Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Nautical Nuptials

Perhaps my being a water sign is why I have always been enamored with the ocean. In fact, it was innately. I love the power of the ocean; its vastness, the smell of the water, the crisp ocean air. Spring and Summer are perfect seasons for a wedding....but why not take a reprieve from the mundane? Grab your topsiders and journey with me as I pay homage with my idea of a nautical-inspired wedding.

Photo credit Captured Photography

For me, the first step in planning a wedding is choosing a color palette.  A nautical theme is pretty straight-forward. I would stick to the navies,


 the royal blues, 

sky blues,

the stark, crisp whites,

and I would add yellow or gold for a contrasting pop of color. 

One of the most important parts a of wedding is, of course, the invitation. It is not only representative of the engaged couple's style (or hers lol), but along with all the pertinent information, offers attendees insight to the theme and tone of their special day.  Here are some adorable ideas for nautical-themed invitations. 

I love the simplicity of these elegant invitations. 

Via the website Curiouser and Curiouser and Etsy


I love this look.  So clever!  Tutorial on Broadway Paper

What an adorable use of hemp thread! 

These adorable invites found via Etsy.

You may also want to use a clever play on words in your invitation. I read avidly about sailing, but have only been on very small cruises. If you are a layman like me, you may find the following list I've compiled comprised of common sailing terminology helpful. 


1.  The portion of the vessel behind the middle area of the vessel.
2.  Towards the stern (of the vessel).

      (ie:  Aft the ceremony, please join us at.....)

All hands
Entire ship's company, both officers and enlisted personnel.

      (ie:  All hands on deck! Join us for the marriage of.....)

As the crow flies
A direct line between two points (which might cross land) which is the way crows travel rather than ships which must go around land.

      (ie:  Travel as the crow flies to.....)

The width of a vessel at the widest point, or a point alongside the ship at the midpoint of its length.

      (ie:  We beam with pride as we announce the matrimony of.....)

A unit of speed: 1 nautical mile (1.8520 km; 1.1508 mi) per hour. Originally speed was measured by paying out a line from the stern of a moving boat; the line had a knot every 47 feet 3 inches (14.40 m), and the number of knots passed out in 30 seconds gave the speed through the water in nautical miles per hour. Sometimes "knots" is mistakenly stated as "knots per hour," but the latter is a measure of acceleration (i.e., "nautical miles per hour per hour") rather than of speed.

(ie:  Join us as we tie the knot.....)

Man overboard!
A cry let out when a seaman has gone 'overboard' (fallen from the ship into the water).

(I would reserve this term strictly for a tongue-in-cheek bachelor party invitation)

Open registry
An organization that will register merchant ships owned by foreign entities, generally to provide a flag of convenience (q.v.).

      (ie:  The couple has an open registry at.....)

Square meal

A sufficient quantity of food. Meals on board ship were served to the crew on a square wooden plate in harbor or at sea in good weather. Food in the Royal Navy was invariably better or at least in greater quantity than that available to the average landsman. However, while square wooden plates were indeed used on board ship, there is no established link between them and this particular term. The OED gives the earliest reference from the U.S. in the mid 19th century.

     (ie:  Join us for a square meal at.....)

Ok. Ok. Ok. You get the general idea.  ðŸ˜Š 

The next step I'd take would be choosing the bouquet. As stated earlier, I'd stick to a main color palette. I think the blues are better suited for sashes and/or bridesmaid dresses,  so I would reserve the pop of yellow for the bridal party's bouquets and the groomsmen's boutonnières/kerchiefs. 

For this theme, I love the quiet elegance of a yellow rose bouquet for the bride, 

and sweet simplicity of carnations for the bridal party. 

Next, comes the cake.  Here are a few ideas for a see-worthy (misspelling/pun intended 😉) cake. 

I love these adorable petit fours. These can be used for either the bridal shower or for the guests at the event. Made by Bobbette and Belle

Here are some more traditionally inspired cakes. 

Rolf's Patisserie, Lake in the Hills
Photography credit Miller+Miller Photography, Chicago, IL.

White Ivy Design Cake
Photography Credit Sugarlove Weddings 

Photo Credit: Cake Occasions

On this next cake, I would omit the red and use yellow instead. By Cloudberry Bakery

For the china, I'd choose something simple and elegant, such as this Muirfield Royal Lapis plate. I'd pair it with freshly pressed yellow hemstitched linen napkins and hemp rope to tie. 

Here are a few ideas for party favors. 

How adorable is this party favor?  Found via the website Do You Need a Favor

I love these tiny ships-in-a-bottle. On each, I'd add a tiny card with the name of the couple and the date, and attach it with a bit of hemp thread. 

These lovely coasters from My Little Chickadee Creations

I love the cleanliness of an A-lined skirt, of how streamlined a boatneck dress is.  I kept that aesthetic in mind while I found a few examples of bridesmaid dresses. 

This dress is very classic. Found via the Bridesmaid Designers website. 

I like the fluidity of the flounce skirt in this look. From Foxgown

This look is reminiscent of Ocar de la Renta's aesthetic, sans the price tag. 

I love the crisp, preppy lines of this dress. From modcloth. 

Here are a few sweet ideas for a flower girl. 

Too pretty. I love the delicate rosette flowers. 
Via Etsy

How sweet is this dress available at DHgate?



So darling!!

This dress I would reserve for a small child less than five years old and I would omit the monogramming. Via Etsy

Now.....saving the best for last. Choosing the gown.  I've always been a fan of designers who are avant-garde; for this theme, you certainly need to think outside the box. I'll start with the more traditional.

I love the sweetheart neckline of this dress by Judd Waddell. 

The next two have gorgeous trains. 

Dress from HiBridal

Finally, la crème de la crème.  What I find fascinating about this gown is the material!  What an innovative use of seersucker, and how unexpected.  

This gown was created by Southern Wedding Magazine. 
Photo credit Veil and Bow

Inspiration Board:

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The ideas expressed here are the sole copyrighted intellectual property of Frugalfabfashionista and Parsimonious Décor Darling, respectively.  Do not copy.

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