Party Ideas, Weddings

Simple Beach Wedding Ideas for Your Big Day

By Megan Price

White sand, blue water, and the love of your life. Who could ask for a more romantic setting for a wedding? We have some simple beach wedding ideas to make your big day unforgettable.

Embrace the natural elements

With such a beautiful backdrop, you can keep your ceremony decor simple. Draw inspiration from the ocean and use natural elements like seashells, driftwood, and sea glass as the basis for your beach wedding decor.

Create a sun-kissed ceremony

Set a serene and relaxed atmosphere for your beach wedding ceremony by encouraging guests to walk barefoot on the sand. Consider setting up a “shoe check” area for those who prefer to switch their dress shoes with comfortable flip-flops.

Aisle and chair decor like dried starfish, seashells, or natural grasses keeps everything tranquil. Try lining the aisle with lovely lanterns or candles in hurricane holders for sunset ceremonies.

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Build a beachy backdrop

Driftwood has a certain romantic charm. It’s a fantastic material for creating a rustic archway for your seaside wedding ceremony or as a beautiful photo backdrop. Adorn it with light fabric, greenery, and flowers to make it a stunning centerpiece for your ceremony and reception. Add string lights so it glows when the sun goes down.

Beautiful flower and driftwood beach wedding arch
See more archways from Your Dream Beach Wedding

Set the table with sea glass

When looking for table settings for your beach wedding, incorporate a beautiful sea glass color scheme. It’s a great way to complement the natural surroundings and create a serene atmosphere. Hues of turquoise, blue, green, and frosted white are lovely choices for most beach themes, and coral, pink, and purple can be used as accents. Ground everything with a simple burlap runner or rope net.

You can also use sea glass to make custom table markers and place cards. The latter is an extra special wedding favor guests can take home. If you’re crafty, order sea glass in bulk and add the lettering yourself. Or let a talented Etsy store owner do it for you.

Keep the clothes breezy

If you’re planning a destination wedding at the beach, you’ll want attire that exudes a relaxed vibe for the bride, groom, and wedding parties. Depart tradition with more informal outfits in fun and beachy colors.

For the bride and groom

A breezy style is perfect for a bride and groom who prefer a laid-back approach to their special day. Avoid heavy fabrics and layers so you can stay cool in the sun. We suggest choosing sleeveless wedding dresses with airy lace and casual suits without a jacket or tie.

For the bridesmaids

Let bridesmaids choose coordinating dresses in seaworthy coral, blue, and teal colors. Even earthy tones like sage and mauve work well for a rustic seaside wedding. Shoes are optional at a beach ceremony, so let those pretty pedicures shine!

For the groomsmen

Ditch the tux for your groom and groomsmen! Depending on how formal you want your wedding party, linen suits or pants with loose shirts are perfect for beachside nuptials. The fellas will be grateful for being comfortable on the big day.

Offer a maritime menu

A seaside wedding lends itself perfectly to a menu themed around the ocean. Get creative with handheld appetizers, stunning desserts, and rum-filled cocktails!

Serve surf and turf appetizers

Make it easy for guests to grab a bite and mingle with on-theme appetizers. Crab dip is a crowdpleaser, and serving it on crostinis classes it up a notch! Add a twist to the traditional shrimp cocktail by serving them in individual pastry cups.

Cut some coastal cakes

Planning a beach wedding means a themed wedding cake is a must! Beautiful adornments like shells, coral, and sea glass accents will make your dessert table shine. For variety, you can also get creative with cupcakes to serve in place of, or in addition to, a traditional cake.

Sip on seashore spirits

Draw inspiration from the ocean with some signature wedding cocktails. If you hire a bartender, they can likely help you come up with something perfect. We’re partial to a pretty rum punch or a sea-glass-inspired spirit.

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Party in the sand

When the nuptials are over, it’s time to party! You can’t dance on the beach without fantastic tunes. Live music will create the perfect soundtrack for your magical evening.

🥁 Steel drum band: For cocktail hour, a steel drum band can provide a laidback sound that’s great for letting folks mingle and sip.

🎷 Jazz band: Looking for a more classical vibe? A jazz band is another excellent option for background music for dinner or drinks.

🎸 Party band: Keep your reception going all night long with a party band who can play all your favorite dance hits!

🌊 Beach band: To stay true to your locale, book a beach music group to play songs by artists like Jimmy Buffett, Jack Johnson, and the Beach Boys.

Book beach music for a wedding
Book beach music from artists like Marcello Henrique on GigSalad!

Say thank you

An effortless wedding favor option (that doubles as entertainment) is a photo booth for your guests! They’ll love getting adorable pictures with their dates and leave your wedding day with a lovely keepsake.

If you’d rather stick to traditional options, send guests home with a small token of appreciation for joining you on your big day. Wedding favors like handmade soaps, seashell-shaped chocolates, or beach-scented candles are all thoughtful choices. A personalized beach towel is a fun idea for bridesmaid gifts!

Things to consider at your beach wedding

Remember that a beach wedding location is at the mercy of Mother Nature and may not go as perfectly as planned. If you choose to have one, there are a few things to remember for both you and your guests.

☂️ Have a backup weather plan

If wind or rain happens on your big day, have a plan to keep everyone dry. Ask your venue for options on moving things indoors or consider renting a tent.

🤗 Keep your guests comfortable

Outdoor weddings mean guests will have been seated and waiting in the sun long before the bride walks down the aisle. Be mindful and offer comfort items like fans, parasols, and small water bottles. Do your best to stick to the timeline without delay and consider keeping your ceremony short.

🎻 Be respectful of your musicians

Instruments are expensive, and your wedding musicians must protect them from the elements, including UV rays. Find a shady or covered spot for them to sit out of the sun (and rain). A windy beach may carry the sound away, so discuss amplifying the musicians before booking so your ceremony goes as planned.

⛱️ Think about sand management

While it’s romantic to get married barefoot in the sand, it can be a little problematic for some guests. Elderly attendees may have trouble walking through it, so consider laying mats on the walkway for ceremony seating. To make things more comfortable, offer helpful items like sand brushes for brushing off shoes, feet, and chairs.

😎 Let the imperfections go

Things may not be perfect at the beach! Messy hair, windy conditions, and melting makeup are all potential pitfalls when you get married by the ocean. Be prepared to laugh things off and let them go. Focus on what’s truly important on your big day — getting married to the one you love.

Enjoy the sun, sand, and all the beautiful things that a beach wedding brings! This dreamy and romantic backdrop is perfect for starting a new chapter with your fiancé. 🌴

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