Nautical themed weddings on the beach are super fun. And what's more fun than a clam bake at the beach? Gather your guests at a picturesque spot on your favorite beach, and rope off the area for your beach wedding reception.
String cute vintage style bulb lights from tall poles and crisscross your space with these lights for twinkling, dramatic lighting. This will set the stage for the party to come, and lighting always helps guests relax and get in the mood for a great party. Weddings on the beach can be tricky when it comes to electricity so scout for this in advance at your site.
When I think of a nautical theme wedding, I see canvas sails, anchors, rope and lighthouses. I draw inspiration for decorating a nautical wedding reception with these images in mind. Instead of traditional table linen, why not use canvas or a linen that has a sailboat or seashell print. You can also add nautical accents like anchors or shells to napkin rings with a little hot glue.
Use cute nautical stamps like rope knots, anchors and blue crab to accent your table place cards. You can find these at Michael's or any specialty craft store. Arrange your place cards in a shallow tray of sand to make the arrangement really stand out. This will be one of the first tables your guests see, typically before they enter your banquet area, so make it amazing!
A shallow tray of sand like the kind I suggested for your escort card table, can also make a great base for a centerpiece. Layer it about a half-inch deep, and place a piece of driftwood or coral branch in the sand. You may wish to stop right there if you want a really simple centerpiece, but I think adding a few votive candles or other such accent around the main element can really take the look to the next level.
Our second idea is equally as simple. You are going to take a large urn shaped vase, and fill it with white decorative sand mid-way to the top. Use a dab of glue and wrap rope around the center of your vase. Create at least four rows, then secure again with another dab of glue. Atop the sand place seashells in various shapes, use large and small sizes for the best effect. For a twist on this look, paint your seashell silver with metallic spray-paint.
The most fun element of this theme is the clam bake, so make the set-up, food and beverages part of the overall decoration. Achieve this by using large metal tubs to chill and display ice-cold beer and bottled sodas. Signify special tables with nautical flag bunting or drape with nautical theme fabric.
A clam bake is almost always informal and pretty much buffet style, so use chaffing dishes or buckets to display your food to maximum effect. Weddings on the beach can also be messy, with the sand and wind, so prepare your food area with this in mind.
I hope you loved this idea as much as I do!