Wedding Flowers and Decor

Natural Choices for Destination Wedding Decorations

You chose your venue for the natural beauty and interesting surroundings, and your flowers and décor should celebrate that atmosphere. Luckily, the backdrop of sand and sea is neutral and versatile, so you can really let your imagination soar when it comes to flowers, centerpieces and decorations for the altar.

As you browse through themes, colors and styles of wedding décor, consider what sort of statement you'd like to make. Are you a true romantic? Do you like to make a grand entrance? Is color an important part of your style and personality? When you're faced with so many options for a beach wedding, it's helpful to take a closer look at your own wedding personality.

For a Beach Ceremony

Wedding Flowers and Decor

Sand and surf will frame you beautifully, but you might want to bring in a bit more interest with an archway, gazebo or ornaments for the aisle:

  • Gazebos. Rustic wood pillars and a thatched roof is the island's answer to the white lattice of an English-style gazebo. The problem is you can't bring your own. If your resort has a gazebo set up, that's great; if not, you'll have to make do with an alternative. One approach would be to use simple poles or pillars and stretch swaths of fabric across the top and down the sides. What it lacks in rustic romance, it makes up for in movement and color.
  • Dressed-up seating. Instead of plain white chairs, use fabric coverings in playful, vibrant patterns. If patterns are too bold for you, a small square over the back of the chair will lend just enough color to make your seating arrangement pop.
  • Native plants. Place palm fronds on each seat to use as a fan, line your altar with lush green branches, or simply collect fallen petals from the flowering plants around the resort and scatter them across the aisle. One of the easiest ways to dress up a destination wedding ceremony is with the destination itself.

If your ceremony is in the day time, your color choices are limitless. But for an evening ceremony, you may want to use candles rather than sheets of fabric and fancy flowers, which will cast a fantastic glow over the arrangement.

Tropical Arrangements for Tables

Flowers are always welcome in a wedding centerpiece, but a beach wedding can draw on some other natural influences, too. Try to bring in a bit of the scene around you, but compliment the natural elements with some modern accessories for a contemporary and sophisticated touch:

  • Go easy on shells and sand. They're natural choices for a seaside affair, but too much beach packed into a centerpiece can make your reception look more like wharf-side restaurant than a wedding celebration. A glass jar or fish bowl with a couple of smaller shells around a larger candle can hit the mark, or a bed of sand in the bottom of a vase will bring just enough of the beach to the table. Some decorative alternatives to these old favorites are coral pieces or small, smooth pebbles.
  • Floating candles are safe and easy choices. Slender glass cylinders make great vases, but they're also perfect holders for floating candles. Two or three skinny glass containers, each with a single floating candle, can make a remarkable impression. Place them on a mirror, and watch the table light with a romantic glow. For a grander statement, float a few candles along with some buoyant blossoms in a larger glass vessel, or let the flowers sink to the bottom for a full effect.
  • Make a statement with tropical splendor. If you're set on flowers, go local. It's a pain to source non-native flowers in another country, and it will be much cheaper to use what's already in bloom. But before you take trimmers to the trees, check with your resort about using any of the plants on site – it's rude to assume that you can pick a few blooms here and there without consequence. Instead, plan ahead: contact your resort well in advance to see what they can offer in the way of flowers or floral arrangements, or ask if they can suggest local florists or gardeners that you can contact about a custom order.

Whatever you choose for wedding décor, think about how you're going to get it there. If your resort has some props and accessories from previous weddings, see if those might work for you, which would spare you the headache of packing extra bulky items. Of course, you can bring your own decorations along with you, but if you take this route, settle on your centerpieces and ceremony accessories well before the departure date. If you give your friends and family fair warning, they'll be able to reserve some space in their suitcase to help you cart your decorations to and from your destination.