The Top 10 Nautical Wedding Ideas for Brides

Outdoor weddings are more popular than ever before, especially across the state of Michigan. Michigan’s beautiful lakefront locations provide an awe-inspiring backdrop for weddings that guests are sure to love! And with summer here, nautical themed weddings are one of the hottest trends among wedding planners and brides-to-be. If you’re planning a nautical inspired wedding, here are our top picks:

  1. Sailing Knot Accents
  2. Using a sailing knot is an irresistible way to incorporate a nautical theme into your wedding because it’s both sea-worthy and also alludes to the “tying the knot” idea that’s so quintessentially wedding-like. Having sailor’s knot napkin rings, corsages, or bouquet ties is an elegant way to use this feature at your wedding.

  3. Blue Striped Linens
  4. Blue striped table runners, napkins, or chair covers help bring the idea of water and waves into your wedding in a way that’s decidedly classy. Don’t overdo it though! Too many stripes can cause the look to become too busy.

  5. Life Preserver Picture Prop
  6. A wedding photographer favorite for nautical weddings is to have a life preserver painted with “Just Married” or the date or couple’s names to use a photo prop. The newlyweds can hold this for shots and the prints make great keepsakes for family and friends later on as thank you cards or framed pictures.

  7. Message in a Bottle Guest Activity
  8. Many couples have guests write notes of congratulations to the newlyweds or sign a guest book, but this tradition isn’t the most creative idea. Instead, for your nautical themed wedding, why not have guests write a message in a bottle to the newlyweds? You can bet that you’re more likely to keep a beautiful glass bottle out on display in your home after the wedding than a guest book!

  9. Captain’s Wheel Centerpieces
  10. Bringing wood accents into your wedding theme is a great way to make it feel earthier and more rustic. One way to do this is to incorporate a captain’s wheel into your décor. Instead of traditional center pieces, you could always use smaller wooden captain’s wheel replicas and accent them with shells or other water-inspired trinkets.

  11. Blue and White Floral Pieces
  12. Having subtler elements in your wedding help to accentuate the nautical theme without making it too overbearing. This is where crisp clean blue and white flowers come into play! There are a variety of white and deep blue flowers that you can choose from to give your wedding the exact look that you want and ensure that it’s unique. Your florist can make recommendations about which species and which hues will best accent your other items.

  13. Glass Floats as Decorations
  14. Glass floats were the original buoys before the bright orange plastic ones that are used today came into production. Some of them still remain and these beautiful hand-made pieces serve as great decorations for your head table, cake table, and anywhere else that you want to bring some vintage nautical charm.

  15. Driftwood Place Cards and Signage
  16. Driftwood and sea glass are great ways to bring in pieces that are actually part of the sea for a more authentic nautical feel. Driftwood comes in many sizes and is very versatile. This makes it the perfect material to use as place cards, wedding direction signs, and so on.

  17. Anchor Print
  18. No nautical wedding would be complete without some anchor print! Whether it’s on shoes, tux vests, favors, the cake, or anywhere else, the anchor print is sure to clue guests in that your wedding has a nautical theme. Just like the striped linens though, don’t overdo it! From afar anchor print looks like polka dots and you don’t want guests getting overwhelmed.

  19. Waterside Venue
  20. This should be really obvious, but it doesn’t get mentioned enough – having your wedding by the water is the best way to go nautical. In Michigan there are tons of lakeside wedding venues to choose from! Whether you want your wedding on the banks of one of the Great Lakes, or alongside a small secluded lake, having a waterfront wedding is breathtaking at all hours of the day!

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