bride and groom at their yacht wedding

23 Yacht Wedding Decoration Ideas You and Your Guests Will Love

Jan 23, 2023
By Wedding Spot

It’s the middle of winter, we know. But now’s the time to plan ahead for your stellar summer yacht wedding. There is nothing more beautiful or serene than getting married on the water—and we’ve got the yacht wedding decoration ideas to prove it! Sneak a peek at these before you set sail.

The wedding of your dreams can be held on a beautiful floating venue; from intimate ceremonies to lavish receptions, a yacht wedding is designed to accommodate both the formal and informal style that you and your guests can enjoy.

Yachts offer wedding packages that can be customized to meet your needs, with everything from full bars to chef-prepared menus.  They also have open-air decks, fantastic sunset views, and distinctive hospitality. All that’s missing is the decor!

In this guide, we’ll share our favorite yacht wedding decoration ideas that are both practical and perfect for Instagram-worthy ceremonies and receptions.

23 stunning yacht wedding decoration ideas worth stealing

Yachts are perfect for gliding across oceans and lakes at sunset—a stunning backdrop for a magical outdoor wedding. The gentle breeze, the smell of the water, and the charming wildlife all make the setting come to life around you. Now you just need to decorate the yacht itself! Create an elegant and Pinterest-worthy seaside wedding with these tips, DIYs, and themes.

1. Have a Cape Cod theme

East coast elegance meets classic nautical with this Cape Cod yacht wedding theme. Make it happen with clear square vases with simple white tulip arrangements as centerpieces. Use bold navy stripes for a more modern look or bring out old school New England vibes with dark gray in your linens. Also, find something to monogram with your new initials!

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2. Add a dock welcome sign

Picture this: guests walk up to the dock to see the beautiful ocean, rows of majestic yachts, and a beautifully made sign welcoming them to the party. This is one of our favorite yacht wedding decoration ideas to DIY. Grab some white-washed wood boards, attached hinges at the top, and use a craft machine like a Cricut to add fancy lettering.

3. Bring tiny fold up tables

You won’t believe how much these come in handy on a yacht. They’re easy to transport and set up which makes them perfect for keeping things off the floor of the boat without taking up too much space. You’ll need as much table space you can get for decorations, florals, and more. Place tiny fold up tables around your altar or at the reception to elevate—literally and figuratively—your décor. Make sure they vary in height. Display bouquets, rings, and even family photos.

4. Add greenery to the bow

The bow of the ship is one of the best, most idyllic settings for wedding photos. So don’t ignore it when choosing your yacht wedding decoration ideas. We love the idea of adding wreaths for weddings that take place near the holidays, but a large bouquet of greenery will look amazing here in the summer!

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5. Personalize a life preserver ring

This idea is perfect for displaying on your card table, hanging on a temporary hook above your sweetheart table, or serving as a photo booth accessory. Add your initials and the wedding date by hand or with a stencil for a charming, on-theme statement piece.

6. Use oyster shell escort cards

We’re obsessed with how beautiful these oyster shells look with wedding guest names written on them in cursive. Outlining the rim of the shells with gold paint amplifies the elegance but the raw shell look would also be pretty if it goes with the rest of your wedding colors.

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7. Combine slate and dusty blue

Every yacht wedding can benefit from sprinkling in this stunning combination. Sprinkle in some of these hues using succulents, ribbons, or any other small decor item to bring out the colors of the waters you’re sailing through.

8. DIY faux coral and candle centerpieces

As guests sit down at their tables for the reception, they’ll be greeted by a stunning textured wedding centerpiece that is completely unique. Faux coral can be found at most major craft stores along with white taper candles. We love a monochromatic look here.

9. Make a Bon Voyage wreath

We couldn’t love this seaside garden-themed wedding wreath more than we already do. Can’t you just imagine guests posing for photos with it as they enjoy cocktail hour? Combine a circle of greenery with dainty white flowers and a ribbon-shaped sign to complete this delicate wreath.

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10. Display oversized clamshell floral arrangements

How show-stopping are these amazing table and altar decor arrangements? The wavy, textured look contrasts nicely with the smooth flower petals. Display one on your bar to really make a statement.

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11. Choose blue and white vintage patterned dinnerware

These dainty English-style patterns have us falling in love with vintage style dishware all over again. Thrift your own over time or pick up a set of mismatched blue and white dinner plates from sellers on Etsy.

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12. Turn an oar into your guest book

Oar guest books are nautical and perfect for displaying in your living room or on a bookcase after the big day. Swap black markers for white or silver ones to up the elegance. Add textured ribbons in your wedding color scheme to the handle and bring picture frame display holders to prop it up when it’s not being signed.

13. Outline an arch with waterproof patio lights

Don’t rely on flood lights already on the boat to determine how your wedding decoration will look when the sun goes down. Make your evening on the yacht look and feel more intimate with some waterproof patio lights outlining your wedding arch or main throughway doors.

14. Wrap blooms in bold blue and white striped ribbons

Pair with bright purple, sunny yellow, and off-white flowers to complete the look. Wider stripes fit this nautical theme but thin, pinstripe versions will also look elegant.

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15. Drape swaths of burlap around archways

Take or get measurements beforehand if you plan to DIY this. And don’t forget the Command hooks to help keep your drapery in place when the breeze picks up!

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16. Bring a neon sign photo wall

A sparkly background plus a neon sign that includes your names or your wedding hashtag is one of those yacht wedding decoration ideas we just can’t get enough of. It looks great, and it’s practical. Your square footage is limited on a yacht, so if you want a slim photo backdrop with signage you can display afterward, this is the design element for you!

17. Tie tablecloths with white nautical rope

Practically speaking, you’ll want to tie something around the linens you put on high tables, otherwise the wind might ruffle them once the yacht gets going. And if you have to use something, why not white nautical rope? This will look great in photos and add interesting texture to any tablescape.

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18. Make hanging rose balls

Another great use for nautical rope, hanging rose balls are easy to make ahead of time with faux flowers, a Styrofoam ball, and some craft glue. Hang them in any area of the ship that needs some visual filler.

19. DIY these gold compass place cards

This clever nautical object will be a crowd-pleaser at your wedding. Use them for table markers or add them to your wedding favor bags.

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20. Combine white orchids with striped tablecloths

This look is striking, bold, and minimalist—perfect for bringing on to a yacht while remaining on theme!

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21. Have an anchor cake

Seriously, it’s impressive we had the restraint to wait until the end of this post to show off another anchor yacht wedding idea. An anchor-themed wedding cake really ties into the nautical vibe, and it’s easy to DIY if you’re on a budget! You can also use it as a groom’s cake if you want something more traditional for the day itself.

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22. Use tiny boats as table fillers

Add some mini wooden boats to a table display alongside large glass candles hurricanes for a dreamy look. You can even use these for your table numbers. Tuck them between vases, next to serving platters, or any other blank space in need of some whimsy.

23. Add frosted scales to your wedding cake

Bring in even more nature-inspired ideas with this petal-shaped fondant frosting that looks like fish scales. Add this texture to the entire wedding cake or only one tier. The world is your oyster!

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Frequently asked questions about yacht weddings

Are boat weddings cheaper?

Boat weddings are generally cheaper because they’re all inclusive. Many yacht wedding packages offer catering, entertainment, and sometimes day-of wedding coordination.

How much does it cost to rent a yacht for a wedding?

The cost to rent a yacht for a wedding varies greatly depending on location, the size of your party, and your wedding date. Get an instant estimate or quote for a cruise ship or yacht wedding near you using Wedding Spot. Filter by location and check the “Cruise Ship/Yacht” option under Type.

Can you legally get married on a boat?

Yes, like weddings held at most other venues, you can legally get married on a boat as long as you get a marriage license first. Ask your yacht rental company and check local marriage license laws ahead of time. The exact location of where the ceremony will take place and the country the boat is registered in may also determine the legality of it.  

Share these yacht wedding decoration ideas with your fiancé!

Together, you and your future spouse can plan the yacht wedding of your dreams with these inspiring tips and suggestions.

Want to get married by the water, but not into the yacht idea? Check out these awesome pond wedding ideas!

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Wedding Spot

The Wedding Spot blog is designed to help couples navigate every step of the wedding planning journey. From before the engagement to after you say “I do,” our goal is to give you the tips, ideas, and inspiration to prepare for your big day — and all that comes with it.