I love the beach… and to me no wedding is more beautiful than a beach wedding. Sand, sun and surf; the perfect combination. When my granddaughter chose to marry on Tybee Island, she combined tradition, a white wedding dress, with beach sense, flip flops, white of course, and turned her wedding into an event to be remembered.
The perfect wedding bouquet for a beach wedding should incorporate elements from the ocean in some form. This can be as simple as adding a few shells to an artificial or fresh flower bouquet or creating the entire bouquet from shells found by the couple.
The tradition of collecting sea shells for a loved one goes back to the 1800’s. Sailors far from home for months at a time would collect shells and use them to create a mosaic mounted in a frame or box. They would present this sailor’s valentine to their love one upon returning home from the sea.
Creating one’s own sea shell bridal bouquet can also save a lot of money as today’s flower bridal bouquets can cost up to several hundred dollars.
Begin by gathering shells. Collect all kinds, even if they are broken. The broken shells can be used to fill in spaces and create the design. After collecting the shells wash the shells in warm water, checking inside for any little critters. When dry, organize the shells into sizes, shapes and colors.
When combing the beach for shells, also be on the lookout for sea glass and interesting pieces of driftwood. Both the sea glass and the driftwood can be incorporated into the beach bouquet. Find a piece of driftwood large enough to use as the bouquets handle.
My husband uses driftwood to make furniture (see his articles on how to make a driftwood coat rack and how to make a driftwood coffee table on associated content).
Shells can also be purchased. My favorite place to purchase inexpensive sea shells is not at the beach or at the craft store but at the dollar store. They always have bags of shells available for a dollar. Use these to supplement the found shells if needed.
Begin with a cardboard round for the base. This can be cut from a piece of cardboard or purchase a cardboard round from a cake decorating shop or craft shop. Play with the shells placing them onto the cardboard in different shapes and designs. When you have the design you like…
Cut a hole large enough to fit around the driftwood handle. Glue the handle in place using hot glue.
Using the hot glue begin adding shells to the cardboard round. Work from the inside out, fitting each shell in place. Spaces between shells can be filled in with smaller or broken shells, sand, fake pearls or tuffs of nylon net.
When finished allow to dry. Attach ribbon streamers or strands of pearls available from the craft shop. After the honeymoon the handle can be removed and the shell bridal bouquet framed and hung on the wall, reminiscent of the sailor’s Valentine of long ago.