Beaches, reminiscent of early vacations with families and romantic strolls with lovers, are the perfect wedding setting for a couple wishing for an atmosphere of carefree adventure and plenty of relaxation. While the simplest way to throw a beach wedding is jetting off to an island resort, we’re here to offer our best decor, food, and attire advice for couples who want to marry by the beach without throwing their budget. Whether you’re landlocked, marrying at your local beach, or going somewhere special, scroll down for tips on how to tie the knot with some nautical flair.
Piers make a stunning wedding photoshoot location, or even an intimate ceremony for small groups.
Look every bit the beachy bride with loose, textured curls and bronzed skin.
Recreate a poolside celebration by setting rolled towels or napkins on your guests’ chairs. Optional: embellish seating with ocean themed cards and shells.
Going barefoot on the beach can be romantic, but also impractical or painful depending on the terrain. Lacy slip-ons or leather sandals won’t distract from your dress while staying comfortable.
Lights and brights are the way to go for warm-weather beach attire. Sandy tans and khaki tones give groomsmen suits a casually elegant feel for the beach.
Beach weddings with a party atmosphere suit vibrant, coral colors of bridesmaids’ dresses. Feel free to mix shades for a truly colorful photo opp!
Looking for an elegant seaside affair? Choose a muted variation of summery shades such as sage, lilac, or peach for your girls.
Keep with the beach theme with an unique “guestbook” — ask guests sign oars, a mini surfboard, or a ship steering wheel for a quirky home decor piece, or use framed glass for a classy keepsake.
A beach themed wedding doesn’t have to include sand! Landlocked couples can choose resorts, villas, parks, or local rivers for a celebration that has all the waterworks and getaway fun of a beach wedding.
Serve up memories of a beach picnic spread with portioned crudités, mini sandwiches, pasta salad, and lemonade as snacks.
We love the rustic beach house look of this DIY altar constructed from old doors!
Beaches can become quite windy. Capitalize on the elements with long altar drapes for a dramatic fixture for your ceremony.
Naturally stunning table centerpieces can be found at the beach. Task young guests to collect or simply purchase a variety of sea glass, seashells, driftwood, or jars of sand to display.
Let your guests cool off from a ceremony in the sun by renting a canopy tent for reception.
Canopies are also ideal structures to string fairy lights across for a romantic evening reception.
Folding chairs are a common fixture at beach ceremonies; spruce them up by hanging driftwood, wildflowers, or fairy lights.
Dessert bars are a convenient option for couples who want to avoid the logistics of transporting and storing a large wedding cake at the beach.
Food trucks are a trendy eating-out option that works so well for outdoors weddings. Hire a few local favorites, or plan reception near a food truck festival and set your guests loose!
Capitalize on all the sunshine and surf of a beach with a flowy dress that bares your shoulders. Halter style necklines, cotton, and light lace suit the casual beach atmosphere.
When marrying by the seaside, serve beach fare: clambakes, barbecue, and fresh seafood are guaranteed to be crowd-pleasers.
Nothing says summer festivities quite like fireworks on the beach. Set a bucket of sparklers out and ask guests to light your exit as newlyweds.
Sparklers and glow sticks also allow for fun long-exposure wedding photos on the beach after dark!
Hopefully, we’ve given you some inspiration for your upcoming beach wedding; now it’s up to you to combine ideas with action. Read over our beach wedding essentials guide to make sure you’re in the know on applying for permits and keeping guests comfortable. Most beach weddings are held during the summer, which presents some unique seasonal challenges you should anticipate too, to ensure your beach themed wedding ends up as stressless and memorable as you and your spouse deserve!
What’s your experience with being a bridesmaid? Did you have any unexpected costs that weren’t covered here? Let us know — we would love to hear from you! Plus, don’t forget to check out our Facebook and Pinterest pages for more wedding inspo!