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25 Ways to Get Nautical at Your Wedding

If there’s one wedding trend that’s making waves, it’s the nautical wedding style — think lakeside loveliness and Cape Cod summers. It’s easy to get carried away with sailor’s delight and go overboard with such a fun and niche theme, but nailing the nautical vibe can be done right by incorporating subtle touches that pay homage to the salt and the sea and its navigational life. With sailor stripes, rope accents, and maritime motifs, tying the knot will take on a whole new meaning. 

By: Hillary Hoffower

Enter Slideshow
  • Cocktail Tables

    Cocktail Tables

    A vase wrapped in thick twine and a classic navy striped tablecloth makes cocktail tables coastal chic.

    Photo Credit: Brian Tropiano

  • Cake Display

    Cake Display

    A classic three-tiered silky white cake rimmed with pearls and adorned with a navy anchor is displayed in a weather-worn miniature boat for a rustic twist on the nautical look.

  • Chair Backs

    Chair Backs

    Blue and white striped fabric brings an understated elegance to ceremony chairs.

    Photo Credit: Heather Kincaid

  • Centerpiece

    Centerpiece

    Netting, driftwood, and candles gracefully come together to create a natural centerpiece that evokes a sense of the sail and the sea.

    Photo Credit: Carina Skrobecki

  • Guest Book

    Guest Book

    Instead of a guest book, have your guests write their well wishes on a pair of buoys for a touch that’s reminiscent of the summer, sand, and sea.

  • Altar

    Altar

    A stately captain’s wheel hangs from a driftwood structure adorned with blush blooms, bringing romance to the sea. 

  • Hashtag

    Hashtag

    Sail off into the sunset with a nautically creative wedding hashtag.

    Photo Credit: ShoreShotz Weddings

  • Sweetheart Chairs

    Sweetheart Chairs

    Life preservers adorn sweetheart chairs for a bit of nautical whimsy.

  • Seating Arrangements

    Seating Arrangements

    Colorful life preservers playfully let guests know where they’ll be dining. Suspend them from a shimmering fabric for a stand-out display.

    Photo Credit: Taryn Kent

  • Reception Tables

    Reception Tables

    The classic details of sailor stripes are more than versatile. Paired with geometric vases, a centerpiece of blooms and buoys, and netting draped over chairs, this reception table has a modern take on the nautical.

    Photo Credit: Henry Photography

  • Aisle Markers

    Aisle Markers

    Rope, navy ribbon, and a lantern — you’ve got yourself a nautically beautiful aisle marker.

    Photo Credit: Abby Jiu

  • Nautical Signs

    Nautical Signs

    A seafaring symbol, such as an anchor, helps tie in a nautical theme throughout the wedding, especially when it’s paired with another style, seen in this glamorous sequin tablecloth.

  • Napkins

    Napkins

    These linen napkins are shipwreck fancy, complete with an intricate drawing that brings the sea to life at the table.

    Photo Credit: Sarah Der Photography

  • Lawn Games

    Lawn Games

    Stamp your bean bag toss with a sailor’s approval to bring the fun to the yard.

    Photo Credit: Abby Jiu

  • Invitations

    Invitations

    Set the nautical theme for your wedding with the invitations. Pastel blue watercolors mimic the movements of the sea, while anchor and compass symbols nod to the sailor life.

    Photo Credit: B. Jones Photography

  • Gift Box

    Gift Box

    A lobster trap doubles as an inventive box for guests to drop in their cards.

  • Escort Cards

    Escort Cards

    Elegant calligraphy on simple planks of driftwood makes for simple but sophisticated escort cards.

    Photo Credit: Brooke Boling

  • Floor Décor

    Floor Décor

    This dance floor rocks an oversized maritime compass decal to navigate guests as they tear it up on the floor. 

    Photo Credit: KT Merry

  • Favors

    Favors

    Miniature bottles of champagne decked in preppy stripes and a dash of pink make for the perfect wedding favors your guests will actually want to take home.

    Photo Credit: Liz and Ryan

  • Dinner Menu

    Dinner Menu

    Display the night’s fare on a pair of oars to create a bit of waterfront charm.

  • Cookies

    Cookies

    Sugary confections are made that much sweeter with delicate frosting designs. An anchor, compass, and captain’s wheel give an ode to the sea.

    Photo Credit: B. Jones Photography

  • Bar Signs

    Bar Signs

    We love punny signs like this one! A vintage frame complements the old history associated with shipwrecks.

  • Table Setting

    Table Setting

    Crisp and classy, this fresh tablescape of blue hues and patterns creates an elegant but carefree feel similar to that of the ocean.

    Photo Credit: Pahountis Photography

  • Table Numbers

    Table Numbers

    A sailor’s knot adds a nautical touch for showing off table numbers.

    Photo Credit: Myrtle & Marjoram

  • Rope Accents

    Rope Accents

    Get creative with the line to add a mariner’s touch to your décor. Coil it up in jars or wrap it around glasses for an edgy and stylish look.

    Photo Credit: The Hursts & Co.

25 Ways to Get Nautical at Your Wedding

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