One of the great delights of summertime is the inevitable visit to the seaside. With the crisp ocean air and waves lapping against the shore, it’s small wonder that people have flocked to the beach for countless generations to revel in the tranquillity and beauty that’s found there, and if you’re the type of person whose heart yearns for the endless blue horizon, an oceanside wedding might be right for you.
All in all, beach-y weddings tend to be a bit more casual: many ceremonies happen either on the sand itself or a grassy spot nearby, but if you’re aiming for something a bit more upscale (or devoid of seagulls), you can undoubtedly find an elegant boating club or old castle/keep near the water where you can have your ceremony and reception. (Tintagel anyone?)
For a seaside wedding, aim to incorporate oceanic themes, but in a manner that errs on the side of tastefulness. A colour scheme inspired by sea glass and shells is classically elegant, and can either be played up to be more feminine, or toned down for a more gender-neutral feel. Lanterns are sweet to have swinging around the reception area, and you can mix and match styles to suit your décor choice: they’ll add a soft lighting element, and you could always give them away as wedding favours later. You can incorporate shells, starfish, etc. in cake decorations or in centrepieces, but try to avoid decorative clichés like anchors, life preservers, or a sign over the bride’s chair that says “Catch of the Day”.
Brides and bridesmaids should consider having wraps or shrugs to wear over their dresses in case the ocean breezes get a bit too chill, and if the ceremony is taking place right on the beach, be sure to wear flat shoes so as not to sink into the sand— sandals are ideal, and if it’s a warm day there’s always the option to go barefoot.
Pearls are ideal accessories as they’re right on theme and classically feminine, and if you’re going to incorporate shells into your outfit (bridal or bridesmaid), be sure to do it sparingly: a starfish-shaped hair pin or a couple of shells tucked into the bouquet will do. You don’t want to rattle down the aisle like a shellycoat.
Do be sure to take advantage of the region’s local fare as far as menu options are concerned. If the area is renowned for its seafood, you can create meals that are resplendent with the sea’s bounty for quite a reasonable price, and regional foods will always be more fresh and flavourful than that which has been imported, so research the nearby areas and chat a bit with your caterers—they’re sure to have great recommendations.
There is one vital thing to keep in mind when planning a ceremony and/or reception by the sea: have a contingency plan! Coastal weather is notorious for being temperamental, and if the skies choose your wedding day to open up and release a deluge, you’ll want to have a plan “B” to rely upon. Ensure that you have an indoor space reserved just in case, and inform all of your guests well ahead of time of the alternate arrangements.
Sea Glass: Pinterest | Lantern: French Connection | Table: Be Lovely | Beach Scene: Achillea Marini | Clutch: Etsy | Cake: Perfect Weddings | Sandals: Beautiful Day Events | Bridesmaids: Elizabeth Anne Designs | Hair Pins: Beauty Call | Love: Wedding Scoops | Seashell Candles: Wedding Favours