23 Beach Wedding Ideas You Can DIY to Make a Splash at Your Seaside Bash

Photo: Maura Mcevoy

Let the surroundings inspire your details on your big day.

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Maura Mcevoy

Saying your I do's before an ocean backdrop? Personalize your celebration with handmade touches—from easy centerpieces to last-minute escort cards—inspired by your location. These how-tos will get you in the swim of things.

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Tropical Envelope Liners

Bryan Gardner

Use depictions of nature—in this case, palm leaves and orchids—to give your beach wedding invitations a pretty punch.

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Shell Bouquet


Walk down the aisle with this cluster of bivalve blooms. This pretty posy is easier to construct than you'd think—it's simpler than making a flower out of silk.

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Grass Skirt Garlands

Erin Kunkel

Elevate a bamboo arch, Polynesian-style, with these DIY strands made from a sand-friendly staple: grass skirts.

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Beachy Escort Card Display

Bryan Gardner

A collection of shells and ocean-y elements, arranged like a cabinet of curiosities, makes getting guests to their seats a breeze.

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Seashell Terrarium Centerpieces

Maura Mcevoy

For an on-theme display, curate still lives of shells and coral on sand placed inside glass fishbowls and vases.

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Gold-Rimmed Shell Salt Cellar


Salt and seashells are a match made in the ocean. To make this pretty dish for your reception tables, press the shell edges into a gold stamp pad, and then fill the shell with sea salt.

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Beach Drink-Stirrers


Even if you party late into the night, the sun will never set on your drinks thanks to these cute swizzle sticks.

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Beachy Gift Tags


Tell your friends to pack their bikinis, but you'll provide the sarongs. Find our wave and leaf designs at Spoonflower, a custom cloth maker, and order two yards per pal. Then bundle with twine and our cheery tag.

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"Just Married" Beach Flag


Forget tin cans tied to a car bumper, and hop onto a bicycle built for two with a trailing pennant spelling out your new status.

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Beach Patterned-Paper Favor Wraps


Most sunny locales have one thing in common: amazing fruit! Think oranges in Florida or mangoes in Mexico. Our patterns, secured with twine, complete the package.

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Sea-Glass Sticker Confetti

Laurie Frankel

These translucent vellum shapes mimic the frosted luminosity of sea glass. A glassine envelope carries that theme one step further.

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Coral-Wrapped Favors

Maura Mcevoy

Make a wave with takeaway gifts. Wrap boxed treats with coral-printed paper and seal with a scalloped sticker. Or corral goodies into coral-printed favor pouches. To make them, fold a 15-by-5-inch piece of fabric in half, right sides facing, and stitch the sides. Turn the pouch right side out before trimming the top with pinking shears and cinching with a sticker and punched card-stock tag.

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Sea-Glass Snack Favor Tags

Bryan Gardner

Sea-glass candy resembles the real deal at parties on (and off) the beach ($82.50 for 40 oz, etsy.com/shop/andiespecialtysweets).

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Seascape Centerpieces

Maura Mcevoy

Dress tables with sculptural shells and coral-like pieces. Large conch and murex shells, with cattleya orchids nestled in their openings, and smaller marlin spike shells surround a vase filled with tiny shells and a pillar candle. Painted manzanita branches stand in for real coral.

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Natural Napkin-Holders

Maura Mcevoy

Tie capiz shells (sold with predrilled holes) atop rolled-up napkins with ribbon and rest a small branch on top for an oceanic white-and-brown color scheme.

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Ceviche Shell Dish


Your ceviche appetizer will feel right at home served in a seashell.

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Mahalo Favor Tags


Say "mahalo" to guests—that's "thank-you" in Hawaiian—with bags of sea salt in cut bamboo cups. Top each with a mini wooden spoon and a grateful tag.

The Details: Bamboo cups, $29 for 20, and spoons, $21 for 50; bioandchic.com. Muslin bags, #24988, $31.50 for 100; celestialgifts.com. Sea salt, $36 for 2.8 lbs; foodservicedirect.com.

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Madeleine Pineapple Display


Shaped like scallop shells, madeleine cookies are a charming beach wedding dessert option, especially when taken one step further with a pineapple-shaped presentation. Simply cover a foam form in rolled fondant and attach the sponge cakes with thin wooden skewers.

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Sea Urchin Candle Holder

Johnny Miller

Grouped serenely on a bed of sugar-soft sand, sea urchins prop up skinny candles that light the way for guests at an evening beach wedding.

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Silk-Petal Garlands

Annie Schlechter

Transform inexpensive silk flowers into delicate garlands. Just dismantle the blooms to separate the layers of petals, removing any greenery. Overlap edges of petals slightly, and join them using dabs of hot glue. Then glue beads in centers to cover stem holes. String garlands along aisles, at the altar, or across chair backs.

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Parasol Seating Cards

Charles Maraia

These cheerfully colored umbrellas sporting seating assignments can dot miniature sand dunes at the entrance to a beach-themed reception.

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Candy-Rock Favors

Charles Schiller

They may look like the real thing, but candy pebbles in small galvanized pails are a sweet and delightful favor for an outdoor wedding. A note lets guests know they are for eating!

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Beach-Bucket Centerpiece


Turn kids' metal beach buckets into custom centerpieces by painting them in the wedding colors.

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