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Beach Wedding Ideas: The Best Beach Wedding Dresses, Favors, & Cakes

Updated on December 1, 2014

The crashing of the waves, the soft hiss as they spend themselves where the sea meets the sand, the blue on blue where the ocean meets the sky...is it any wonder so many people want to get married on the beach? Perhaps they met there years before, maybe it was the place where they fell in love, maybe it was the site of a special vacation, whatever the reason, more couples say their dream wedding would take place on a beach than any other site. And who can blame them, there is so much natural beauty at the ocean it needs very little to make it a gorgeous and memorable wedding location.

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Casual Attire for Beach Weddings

One of the greatest things about beach weddings is the casual, relaxed atmosphere that spills over into the clothing that the bride, groom, attendants, and guests wear. Where else can you get married where shoes are optional?! Bridesmaids can get away with wearing short, strapless sundresses, and groomsmen can wear khakis and crisp cotton or linen shirts, no tie required. The groom could wear a variation of the groomsmen's linen shirts and dark pants instead or a classic linen suit in a khaki or sand color.

But what does the bride wear, how does her dress fit into this casual equation? Some brides still choose to go the whole nine yards with veil, white dress with train, and full wedding regalia. If that's your dream, go for it, but remember your dress will more than likely be ruined if you are getting married right on the beach. Wedding dresses with normal stains are hard enough to dry clean and remove those champagne stains, but can you imagine trying to wash ground-in beach sand out...a dry cleaning nightmare!

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Casual Beach Wedding Dresses

The best choice for a dress if you are planning to be married right on the beach is a short to just grazing the floor dress without a train in a low luster polyester satin or something easily washable. Choose a lightweight fabric, one that will stand up to heat and humidity, but be aware that lightweight can end up being see-through in bright sunlight, so make sure your dress is lined and you are fully garbed underneath! Not the time to go commando! Also, remember that beaches can be windy places, so if your dress is short, it may not be the best idea to go with a full circle type skirt, but one that fits closer to the body. You want your wedding to be remembered for the right reasons! Choose a fabric that will blow naturally and beautifully in the breeze, but without so many ruffles that it blows in your face during the ceremony or distracts from the main event. Veils can be tricky as well, so you may want to opt for a fascinator, a Hawaiian style head wreath or a beautiful comb, unless you want to be chasing your veil down the beach!

Edible Seashell Sugar Cake Decorations

Beach-themed Wedding Cakes

Designs for beach-themed wedding cakes are both amazing and unique. You could use real seashells to decorate your cake instead of flowers, however, seashells and starfish are now being molded in sugar to make them edible, so they would be the perfect compliment to a smooth fondant or buttercream cake. Toppers could be beautiful cut glass mermaids or sugar coral. This is where if you were a bride on a budget, you could really score a huge savings by buying the sugar seashells and decorating the cake yourself. Just ask your local bakery to make a three tiered, plain cake with no embellishments and go to work! You could roll fondant into long snakes, braid two strands into a rope looking trim, and wrap it around the bottom of each layer to give it a nautical look.

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Make Your Own Gum Paste Seashells

Beach Wedding Décor

Beach wedding décor can be very simple, as simple as a single arch placed near the edge of the water with guests standing or sitting in plain white wooden folding chairs. Remember, the reason why you wanted to get married on the beach is to take advantage of the natural beauty it offers, so use what's there and work with it. If you're concerned about walking across unlevel ground, you could lay out a plywood aisle and cover it in sand color carpet for a more stable surface. For unique aisle décor, put three foot lengths of 2 1/2" to 3" PVC pipe into the ground at four to five foot intervals and tie a large organza bow around each. Place bouquets of flowers mixed with sea grass inside the tops of the PVC pipes and you easily have a stunning aisle decoration. Table arrangements can be tall glass vases filled with sand, seashells, and water with a white or sand-colored floating candle on top. Wedding arches can be adorned with palm branches and native flowers.

Beach-themed Wedding Favors

Beach-themed wedding favors come in an amazing array of styles, but to give something truly unique to your guests, make a donation to a sea turtle preservation association or one whose mission is to clean up beaches after oil spills. Usable and fun wedding favors could include sunglasses, flip flops monogrammed with your initials on the bottoms, a tropical flavor chapstick, even sunscreen put in a mesh bag and tied off with twine and a seashell. You could even bake sand dollar cookies, wrap them in cellophane and give them in tiny sand buckets.

Ceremony On The Beach

Keep the ceremony light and beautiful. You've chosen a beautiful location that's special to you both, so make the ceremony as personal as possible by including favorite songs sung with the ocean as the only accompaniment, writing your own vows, or having unique touches such as having both parents walk with you down the aisle. Instead of a unity candle, do a sand ceremony with two different colors of sand to symbolize the joining of two families together. Most of all, let the beauty of your special beach wedding location shine through and have an amazing wedding.

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    • tazzytamar profile image

      Anna 

      4 years ago from chichester

      The cake is so beautiful, as are all the photos on this hub! I can see why beach weddings are so popular :)

    • DIYweddingplanner profile imageAUTHOR

      DIYweddingplanner 

      5 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      Thanks, Neinahpets! It's hard to make a beach wedding not beautiful! The only trick is to check tide charts or you might get washed away!

    • Neinahpets profile image

      Stephanie 

      5 years ago from Canada

      Great hub! I love weddings, especially beach weddings!! Can't wait to read more!

    • DIYweddingplanner profile imageAUTHOR

      DIYweddingplanner 

      6 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      Thanks, MM. I'm off to the beach next week and hope to come back with some new ideas!

    • mysticalmoments profile image

      Reetu 

      6 years ago from India

      Great Stuff, Content as well pics both are amazing,

    • DIYweddingplanner profile imageAUTHOR

      DIYweddingplanner 

      6 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      Thanks, Journey. I think I'd like to try some gum paste seashells some time, but I'll leave the cake baking to the professionals!

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 

      6 years ago from USA

      Thanks for the nice article and photos. That's a pretty wedding cake.

    • profile image

      samuiwedding 

      7 years ago

      I like the photos, looks very good.

    • DIYweddingplanner profile imageAUTHOR

      DIYweddingplanner 

      7 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      Thanks, fashion, glad you enjoyed it.

    • profile image

      fashion 

      7 years ago

      WOW What a wonderful hub.very unique idea.Beach decoration for wedding ceremony is beautiful.nice work.

    • DIYweddingplanner profile imageAUTHOR

      DIYweddingplanner 

      7 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      Thanks, One Love!

    • DIYweddingplanner profile imageAUTHOR

      DIYweddingplanner 

      7 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      Me, too, Stephanie...something about the sand and the sea, very romantic!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      7 years ago from USA

      What beautiful ideas for a beach wedding! If I had to do it again, a wedding by the sea would be my choice. I love the cake and the sugar sandcastle!

    • DIYweddingplanner profile imageAUTHOR

      DIYweddingplanner 

      7 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      Thanks, Koffee, wish I could do the wedding without the aftermath!

      Tess, me too. We need to go soon!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      DIY Beautiful photos and terrific ideas. Rated up and beautiful.

    • Tess45 profile image

      Tess45 

      7 years ago from South Carolina

      Another good one...I just want to go to the beach...very badly.

    • DIYweddingplanner profile imageAUTHOR

      DIYweddingplanner 

      7 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      Thanks, Denise! I just want the beach and the cake!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Beautiful hub-rated up. Forget the altar-Just bring me some of that gorgeous cake, LOL

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