Beach Wedding Decorating Ideas
Let your surroundings inform your decor
By Michelle Bolyn
Beaches provide the perfect romantic backdrop for weddings big and small, without the need for pricey decor. The trick is to recognize what the environment can do for you -- and not to work against it. It may be hard to resist but don't compete with the natural scenery. Instead, embellish it with simple centerpieces and a consistent color palette. Stick to locally grown, seasonal flowers and objects that you can find at the beach, or that are reminiscent of the beach, to round out your design.
When you get married on the beach, you won't need too many decorations: The sand against the ocean is a striking setting, so let it be the main feature. If you're getting married during a warm period of the day and decide to hold the ceremony under a tent or other structure for sun protection, you will probably want to use some decorations. Your decorations can range from the simple -- such as hanging decorative paper pom-poms that look like a cross between a flower and a cotton ball -- to the extravagant, such as a chandelier or lanterns suspended from the top of a tent. If you're getting married under a smaller structure, consider decorating it with bright flowers. Talk to the tent provider or event planner and see what you can do with the structure.
If you don't have a large budget for beach wedding decorations, consider using children's metal beach buckets as containers for potted plants to use as centerpieces. You can paint the buckets any color to match your wedding palette and place a plant in the middle of each for a pretty, inexpensive centerpiece. Use inexpensive beach items, such as seashells, to scatter throughout the reception tables or to create centerpieces. Fill a long, cylindrical glass vase with shells and sand. Use bright-colored paper umbrellas as escort cards or decorations for your signature cocktail.
Any beach wedding looks beautiful when one of the main components is seashells. You can use seashells to decorate the tables, as escort or place cards, on the wedding cake in marzipan form or as wedding favors. If you live near the beach or are vacationing at the beach before your wedding, it will make it even more personal if you and your fiancÚ collect some of the shells yourselves. Let the guests know where the shells are from with a handwritten or typed note framed next to the shells. If your wedding is a larger affair, talk to your event planner or decorator and let him or her know what you're planning.
Another way to decorate your beach wedding reception is to use candles in the centerpieces. Arrange seashells around a large hurricane candleholder and you'll have a pretty centerpiece that fits your theme. If you use candles outside, make sure to place them in large, protective candleholders or else the wind could easily blow them out.
When you decorate for any wedding, you have to consider your color palette. Three stunning color palettes for beach weddings are blue and white or sandstone, aqua and red, or yellow and gray. If you choose any of these color palettes and want floral centerpieces, consider using one color of carnations throughout your arrangements. It's a budget-friendly flower and you'd be surprised at how amazing it looks when it's the only flower in the arrangement.
About the Author
Michelle Bolyn regularly writes on weddings and relationships.
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