Tropical Wedding Ideas That Will Transform Your Big Day Into an Oasis
If you're getting married in paradise, why not draw inspiration from your destination location when brainstorming your big-day décor? When it comes to tropical wedding locales, you'll find that there's no shortage of beautiful ideas all around you—from the flowers themselves to the colors, foods, and even the spirit of your chosen destination. Remember why you chose your specific location, then celebrate that throughout your day.
Not tying the knot in paradise? You can still incorporate the tropics into your wedding by using some of your favorite island-inspired motifs (think pineapples, coconuts, and flamingos). To make your location feel even more like a tropical getaway, we also suggest filling your wedding's floral arrangements with exotic flowers—like protea, hibiscus, and orchids—or lush green palm and banana leaves. At this Tulum wedding, reception tables by Sandra Cervantes at Akiin Beach Club featured both tropical greenery and indigenous flora from Pentaflor Event & Flower Design. Although the setup worked for the destination setting, we think it would turn any space into an oasis.
Want more island wedding inspiration? Ahead, you'll discover details that will transform any event into your own little slice of paradise. Whether you want to serve a tropical signature drink in a coconut vessel or install an island-themed bar for guests to visit during cocktail hour, how you choose to interpret these (and the following!) ideas is completely up to you. By the time you are finished perusing these tropical ideas, you'll be ready to book your flight to your island celebration—or plan a beachy, tropical-inspired soirée right at home.
All of your big-day florals can (and should) involve tropical flowers for your wedding in paradise. That's why Knot Just Flowers filled these boutonnières with protea and mini ferns. To complete the look, My Lovely Events incorporated terra-cotta coasters, wicker fans, and tiny pineapples for an on-theme touch.
If you want to add a subtle tropical motif to your wedding cake, look no further than this three-tier Lilac Cake Boutique confection. A life-like monstera sugar leaf brought an island feel to the dessert's light blush sections.
Not only are banana leaves an easy way to reference your tropical theme, but they're also a perfect medium for calligraphy—meaning they can take the place of any big-day paper goods. Foxtail Florals transformed these iterations into this couple's drink menu.
There are so many tropical details to incorporate onto your big-day dessert, but we think coconuts are an appropriate (and delicious) addition. Beverly's Bakery added shards of the fruit onto this all-white confection, along with florals and greenery from Inessa Nichols Design. For a cohesive touch, Detailed Touch Events included coconuts on the table below.
Inform your guests of your tropical venue by incorporating thematic motifs right onto your invitations. These Julie Song paper goods hinted at this Hawaiian destination by using the state's flower, hibiscus, throughout the suite.
Tiki bars aren't the only option for making your cocktail hour feel tropical. Instead, upgrade an otherwise plain white bar (this one is from Bright Rentals) with leaf motifs. Green Apple Event Co. also added exotic arrangements from Shindig Chic to the back of the bar. A hexagonal structure and acrylic menu from Sky to Sea Creative Co. made the whole display more modern.
When it comes to a reception in paradise, we think you can never have too many tropical plants. Chic Celebrations ensured this table was covered in on-theme foliage and florals by tapping Lauryl Lane to create protea, monstera, and palm leaf centerpieces. The pros also added the greenery underneath the salad plates (provided by Set Maui) for even more color.
If your destination wedding is taking place on the beach, you may have to factor in wind when thinking of your big-day hairstyle. Choosing not to wear a veil? Make sure your hair is dressed up in exotic florals, like this bride's headpiece made of orchids from Embrujos Floral Studio.
Birds of Paradise
One of the best parts about tropical flowers? They bring a dose of color anywhere you decide to put them. So, consider asking your baker to add them to your cake, especially if it's an all-white version like this two tier from Cakes by Pat. A bird of paradise from Ninirichi was the only décor it needed to tie it back to this event's tropical surroundings.
Not all tropical décor has to be teeming with color. With a centerpiece as bright as this one—F. Dellit Designs used king protea, roses, and greenery to bring it to life—you may want to consider keeping the other elements of your table muted. Brides of Houston chose blush plates and ditched the colorful tablecloth to make this setup was all about the vibrant mix.
King Protea Bouquet
Ensure your wedding bouquet is just as exotic as your location by incorporating local flowers into your arrangement. Red Box Days did just that by adding two king proteas into this bride's colorful mix.
Flamingo Escort Cards
Searching for the perfect on-theme escort cards? We're partial to these flamingo-shaped iterations with calligraphy by The Left Handed Calligrapher.
Printed Guest Book
Giving your guest book station a tropical upgrade is a simple as picking a leaf-printed notebook. For a personal touch, this one was customized with the couple's names. Want another on-theme addition to your station? Make like Detallerie and finish off the display with a golden pineapple.
Although your guests will undoubtedly enjoy the weather at your outdoor beach wedding, make sure they don't overheat by providing them with fan programs. These options by Lytle Fober of Analog Creative Co. included a tropical leaf motif inspired by the venue's surrounding foliage.
When creating your big-day bouquet, you'll want to make sure it can withstand the heat of your tropical location. The best way to do that? With plenty of sun-proof greenery. Tumbleweed Floral Truck filled this beach bride's arrangement with white-and-green anthurium, speckled aspidistra, and large monstera leaves to make sure it wouldn't wilt.
Need a way to incorporate your tropical locale into your save-the-dates? Use the façade of your location as inspiration. Tie That Binds created this unfolding option complete with the double doors found at this couple's Jamaican venue.
You don't need tropical leaves and flowers in order to nod to your exotic locale. Vibrant colors will also do the trick. Shindig Chic designed this favor station's backdrop with pink, orange, and blue tassels that helped it fit right into this couple's beach destination.
Subtle Tropical Leaves
There's a way to bring tropical leaves into your big-day confection without actually using them. For proof, just look to this cake by Synie's Paris. The pros utilized a bas relief technique to etch palm, monstera, and banana leaves onto this dessert. The leaves referenced the real ones that sat below the display.
Of course, you'll want to bring your theme into your tropical ceremony. To do so, incorporate surrounding foliage and florals like palm leaves, banana leaves, and protea into your backdrop, like Grace Flowers Hawaii did here.
Your tropical signature drink deserves an equally exotic vessel. Instead of a classic glass, place a hollowed-out coconut cup at each guest's seat. These options came with a straw and wooden leaf place card.
Even the smallest centerpieces can feel distinctly tropical. Just look to this setup by Inviting Occasions; bananas and coconuts, along with regional flowers like gloriosa lilies, orchids, ferns, and roses, upgraded this candle-centric tablescape.
Keep the beach vibes going even after your wedding is over by gifting your attendees thematic favors. Pineapple-shaped bottle openers from My Wedding Favors were the perfect take-home for this tropical celebration.
Believe it or not, you can even add exotic details to your bite-sized desserts. The hand-drawn greenery on these macarons by Pâtisserie Montebello referenced tropical leaves; when placed next to yellow cookies, they also created a pineapple-inspired color palette.
Few flowers feel more inherently tropical than the orchid. Flower Wild clustered tall orchids with lower arrangements of garden roses, ranunculus, and greenery for balmy feel. To finish the look of these tables, faux palm place cards marked each place setting (which featured a tropical bird print, too!).
If you love the tropical wedding vibe, there are few better ways to embrace it than with a ceremony and reception in beautiful Jamaica. For this wedding, planned by Shannon Leahy Events, florist Bows & Arrows lined the oceanfront aisle with baskets of bright, native blooms. You don't have to tie the knot in paradise to steal that stunning idea, though.
Refined and Tropical
Add just a hint of tropical appeal to your place settings with an oversized palm leaf. Pair the foliage with geometric details, like this copper centerpiece and Paper Dolls Design menu card, to keep the look feeling refined and not overly beachy.
There's nothing more fun than getting ready with your 'maids in cute matching outfits, especially when they're on-theme. Palm print rompers were the perfect attire choice for this tropical wedding, allowing each woman to get ready in style without upsetting their hair or makeup when it was time to change.
Textured Place Setting
Can you imagine sitting down to a table this pretty? For a reception tablescape that screams tropical, consider layering colors and textures, like those seen here. Blue linens, white dinnerware, a natural wood bowl, and a fresh orchid all come together to create a chic, elevated tropical vibe. The wooden place cards from DeLovely Details were the ultimate finishing touch.
Pineapple Escort Cards
We don't know what's better: These pineapple-shaped escort cards or the vases that adorn the tables that are reminiscent of the same fruit? For good measure, you should probably consider adding both to your reception, just like this couple did.
Pineapple Place Card
What feels more tropical than a pineapple? This adorable mini version of the island fruit makes for the prettiest finishing touch on place settings.
Tropical and Elegant
Tropical meets elegant in these centerpieces, created by Catalina Neal, which feature roses, ranunculus, palm, ferns, and orchids. Those dreamy yellow candles add a little something extra, too.
Leaf Place Card
Tropical leafs plus gold calligraphy equals one exceptionally stunning place card. This simple, understated look is the perfect way to add just a touch of tropical appeal to your reception tables. Bright blooms, like the ones used in the centerpiece seen here, don't hurt either.
Make sure your littlest attendant gets the tropical treatment, too. This sweet flower girl donned an on-theme flower crown and printed dress for her walk down the aisle.
Printed Table Runners
If you're not sold on tropical tablecloths, consider a runner instead. This bride found a palm print fabric she loved from Online Fabric Store, then sewed her own custom runners to provide just the right pop of tropical appeal to her reception.
A tropical bouquet can also feel romantic. Just make like Wildheart and pair native blooms, like orchids and ferns, with classic roses and ranunculus to acheive the perfect balance of exotic and traditional.
If you've envisioned a tablescape as tropical as this one by Coastal Creations, we suggest keeping the other elements of the setup understated. That's why the pros opted for white plates underneath large, green monstera leaves.
Tiny Place Cards
Pretty gold calligraphy transforms anything into the most elegant escort or place cards, but these dark green leafs are the ultimate choice for tropical nuptials.
With just the right amount of color, it's totally fine if your tropical bouquet is somewhat petite. This bride's arrangement still had a big presence due to pink bougainvillea and greenery.