The 8 Best Color Palettes for a Beach Wedding (2024)

  • Wedding Décor Inspiration

Use these striking hues to set the scene.

By

Lilly Blomquist

The 8 Best Color Palettes for a Beach Wedding (1)

Lilly Blomquist

Lilly is the associate editor at Brides. She joined the staff in 2021 and covers real weddings, wedding décor, wedding news, and more.Her work is also featured in The Knot, The Bash, and Tracy Anderson's The Edit and Tracy Anderson Mind, Body, and Soul.

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Published on 03/27/24 09:00AM

The 8 Best Color Palettes for a Beach Wedding (2)

Saying “I do” while the sun shines, the breeze blows, the ocean waves crash, and the seagulls caw is one of the most magical ways to get married. With a backdrop of sparkling waters and sandy shores, tying the knot on the beach provides a picture-perfect escape for everyone in attendance. Whether it’s in Cape Cod or Bora Bora, this scenic setting bursts with vibrant tones, lending itself to many dazzling color palette options for your big day.

Depending on the ambiance you want to create and the emotions you want to convey, you can use your color palette to set the tone for your beach wedding. For instance, shades reminiscent of the sunset will produce a cheery summer scene, whereas neutrals will generate a relaxing oasis, letting the idyllic scene take center stage. The color combinations that you use to paint your nuptials also help establish your design concept. A pop of black will give your wedding a contemporary flair, while browns and beiges will reinforce a beachy bohemian soirée.

Meet the Expert

  • Tiffany Rivera is the owner of Simply Breathe Events, which produces weddings and events in Washington D.C., New York City, and beyond.
  • Amy Abbott is the owner and creative director of Amy Abbott Events, a full-service planning and design company in Los Cabos, Mexico.
  • Summer Newman, founder and lead planner, and Stephanie Ko, planner, comprise Summer Newman Events, a destination wedding planning and event design firm that’s based in Southern California.

Wondering how to choose colors that will accentuate your beach wedding? After defining your vision, planner Tiffany Rivera advises starting with a focal shade before building upon it with other accent hues. While it’s important to complement the natural landscape, planner Amy Abbot encourages you to double-check that the tones are still an accurate reflection of your taste and everyday style.

Still unsure which shades are best for your big day? We asked the experts to share their favorite colors to highlight this locale. Ahead, the eight best color palettes for a beach wedding.

The Best Color Palettes for a Rustic Wedding

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All-Black

The 8 Best Color Palettes for a Beach Wedding (3)

When you think of a beach wedding, black probably isn’t the first color that comes to mind. However, this dark, moody hue will elicit a sleek and sophisticated scene that’s perfect for modern couples and formal events. Since the coast typically boasts a blend of blue, green, yellow, and beige tones, black will add an interesting element of juxtaposition that will definitely grab your guests’ attention. Because an all-black wedding is a bold choice, Rivera suggests opting for an evening soirée.

There are plenty of ways to enact this color scheme. Dress your bridesmaids in black floor-length gowns and your groomsmen in black tuxedos for a black-tie dress code. Then, decorate your ceremony with anemones and set jet-black reception tables with matching napkins and chargers. Just a note: You might want to infuse a streak of white or another neutral to break up the dark tone.

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White, Black, and Green

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Instead of an event that’s strictly limited to black, another option is adding a subtle touch of the achromatic color. Paired with white and green, black brings a unique contrast to an otherwise natural scene. As the lighter shades blend seamlessly into the background, the darker tone will look even more prominent at your beach wedding. This color palette is ideal for those who want just a hint of drama or for those who are interested in throwing a contemporary wedding with a botanical edge.

For your ceremony, consider placing black chairs on black-and-white flooring that faces a coordinating stage in front of the ocean before suspending black rattan lanterns from hanging greenery. Then, complete the scene by bordering your aisle with clusters of tropical plants. At your reception, Abbott recommends creating a runner of local greens, topped with multi-sized candles and cylinders in black and white, as an artistic installation of lights and lanterns float above them.

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White, Green, and Gold

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If you prefer a more earthy spread with an ounce of glamour, replace black with gold. “This one is actually our favorite for a beach wedding, and for good reason: It allows for the beach’s natural elements to shine through,” Rivera says. The blend of white and green will complement the swaying palm trees and sandy coast, while the metallic accent will generate an upscale, luxe feel.

To bring this color palette to life, etch gold calligraphy on white cardstock, complete with an illustration of tropical greens, for your wedding invitations. On the actual day, trim your beachside ceremony site with a hedge of white flowers, monstera leaves, and palm leaves. You can use those same floral assortments to animate your tablescape before adding a pop of gold with your flatware, menu font, and the rim around your chargers.

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Periwinkle, Blue, and White

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Like white and green, white and shades of blue, such as periwinkle, navy, and sky blue, elicit an organic aesthetic. Reminiscent of crashing waves and blue skies dotted with wispy clouds, this combination is an extension of a beachy site, complementing the natural elements rather than superseding them. Instead of loud and attention-grabbing hues, a blue-and-white color scheme is laid-back and relaxed. We love this look for nautical affairs with a preppy spin, especially in a New England coastal town.

Abbott suggests introducing this color palette with your attire, such as a navy suit for the groom and “something blue” accents for the bride, whether it’s a ribbon wrapped around your bouquet or sapphire jewelry. An assortment of white hydrangeas, roses, and zinnias with a splash of blue will bring a classic, elegant touch to your vow exchange and post-ceremony party, while blue water glasses and knotted napkins will pop against white linens and china.

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Peach, Blush, Orange, and Sage

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A subdued, easygoing scene will transport you and your guests to a relaxing vacation destination, but a bright, bold mix of hues will liven up the space with vitality and vigor. If you want to instill a celebratory, lively atmosphere, look to peach, blush, orange, and green. While the pink and orange shades will mirror the jaw-dropping tones of the sunset, green will bring a grounded, botanical edge that reflects the local flora and fauna of your destination.

Go all out with printed linens and a patterned bar in the designated palette, accented with vivacious flowers and greenery. Or go for a more subtle integration with peach-rose-and-orange garden roses, peonies, orchids, and bougainvillea for your ceremony arch and centerpieces, per Abbott. To tie the color scheme together, the planner recommends asking your bridesmaids to sport a dress of their choosing from the designated medley and asking your groomsmen to wear a tie or pocket square in coordinating hues.

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Peach, Pink, Orange, and Blue

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Another similar beach wedding color palette idea is peach, pink, orange, and blue. Like the aforementioned combination, peach, pink, and orange will recreate a dazzling sunset, but in lieu of sage, blue will mark the transformation of the sky and ocean as the sun sinks below. For anyone picturing a color-focused affair filled with life and energy, especially on an exotic island, this is a strong contender.

Your aisle arrangements, arch, bouquet, and centerpieces are some of the best ways to embed this color scheme since many flowers, from dahlias to calla lilies, naturally grow in these shades. Since planners Summer Newman and Stephanie Ko warn against using your attire to replicate your color palette—which produces a “matchy-matchy” look in their view—they suggest donning accessories, like earrings, belts, or bow ties, in the designated hues.

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Tan, Beige, Brown, and White

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Drawing from the warm colors of sand, tan, beige, brown, and white are apt tones to paint your beach wedding with. “They can exude the calm and peaceful feelings that come with being at the beach, yet they make the event feel elegant and elevated,” Newman and Ko note. Since these colors have an earthy feel, they are best suited for a beachside bash with a bohemian aesthetic.

For a boho-meets-tropical celebration in this color scheme, look to pampas grass, dried palm leaves, and blooms in cream and toffee to comprise the bulk of your florals, from the altar to your bar accents. Wicker chairs, hanging rattan lanterns, and woven chargers will also help produce the intended aesthetic while reinforcing the color palette.

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Emerald Green, Mustard, Fuchsia, and Plum

The 8 Best Color Palettes for a Beach Wedding (10)

Jewel tones aren’t strictly reserved for fall nuptials in the countryside. These saturated hues, particularly emerald green, mustard, fuchsia, and plum, make an excellent backdrop to any beach wedding. Decking out your coastal venue in these eye-catching shades is a unique way to infuse your big day with richness and vibrancy. “The maximalist colors can bring an exotic feel to a beach event,” Newman and Ko share.

These deep shades will look beautiful blended together. Integrate the hues into your signage, such as your welcome sign, ceremony programs, bar menu, and seating chart, through the font color and an illustration of your venue. You can also create a lounge area with accent pillows and a rug using these colors. After walking down an aisle marked with jewel-toned flowers, dine at tables with printed emerald chargers, a gauzy fuschia runner, and blooms in the sumptuous shades.

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The 8 Best Color Palettes for a Beach Wedding (2024)
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