The sea conjures up romantic images of windswept shores, breathtaking sunsets, and sailboats gliding peacefully through the waves. A nautical theme is one of the most beautiful and romantic themes you can choose for your wedding, and the possibilities for planning and creating your nautical wedding dreams are endless. Many Navy brides and grooms choose a nautical theme, and many couples who love the sea do as well. Crisp navy fabrics, stunningly bright whites, and a whole host of nautical details will lend elegance, romance, and even a touch of whimsy to your wedding. For tips and suggestions for planning the perfect nautical themed wedding, see below.
Invitations. Gorgeous navy invitations, embossed with anchors or sailboats with a navy or white tissue liner is the perfect choice for a nautical wedding. A navy card with white script is lovely, or reverse this with white cards and navy lettering. For some beautiful examples of nautical wedding invitations, click here.
Flowers. Use lots of white flowers with the occasional blue bloom (lilies, iris, delphinium) for your nautical wedding. Your bridal bouquet can be pure white roses, accented with brilliant red tea roses and perhaps a few delicate delphiniums. For your bridesmaids, white roses or chrysanthemums accented with bold red flowers will look very elegant. This same white, navy, red flower theme can be repeated with your centerpieces. Put the centerpieces in galvanized tin buckets for a nice nautical touch. For a startling but lovely contrast for your wedding flowers, use fuchsia flowers in bouquets or arrangements. The bright purple-pink looks stunning against the navy.
Wedding gown. Of course, your wedding gown should be the gown you saw and fell in love with, but depending on the season of your nautical wedding there are some seafaring touches you can add. Believe it or not, I once saw a pillbox hat fashioned to (slightly) resemble a sailor’s hat, and the effect, with the veil, was adorable and lovely. If the bride or groom is a member of the navy, a dress uniform can be worn in place of a wedding gown or tuxedo. Other nautical touches to your wedding gown include a whimsical garter with a small anchor or seashell attached to it, or gold earrings with a similar nautical theme. Sandals with a nautical braid decorating the strap are a sweet touch, too.
Bridesmaids dresses. Navy linen or satin dresses are the obvious choice, and will look stunning and very nautical. Strappy white sandals with a braided accent, also recommended for the bride, will look sweet as well. If you feel the need to break away from the navy color scheme, many shade of brown look lovely againt navy. Experiment with different hues. Your flower girl will look adorable in a navy and white polka dotted dress.
Menu. Your nautical wedding menu should include many seafood choices. For hors d’oeuvres, consider a cold shrimp display or steamed clams. Some nautical appetizers include crab bisque and clam chowder. Your nautical wedding entrees can consist of grilled sea bass, crab dishes and lobster (or just tails!)
Wines. White wines go best with most seafood. Try a Riesling or a Viognier, or you can always fall back on a Chardonnay (the oakier the better when it comes to seafood). Red wine choices for your nautical wedding menu include Pinot Noir and Sangiovese.
Favors. For nautical wedding favors, consider sailboat bottle openers. Tiny “ship in a bottle” favors are adorable too, or small picture frames made from rope or shaped as life preservers. For some great wedding favor ideas, click here.
Cake. Nautical wedding cake designs are abundant, and vary from elegant to whimsical. Your wedding cake can incorporate anything from sailboats and seagulls to anchors and shells. I’ve even seen a cake with life preservers on the top. Whatever you can imagine for your nautical wedding, your baker can achieve it.
Other accents and touches you can consider, whether as a decoration or hair ornament, include blue ribbons, anchors, shells, sand, seagulls, driftwood, sailboats and lighthouses.