How to Decorate for a Beach Wedding on a Budget

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Things You'll Need

  • 2 or more large 3-wick white pillar candles
  • Glass plates larger than the candles
  • 10 or more wooden stakes (about 2 feet high)
  • White ribbon
  • Bag of shells
  • White spray paint

Many brides choose beach weddings each year. Couples say their vows at the water's edge, then happily wade into the ocean. However, these types of weddings have one major drawback: Often the guests just plain do not know where to go. If you want to walk down the aisle but still be married on the beach, the best way to handle this is to do some minimal decoration so that even if your guests are standing in the sand, they are in an orderly enough crowd that you can walk down the "aisle" and actually know where you are going. On the other hand, since nature itself is so beautiful and present in this wedding scenario, many brides do not factor in beach decorations in their wedding budget. Here are some ideas for decorating for a beach wedding on a budget.

Spray paint the wooden stakes white or silver (or any other color you want).

Drive the stakes into the sand so that they form an "aisle." The aisle should lead to where you are going to say your vows.

Loop white ribbon in-between the stakes. This will create a solid aisle for you to walk down. If you wish, you can bring white beach chairs (generally available from the hotel where you are staying) or your own lawn chairs if you want your guests to be seated during your wedding.

Tie a large bow on each stake. The bow should have big "ears" and a long tail.

Scatter shells in a rough line in between the stakes. At the front of the aisle, spread the shells out so they fan out in front of the chairs in the front row. They need to be fairly large shells. You can generally buy bags of shells for $5 or $10 at a hobby store or online.

Place two large white candles on the glass plates about five feet in front of the aisle's end. They should be a little outside the edges of the aisle. They will mark the place where the minister will stand and also indicate to you, your groom and your wedding party where to line up. You may decide to light them or leave them unlit if the day is windy. Now, leave the rest to the natural beauty of the ocean and enjoy your wedding!


  • Only use natural elements for your beach wedding so they don't take away from the natural beauty of the setting.


  • Be sure to have someone pick up every scrap of your decorations after the ceremony, or you may be ticketed or fined by the local authorities that monitor the beaches. This is especially true in areas where the beaches are unique and experience high tourist traffic.