Nautical Wedding Theme: Colors, Décor, and More

Ocean, sea, and beach-themed weddings never go out of style. It doesn’t matter if you’re planning your ceremony on the beach, on a boat, near a lake, or hundreds of miles inland—there are plenty of ways to give a nod to a nautical theme. If you dream of a wedding with blue accents, messages in bottles, serene lighting, and romantic intimacy, you can’t go wrong with nautical theme wedding décor.

What Is a Nautical Wedding Theme?

Nautical theme weddings are inspired by the juxtaposition of tranquility and adventure that naturally comes from sandy beaches and billowing waves.

This wedding style can range from naval accents to beach-inspired details—think lots of greenery, costal motifs, stripes, navy blue, and shells. These nautical details add a timeless touch to any wedding ceremony or reception. While nautical-themed weddings are especially popular for events on a boat or at a coastal venue, this theme is perfect for anyone who is inspired by the sea.

Nautical Theme Wedding Ideas

When it comes to planning the décor for a nautical wedding theme, begin by choosing a color palette, table decorations, and flower arrangements.

Color Palettes for Nautical Weddings

The classic nautical wedding color palette starts with navy blue and crisp white, although other colors like emerald green or sky blue are also popular. For accent colors, consider mint green, carnation or coral pink, shades of yellow, bright red, glittery gold, or light gray.


Beyond the colors themselves, striped or color-blocked patterns are a festive touch for a nautical wedding theme.

Navy and white work especially well together as stripes on printed materials, fabric, and event signage.

Nautical Wedding Table Decorations

Your nautical wedding tablescape will set the stage for your wedding reception. 

Start with the table linens. White tablecloths with navy table runners—or vice versa—create a bold, chic look. You can also try creating a table runner out of natural fabric and lined with greenery or driftwood to pay tribute to the stunning oceanside landscape.

Each place setting is another opportunity to let the nautical theme shine. Begin with placemats or chargers in natural textures or porcelain, add napkins in one of your accent colors, and weigh down place cards with seashells.

For a centerpiece, use driftwood, Spanish moss, corals, seashells, glass jars, sand-filled trays, candles, lanterns—anything to help push your wedding theme while at the same time not overwhelming your guests. And remember, if your venue has a view, don’t build the centerpieces so tall that your guests can’t see the ocean waves from their seats.

—don’t build the centerpieces so tall that your guests can’t see the ocean waves from their seats.

Nautical-Themed Wedding Flowers

By combining your favorite flowers with beach-themed accents, you can create a wedding bouquet and floral decorations that wow your guests and match beautifully with your decorations. 

Hold the bouquet together with nautical rope, incorporate beach grass, or use sand-filled glass bottles to hold your floral arrangements.


Types of Nautical Theme Wedding Décor 

Don’t forget about the big picture! Add nautical elements to these types of wedding décor to take your theme to the next level.


Wedding arches are eye-catching decorations that add an unforgettable charm to your wedding. To fit a nautical wedding theme, use driftwood to build an arch or decorate your arch with blooms, seashells, pampas grass, linen fabrics, or other beach-inspired elements.


Keep nautical-themed lighting simple and serene. Add lanterns along pathways, scatter tea lights on tables, and float candles in water features to create a whimsical, romantic atmosphere.


Create cozy ambiance by hanging fabric drapery to give guests some shelter from the sun or building a faux ceiling over the dance floor. Don’t forget to hang string lights for an added nautical touch.


Wedding arches are eye-catching decorations that add an unforgettable charm to your wedding. To fit a nautical wedding theme, use driftwood to build an arch or decorate your arch with blooms, seashells, pampas grass, linen fabrics, or other beach-inspired elements.

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Nautical Wedding Decoration Ideas to Boost the Beach Vibe

Incorporate ocean-inspired touches into your nautical wedding décor to highlight the coastal theme.

Nautical Theme Wedding theme

Messages in Bottles

What’s more romantic than writing a message in a bottle, throwing it out to sea, and hoping it makes its way to your loved one? If you incorporate messages in bottles into your wedding decorations, you’ll bring that romance to your ceremony.

You can place one at each table as a decoration, create tiny party favors for guests to appreciate later, use the bottles to display the menu, or make centerpieces by wrapping string lights around the bottleneck.


Compasses are underrated pieces of nautical-themed décor that will remind guests of travel, sailing, and exploring oceans unknown. Use compass imagery on printed invitations, add a compass to each centerpiece, or have the groom wear one throughout the ceremony. 

Additionally, display ocean-themed maps—vintage or modern—to heighten the sense of adventure.


Anchors and sailing go hand in hand, so it’s no surprise that these iconic tools are often used as part of nautical-themed decorations. Whether you use an illustration of an anchor on place cards, set up a large anchor on the edge of the dance floor, or hang anchors on the walls of your venue, you’ll be taking advantage of this nautical element.


The beach itself provides a lot of ideas for nautical theme wedding decorations. Accents like starfish, sea urchins, coral, seashells, and sand are classic ways to bring the theme to life. Any combination of these elements can be used to build stunning ocean-inspired displays.

Vintage Trunks and Suitcases

The ocean and sea represent travel and endless possibility. Rent some vintage trunks and suitcases to display around your wedding venue to celebrate your adventurous nature. Stack the items as an off-kilter decoration or use them to mark the dessert table or bar.


Sailboats are the perfect companion to any nautical-themed event. Use wooden boat models as decorative elements, display stunning origami sailboats to wow your guests, or fold napkins into the shape of a boat. There are endless ways you can incorporate boats into your nautical wedding decorations.

Nautical Theme Wedding Decor

Create Custom Nautical Wedding Table Decorations at Lola Valentina

At Lola Valentina, we can help you decorate your wedding space with unique table linens, runners, napkins, chargers, placemats, and more. You can shop our revolutionary design house to mix and match our selection of original designs, or you can work with our team of in-house designers to create a custom pattern that matches your nautical wedding color palette. Visit our design bar to explore color and pattern combinations until you find just the right look for your wedding.

All our items are environmentally conscious and proudly crafted in the United States.

Are you ready to bring your wedding design ideas to life? Talk to a designer today to get started.

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Lola Valentina is an upscale tabletop decor company offering custom and collection-driven designs printed on decor placemats, table linens, runners, napkins and more.