~ Plan a Beach Theme Wedding ~

Beach Theme Wedding Ideas

By Joanna Cali, Westchester Wedding Guide

You can have your beach theme wedding right on an actual beach, or capture the atmosphere without being seaside. Either way, a beach theme can be extremely romantic and lots of fun.

Location: If you want to hold your wedding on a beach, look at lake and seaside restaurants, clubs, hotels, resorts, parks and mansions.

If you can't or don't want a wedding on the sand, there are great locations that can still contribute to your theme:

  • On a boat
  • At a marina
  • Any venue with a view of the water – lake, river or sea
  • Any venue with prominent fish tanks, especially tropical
  • A hotel's swimming pool area
  • In a backyard by a pool

    Or, if you're up for something completely different and unforgettable, you can get married alongside real sharks, seals and other marine creatures at a maritime aquarium, such as the Norwalk Aquarium (www.maritimeaquarium.org)

    Invitations: Establish your beach theme from the start by sending your wedding invitations as messages in bottles. You can order bottles for less than $1 and fill them with invitations you print yourself on weathered-looking paper – think treasure map. Tear the edges, roll them up and put them in the bottles with a sprinkling of sand, tiny shells, or confetti. Specialty Bottle (www.specialtybottle.com) sells them online, and can also supply mailing boxes or tubes and bubble wrap.

    If you'd prefer to have your invitation in a bottle printed and assembled for you, Marketing in a Bottle (www.marketinginabottle.com) will take care of it all for around $2 each.

    Décor: Whether you're on a beach or not, you can use a rowboat filled with ice to hold canned and bottled beverages.

    Have an ice sculpture of a mermaid in a conch shell or dolphins.

    Incorporate shells and sand into your centerpieces. Put them into vases or bottles, and for centerpieces, plant shell studded candles in bowls of sand with seashells scattered throughout.

    Rent palm trees for an indoor location. If there's a fish tank, let it show. Look for sculptures of sand castles, fishing boat decorations, miniature boats in bottles, and fishing nets. Place sand chairs around the location, and chaises covered with bold beach towels. Outdoors, use tiki lights to light pathways.

    Attire: If your wedding is going to be on the sand, steer clear of traditional wedding dresses and think about a sundress, sarong or tea length gown in linen or gauze. You'll need to go on the casual side, so have fun with it. Let your groom be your captain in a sharp blue blazer, white pants and a captain's hat. Your groomsmen could dress as sailors or pirates. Or go Hawaiian with print shirts, muumuus and sarongs. And don't forget the sunglasses. (For more ideas on what to wear for your beach wedding, see Beach Theme Wedding Dress Ideas (www.westchester- weddings.com/wedding_themes_beach_dresses.asp).

    For a beach theme wedding that doesn't require getting around on the sand, also consider a sleek and sexy mermaid style wedding dress.

    Food: Of course, any seafood will do, but try to avoid the predictable stuffed flounder and have some fun with your menu. Conch salad. Shrimp on the Barbie. An oyster bar. California rolls (crabmeat, avocado and cucumber sushi). Swordfish steaks for the "meat eaters." Or opt for a New England clambake.

    For beverages, serve tropical "umbrella" drinks (nonalcoholic too), iced tea, homemade lemonade, marguritas.

    Music: If you plan to marry on the sand, it's critical that you inform your prospective DJ's and musicians, since sand can have ill effects on equipment and instruments.

    Treat your guests to tunes by the Beach Boys and Jimmy Buffet. Be sure to put "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" and "Margaritaville " on your song list.

    Favors: Present your favors in plastic children's beach pails. Some items you might want to put in the pails include:

  • Beach ball (deflated)
  • Sun screen
  • Ocean print hand towel or washcloth
  • Sand dollars
  • Lifesavers candy
  • Cheap sunglasses
  • Seashell soaps
  • Natural sponge
  • Starfish
  • Shell encrusted candles
  • Beach Boys CD
  • "Beach Blanket Bingo" DVD
  • Plastic leis

    Flowers: Use strategically placed tropical blooms amidst bold foliage and palm fronds. These will work for bouquets as well as decorations. Anthurium, King Protea, Heliconia, calla lilies and orchids all make stunning bouquets and arrangements. Although tropical flowers are quite expensive, you don't need many to make a fantastic impact.

    Copyright 2005 Joanna Cali. Joanna Cali is the publisher of the Westchester Wedding Guide (www.Westchester-weddings.com) an online bridal guide that offers articles, advice and tips on planning a wedding. She also owns a web development and search engine optimization firm in Westchester, NY (www.calicosystems.com).

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