by Leslie McLane, Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®
From the wedding colors to the bridal jewelry and favors, place settings and more, we've got your nautical wedding covered. Set sail for marital bliss with these top 10 nautical wedding theme ideas.
1. The Color Scheme
Start with a nautical wedding palette of saturated navy blue and crisp white often used together in striped or color-blocked patterns. The most popular accents we've seen are minty and patina green, carnation to coral pinks, bright rose red or varying shades of golden yellow. Gold glitter is often a common addition as well.
Let your personality and creativity set sail with nautical bridal jewelry. We've seen everything from a simple or multi-strand pearl necklace to elaborate shibori silk, Swarovski® crystal and seed bead wedding jewelry. For understated jewelry, find inspiration in designer Amber Salmen's navy and white Rose Statement. Looking for more sparkle? Sabrina Milardi has that covered with her Caribbean Sea collar. My personal favorite is Victoria Sorkin's Octopus Treasures soutache necklace for bold color and mixed textures. Find even more inspiration for nautical wedding jewelry in the Gallery of Designs.
Oh, and don't forget barefoot sandals if you're planning on walking down a sandy beach aisle!
3. Nautical Bridesmaid Jewelry
A simple pearl or shell pendant necklace is perfect for the bridesmaids, ensuring they're on theme and you have a special handmade gift to thank them for being part of your wedding day. Feel free to include any other nautical symbols such as anchors, ship wheels starfish and other sea life to personalize the design.
4. For the Groom
Anchors have been showing up as a favorite shape for groom and groomsmen jewelry in the form of cufflinks, tie tacs and incorporated into boutonnieres. With connotations of being reliable, grounding and the ability to withstand stormy seas, the anchor is a perfect symbol for nautical nuptials.
5. The Guestbook
Have guests sign a ship's log near the seating chart for a unique nautical wedding guestbook. Or, set out a large bottle for guests to put messages in for the bride and groom to read later. Include a compass charm or focal nearby with the seating chart for guests to navigate their way to the appropriate chairs. Giving each guest a compass with their name card tied to it doubles as a fun nautical wedding favor to take home.
6. Tying the Knot
Tie the knot, literally, with this nautical ceremony idea. Tie a lover's knot, also called a true love knot, with actual rope or softer rope cord as a visual representation of your two lives becoming one. Plus, it's a great memento! Use rope throughout your nautical wedding decorations as well, including looped about the altar, tied into a knot on boutonnieres, as tablecloth ties, silverware ties and wrapped around the tiers of your wedding cake.
7. Sail Away
Sailboat centerpieces are a favorite for nautical weddings. Accompanying the sailboat are often tea lights set in driftwood, votive candles set inside glass cylinders filled with sand and pearls, white lanterns on navy blue table runners and finally "dock" numbers in white frames denoting the table number.
8. Love is Sweet
Love is sweet, so let guests take a treat of saltwater taffy home in caftan gift pouches as nautical wedding favors. If you want an entire candy buffet, we also suggest cherry gummy rings or lifesavers labeled "life preservers," assorted or single colors of Swedish Fish® and gummi shark candy. Long Laffy Taffy®, Twizzlers, Sour Punch® Straws or SweeTARTS® ropes would be perfect in a jar labeled sailboat cable.
9. I'm on a Boat!
Any and all boat-related items are perfect for nautical wedding decorations. We've seen life preservers hung up with fishing nets draped down as well as life preservers with "Bride" and "Groom" hanging on the couple's chairs. Large rowboat displays work great behind the altar or smaller versions on tables. A captain's wheel is also a favorite item for use as nautical wedding décor at the altar or behind the bride and groom's table. Nautical wedding cake toppers often depict anchors, sometimes made sparkly with flat back rhinestones, or two starfish (one with a mini top hat on and one with a tiny veil). It's also not uncommon to find strings of pearls draped and wrapped around nautical wedding cakes.
10. Nautical Signage
Nautical wedding signs help set the mood and can help direct guests to various points of interest. Here are the top phrases we've seen printed or painted on distressed wood plaques or on the paddle end of boat oars:
"Choose a Seat Not a Side, We Will Tie the Knot Before High Tide"
"In high tide or low tide, I'll be by your side"
"If you want to know how much I love you, count all the waves in the sea"
"Let's Get Ship Faced" (above the bar, of course)
"No matter how vast the sea, sometimes two ships are destined to meet"
"My Sail" and "My Anchor" on the bride and groom table
"Love Anchors the Soul"
"Two Less Fish in the Sea"
"By the salty sea, I give my heart to thee" or replace "give" with "pledge"
Oh, and if your location happens to actually be near a private dock or marina, feel free to exit your nautical wedding destination by way of boat with a "Just Married" sign hung by the motor. It's a fantastic photo op!