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Tropical Wedding Theme

Updated on September 10, 2010

Beach/Tropical Weddings (sometimes called Nautical Weddings)

Tropical or beach wedding themes are probably one of the most popular types of themes chosen for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest reasons why couples choose to have a tropical-themed wedding is because it is a built-in theme for a destination wedding at the beach. Because of the location, many couples automatically go with a tropical theme for all their wedding details (and why not?).

What is the main reason why tropical themed weddings are so appealing?

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Location of the Wedding

The location of the wedding makes a huge difference in really creating the theme for your guests. However, if you aren't getting married in the Caribbean or on a Pacific Island you can still do things to make your location feel nautical.

If possible, buy 10-20 bags of sand and cover what you can in sand starting with the walkway toward the altar. Naturally this wouldn't work in indoor weddings (unless someone really owes you a few favors!), but this can be negotiated at some outdoor sites. If this doesn't work, consider having the flower girl/s drop beach sand instead of flower petals as they walk down the aisle.

With outdoor weddings you could also use tiki torches in key locations around the ceremony site to help create the mood (and keep bugs away from guests)!

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Suggested Wedding Invitation Details

Your wedding invitation cards, as always, inform your guests of your wedding details, including a potential theme. For your card style there are tons to choose from- wedding cards can have shells, beach scenes, nautical imagery, palm trees, sand castles and more. Take a look at the pictures to get some ideas.

There is more leniency in terms of which font choices you have for this theme. A block-type font or a legible cursive-style font would do just fine.

In terms of ink choices, consider using something that feels nautical. Take a look at the picture chart below for some ideas.

Tropical Wedding Invitation Wording

The verbiage of tropical wedding invitations should be light and festive without breaking and wedding invite etiquette rules. If you got a tropical or nautical themed wedding invitation your guests already have a feel for your wedding theme, but you could add something that indicates dress code for the wedding.

Whether in a separate piece or on the invites themselves, tell your guests how they can dress for the occasion (casual? sandals? t-shirts?)

Suggested Wedding Ceremony Details for a Beach Wedding

If you are having a tropical destination wedding, chances are your ceremony will be outdoors so there isn't a ton you have to do to create the theme for your guests. The bridal party outfits can greatly contribute to your theme. Pick light outfits for the men and women- something light and airy for the ladies and maybe tropical short sleeve button up shirts and khaki's with sandals for the guys.

Again, the staff uniforms should fit the theme- something light and dress-down in nature should do the trick.

Your beach wedding décor is also fairy easy to do for tropical weddings. Tiki torches are a great addition and can be added around the perimeter of the guests' chairs or down both sides of the aisle. Bows and ribbon also work well- but make sure the colors match the color scheme you chose for the bridal party.

Great ceremony props to use to contribute to this theme might include freshly cut tropical flowers, rope, tiki torches, sea shells, etc.

Although teamed with obnoxious music, take a look at the brief pictures of beach weddings in the video below to get more ideas.

Beach Wedding Reception

Much like the ceremony, a wedding reception for a destination wedding is likely to take place outdoors. The location feeds into your theme beautifully, so any additional things you choose to add to the theme during the reception just give it that much more flair.

The wedding décor for a destination wedding can be much the same as the ceremony props. Centerpieces containing fresh flowers or shells are always good choices. To go above and beyond, try adding something that matches the specific culture you are in. For example, if you are in Cancun, Mexico add something Mexico is known for to your reception.

Food choices should also match the theme and to get bonus points you can serve traditional food from that culture. Authentic Mexican food served in Cancun will impress your guests and might win you extra favor with the staff who sees that you are being culturally sensitive. Here's a website loaded with tropical themed food ideas.

And finally, for destination wedding receptions, your music plays a key role. Anything with steel drums, congas, the tres or timbales would be great. Musical styles worth considering might be salsa, bachata or reggae.


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    • SimpleGiftsofLove profile image

      SimpleGiftsofLove 6 years ago from Colorado

      What a great hub on a beautiful concept. Rated up and of course, following! I am an ordained chaplain, weddings are my favorite events, so much hope and joy for the future! Keep them coming!

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      honeylee 6 years ago

      What a great idea for a tropical wedding theme. This would be very helpful most especially to the couples who are planning for a wedding this summer season. Keep on sharing your genius ideas! you'll surely be rewarded soon ;)

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      kristina (Massachusetts-DJ-Wedding-Receptions-Massachusetts)  6 years ago

      Nice post! I was inspired so much.I love the simple and modern beachside reception setting, with pops of lime against the blue ocean and white tablecloths.