Nautical Wedding Invitations Perfect for a Waterfront Celebration
A nautical wedding stationery suite is perfect for a number of different couples. Whether you and your future husband or wife are boaters, sailors, beach bums, or simply obsessed with the open water, an ocean-inspired big-day invite is likely right for you and your celebration. If you fall into any of these camps, you'll be glad to know that we compiled invitation inspiration courtesy couples who masterfully foreshadowed their beachfront, seaside, or maritime venues with stationery done in coastal color schemes or decorated with marine motifs. After all, if you're lucky enough to tie the knot by the ocean, a lake, or any other body of water, that's something to celebrate.
If you're hoping to take a subtle approach to the theme, simply stick with a blue-and-white color palette, which will convey the fact that you'll be by water's edge when you tie the knot. If you've always dreamed of classic invitations, there are still subtle ways to upgrade an all-white card to sit the vibe. Use stripes on the back of your invite or as on your envelope liners for a subtle pop.
Other motifs to include on nautical invites include ropes, knots, anchors, boats, code flags, light houses, captain's wheels, and compasses. Empress Stationery wove several of those ideas into the stationery for this beachfront bash, but even just one on its own gets the message (and the setting) across. Destination-specific details, like a location map or an outline of the island where everyone will gather for your nuptials, work well, too. To really drive the idea home, consider having your stationery done in watercolor, which really drives the idea home.
We've rounded up over two dozen nautical invitations to inspire your own wedding stationery. Continue on for inspiration for all the thematic inspiration you could ever need.
Sketch of the Locale
Even elopements deserve gorgeous paper! Calligraphette and Co. created this beautiful suite using handmade paper, custom calligraphy, and coastal illustrations. The whole blue hue gave it a subtly nautical vibe.
Map of the Sea
These Minted invitations featured a map of Montauk complete with drawings of sailboats, a compass, and other nautical emblems.
Anchors, Scalloped, and Striped
The couple's nautical wedding invitations, which were crafted by Brown Tree, featured anchors, stripes, and a scalloped pattern—all motifs commonly associated with nautical décor. Navy, gold, and white hues also drove that theme home.
Gray All the Way
Nautical without a blue detail in sight? It's entirely possible. Swap in gray and keep the stripes bold for a reimagined take on traditional maritime motif, which is exactly what was done on this Minted invitation suite.
Crossed oars, a compass rose, and an anchor made this Mospens Studio invitation suite feel distinctly nautical. The loose script in cobalt blue lent a slightly casual feel.
Go for Gold
Textured pieces of blue and white paper will remind your guests of sea waves, but it's a detail like this foil-stamped squid that will really take them by surprise. This La Happy suite is the perfect example of how to make ocean-inspired stationery feel very, very chic.
Celebrate your waterfront venue's history by printing the response card on the back of a postcard-style photo of it from back in the day. You'll get bonus points if you line the outer envelope with an old map of the area. That's exactly what Tie That Binds did in order to create a nautical invitation that didn't feel too thematic.
Swirls and Strokes
Nautical can feel modern, too. Here, a painted envelope liner mimicked the swells of the ocean while the loose calligraphy was reminiscent of the peaks of waves. Mary Kate Moon merged the two ideas for this beach-inspired suite.
An anchor symbolizes stability, which is what makes it such a great addition to any monogram. Add in some airmail details for a bit of an "off at sea" vibe with a dash of nostalgia, just like this couple did for their invite.
Creatures of the Sea
Go with the colors of where the land meets the sea, like Charm & Fig did on this nautical invitation. This suite embraced a marine vibe using the geometrics of nautical flags, and a pair of tags with the website and wedding date on them mimicked sun-bleached lobster buoys. If you're hoping to go modern but channel the setting of your waterfront wedding, here's your inspiration.
As if bold blue stripes weren't enough to drive their nautical theme home, this couple also asked Laura Hooper to pen wave-inspired calligraphy onto each envelope.
If you've chosen an island in New England—or anywhere, really—as your wedding destination, provide your guests with a colorful map outlining where the events will occur and the local spots to check out. Keep the color going with a painted invitation giving guests a taste of the beaches they'll encounter.
Lulu & Roo incorporated a pair of pelicans onto the invitations for this tropical fête, which had a nautical feel thanks to plenty of blue, a striped envelope liner, and a map of the islands.
The recurring whale icon on each piece of this couple's stationery suite (including the nautically-tinged map) was a great way to brand their day. If you do something similar, keep it going through the celebration but stamping your own motif onto cocktail napkins, printing it on your menus, and getting a decal printed for your dance floor.
The Love Boat
This groom designed his wedding invite based on a ship itinerary dating back to the early 1900s. There's no reason why you can't go retro and nautical.
A Hint of Scenery
If you're getting married somewhere with a view of the ater, showcase that landscape with a painted envelope liner. Lowcountry Paper Co. also chose a pair of mismatched blue envelopes as another way of channeling the water that surrounded this couple's destination.
Keep It Classic
This couple worked with The Wedding Library on the nautical invites for their Montauk wedding. The silhouette of the island east of New York City topped the main card, which was printed and edged with a soft green ink. Rounded corners and a calligraphed envelope made it all feel classic.
Letterpressing a rope border on your main invitation not only makes it look nautical, but it adds a tactile feeling, too. Cheree Berry Paper used rope on this invite and reception card, but it was in the form of a knot on the latter. Throw in a boldly striped envelope liner, a sailboat "pulling" along the postage stamps, and the cutest little anchor at the peak of the outer envelope's back flap and you've got a totally themed suite.
A Spring Scene
Preppy watercolor stripes were paired with blue hydrangeas and white garden roses for this coastal-meets-garden wedding. Naturally, the invites by Anticipate Invitations also included a custom painted map with a full itinerary of the weekend's events on the reverse.
Gold and Bold
Gold took the place of navy blue on these modern square pieces by Cheree Berry Paper, though any color swap would be equally chic.
Illustrated and Illuminated
Mospens Studio highlighted the beachy setting of this couple's nuptials with a crest that incorporated anchors and a boat on the back flap of the envelope. When your guests get something like this in the mail, they'll know what kind of celebration is in store.
A Timeless Suite
Mary Barnhart of Simply b customized this invitation suite to give it a true nautical vibe. The striped envelope liner and the double-sided reception and response cards all had rope and flag motifs, while the main invite was decorated with a captain's wheel up top.
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