Planning to set sail on a nautical theme for your wedding reception? We don’t blame you! This motif can be so romantic, even without all the frills and fluff normally associated with romance. Particularly so, if the sea holds some special meaning for you as a couple.
If you’ll be celebrating in a breathtaking seaside location, lucky you! But even if your reception isn’t at a beachfront location, with just some tastefully chosen table elements and decorative pieces, you can style your guest tables to evoke the high seas and still capture that sense of romance. Hopefully, our table decorating ideas below can help chart your course!
Nautical-Inspired Place Settings that are Elegant
Decorate your reception place settings with accent pieces crafted from seashells. For this set, we used our own seashell escort card holders and set them atop sleek white plates resting on plate chargers with a wooden-like finish. The all-ivory finish from the main shells to the tiny ones used for embellishment, complements the table’s muted palette and gives each guest’s plate a refined, polished look. We’re pretty thrilled, too, to have found a miniature sailing ship to use as a unique table centerpiece for our display!
Use Shell Decor Accents as Fancy Serve Ware
Another stylish use of shells here is as serving containers for edible items such as candies and other wrapped treats. We chose large ones to hold some chewy saltwater taffy in coral and sea blue for guests to enjoy. You could do the same with conch or nautilus shells. As an added decor accent, you could also display large shells to hold items such as utensils or table napkins, if your reception is serving up a seafood buffet.
Scatter Loose Shells on the Table Top
For an authentic effect, simulate the look of natural ocean debris washed up on a sandy beach. Scatter an assortment of smaller shells along with handfuls of sand as part of the table centerpieces, or to decorate your reception buffet table, desserts display, or drinks station. You could also add pieces of nautical rope or netting, as well as sand dollars, dried starfish, or beautiful sea glass beads!
Give Reception Favors with a Nautical Flair
Finally, keep your wedding favors in theme, too. For our examples, we prepared lovely shell-encrusted keepsake frames for each guest, and bundled these in sea-blue packaging. Then, as an edible favor option, we took our handcrafted shell trays and filled them with a mix of Jordan almonds and M&M Peanuts. These same dishes can be used to hold tea lights in a bed of sand, or to package gift items such as fragrant bath soaps or shell-shaped chocolates.