well in advance to help alleviate panic if the weather should not cooperate on your wedding day.

Ideas to Decorate your Ceremony and Location

Announcements/Invitations: Send friends and family save the date announcements well in advance to allow for travel plans that will need to be made. This is especially important if your wedding will be during high season at seaside resorts. There is a variety of nautical-style stationery to pull the entire wedding theme together. Whether you prefer palm trees, beach chairs, sunsets, shells, or lighthouses, using a theme-base invitation is the first thing your guests will see and will set the tone for the entire event.

Ideas to Decorate your Ceremony and Location

Engagement Party Ideas: Send your guests a message in a bottle to invite them to a seaside (or poolside) party. If your party is to be held during the winter, rent the local indoor pool and decorate with palm trees, kiddy pools filled with sand, and shells. Challenge your friends to a beach ball volleyball contest. The winner’s purse can be filled with dollars—sand dollars, that is! You may want to serve Polynesian or Hawaiian style foods, such as roast pork and pineapple. For Northeastern beach weddings, have a clambake complete with a bonfire to warm up the celebrations! Use lighthouse candles or tiki-torches to help create mood lighting. Whether you have a DJ or a live band, steel drums or Carolina beach music will have your guests dancing the night away.

Rehearsal Dinner: Hold the rehearsal dinner at a favorite seafood restaurant or have a lobster boil at the home of the groom’s parents. Present the wedding party with dolphin bottle-openers to say thank-you for all they’ve done.

Gifts for Your Wedding Party

Men’s Attire: The precise location of the ceremony will dictate what your groom should wear. Getting married inside? Go for the tux or blue blazer with light colored slacks. An outdoor wedding lends itself to a more casual look. How about navy slacks and a white linen shirt? Other male members of the wedding party should be dressed similarly to the groom in both style and formalness.

Ladies’ Attire: Consider wearing a halter-style wedding dress made of georgette, breezy chiffon or flowing crepe for a tea length gown. If the wedding is to take place on the beach, keep in mind the ever-present wind when considering headpieces and/or veils. A good alternative would be a simple tiara around a simple but securely fastened up-do. Another good choice for a daytime wedding is a wreath of flowers. Bridesmaids would look lovely in long or mid-calf sundresses with either wide-brimmed hats (day time) or simple flower accents in their hair. Consider going barefoot or wearing beach sandals if getting married on the beach to avoid sinking in the sand.

Flowers: Good choices include Bird of Paradise, Heliconia (a tall spiky flower with bright red and yellow blooms, Red Ginger, and small orchids. If the wedding will take place outside, consider using potted palm trees or palmetto plants as accent pieces. String small lights in the branches to add a touch of sparkle. Keep in mind that your flowers will not last as long, if the wedding is held outside in the heat of day.

Beach Wedding Accessories

Ceremony Accessories: Have the flower girl carry a basket filled with sea shells and orchid petals. If getting married outside, avoid using a unity candle as the wind could make it almost impossible to light. Instead, incorporate the environment by pouring sand from two buckets into one. If the ceremony will be inside, consider a beach themed unity candle that will mark the occasion in style. Have friends read poetry that uses the sea as a metaphor for love and reflects the spirituality of the surroundings.

Reception Ideas: Hire a DJ or steel-drum band to play island or beach music. Buy some children's pail and shovel sets. Use these as your beach wedding theme centerpieces or use them for serving chocolate covered strawberries. You can also setup tiki torch centerpieces for a real island flair! A flat dish filled with sand makes an excellent display for candles to create mood lighting. Cover tables with dark blue tablecloths to simulate the ocean and sprinkle them with sand, starfish, and shells. Add white chocolate shells to the wedding cake or have it made in the shape of a sand castle with sprinkles of brown sugar to look like sand. Oysters on the half-shell make an excellent choice for appetizers. Consider crab claws and chilled shrimp to round out the seafood fare. Tropical fruits and light pasta salads can complete the food offerings. For toasting, consider decorating the champagne flutes with little umbrellas.

Wedding Favors: Say thank you to your guests by sending them home with a special memento of the big day. Scalloped shells filled with a favorite candy make a great favor for wedding guests. You might also want personalized water bottles to keep your guests cool in the hot sun! Also, consider filling personalized sand pails with sun essentials such as sunscreen and sunglasses. Depending on your budget, embroidered beach towels also make great gifts to thank your guests for all their support on your big day.

Beach Wedding Favors

More Wedding Themes
Get the details on how to plan a wedding with a specific theme. Use these theme articles to help you plan your dream themed wedding from start to finish!
Western Theme Beach/Seaside Theme
Fairy Tale Theme Childhood Sweethearts
Winter Wonderland Theme Daisy Theme
Fiesta Theme Christmas Theme
Renaissance Theme Retro/Glam Theme
Linked at the Heart Theme Doves Theme
Asian Theme Modern Elegance
Butterfly Theme Precious Moments
Vegas Theme Spring Wedding
Golf Theme Fall Wedding
Military/Patriot Theme  

~ by Sherrie Thompson

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