Choosing the best beach wedding themes.

Do you want a beach wedding for your special day? There’s no doubt that the beach is one of the most popular venues for couples who want to tie the knot. Since it’s going to be a special occasion, you want to make sure that the event will be out of the ordinary. There is where selecting the wedding theme comes in. You need to carefully choose the colours so that they complement the beach environment.

The wedding theme varies from couple to couple. Some find the traditional white wedding theme ideal while others prefer to be different by going for the nautical theme. The theme should be more than just trends. It should have the ability to pull all of the wedding elements up to the tiniest details.

It’s hard to decide what your wedding theme will be if you don’t pay close attention to the wedding details. You need to envision yourself or the guests on your wedding day if you were to pick a particular theme. It should have the ability to make the first impression so you can convey the right message to your guests.

Beach weddings are extremely popular all year round because they are the most romantic and relaxing. Wearing a gorgeous flowy wedding dress, kick off your shoes, feel the sand between your toes, enjoy a beautiful sunrise and sunset with your loved ones. How wonderful and romantic it is! If you are planning one of these destination beach weddings in 2020, here we are! Below are some fabulous beach themed wedding ideas that will surely inspire any couple planning to say “I Do” with the ocean.

These questions will help you come up with the right theme for your wedding:

  • Where did you first meet?
  • Do you have any favourite countries or cities that you would like to visit?
  • What is your idea of a perfect wedding?
  • Is there anything you want to add to your wedding?
  • Is there any particular flower that you want to have at your wedding?
  • Can you name things that define your relationship?
  • Do you have any shared interests?

These questions will help you choose the type of wedding that you and your partner would like to achieve. Whether it’s a glamorous or laid-back reception, answering these questions will help you make the right decision.


What do you envision as a couple?

Choose your theme as a couple—the day is about both of you! Make a list of the different themes and create an inspiration board for the ones that fit the mood you want on your big day, like a bohemian beach wedding with a relaxed and natural vibe, or a cozy winter woodland wedding. If you’re stuck, there are online quizzes that tailor wedding themes for you by asking you questions about the things you enjoy as a couple, your favourite colour schemes, and your personalities. Maybe you both love to travel and want a theme inspired by your around-the-world adventures—create invitations designed like plane tickets and use maps and globes as decor throughout the venue. 

What is your budget?

Some themes are more costly to execute than others, so keep your budget in mind as you narrow down your ideas. A glamorous party in a large ballroom involves lots of lights, flowers, and decor. Still, a vintage chic garden-themed wedding can be much more cost-effective because you can use natural elements for decor—think wood, natural greenery, and wildflowers. 

What mood do you want to set?

What mood do you want your theme to create for your guests during all of the celebrations? If you imagine a glitz and glam celebration inspired by the roaring twenties, create an art deco theme with energetic jazz music, warm lights, metallic and sequin accents, and lots of dancing. Also, consider how formal you want your wedding to feel. If you’ve always imagined a formal black-tie affair, a grand ballroom wedding matches the mood. A more laid-back mood calls for a beachside or backyard wedding.

What is the atmosphere of your venue?

Find the wedding location of your dreams and choose the theme that fits with that space or shop around for venues with a theme already in mind. If you’re marrying along the oceanside, a beach theme with a colour palette of sea glass, ivory, and blue fits the setting perfectly. Maybe you’ve always imagined a beautiful country chic wedding—look for restored barns or beautiful backyard spaces for your venue.

What season is your wedding in?

Your wedding season is an important factor to consider. Let your wedding season and theme inspire each other. Winter weddings can be classic or glamours in their theme, but dark, romantic colours like emerald green, plum, and deep navy always suit the cold season. If you want a spring wedding, you can build a theme around garden settings, pastel colours, and natural elements like berries and bright greenery. Beachy themes are always fitting for summer weddings, and woodland settings and warm colours are a popular fall theme.

What is the style of your dress?

Your theme is the setting of your entire big day, and the bride’s dress is the showcase, so you want the two to complement each other. You can choose a wedding theme and location, then choose a dress to match. Are you planning a bohemian wedding? A delicate, whimsical dress with lace accents is a beautiful look. If you’ve already found the perfect dress, use its style to inspire your wedding theme. Think about the aesthetic and details of the dress. An A-line trumpet dress is perfect for an elegant vineyard wedding while a princess gown with lace and embellishments is made for a glamorous ballroom wedding. 

Beach Wedding Colors

Look to the ocean and the coastline for colour inspiration for your wedding by the water. Here are some of our favourite combinations for a wedding by the sea.

  • slate blue + dove grey
  • coral pink + peacock blue
  • sage green + dusty blue
  • blush pink + sage green + dove grey
  • emerald + taupe + moss green
  • coral pink + teal
  • dusty blue + peach
  • navy blue + coral pink + blush pink
  • lemon yellow + marigold + orange sherbet
  • coral pink + olive green + mustard yellow

Wedding Invitation Ideas

Set the tone (and style) of your beach wedding with your stationery, particularly your save the dates and wedding invitations. You can bring the feel of your big beachy day in a number of design-oriented ways, including:

  • Painterly beach scenes.
  • Nautical colours or motifs (e.g., anchors, sailboat silhouettes, shells, starfish, nautical flags, rope patterns, etc.).
  • Neutral tones throughout, à la sand.
  • Textured paper for a rustic, beachy-chic feel.
  • Classic beach illustrations and motifs (e.g., the shore, crashing waves, seaside sunsets, driftwood, palm trees, or something more playful like flip flops or beachy cocktails).
  • An invitation designed to resemble an aeroplane ticket or passport, if you’re hosting a destination beach wedding.
  • Save the dates that are rolled up and mailed to guests in a small glass tube filled with sand, to resemble a message in a bottle.
  • Wrap your invites with a piece of rope or twine instead of ribbon.
  • Same Sex Wedding Traditions
    Same Sex Wedding Traditions

Wedding Attire Ideas

Here are some stylish ideas to bring in that relaxed, beachy vibe to you and your wedding party’s attire.

For the couple and the wedding party:

  • Wedding dress silhouettes with a halter neckline, cut-outs, or open back.
  • Look for wedding dress fabrics in lightweight silk, chiffon, or lace.
  • In terms of wedding dress lengths, choose a style that is mid-length, has a high-low hemline, or an asymmetrical silhouette. All of these options convey an easy-going sensibility that’s still sophisticated.
  • Bridesmaids in multiple shades of blue to complement the ocean backdrop.
  • Bridesmaid dresses or skirts in floral or tropical prints.
  • Groom and groomsmen in beige linen suits, with or without ties.
  • Seersucker blazers for a preppy vibe.

For the wedding guests:

  • Invite everyone to go barefoot for a beach ceremony.
  • Don’t shy away from colour: Bold reds, greens, and corals will contrast well with the sand, ocean, and blue skies.
  • Make a cute sun hat a part of your look.
  • Choose lightweight, breathable fabrics like linen, cotton blends, and chiffon.
  • Skip the stilettos and opt for wedges or stylish sandals.
  • Bring a lightweight shawl or scarf, in case a breeze picks up from the coast.

Flower Ideas

A beach wedding doesn’t necessarily call for a different approach to your floral arrangements, but it does open up the opportunity to do something a little different. Our advice is to choose flowers and decorations that won’t compete with the beach setting, but rather beautifully complement it.

For the bouquet and boutonnieres:

  • Bouquet of tropical elements, like proteas, orchids, pink ginger, and assorted palms.
  • Boutonnieres accented with fresh succulents or small shells.
  • Try swapping in succulents instead of traditional flowers.
  • For bridesmaids bouquets, pair a large monstera leaf or other palm fronds with two blooms, like anthuriums or birds of paradise.
  • Boutonnieres wrapped in nautical rope instead of ribbon.

For your beach wedding centrepiece:

  • Tie a rope around glass vases for a chic nautical touch.
  • Beach wedding centrepieces comprised of glass hurricane vases filled with sand, shells, and pillar candles.
  • Boho, breezy elements like pampas grasses placed in tall vases.
  • Palm fronds placed flat on the table linens like a table runner, with votive candles on top.
  • Small air plants at each place setting that can also double as a take-home wedding favour.
  • Driftwood pieces surrounded by glowing pillar candles in glass cylinder vases.
  • Candlelit lanterns on a base of fresh eucalyptus greenery.
  • Palm fronds combined with white phalaenopsis orchids.
  • Mix tropical fruit into the beach wedding centrepieces, like papayas, pineapples, and mangoes. Place them directly on the tabletop or display them in bowls alongside floral arrangements.

Wedding Ceremony Ideas

Perhaps the biggest opportunity to differentiate your beach wedding from traditional weddings is with the ceremony. From colourful accessories to unique decor, you can bring your dream wedding to life with any combination of these ideas. It doesn’t matter if you’re saying your “I dos” in the sand or not. Here are some of our favourite beach wedding ideas:

  • Ceremony arch decorated with palm fronds or other tropical greenery.
  • Ceremony backdrop built from gathered driftwood or feathery pampas grasses.
  • Arrange the ceremony chairs in a spiral so that you and your partner are surrounded by all of your guests in the sand.
  • Have a “shoe valet” station and provide flip flops for your guests to change into.
  • Have your ring bearer carry your rings in a seashell.
  • Provide amenities to help guests to beat the heat, like sunglasses, paper fans, parasols, and sunblock.
  • Have a beverage station set up at the ceremony with chilled drinks so guests can keep cool in the sun. We love the idea of fresh coconuts on ice for a tropical-themed wedding.
  • Line the ceremony aisle with pots of ornamental grasses. Wrap the pots with burlap for a more rustic seaside look.
  • Mini beach balls for guests to toss during the recessional instead of rice.

Reception Decoration Ideas

Let all the dreamy, beachy details carry into your reception. After all, that’s where the fun starts! Here are some stylish beach wedding decorations to consider:

  • Wooden/driftwood signs directing guests to key points of your venue (ceremony seating, the bar, the dance floor, guest book table, etc.).
  • Message-in-a-bottle notes from guests with marriage advice or future date ideas. You could also have bottles that serve as table numbers.
  • Nautical table setting details (e.g., anchors, ship silhouettes, etc.).
  • Miniature seashells throughout the tablescape.
  • Colourful nautical flags as decor.
  • Clear-glass cylinders or mason jars filled pillar candles and sand.
  • String lights over tables and/or the dance floor.
  • Kayaks or canoes filled with ice and used as coolers to keep beverages cold.
  • Sky lanterns for good luck (note: be sure to check with your venue if this is allowed).
  • Place cards made of calligraphed sea glass.
  • Place your tented escort cards in trays lined with sand.
  • Calligraphed oyster shells or sand dollars as escort cards/place cards.

Menu Ideas

Wondering what type of food to serve at your themed wedding? Keep your menu choices on the lighter side, and choose foods that are light and flavorful. Be sure to opt for plenty of seafood to embrace the oceanside setting. You can even let your ocean-themed play over on the design of your menu cards.

For the cocktail hour:

  • A self-serve raw bar with oysters, shrimp, crab claws, and an assortment of sauces and lemon wedges.
  • Sushi station.
  • Miniature lobster rolls.
  • Miniature mugs of clam chowder.
  • Crab cakes.
  • Smoked salmon on a cucumber round with cheese.
  • Fish and chips.
  • Lobster mac and cheese.
  • Tuna tartare on wonton crisps.
  • Miniature fish tacos.
  • Shooter glasses of chilled tomato gazpacho.

For the main course:

  • Surf and turf with petite filet mignon and grilled shrimp.
  • Oven-roasted cod or halibut.
  • Grilled salmon with roasted corn risotto.
  • Grilled sea scallops.

Wedding Cake Ideas

The wedding cake is a centrepiece in and of itself. It is a wonderful and delicious place to bring in your beach theme. A few of our favourite beach-themed cake ideas are:

  • Subtle, soft shades of blue inspired by the ocean.
  • Edible beach details (e.g., seashells, starfish, coral) fashioned from sugar.
  • Sugar sea glass.
  • Oyster or mussel shells (real or made from sugar).
  • Pair of miniature Adirondack chairs as cake toppers.
  • Rope details made of gum paste to give the cake a preppy vibe.

Wedding Favor Ideas

Before the night comes to an end, send guests home with a parting gift that will remind them of your celebration by the sea. Here are a few of our favourite themed wedding favour ideas:

  • Rosemary-infused sea salt (the salt resembles fine white sand).
  • Beach towels wrapped in twine with a sweet note.
  • Miniature pails filled with saltwater taffy.
  • Beach-themed sugar or shortbread cookies.
  • Custom shot glasses with your names, wedding date, and/or location, as well as beachy details (e.g., palm trees, flamingos, starfish, beach balls, lighthouses, etc.).
  • Colourful flip flops.
  • Lightweight beach blankets for after the sunsets.
  • SPF chapstick with a custom label.
  • Welcome tote bags. You can also fill these with any of the items mentioned above.

same sex marriage at wedding

Other factors to consider

Venue: Don’t forget the wedding venue when selecting your theme. The venue will be one of the elements of your wedding that will take a large chunk out of your budget, so be sure to prepare for it. The venue should not clash with the wedding theme. If you have already made a choice, take a look at the venue for you to find out what it can offer.

You need to pay attention to the ambience and features. If you haven’t chosen a venue yet, you can also envision your dream wedding. You will also have to keep your budget in mind to ensure that the venue you pick doesn’t exceed your original budget.

Colours: The colours also matter in picking a wedding theme. After pairing your favourite colour, see if they blend well. If you don’t have a favourite colour, you can also check out your wardrobe and analyze which colours you like to wear the most. You can also research the internet to know more about colour combinations. There might be colours that appeal to you.

Choosing a theme

When choosing a wedding theme, it has to be personal and unique. While you may find your friend’s wedding theme attractive, you need to pick your theme taking your details into consideration. By providing as many details as possible to the wedding coordinators, they will be able to understand your vision.

Avoid giving themes that are too general as it can have different interpretations. The results may not be desirable. Put all your ideas together by writing them down. While it can be challenging at first, keeping your preferences and personality in mind will help you come up with the perfect wedding theme.

Don’t rule out your ideas because you don’t live near an ocean. The definition of a “beach” is – “the shore of a body of water, especially if sandy or pebbly.” Yes, Victoria, that includes lakes and rivers. For that matter, you could have a “beach” right by your swimming pool. There are no rules. Be creative! It’s your beach wedding it can be anything you want it to be — wherever you want it to be! Most of all, have fun.


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