Nautical Themed Weddings: A Sea-Inspired Style Guide

by Danielle Salazar June 30, 2014

Whether you’re a boat lover at heart or just enjoy a gorgeous lake view, having a nautical themed wedding is a special way to showcase your love for the sea. Newlyweds, Jonna and Blake, took this idea and incorporated it into their lakeside soiree at a stunning Minnesota yacht club. Their wedding was gorgeous, simple, and perfectly accented with all the right nautical elements. From sailboats and stripes to navy bridesmaids dresses, we have all the right planning advice to make your nautical dream come true!

Love the sailboat background! | Nautical Themed Weddings: A Sea-Inspired Style GuideNautical Themed Weddings: A Sea-Inspired Style GuideSuch a cute way to show off your style and personality. | Nautical Themed Weddings: A Sea-Inspired Style Guide

Nautical themed wedding ideas.

The setting is key! Having a nautical wedding in an old barn just isn’t going to cut it. Venues such as country clubs, yacht clubs, beaches, and lake shores are going to give you the clean lines, white surfaces, and lakeside scenery to help you achieve that sea-side feel.

Once you have your perfect venue, you’ll want to decide on colors. Blue and white tend to be an essential combination for a classic, nautical palette. Accents of red or yellow are common for the theme, but in Jonna and Blake’s case, vibrant pops of fuchsia and green were added in to their floral décor along with their blue and white scheme. To add some texture to the palette, use accents of striped fabrics with napkins, table runners, or chair covers. Remember not to go overboard (no pun intended!) when adding the nautical details. Keep the accents subtle and just know that a little bit will go a long way!

Nautical Themed Weddings: A Sea-Inspired Style GuideRed, white, and blue are classic nautical colors. | Nautical Themed Weddings: A Sea-Inspired Style GuideNautical Themed Weddings: A Sea-Inspired Style Guide

Simple ways to incorporate nautical details:

  • Use ribbon (white, blue, or striped) to secure bouquets or boutonnieres
  • Mini sailboats can be used as table markers by adding a number onto the sail
  • Scatter seashells across tables or use them for escort cards
  • Wrap rope and sailor knots around vases or candles
  • Hang lifesaver rings against walls or on the back of the bride and groom’s chairs
  • Use large boat oars as a guest book that can later be hung in a home or cabin
  • Serve seaside bites like shrimp skewers, mini lobster rolls, and crab dip for appetizers

Nautical Themed Weddings: A Sea-Inspired Style GuideNautical Themed Weddings: A Sea-Inspired Style GuideGray men's suits are perfect for a nautical theme. Kennedy Blue bridesmaid dresses Olivia and Violet for a nautical themed wedding.Kennedy Blue navy bridesmaid dresses for a nautical themed wedding. Jonna's bridesmaids wore Kennedy Blue Olivia and Violet in navy.

Navy bridesmaids dresses and men’s suits to complement your theme.

Navy bridesmaids dresses and gray men’s suits are the perfect combination for your nautical day. Kennedy Blue’s chiffon bridesmaid dresses are available in long or short options and have a variety of necklines to complement the different styles and shapes of your ‘maids. Not only are these dresses picture-perfect for your nautical theme, but they’re styles that your girls will actually love to wear! For the men, style them in light or medium gray suits and gift them a Kennedy Blue striped tie in navy that will perfectly coordinate with the ladies. 

Designing your own nautical themed wedding.

Are you already planning a nautical theme for your upcoming wedding? Do you have other awesome ideas that you think we should know about? Leave a comment below and let us know what types of things inspire your nautical side! 


Photographs by: Brandi Alves Photogrpahy

Danielle Salazar
Danielle Salazar


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Measurement Guide - How to Measure for Your Size

Taking Your Measurements

For the most accurate measurements, do not measure over your clothing. Your measurements should be taken while wearing undergarments similar to the ones you will wear with your dress. The measuring tape shouldn't be pulled too tight or have too much slack, and should always be parallel with the floor. 

**Wedding apparel is typically sized differently than retail clothing, so keep in mind that it's not uncommon to find yourself requiring dress alterations.


Hollow-to-Hem: Hold the measuring tape vertically starting at the indent in your neck area between your collarbones and below your throat. Then, keeping the tape taught, bring the tape to the floor to meet your toes. This is your hollow-to-hem, or hollow-to-floor, measurement. The motion is similar to taking your height measurement. 

Bust size: Wrap the tape around your back and under your arms at the fullest part of your bust (not underneath the bust).

Waist size:  While standing up straight, bend at the waist to one side. Take the measurement where the natural crease happens in your side. This should be a few inches above your belly button. Stand up straight and do not suck in when taking this measurement.

Hip size: Standing with your feet together, wrap the tape around the fullest part of your hips and butt to get this measurement.

Choosing your correct size

Compare  these three measurements to the Kennedy Blue size chart above. It is very important that you order the largest size that corresponds to your measurements. For example, if your bust measures 40.5" (size 12), your waist measures 31" (size 10) and your hips measure 41.5" (size 8), we advise that you order a size 12, and get your dress altered down to custom fit your body. Ordering anything smaller than a size 12 would not fit in the bust area. Depending on the fabric, a dress can be altered down up to 2 full sizes, but can be very difficult to let out as there is only about .5 inch of fabric to do so at the seams. Please note: Our bridal gown size chart is different than the bridesmaids sizing and is listed below.