How to Use Decorations to Enhance Your Beach Wedding Ceremony
One of the upsides of decorating for a beach wedding is that you have a spectacular canvas to work on. Just imagine all the natural beauty that will surround you as you tie the knot. Everything from the sky to the sea and sand make for a picturesque backdrop. Plus, you can set aside worries on creating an ambiance, with the ceremony likely to be basked under the sun’s warm glow and light breeze stirring the air.
Because the site is stunning in itself, focus your energy on pulling together the layout and setup you pictured for your wedding.
Here are some of the ways to do so:
Map out the aisle
Once you’ve picked out a specific spot for the ceremony, decide on the path you want to walk down on as you make your way to your husband-to-be. To mark out this area, you can:
- Bring in an aisle runner, which is traditionally used for church ceremonies. But instead of the standard red carpet, go for more subdued hues. Kick it up a notch by having the surface fabric design personalized or hand painted. Or take the alternative route with runner-width tatami mats in bamboo, sea grass, reeds or straw. Whichever you choose, just make sure to weigh it down with large shells or low-to-the-ground floral arrangements. You wouldn’t want to see the runner blown away or get twisted in the wind.
- Border the aisle by driving short wooden stakes into the sand. To dress it up, loop ribbon between the stakes or tie a bow on each one.
- Place bamboo flower arrangements along both sides. Space these at intervals to demarcate sections of the aisle.
- Use seashells, starfish, and some decorative-looking stones to line the aisle. Brighten it up with flowers such as birds of paradise. Push the stems in to ensure that the blooms won’t be blown away by the wind.
- If you’re looking for a simpler solution, arranging the seats so that there is a clearly defined space at the center will do. Just consider decorating the sides of the chairs using lush tassels adorned with shells, sinamay mesh or flower-filled hanging containers.
Focus the ceremony
Another important decorating task is to mark the patch of sand where you and your groom will exchange vows. The most common way to do this is by setting up an arch, trellis, canopy or any similar structure that frames you both. Hit up a rental shop or have one built from bamboo or driftwood. For standout results:
- Soften the hard lines by draping the structure in a gauzy base of tulle or organza. For a casual look, attach the fabric in simple, free-flowing swags. White or ivory are the standard color options, but don’t hesitate to try other hues.
- Brighten it up wrapping garlands of silk or fresh flowers around the posts. You can also insert green palm fronds.
- Hang satin ribbons, or strands of seashells, starfishes, crystals or flowers. This creates a dangling curtain that will sway gracefully with the breeze.
- Ensure that the frames and embellishments are secured properly so these can withstand sudden gusts of wind. Think sand-filled buckets (for anchoring the posts), safety pins, white florist’s tape, craft wire and microfilament.
Illuminate the site
If the ceremony will take place at sunset or dusk, lighting should be among your décor considerations. Here are some options you can incorporate in your setup:
- Tiki torches
- Portable lanterns
- Battery-operated fairy lights
Just see to it that the lights are mounted firmly and at a safe distance from anything that can start a fire.
Add special touches
Beach ceremonies allow for decorating freedom and flexibility, so this is your opportunity to incorporate unique elements.
- Hire a sand carver to create a sculpture of the two of you, or your names plus the wedding date. You can have this done at the entrance of the ceremony area. It will surely catch the eye of your guests.
- Find ways to incorporate a seaside theme even in the little details. Forego the pillow and use a large shell instead to hold the rings. Don’t forget to first stuff the shell cavity with tissue paper or cotton wool before topping it off with some sand. This way, the rings do not fall inside when placed on top of the sand.
Take decorating for your beach ceremony as an opportunity to express yourself and achieve the feel you want your wedding to evoke. But always have a contingency plan, keeping in mind the uncontrollable variables (rain and strong winds) that come with this setting. Don’t let anything spoil your big day!