Your Guide to a Fabulous Beach Themed Wedding
-By a Gal from Cape May, NJ who has seen it all!
Need some guidance or ideas for an unforgettable beach themed wedding? This guide covers jewelry, invitations, apparel, gifts, save-the-dates, favors, place cards, Thank you cards, music, programs and other customizable and unique wedding features. I'll let you know what products I have to help as well as the names of other vendors that I trust! Having the right elements can make your wedding over-the-top and unforgettable even on a budget. I have worked in several wedding-related industries before starting Capture Cape May and I'm happy to offer my expertise.
As a former Zales Sales Associate, I have come across many jewelry pieces that would be stunning for a beach-themed wedding. Not only is the pearl totally appropriate, but also consider the Sapphire, Blue Topaz, and Aquamarine. These gemstones, especially the Blue Topaz and Aquamarine, are available at very reasonable prices. Zales now offers many of these stones in Sterling Silver to reduce the price. You can also find them at an online store I am fond of called silvershake.com at amazing prices. You may even be able to afford to buy a jewelry piece for each bridesmaid!
Invitations/Announcements/Save-the-Dates/Thank you cards/Programs
Invitations are one of the biggest elements of your wedding that will help to set the theme and the mood as well as let your guests know what to expect. I love now-and-forever.com as well as invitationsbydawn.com. If you want to customize your wedding literature, especially on a budget, I used vistaprint.com for my Save-the-Dates, Thank you cards, and Programs. For the programs, I selected a glossy, double-sided post card and uploaded a picture to it and some of our favorite quotes to make it personalized. Our "Tidings" (see my eBay store and available auctions) are PERFECT elements to add to your wedding literature. You can purchase your name hand-written in 100% authentic Cape May, NJ sand on one of our famous beaches and we can mail you a glossy photo for you to scan into your computer yourself OR we can email you the jpg file so your image goes directly onto the computer, no scanning needed! Below are some samples from the Vista Print website of how to personalize your wedding literature (Announcement/Save-the-Date amd custom address labels featuring one of our "Tidings" pictured):
Favors and Place Cards
I found favorwarehouse.com extremely helpful when searching for favors. Here is an unforgettable idea that will help you save money by combining place cards and favors into one:
Pictured above are favor-place card holder. Why not have us write your guest's name in the sand and print them for you on wallet-sized glossy paper and use them as unique place cards? It's a place card your guest will want to keep! The pictured holder can be found for around $1 each at favorwarehouse.com. For "Tiding" place cards, please email us with your FINAL guest count for custom pricing. Note: It is cheaper if you combine guests names. Example: "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" or "Alex and Mary Smith" or "The Johnsons" for a family instead of doing one for each individual person.
Apparel and Accesories
Brides all over the nation and internationally have been ordering these fabulous double-sided satin, custom embroidered bouquet ties! Brought to you by elkmills.com (Elk Mills Ebay Store) with over 400 ebay transactions at 100% feedback, these bouquet ties are sure to please!
Featured above: These two bouquet's are from my wedding. My bridal bouquet was a monogram of my new last initial and my wedding date. The second picture of the tie that was attached to my bridesmaids bouquets. I did wheat, but Kathy at elkmills can easily embroider starfish or shells instead for your beach themed wedding. The ties come in Bridal White, Champagne, and Light Pink. For the thread color, she can match it to your desired wedding color.
For apparel, I am especially in love with a new color offered by David's Bridal and After Hours formal Wear called "Pool." See the pictures below for a fabulous ensemble.
These wedding colors look great with Blue Topaz gemstone jewelry.
Elk Mills can match your wedding color to the thread of your custom embroidery for your bouquet tie or other wedding elements such as glass ties or monogramed cake table runner, wine glass markers, or decorative bows.
Decor: Flowers and Centerpieces
Orchids really do add to the tropical/beach feel. Orchids can be expensive, try coupling them with other tropical and colorful elements such as fruit! For brides on a budget (or for brides that simply love the look) candles with tropical-colored rose petals is the way to go.
(Pictured above is a piece from my cousin-in-law Alyson's wedding-these are not my work but are really pretty!). I worked professionally as a florist for several years, now I do it privately for family and friends. When I want quality roses fast (or to order them months in advance and have it taken care of!), I use bigrose.com. For all you do-it-yourself brides, write that down! There are no good blue roses, sorry. Tropical colored roses that I've had fun working with are: "Circus," "Papaya," "Flamenco," "Ravel," and "Coral Sea." Alstromeria (aka Peruvian Lilies) are also very tropical looking and come in a huge variety of colors. Gerbera daisies come in tropical colors as well, especially mini-gerbs. Lisianthus, Hydrangea, and Orchids can be ordered by your florist in a crisp, bright apple green color (not dyed! they grow in that amazing color!) to provide a gorgeous and remarkable contrast when mixed with the flowers of tropical colors. For a calm and blue beach themed wedding: Hydrangea, corn flower, dark blue Iris (which is more purple looking if you ask me), light blue Iris, Grape Hyacinth, light blue delphinium, dark blue delphinium, and Blue Thimble Flower all come in nice blues without having to request dying treatment (dyed flowers will tend to leak onto your dress...ahhh!). These blue flowers are also wonderfully contrasted when arranged with the apple green flowers mentioned above or with crisp white roses such as the "Akito" rose.
Other Centerpieces I love:
Sorry flower lovers, but this centerpiece rocks! I found it on Rachelraymag.com.
Both Michaels and Joann craft stores carry loads of these vases all the time. If they do not have them, your local Teleflora florist will have them for $10 more than what they are sold as at Michaels and Joanns, however, the Teleflora ones come in tropical pink, blue, green, and purple. The grass featured in this piece is "Bear Grass" and can be purchased cheap through your local florist, bunched together at the base, and stuck into the sand (DONE!), it arranges itself really. The shells and starfish can be purchased at Joanns or Michaels (or from me on ebay, I will be carrying shells shortly!). The sand can also be found at these craft stores. You can also use bubble bowls instead of these chunky square vases.
Set the theme with music! Bob Marley, The Beach Boys, UB40, Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole, Jimmy Buffett, Quantic & Nickodemus, Sean Paul, The Grateful Dead, and Bobby McFerrin are all artists to consider. I am a sucker for "Under the Sea" from the Little Mermaid.
Here's everything else I can think of....
When looking for reception places to have my wedding in Cape May, we were able to see a hall being set up for a beach theme wedding. The kid's table was covered in a paper table cloth. At each place was a plastic sand pail and shovel. The pail was filled with crayons and stickers for the kids to decorate the paper tablecloth with. Sand was dumped onto the place card table with the place cards arranged into it amongst seashells. The centerpieces were candles with tropical colored rose petals scattered around the bases of the staggered-size candle sticks. Don't use too much tule or lace with a beach themed wedding. Beach weddings can be over-the-top, couture, and elegant as the rest, but keep the elements, clean and simple of you will confuse the appearance of your theme.
I hope all of this helped. Please feel free to email me if you think I should add to this guide. I am a plethera of information of all things wedding and seaside (the Cape May shore was one of the first surfaces my little feet learned to walk on when I was a baby!) I may have missed something in this first draft of my guide. Please rate this guide if you found it helpful.
Notice: It is against the rules of the ebay guides to offer services or sell items that are provided outside of ebay.com. In listing names of vendors in this guide, it was done to give credit for the pictures as well as let people know where to find the items, NOT as an advertisement or offer of sale for these companies. Giving credit where credit is due, especially when images and graphics are on display, demonstrates the ethical integrity of my business and was not done as an advertisement source. -Thanks!