Nautical Wedding

Talk about “something blue”! This nautical wedding gives the color blue a whole new look. Both the bride and groom are dressed in blue (her gown is out of this world) and the use of this nautical hue in everything from the wedding cake to the setting for their wedding feast is beautiful. We can’t say more – take a look!

Color Palettes for a Nautical Wedding

This couple’s nautical inspired wedding was based on the chilly-yet-cozy atmosphere of a historic boathouse in Finland – it’s full of cool blues and set off by cream, tan and warm gray. You can almost feel the overcast sky and chilled spray of Finland’s icy waves. The cream, tan and gray colors help give the palette a bit of a masculine feel as well – it’s a fairly traditional wedding color palette used in a non-traditional way.

If you’re looking for a more classic nautical color palette, consider hues inspired by conventional nautical flags but muted – think deep reds, mustard yellow and blues with a bit of gray to keep the tones soft and sophisticated.

Wedding Dresses and Accessories for a Nautical Wedding

When it comes to your wedding dress, there truly are no limits – it’s your special day, and you should wear whatever looks and feels amazing to you. Traditional white and off-white gowns are stunning, whether they’re covered with elaborate beadwork and lace or are sleek and ultra-modern. A simple dress in a mermaid silhouette would be beautiful for a nautical wedding.

This bride chose to go the non-traditional route, choosing a pale blue, long-sleeved gown that would look beautiful in both summer and winter. The sheer fabric keeps the dress light, airy and full of movement, just like the sea it was inspired by. Because the gown has some beaded embellishments, the bride chose to forgo other accessories, including a headpiece and veil.

Groom Style for a Nautical Wedding

When it comes to wedding attire, the bride’s dress should always be the star of the show, but that doesn’t mean the groom’s style won’t be noticed. Depending on the formality and time of the event, you have a few options to choose from. Formal, evening events may require a tuxedo (or not), but a well-fitted suit can look just as timeless and chic.

This groom’s three-piece suit in a classic, neutral gray is almost as formal as a tuxedo, but not quite. It also offers the option of removing the jacket in warmer weather or for comfort. Paired with a coordinating tie and polished brown shoes, the look is sophisticated yet relaxed.

Bouquets and Boutonnieres for a Nautical Wedding

Depending on the nautical inspired color palette you choose – either classic or non-traditional – you have a lot of options for wedding bouquets and boutonnieres. For a classical palette, which often includes red, you may want to consider a smaller or bulb bouquet so any red flowers don’t overtake the bride’s gown.

This bride has chosen neutral, cream-colored flowers to keep the arrangement simple and elegant. The greenery, which is both extravagant and delicate, creates a large bouquet that won’t upstage the wedding dress. Smaller versions of the bride’s bouquet, with less greenery, is appropriate for bridesmaids.

The groom has chosen not to wear a boutonniere, but a simple, single flower would suffice, and would be an excellent opportunity to introduce a small pop of red as an accent.

What to Look For in a Venue for a Nautical Wedding

If you’re planning a nautical-inspired wedding, a waterfront venue is ideal, whether indoors or outdoors. If you’re not near a waterfront location, not to worry – there are many ways you can transform any venue into the perfect outdoor party.. Consider looking for a venue with a lot of natural light to give a feeling of the open sea. For a classic nautical theme, you could hang nautical flags from high ceilings.

This bride and groom chose a more intimate ceremony in a small, cozy venue. If you’re planning a microwedding or a vow renewal, a non-traditional venue like a boat house works well and fits perfectly with the theme without having to spend a lot of time or money on decorations. If there aren’t many guests or vendors coming, you may be able to rent from a local property owner.

Outdoor Wedding Ideas for a Nautical Wedding

If you’re considering outdoor venues for your nautical-inspired wedding, a waterfront restaurant, pavilion or event hall is the ideal location. A ramada or other structure provides cover from the sun or any inclement weather, but if one isn’t available, you can always use a white wedding tent decorated with flags, party lights or other accessories.

For a more unique (and literal) take on a nautical theme, you could also say your vows on a boat – they’re usually available to rent from a local marina. For a wedding and honeymoon in one, you could also consider renting a houseboat. Say your vows on the deck and retire to your honeymoon suite just a few feet away for a relaxing, luxury experience.

Invitations for a Nautical Wedding

Since the wedding invitations are usually the first impression your family, friends and colleagues will have of your big day, it’s a great opportunity to introduce the theme in a subtle (or not so subtle) way. For a nautical themed wedding, you could have your information printed on a nautical flag – there are tons to choose from.

You can also incorporate your color palette by choosing fairly plain invitations and mailing them in envelopes. If you decide to go with a suite of stationery, you can choose several different colors that match your palette, including red, dark and medium blues, and even a flash of gold, if you want a little sparkle.

This couple chose simple, handwritten stationery on natural paper to add to the event’s intimate, personal atmosphere.

Wedding Cake Ideas for a Nautical Wedding

You have nearly unlimited options when it comes to your wedding cake – even if it’s not a cake at all. A multi-tiered white wedding cake in vanilla or almond is the standard, but there are so many ways to decorate, embellish and flavor, you can create a completely customized confection.

This bride chose to go a little outside the box, which works very well since the ceremony is intimate and a large cake isn’t needed. A few tiny layer cakes, frosted in cool blues and purples and decorated with fresh berries and simple flowers and greenery, are perfect for the bride and groom and perhaps a few close friends to dine on after the ceremony.

If you’re planning a more classic nautical wedding, you may consider a red velvet cake under the traditional white frosting, so your guests get a colorful surprise when the cake is cut.

Food for a Nautical Wedding

A nautical wedding is meant to transport both the couple and their guests to the ocean, and when it comes to food, that can only mean one thing – seafood. If you live near the water, you could always consider a clambake, lobster boil or fish fry, especially if you’re planning a less formal evnt with a lot of guests.

Seafood isn’t for everyone, but there’s one thing that generally makes everyone happy – desserts. If you’re on a tight budget or are hosting an afternoon event before dinner, you may want to consider offering a dessert table with small, nautical themed bites, along with a few appetizers for fish lovers as well as those who prefer other options.

Budget for a Nautical Wedding

Depending on how many people you’ll be inviting to your wedding, and where you’re located, the budget for a nautical inspired event. If you live in a location where you can find nautical accessories, such as rope, buoys and other shoreline, you may be able to save some money by using what’s locally available. If you have your heart set on a particular venue, a larger budget will allow you to turn it into a true seaside getaway.

For a smaller, more intimate ceremony, you may be able to rent a boathouse or other cozy venue from a local property owner, saving some funds for other items or even a honeymoon. This couple chose simple decorations, such as cozy blankets, serving trays and sea shells, which can be fun DIY projects if you’re on a tight budget.

Finnish boatyard vow renewal


From Satu of  AINO – “This styled shoot is a true labor of love. Saara (the other stylist for the shoot) and I had been planning it quite while and it turned out so beautiful! We are truly lucky to have as friends and colleagues such amazing and talented people who made all this happen.

The styled shoot tells a story of couple heading to the beautiful Finnish archipelago for a renewal of their vows, celebrating afterwards with an intimate picnic with adorable little cakes and pastry adorned with fruits and berries, but on their way a heavy rain comes down and they seek shelter from an old boat yard.”

Sky blue wedding dress | Petra Veikkola Photography 
Oyster wedding details | Petra Veikkola Photography 
Nautical wedding venues | Petra Veikkola Photography 
Fine art nautical themed wedding invitations | Petra Veikkola Photography 
Sky blue wedding dress | Petra Veikkola Photography 
Unique rose gold wedding ring | Petra Veikkola Photography 
Multiple single tier wedding cakes | Petra Veikkola Photography 
Nautical wedding details | Petra Veikkola Photography 
Side braid hairstyle | Petra Veikkola Photography 
Calligraphy on oyster shells | Petra Veikkola Photography 
Boat yard nautical themed wedding | Petra Veikkola Photography 

“Everything ties together from the bride’s bespoke dress and hair accessory to beautiful lush bouquet to breathtakingly beautiful calligraphy and watercolor invitations made by hand just for this shoot. Soft and natural colored home textiles and vintage styled ship lamps brigs the warmth we needed to the old boat yard.

At first glance the setting for the shoot is rough-looking, the beautiful couple make it warm and inviting as they celebrate quietly their love.”

Fine Art Nautical themed wedding | Petra Veikkola Photography 
Ocean inspired wedding invitations | Petra Veikkola Photography 
Baltic Sea wedding in Finland | Petra Veikkola Photography 
Boat yard in Finland | Petra Veikkola Photography 
Fruit tarts and single tier wedding cakes | Petra Veikkola Photography 
Calligraphy vow renewals | Petra Veikkola Photography 
Nautical wedding inspiration | Petra Veikkola Photography 

Credits: Photography: Petra Veikkola Photography  // Event Planning & Styling: Satu, Aino, Saara, & Pukuni // Wedding Dress: Pukuni // Groom’s Apparel: Groom’s own // Hair Adornments: AINO // Makeup Artist: Studio Meliina Savela  // Hair Styling: Sirkku Lampiniemi – Yazz Hair // Floral Design: Kukka Fiori // Cakes & Desserts: Gaggui Kaffela // Calligraphy & Paper Goods: Willow Visuals // Rings: AITO Kultasepänverstas // Home Textiles & Decorations: Balmuir // Table Runner: Silk & Willow // Models: Mirka with Modelpoint Management  and  Valtteri Launto // Venue – Ruissalon Telakka in Finland.