Carley and Kenny FAVE

If you’re dreaming of tying the knot on the waterfront, then you’re in the right place. From elegant sailor knots to whimsical riverside decor, we’ve curated an inspiring collection of nautical wedding ideas to help you create the maritime celebration of your dreams. And what better venue to embark on this maritime journey than The Pavilion at Weatherly? Nestled along the picturesque Potomac River, The Pavilion offers breathtaking views of the water for a truly unforgettable wedding experience.

Address: 14145 Banks O’dee Rd Newburg, Maryland 20664

the pavilion at weatherly venue in maryland

Charting the Course: 20 Nautical Wedding Ideas

splash golf at the pavilion

1. Selecting the Perfect Waterfront Venue

Choose a waterfront venue such as a beach, riverfront property, yacht club, or seaside resort for the ceremony and reception. Pavilion at Weatherly is an excellent choice in Southern Maryland featuring private beach access along the Potomac River and incredible add-ons like fireworks and splash golf.

Arbor Full Ceremony copy

2. Invitations to Set Sail

Design invitations featuring anchor motifs, navy blue and white color schemes, or sailboat illustrations to set the tone for a nautical-themed wedding that captures the essence of maritime romance.

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3. Nautical Attire For the Bridal Party

Opt for attire with subtle nautical elements such as navy blue suits for the groom and groomsmen, and anchor or seashell accessories for the bridal party. Accessories like pearl earrings or rope-inspired bracelets add a touch of elegance to the bridesmaids’ ensembles. Don’t forget about the little ones; outfit ring bearers in miniature sailor suits or dresses with sailor collars, while flower girls can don dresses with subtle mermaid-inspired details. These carefully curated attire choices will further immerse everyone in the enchanting ambiance of the nautical-themed celebration.

nautical wedding ideas

4. Sailboat Centerpieces

Use miniature sailboats as centerpieces filled with flowers or surrounded by tealight candles. For an extra personal touch, consider naming each table after famous lighthouses or coastal landmarks, inviting guests to embark on a little nautical journey.

nautical wedding ideas

5. Seaside Decor

For a maritime-inspired wedding, decorate the ceremony and reception with elements like ropes, buoys, seashells, and driftwood. Line the ceremony aisle with thick nautical ropes tied into sailor knots and use colorful buoys to mark aisle seats. Construct an altar or arch from driftwood, adorned with intertwined ropes and seashell garlands, creating a rustic focal point. Attach seashells and starfish to the backs of chairs with ribbons, and use pieces of nautical rope as chair ties. Enhance table settings with nautical napkin rings made from rope, and use driftwood or seashells as place card holders. You could also craft driftwood signs with painted directions and frame them with rope.

nautical wedding ideas

6. Nautical Table Numbers

Continue the maritime-inspired charm by displaying table numbers on miniature signal flags, each one fluttering in the gentle breeze like sails on a distant horizon. Alternatively, anchor-shaped wooden table numbers can add a touch of rustic elegance to each table setting, anchoring guests in the maritime ambiance of the celebration.

just married on the beach!

7. Beachside Ceremony

Exchange vows with a backdrop of crashing waves and soft sands for a romantic beach ceremony. Many of our couples say I do right on the beach at the pavilion at weatherly. We do have an indoor backup rain plan in the Pavilion if the weather is uncooperative.

nautical wedding ideas

8. Seashell Bouquets

Create bridal and bridesmaid bouquets featuring seashells, starfish, and beach grass. Opt for a palette of soft pastel hues reminiscent of a coastal sunset, with blooms such as hydrangeas, roses, and peonies accented by sea-inspired elements. Wrap the stems in flowing ribbons in shades of blue and sandy beige, evoking the ebb and flow of the tide. For a touch of whimsy, add tiny pearls or sparkling crystals to mimic the shimmering treasures washed ashore by the sea.

nautical wedding ideas

9. Nautical Cake

Delight your guests with a wedding cake that is as stunning as it is delicious, adorned with maritime-inspired decorations that capture the spirit of your nautical-themed celebration. Opt for a classic white cake accented with navy blue stripes, reminiscent of sailor uniforms, or incorporate intricate fondant seashells cascading down the tiers. For a touch of whimsy, adorn the top tier with an elegant anchor motif crafted from edible fondant or sugar paste, symbolizing the steadfast love that anchors your relationship. Whether adorned with stripes, anchors, or seashells, this masterpiece will serve as a delectable centerpiece, tempting guests to indulge in a sweet finale to your unforgettable maritime journey.

nautical wedding ideas

10. Ship’s Log

Encourage guests to leave behind heartfelt messages and well wishes by providing a whimsical “message in a bottle” guest book at your nautical-themed wedding. Set up a decorative table display featuring an antique-looking bottle filled with sand and adorned with seashells, surrounded by vintage-style parchment paper and quill pens. Invite guests to write down their messages on the paper scrolls, rolling them up and placing them inside the bottle to be discovered and treasured for years to come. This creative guest book alternative not only adds to the maritime ambiance of your celebration but also serves as a unique keepsake filled with the love and blessings of your cherished friends and family.

Carley and Kenny AWP

11. Nautical Photo Booth

Set up a photo booth with props like sailor hats, captain’s wheels, and lifebuoys for fun maritime-themed photos. This will create an entertaining, silly atmosphere for guests. You could even opt for a Polaroid-style booth so guests have an extra keepsake to take home.

nautical wedding ideas

12. Sailcloth Tent Reception

Transform your wedding reception into a maritime paradise by hosting it under a charming sailcloth tent, evoking the romance and adventure of a seaside celebration. Adorn the tent with twinkling string lights that dance like stars in the night sky, casting a warm and inviting glow over the festivities. Hang nautical flags from the tent poles, fluttering in the gentle breeze like sails unfurled in the wind, adding a touch of whimsy and authenticity to the decor. Inside, tables can be dressed in crisp white linens accented with navy blue runners or nautical-inspired tablecloths, completing the coastal chic ambiance.

Carley and Kenny FAVE

13. Waterfront Cocktail Hour

Elevate the maritime ambiance of your wedding reception by offering guests a selection of signature cocktails inspired by the sea, each one crafted to delight the senses and transport them to a coastal paradise. Start the evening with a refreshing “Nautical Mojito,” featuring a twist on the classic recipe with the addition of blue curaçao for a vibrant hue reminiscent of the ocean depths. Alternatively, tempt their palates with “Seabreeze Spritzers,” a delightful concoction of vodka, cranberry juice, and grapefruit soda garnished with a sprig of fresh mint for a burst of seaside freshness. For non-alcoholic options, consider serving “Oceanic Elixirs,” a blend of sparkling water, blueberry syrup, and lime juice over ice, creating a refreshing mocktail that mirrors the tranquil beauty of the sea. With these signature cocktails in hand, guests will raise a toast to your love story, savoring every sip of the maritime-inspired libations crafted just for them.

Carley and Kenny FAVE

14. Anchor Escort Cards

Guide your guests to their seats in style with miniature anchor-shaped cards, each one elegantly designed to complement the maritime theme of your wedding. Crafted from sturdy cardstock and adorned with intricate details, these charming cards serve as both escort cards and delightful keepsakes. Arrange them artfully on a vintage wooden board or display them in rows inside a rustic wooden crate filled with sand.

a wedding at the pavilion at weatherly

15. Waterfront Sunset Portrait Session

Schedule a romantic photo session during golden hour on the beach, capturing the sunset over the water. Take photos on our dock or on our private beach at The Pavilion at Weatherly.

a wedding at the pavilion at weatherly

16. Nautical Music Playlist

Create a playlist featuring maritime-themed songs or classic sea shanties for dancing the night away. Include beloved classics like “Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin and “Sailing” by Christopher Cross to infuse the dance floor with a sense of nautical nostalgia. Intersperse the playlist with upbeat sea shanties like “Drunken Sailor” and “Rolling Down to Old Maui” to inspire lively sing-alongs and spirited dancing. For a modern twist, incorporate contemporary hits with maritime references, such as “Orinoco Flow” by Enya or “Lost at Sea” by Zedd and Ryan Tedder.

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17. Seashell Place Settings

Incorporate the timeless beauty of the sea into your wedding tablescapes by incorporating seashells as unique placeholders or decorative accents. Nestle delicate shells atop crisp white napkins for an elegant and understated touch, or scatter them along the center of the table runner to evoke the feeling of a sandy shore. For a personalized twist, attach guests’ names to individual shells using calligraphy or handwritten tags, inviting them to find their seats amidst the coastal charm.

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18. Nautical Favors

Extend the coastal charm of your nautical-themed wedding by sending guests home with thoughtful favors that capture the essence of a seaside getaway. Offer beach-themed candles in scents like salty sea breeze or coconut, packaged in elegant jars adorned with seashells or netting for a touch of coastal elegance. Alternatively, indulge their senses with miniature jars of handmade sea salt scrubs, infused with fragrances of lavender or citrus. For a personalized touch, present each guest with a compass keychain engraved with your wedding date or a heartfelt message, symbolizing the journey of love they’ve embarked upon with you.

jillian and alan say i do to the pavilion

19. Unique Exit Ideas For Your Nautical Wedding

Make a grand exit from the reception aboard a sailboat, complete with a “Just Married” banner fluttering in the breeze. We’ve had wedding couples sail in for the ceremony and do a sailboat exit for their send-off at the Pavilion at Weatherly.

a wedding at the pavilion at weatherly

20. Fireworks Display

End the evening with a dazzling fireworks display over the water, creating a memorable finale to your nautical celebration. We do offer fireworks at the Pavilion at Weatherly as an incredible add-on.

a wedding at the pavilion at weatherly

FAQs: Charting Your Nautical Wedding Plans

What defines a nautical wedding?

A nautical wedding is defined by its incorporation of elements inspired by the sea and maritime culture. These weddings often feature a color palette dominated by navy blue, white, and accents of red or gold to evoke the colors of the ocean, sails, and maritime flags. Nautical motifs such as anchors, sailboats, ropes, seashells, and compasses are frequently used in decorations, invitations, and attire to create a cohesive theme. The venue choice might reflect a seaside location, such as a beach or waterfront setting, or be decorated to resemble one, with elements like driftwood, fishing nets, and lanterns adding to the ambiance.

a wedding at the pavilion at weatherly

How can I incorporate nautical elements on a budget?

Incorporating nautical elements into your wedding decor on a budget can be both creative and charming. Here are some cost-effective ideas:

  1. DIY Decorations: Create your nautical-themed decorations such as rope-wrapped candle holders, painted wooden signs with maritime quotes, or handmade paper sailboats as table centerpieces. DIY projects not only save money but also add a personal touch to your wedding decor.
  2. Utilize Natural Elements: Collect driftwood, seashells, and beach stones from local beaches to use as decor accents. These natural elements can be incorporated into centerpieces, place settings, and even bouquets for a rustic coastal vibe.
  3. Opt for Affordable Materials: Choose inexpensive materials like burlap, jute, and cotton rope to add nautical texture to your decor. Burlap can be used as table runners or chair sashes, while rope can be twisted into knots and used as accents on signage or invitations.
  4. Thrift Store Finds Hunt for nautical-themed decor items at thrift stores or yard sales, such as vintage lanterns, brass compasses, or old maps. With a bit of creativity, you can repurpose these items to fit your wedding theme at a fraction of the cost of new decor.
  5. Simple Color Palette: Stick to a simple color palette of navy blue, white, and accents of red or gold to evoke a classic nautical feel without breaking the bank. These colors are readily available in inexpensive decor items such as tablecloths, napkins, and ribbons.
  6. Repurpose Items: Repurpose everyday items to fit your nautical themes, such as using mason jars as vases for beach-inspired floral arrangements or repurposing old glass bottles as candle holders filled with sand and seashells.
  7. Focus on Key Elements: Instead of decorating every inch of your venue, focus on key areas such as the ceremony altar, reception entrance, and dining tables. By concentrating your efforts on these focal points, you can create a big impact without overspending.

a wedding at the pavilion at weatherly

Where is The Pavilion at Weatherly located?

We are located in Newburg, Maryland near the border of Virginia on the Potomac River.

We’ve created this helpful map so you can make the most of your wedding day (or weekend!) in Maryland. Explore local lodging options, landmarks, and nearby restaurants.

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Why should I consider a nautical wedding theme?

A nautical wedding theme offers a timeless and romantic ambiance that appeals to couples who are drawn to the beauty and allure of the sea. Here are several reasons why you might consider a nautical wedding theme:

  1. Romanticism: The sea has long been associated with romance and adventure, making a nautical theme perfect for couples who want to infuse their wedding with a sense of timeless love and excitement.
  2. Versatility: A nautical theme can be tailored to suit a variety of wedding styles, from elegant and sophisticated to relaxed and beachy. Whether you’re planning a formal affair at a waterfront venue or a casual celebration on the beach, a nautical theme can be adapted to fit your vision.
  3. Beautiful Color Palette: The classic color palette of navy blue, white, and accents of red or gold offers a sophisticated and elegant look that is universally appealing. These colors evoke the serene beauty of the ocean and create a cohesive aesthetic throughout your wedding decor.
  4. Symbolism: Nautical elements such as anchors, sailboats, and compasses carry symbolic meaning that can add depth and significance to your wedding. Anchors represent stability and strength, while sailboats symbolize adventure and exploration. Incorporating these symbols into your wedding decor can add a meaningful touch to your special day.
  5. Scenic Venues: Nautical weddings often take place in scenic waterfront locations such as beaches, marinas, or seaside resorts. These venues provide a stunning backdrop for your ceremony and reception, with sweeping views of the water and opportunities for beautiful outdoor photos.
  6. Unique Decor: A nautical theme allows for creative and unique decor elements inspired by the sea. From driftwood centerpieces to seashell escort cards, there are endless possibilities for incorporating maritime-inspired details into your wedding decor.
  7. Guest Experience: A nautical wedding theme can create a memorable experience for your guests, transporting them to a seaside paradise for a day of celebration. From beach games and bonfires to boat rides and coastal cuisine, there are many ways to incorporate nautical elements into your wedding festivities and create lasting memories for you and your loved ones.

sarah and aaron on the beach

What is the weather like seasonally in Maryland?


Best Time

Average Temperature (°F)


April to June

55°F to 75°F


June to August

65°F to 85°F


September to November

50°F to 70°F


December to February

30°F to 50°F

swooping in for a kiss on the potomac river beach

How do you anchor a nautical theme without going overboard?

Anchoring a nautical theme in your wedding decor without going overboard requires a delicate balance of subtle touches and cohesive design elements. Here are some tips to help you achieve a tasteful nautical theme without overwhelming your wedding:

  1. Choose a Subtle Color Palette: Opt for a classic color palette of navy blue, white, and accents of gold or red to evoke a nautical vibe without overpowering the decor. Use these colors sparingly and incorporate neutrals like beige or taupe to soften the look.
  2. Focus on Key Elements: Select a few key nautical elements to highlight throughout your decor, such as anchors, ropes, or sailboats. Instead of using them everywhere, incorporate these elements strategically in focal points like the ceremony backdrop, reception tables, or stationery.
  3. Use Natural Textures: Incorporate natural textures like rope, driftwood, and linen to add depth and visual interest to your decor. These materials evoke the feeling of being near the sea without being overly literal.
  4. Subtle Motifs: Choose subtle motifs inspired by the sea, such as waves, seashells, or compass roses, to incorporate into your stationery, signage, and table linens. These motifs add a touch of maritime charm without overwhelming the overall theme.
  5. Minimalistic Centerpieces: Keep your centerpieces simple and elegant, using elements like glass vases filled with sand and seashells, or single blooms in nautical-inspired containers. Avoid overcrowding the tables with too many decor items to maintain a clean and polished look.
  6. Coastal Accents: Incorporate subtle coastal accents like lanterns, candles, or glass floats to add ambiance to your venue. These accents create a relaxed and beachy atmosphere without detracting from the overall theme.
  7. Personal Touches: Infuse your nautical theme with personal touches that reflect your style and personality as a couple. Incorporate elements that hold special meaning to you, whether it’s a favorite beach destination, a love for sailing, or a shared memory by the sea.

jillian and alan say i do to the pavilion

Start Planning

A nautical wedding theme offers a timeless and romantic backdrop for couples seeking to infuse their special day with the beauty and allure of the sea. From classic color palettes to elegant decor elements inspired by maritime motifs, there are endless possibilities for creating a wedding that evokes the spirit of coastal romance and adventure. Are you ready to set sail on the journey of a lifetime? Let the timeless charm of a nautical wedding theme inspire your celebration and create memories that will last a lifetime. Contact us at The Pavilion at Weatherly to learn more about hosting your dream nautical wedding at our stunning waterfront venue. Your happily ever after awaits!