Beach Wedding Reception Ideas

A heart drawn in sand at a beach

Reception ideas for a creative beach wedding can make your sandy celebration memorable, romantic, and fun. Even if you aren't getting married on a beach, you can give your wedding the ambience of a destination wedding by using several innovative seaside ideas.

Fun in the Sun

If you really are planning on getting married beside the ocean, there are a couple of points to keep in mind to make your day just as perfect as possible.

  • Many beach wedding reception ideas incorporate candlelight, especially at sunset. If candles are in your plans, keep in mind that wind can wreak havoc on this idea, so be sure you choose candle holders that will shelter the flames.
  • Outdoor weddings often feature live flower arrangements, and these can be beautiful. If you are holding your wedding in the middle of the day, however, remember that the sun can turn a brilliant blossom into a wilted mess, so choose flowers that do well in direct sunlight and decorate with your fresh blooms at the last possible moment.
  • Look for alternative items to take the place of regular ones. For example, instead of using mirrored tiles as placemats or the base of a centerpiece, choose a bamboo mat or a large tropical leaf.
  • The weather is unpredictable. Watch the forecast closely to determine if you may need to rent a tent for the ceremony or reception.

Fun Beach Wedding Reception Ideas

Create a reception that is sure to be the talk of the town by choosing whimsical beach reception ideas.

  • Invite guests to get in on the fun by listing the attire as luau casual. Wedding guests can wear their best luau outfits, and the band can play fun beach music. Be sure and encourage everyone to shed their shoes and dig their toes in the sand!
Turquoise and white beach wedding reception tables
  • For a fun and simple beach decoration, connect beach balls to helium-filled balloons via fishing line and scatter around the reception area.
  • Order a cake that is decorated in sugar that looks like sand. Commission some candy seashells to decorate the cake, and scatter real shells around the table.
  • Fill colorful sand pails with sand, and add tea lights.
  • Make place cards out of plaster of Paris which is poured into seashell molds bought at craft stores. Paint the shells after they dry, and using a permanent marker, add the names of each guest. These can also double as beach wedding favors.
  • An inexpensive beach wedding centerpiece can be created using a large, glass fishbowl found at local department or dollar stores. Fill with sand, and place a candle down into the bowl. Scatter sand and shells around the base of the centerpiece.
  • Add some beach ambience by placing a few Adirondack chairs around the area, leaning a surfboard or two against each other, and draping fish net across the back of the chairs, over the surfboards, or across a corner of a shelter.
  • Add small pieces of bleached driftwood to the center of each table and place a few seashells, starfish, sand dollars, etc. alongside the wood. If you have access to larger pieces of driftwood, place those around the perimeter of the area, or if you plan on having a night reception, place wood around a small fire and invite guests to have a seat when they aren't dancing or celebrating.
  • For entertainment, consider hiring hula dancers. It's more fun when guests get in on the action and dance, too.
  • Why not add a limbo stick for the kids to play with? They can take turns seeing how low they can go!
  • Choose a reception menu especially designed to coordinate with your outdoor waterfront setting.

Create Special Memories

Use any or all of these beach wedding reception ideas to create a celebration that works for you. Don't be afraid to change up ideas, add your own, or simply think of new ones. Be creative on the beach and your wedding day will be a treasured memory for many happy anniversaries.

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Beach Wedding Reception Ideas