6 Beach Wedding Ideas to Kick Off Your Tropical Celebration

Exchanging your vows in an island paradise? Plan the beachside fête with these suggestions from Madeline Trait, the designer behind By Madeline Trait and a Martha Stewart American Maker, who took her cues from the color of the ocean and local plants.


The Dress

The beach lends itself to both formal and casual wedding finery, so you could opt for something in the middle. For the fashion-forward bride or for a bridesmaid look, an ombré dress by Erin Fetherston will make a chic statement. For the groom and groomsmen, choose light linen suits paired with a bright and fun Aloha shirt from Roberta Oaks. No matter where you shop, make sure to pick natural, breathable fabrics. Things get hot in the tropics, so comfort is key.


The Décor

For the ceremony, a special backdrop such as an archway adorned with tropical leaves makes a great, inexpensive focal point. For the reception, create your own tropical terrarium, or gather an eclectic mix of containers and candles and fill them with local leaves and accents of vibrant flowers.


The Tables

For your place settings, pair light linen napkins and an easy escort card holder from Makekind. Keeping the tables simple will allow you to dress up tropical cocktails with big pieces of fresh fruit—an absolute must for a beach wedding.



Photography by: Alan Benson

The Cake

Add some oomph to your reception with a showy and beautiful dessert. This hummingbird cake has all the right flavors and could stand in for a centerpiece—it’s that pretty.


The Topper

If you prefer to go classic with your cake, opt for a simple white frosting and a tropical-inspired cake topper


The Favors

Send off your guests with a sweet treat. Compartés makes a fabulous piña colada milk chocolate bar that comes in beach-inspired packaging. Another great parting gift is a beautiful Turkish beach towel. Guests can use them to lie in the sand and watch the stars at the end of the evening, then easily fold them and carry them home in their suitcases. 


Want more inspiration? Check out Trait’s beach wedding Pinterest board! And don’t forget to browse her selection of cake toppers in the Martha Stewart American Made Market.


Get More Ideas for Throwing a Tropical Celebration
About the Author

Madeline Trait

Madeline's creative path has not always been a straight one. She started her career as an architect, but quickly learned she needed creative freedom and the ability to work with her hands. She then discovered interior design and learned how to source finish materials, furniture, fabric, and art to create fun and beautiful spaces. However, her creative side was still not satisfied; she...


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