How to Throw a Sophisticated Tropical Wedding

A table set for a sophisticated tropical wedding with jewel-toned colors.

If your wedding is going to take place in a beach setting, you’ve probably considered leaning into the tropical theme to celebrate your nuptials. However, you may be slightly worried that a tropical theme may come off as “too much” or even tacky. Read on to learn how you can create a tropical theme at your wedding while keeping the event sophisticated.

Use Tropical Themes in Your Stationery

A tropical wedding invitiation suite.

The first way to set the tone of your tropical wedding theme is to incorporate it into your stationery. After all, save the dates and invitations are the first taste of your event that guests experience, so it’s the perfect time to introduce the feel of the day. It’s perfectly acceptable to make your save the date more “fun” and unique, and it’s a great time to take the opportunity to really play up the tropical theme. Use beach-inspired floral prints, make the save the date look like a luggage tag or plane ticket if your wedding is a destination, and use bright colors.

When it comes to your actual invitation suite, you can give these a sophisticated feel while incorporating elements of the tropics. Consider using a more muted or pastel color palette and use tropical motifs such as pineapples, palm leaves, or beach-themed flowers. A great way to make these invitations feel formal yet beachy and fun is to invest in letterpress invitations or foil print.

You can also incorporate this theme into your day-of stationery. Use the same motifs and colors to add accents to place cards, table numbers, programs, and menus. For items like place cards, you may opt to use physical elements that remind guests of the tropics—such as seashells, sand dollars, or sea glass—to aid in the visual appeal of these items. If your ceremony is taking place outdoors, as many beach weddings do, consider making your programs into a handheld fan for guests to use as they enjoy your nuptials.

Serve Signature Tropical Cocktails

Signature drinks are always a fun addition to any wedding or party, and these present the perfect opportunity to incorporate your tropical theme in a sophisticated way. Make your signature drinks something beach-y like a mojito, rum punch, margarita, or Mai-Tai. You can make these cocktails even more fun for guests to enjoy by including brightly colored swizzle sticks or paper straws. These are great to serve before your ceremony or during cocktail hour as you really get the party started.

Add Touches of the Tropics to Your Decor

A tropical beach wedding arch and altar decorated in palm fronds and flowers.

You likely don’t want to go all-out tropical in your decor if you’re aiming to keep your day sophisticated and refined. However, there are certainly some understated touches you can incorporate into your decor to keep the theme top of mind. For instance, you may want to have centerpieces or aisle decor that exist in glass lanterns, includin lush florals, starfish, or seashells. These touches don’t have to be completely traditional. If you’re inspired to complete a DIY project, consider spray painting seashells a chic gold to use as accents, for example.

Another idea is to use a beach-y color palette as inspiration for your decor. This could be anything from sea foam green and pale blues to yellows or something brighter including fuchsia, sea blue, and orange.

Enjoy the Sounds of the Tropics

Another way to incorporate the tropics into your wedding is to capitalize on this theme in your musical choices. We’re not just talking about the sound of the ocean waves, though! Consider enlisting in a steel drum player as your ceremony music or for your cocktail hour entertainment if it’s more suitable. This is a fun way to enjoy your theme in an entertaining way. Most steel drum players can serenade your guests with not only all the classic wedding songs, but also a number of other fun songs that set the tone for your big event.

Incorporate the Tropical Theme into Your Wedding Favors

If you opt to give out wedding favors to your guests, consider incorporating the tropical feel into this part of your wedding. Some ideas that are on-theme and that can be easily executed are bottle openers in the shape of pineapples or anchors or seashell-shaped chocolates. These are fun items that guests will love and they’ll serve as a fabulous memento from your special day.

These are only a few of the many ways you can make your wedding a tropical soirée to remember while keeping it sophisticated and fun. These touches really capitalize on your beachy location of choice and make your day more personal and memorable for guests. Don’t forget to have fun with your theme and make it your own!

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