How to Design a Chic Beach Inspired Wedding

Pick which “style” beach wedding most speaks to you.

You may not have even considered this before, but there are  different styles of “beach”.  It might mean something different to you depending on where you live. Living on the eastern shores of New Jersey, we have 130 miles of coastline spanning from Sandy Hook to Cape May.  Each with their own unique landscapes, quaint towns and scenic views.  However for some people, your beach style may mean bright sunset colors and palm trees.  Before diving into how to design a chic beach inspired wedding, choose which style fits your vision. Stay true to the kind of elements you would find on that beach and it will come together seamlessly.

Set the tone with your invitation.

One of the best ways you can share your vision and communicate your beach wedding to your guests is through the invitation.  Whether you choose to be literal in your design by incorporating shells or landscapes or more abstract by incorporating watercolor elements of the sky and sea, your guests will be excited to see the design come together. It is also true that you invitation dictates to your guests the level of formality of the event, so keep that in mind as you incorporate your beach theme.

Be inspired by the colors of the sea and sky.

For any wedding design, it is wise to be inspired by your surroundings. Beach weddings should be inspired by the myriad of colors found in the sea, sand and sky. Shades of blue and grey read coastal weddings effortlessly and are so chic.   They can be traditional, modern, fun and classic all at the same time.

Use shells and other beach-inspired decor unexpectedly.

In order to create a chic beach wedding, try to incorporate the materials from the beach in unexpected ways. Seashells with calligraphy for table numbers, mussel shell salt cellars, oyster shell candles, and sea-glass inspired details.  Beach weddings take on a more sophisticated approach when the details are understated and unique.

Incorporate natural elements.

Mixing different natural elements will make sure your beach wedding design is grounded and feels relaxed.  Using rocks, sand, textured linens and shells details is a great way to bring a beach vibe into your wedding regardless of your surroundings.

Encourage a laid-back atmosphere. 

When you think of the beach, you immediately conjure relaxation and putting your feet up.  Within your wedding design, incorporate lounge areas that invite your guests to sit and relax awhile.  Whether they are on the water or just sea “inspired”, remember those natural elements and your color palette for a cohesive coastal look.

Serve summery treats.

Summer is full of the most delicious fruits, produce, sweet treats and of course cocktails. Serve your favorite summer treats during your wedding to remind your guests of a day at the beach.  Whether it is a signature cocktail, succulent watermelon skewers or a good old fashioned ice cream truck.  Make the food and drink part of the decor!

Keep your flowers unfussy.

Summer is all about the easy breezy lifestyle. That “just picked” or “just threw this on” way of life. Keep your flowers in the same vein.  Using just one type of flower, large bundles of fluffy hydrangea, sea grasses or a wild flower bouquet all remind us of being at the beach. Simple, classic and easy is the way to go when it comes to your seaside flowers.

Dress appropriately.

Just as the invitation and your flowers evoke the laid-back coastal vibe, remember that your attire should also be in tune with your beach atmosphere you want to create. Easy wedge shoes and lightweight dresses in the color palette work really well on the waterfront.

Soak it all in. 

After all, isn’t that what life at the beach is all about? Enjoy your wedding day and soak it all in. It goes way too fast.

Photography credit: Love & Light Photographs

Stationery & Calligraphy: Mary Kate Moon

Flowers: Wallflowers Florist

Planning & Design: Gilded Lily Events

Expert Wedding Planner Tips- Part I

Anyone who has planned a wedding knows it can feel like a full-time job organizing all of the details. That’s exactly why some of us have turned our love of wedding planning into a full-time job!  I fully believe in enjoying the wedding planning process and making it as stress-free as possible. If you decide to hire a trustworthy wedding planner, they will definitely save you a lot of stress. If you’re not hiring a planner, there’s no reason to not think like one anyway. Here are just a few expert wedding planning tips that every bride should know to help you plan like a pro.


The Best Day To Send Invites

Did you know there is a best day to send your invitations? Send them on a Wednesday! Sending them in the mail midweek means they’ll arrive in your guest’s mailboxes on the weekend. This will typically give guests more time to RSVP and not forget about it between the bustle of the work week.

Speaking of RSVPs

Make sure you send your invitations out early enough to give your guests enough time to respond. Invites should be sent out 6-8 weeks before the wedding to give guests 3-4 weeks to respond. Having this time cushion means you can call, text, and email those who haven’t responded (yes, you’ll have to do this for even some of your closest friends and family). This will hopefully minimize stress for both parties. I also highly recommend putting a little number that corresponds to your spreadsheet on the back of the RSVP card. You would be surprised how often guests do not include their name and it will save you lots of guesswork.


Bridging the Budget Gap

It’s no secret that planning a wedding requires some financial planning mastery. Many couples forget to plan for unexpected costs that can come up.   To help experience the wedding of your dreams, there are many smart financial avenues to take advantage of beyond credit cards. Financial companies like Earnest offer low-cost and zero-fee personal loans specifically for weddings that can help you bridge the budget gap so you can have a stress-free wedding day.


Make a “Please Contact Anyone But The Bride & Groom” Contact Sheet

As the couple of honor, you and your spouse-to-be don’t want to be bombarded with questions while you’re getting ready for your wedding! Create a contact list of people you trust to answer any questions the day of the wedding. Common answers to frequent questions include directions, ceremony times, venue addresses, and contact information of vendors. Include the numbers of several family members, the Best Man, and the Maid of Honor and ask that these people keep their phones on them to help field any questions for you.


Of course, I believe that hiring a wedding planner is one of the best investments that you can make on your wedding day but if it not in the cards for you- I hope these simple tips will help! Stay tuned for more and feel free to comment with questions for future posts.

Photo credit: Rach Loves Troy 

Florals: Faye & Renee

Venue: Laurita Winery