5 Inspiring Ideas for a Beach Themed Wedding Reception

Well our third and final Friday is upon us with Emma Arendoski of Emmaline Bride as our guest. She has shared some of her great ideas for beach weddings from her new book, The Inspired Wedding, these past few weeks and today’s post is no exception! Be sure to check out last week’s post where you can enter to win a copy of her book, The Inspired Wedding, full of great theme-based ideas and inspiration.

Last week, I shared some of my favorite ideas for a memorable beach-themed wedding ceremony. Today, I’m back to share with you more inspiring ideas for what’s likely to be the grandest party you’ll ever host: your wedding reception. Where to begin? My recommendation to couples is to outline the parts of the reception — the location, the seating arrangements, the food and drink, the cake, the music, the dancing, the after-the-reception activities, and the wedding favors — and then determine those that are most important to you. If you narrow it down in this way, I guarantee you won’t feel overwhelmed!

I’ve chosen five of my favorites to talk about here, let’s begin with the location.

Beach Themed Wedding Reception Location

photography by: eric boneske photography
featured here: round paper lanterns

1. The Reception Location

There are several options for a wedding reception at the beach. You could host an outdoor event right on the beach with a tented area (be sure to include a rental of port-a-johns!), which is perfect if there’s a chance of inclement weather. There may be a restaurant, country club, or banquet hall nearby that you could rent, or if you plan to be married in a park, there’s often somekind of structure that can be rented.

Beach Themed Wedding Reception Location

photgraphy by: michelle gardella

Another suggestion is to have your reception at a beach house, which can be just a short walk from your ceremony right on the beach. A beach house – I’ve stayed at one in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, for example – can be rented by the weekend or week and often they can house many guests (like your entire wedding party), depending on its size. That option can be a very good one as it will have an equipped kitchen and bathroom facilities.

Don’t forget plenty of outdoor lighting, a big dance floor, and lanterns lighting the way for a moonlit walk on the beach.

2. Where to Eat?

When guests enter your reception area after the ceremony, greet them with a table of assorted drinks and a place for them to find their table and their seat assignment. I recommend assigned seating for a couple of reasons: It’s easier to seat people with other guests bearing similar interests and, it’s a great way to ensure certain guests have a seat closer to the head table (like your parents, grandparents, siblings, etc.). If your choice is to have this type of seating, then you’ll need escort cards, which are a whole lot of fun. I love these beach chairs from Weddingstar as an escort display.

You can also have a place card ready to greet each guest’s seat, like these cards placed in coral holders (also from Weddingstar).

3. Food and Drink

On your reception menu, include seaside choices, as well as options for those who don’t eat either fish or shellfish. Some of my favorites include fish as an entrée option or shrimp cocktail and crab cakes as appetizers. Bring out the best of the beach with delightful drink options such as Mai-Tais, Pina Coladas, or Blue Hawaiian cocktails. Consider adding a signature cocktail to your offerings, and have decorative drink stirrers at the ready.

Beach Wedding Drink Menu

photgraphy by: anna kim photography

4. Cake

A beach-themed cake is a must-have at your reception! Your cake is one easy place to go all-out with embellishments. Some of my favorite finds include brown sugar crumbled on top to resemble sand, colorful flowers made from fondant and borrowed from the bride’s bouquet, or faux seashells to line the tiers of the cake.

A themed cake topper ties the whole look together. Here is one from Weddingstar which features a couple lounging on the sand. The bride is even drawing a heart!

Weddingstar Beach Wedding Starfish Cake Topper

featured here: starfish cake topper

5. Favors

Finally, you’ll want to send your guests home with a small token of your appreciation in the form of a favor. A beach-themed favor is easy to find, and I especially love these choices from Weddingstar. I saw a handful of cute ideas on their site including starfish-shaped photo frames, wood trinket boxes for seashells, starfish shaped candles, or a bottle topper with coral on the end, just to name a few.

Any of these would be perfect favor ideas for your reception. To see the full collection of beach or nautical themed wedding favors by Weddingstar, click here.

You’ll find more suggestions including centerpieces, décor, guest book alternatives, and more in my book, The Inspired Wedding. Look for the Beach Bliss chapter for everything you need for a beach-themed wedding. And if you missed it last week, be sure to check out this post to enter the giveaway to win a copy of The Inspired Wedding (but hurry because the contest closes this Sunday!).

Have a Seat: Place Setting 101

place setting how to

If I had to narrow down what makes for a jaw dropping wedding into just two words I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to say “the details”. (It’s not a coincidence that’s the name of this blog.) It’s the events pulled together by couples who have put their personal touch on every component of their wedding that stand out amongst the rest as unique and truly swoon-worthy. And although I can’t tell you exactly how to personalize your celebration, I certainly can break down which elements to focus on. And what better area to concentrate your efforts on than one that’s repeated by potentially the hundreds, your guest table place settings. From top to bottom, here’s how to personalize yours.

Cheers

Consider what beverages you’ll be serving and arrange for upgraded stemware to serve each in. Consider your wines (separate glass for red and white), water, champagne and any signature drinks. And don’t be afraid to mix and match designs, like something ornate with something simple.

Have a Seat

Take the guessing game out of the equation for your guests and mark their spots with a stylized theme appropriate place card holder. Finish the look off with a fresh floral accent for an unexpected extra.

On The Menu

Get your guests’ taste buds going and add another layer of dimension to your place settings with customized dinner menus.  Incorporated into each setting they act as the perfect plate accessory and bring a sophisticated level of formality to the overall look.

Tiny Treats

Show your appreciation up front with a thoughtful token of thanks. Feature your guest favors at each place setting to ensure they don’t go unnoticed.

mini birdcage guest faovrs

featured here: mini birdcage favor (spray painted white)

Every Last Detail

To really impress leave nothing as standard. Upgrade to a customized set of flatware to complete the decorative visual of your table set up. Keep with the design of all your other setting components for a cohesive overall presentation.

wedding-flatware

Pull Your Look

To start pulling together your own customize place setting details, shop the full collection of wedding accessories and day of stationery pieces on weddingstar.com. And come back to the blog this Wednesday for a place setting how-to that should not go missed.

xoxo.

kasia-signature

Wedding Planning Essentials: The Reception Checklist

wedding reception essentials

If there’s one thing that’s essential to a successful wedding planning process it’s the habit of keeping lists. There are just way too many elements that go into planning a wedding to attempt winging it as you go or working from memory. Try it and you’re sure to get lost in all the details. Luckily there are plenty of monthly planning checklists readily available online  to help you work through the process. What’s harder to come by is a comprehensive list of the essentials you need to source to pull off the big party. But not to worry. We’ve got you covered! Here’s the rundown of the basics you need to consider for your wedding reception, along with some on trend examples of each. Happy Planning!

The Essentials Checklist:

  • Seating Chart, Escort Cards or Place Cards
  • Table Numbers
  • Guest Book and Pen
  • Wishing Well
  • Cake Topper
  • Cake Serving Set
  • Toasting Flutes

Seating Plan

Unless you’re having a very small and intimate dinner party style reception, a seating plan is a must. Guide your guests to their seats with either a creative seating chart fit to theme or beautifully displayed escort cards. Take it one step further by assigning seating at each table with the use of a place card in a lovely little holder.

custom guest sating chart

featured here: custom seating chart created using the open ornate vintage inspired frame and diy escort cards

reception seating ideas

featured here: diy escort cards created using burlap wrap by the roll and miniature ornate hanger clips

Table Numbers

A well thought through seating plan is for nothing without a well marked table. Most venues provide a standard table number option you can use, but check with them to make sure. To elevate the look consider using a custom table number, fit perfectly to your event design.

Guest Book

Some traditions are well worth keeping. Create an instant wedding keepsake by incorporating a guest book into your reception where all who attend can leave their permanent mark and well wishes.

Wishing Well

Want the sentimental keepsake offering a guest book provides but looking for a bit more creativity in the display? If so consider a uniquely designed Wishing Well where guest’s notes are marked on custom cards.

Cake Topper and Serving Set

Finish off your beautiful cake with an equally gorgeous cake topper. Pick something that either represents you as a couple, or go for something fit to theme. And remember a cake knife and server set for the sweet tradition of the cake cutting.

garden themed wedding cake

Toasting Flutes

Don’t forget one of the best reigning wedding traditions, the toasting of the two of you as the new Mr. and Mrs. Pick a stylish set of flutes that you’ll enjoy time and again after the big day.

Ready to Shop?

If you’re ready to get your reception essentials shopping started, we’ve compiled everything you see here (and more) into an easy to shop checklist. You can download your copy right here and when you’re ready visit the Reception section of weddingstar.com for 100s of accessory options.
toasting flute

xoxo.

kasia-signature

Wedding Planning Essentials: Shop the {Wedding} Look

If the simple fact that it’s Friday isn’t a good enough reason to celebrate, today’s post provides some extra incentive to pour yourself a glass of bubbly and toast to good news. Today marks the official launch of the brand new Weddingstar E-Catalog, essentially a virtual shopping playground for any bride planning her wedding. I know, exciting right?!

e-catalog cover image

Built entirely around the “shop the look” concept, the new e-catalog is an extension of the Weddingstar print magazine, tenfold. Because there was just no way of making room for it all in print! Featuring inspirational imagery from exclusive creative shoots, editorials filled with planning tips and all 3000 + products in the Weddingstar lineup, the e-catalog provides a fun and easy shopping experience. Browse pretty pictures, get inspired and click to buy if something catches your eye. Covering everything from wedding stationary to ceremony and reception accessories and décor, down to guest favors and gifts, this is definitely a must visit ‘one stop wedding shop’!

But enough talk. Given Weddingstar is all about inspiration, here’s a sneak peek into what you can expect to see in the inclusive 724 pages.

vintage themed wedding shoot wedding stationery wedding ceremony products - aisle runners reception products - guest book alternatives porcelain cake toppers wanderlust themed wedding shoot wedding reception - toasting flutes wedding reception products -  decorative vintage drawers wedding favor container - mini burlap bag wedding favors - wine stoppers bridesmaid's gifts woodland themed wedding shoot

Love It? Want More?

If you like what you’ve seen so far, you’ll love the rest! Click here for more tips, products and inspiration.

xoxo.

kasia-signature