Why not get married by the sea?

The longer I live by the seaside, the more I love it. The more passionate I feel about nature, being home and belonging to a place. The English coast is both an inspirational and romantic place – and it’s so very close to my heart (I dip my toes in the sea nearly every day). So when Jack asked me if I’d like to share his guest blog post about getting married by the sea, I jumped at the chance! I hope you enjoy it. More seaside escapism on the way soon… x

seaside wedding photography

Wedding photography credit: Simon Biffen |

Why not get married by the sea?

The sea has always been an important part of Britain’s heritage and culture, inspiring countless artists, writers and musicians down the centuries. Long associated with pleasure, romance and mystery, the ocean makes a stunning backdrop for a wedding, whether it’s the white cliffs of Dover, the pretty harbour of Torquay, or the gaudy arcades at Blackpool.

A coastal location adds a special flavour to a traditional church wedding. A clifftop church, like Talland Parish Church in Cornwall, guarantees a beautiful and dramatic setting. The ultimate in romantic weddings, though, must surely be getting married on an island. Islay in Scotland has a choice of six churches, each beautiful and unique.

For those who are looking for an alternative to marriage in church, or for a wedding reception with a difference, there are seaside venues to suit all tastes. From country house hotels with sea views to an open air ceremony on the beach, Britain’s varied coastline offers endless opportunities for scenic weddings.

wedding by the sea Vickerstaff Photography

Seaside wedding photography. Photo credit Vickerstaff Photography |

All kinds of amazing buildings are available for ceremonies or receptions. Try a lighthouse, like Nash Point in South Glamorgan, Wales. Martello towers were erected during the Napoleonic Wars to defend coastal areas. Now the Martello Tower in Jaywick, near Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, can host your wedding reception. For a truly fabulous wedding, the glittering Brighton Pavilion offers wedding ceremonies in its Red Drawing Room, decorated by George IV. Portsmouth, with its rich naval and maritime history, offers a number of wedding venues, including the Victorian warship HMS Warrior and the 170 metre tall Spinnaker Tower with its views over the harbour.

There are wedding ceremony and reception facilities on many of Britain’s beaches, including Camber Sands in East Sussex and West Cliff in Bournemouth. One of the more interesting and spectacular venues is Tunnels Beaches in Ilfracombe, a series of man-made tunnels leading to a secluded beach where wedding parties may be crashed by an uninvited seal or two.

Country house hotels by the sea are both attractive and convenient, with wedding, reception and accommodation all under one roof. For a venue that’s both quirky and luxurious, try the Welsh village of Portmeirion.

A marine theme can be a lovely way to tie the ceremony and reception together. Choose blues and greens, the colours of the sea, for dresses and flowers, or take a more light-hearted approach with seashell decorations. For a touch of fun, give the guests sticks of rock with the couple’s names running through them.

Finally, a seaside location makes for wonderful photographs, whether it’s the groom and best man enjoying a paddle or the smallest bridesmaid staring fascinated into a rock pool. Capture these moments to help preserve the memories of this special day.

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Guest blogger Jack Oldham is a journalism graduate blogging on behalf of Puma Hotels Collection, who have a range of country house hotels throughout the UK.

Seaside wedding invitation ideas!

seaside wedding invitation by Bunny Delicious (1)No doubt you’re convinced a seaside wedding is the way forwards… or you’ve found this blog post while planning your own beach wedding. You will of course need wedding invitations, and these are some of my favourites from UK wedding invitation designer Bunny Delicious.

From adorable little beach huts, to flip flops, seashells and an “our wedding on the beach” invitation – these designs have all the charm of the English seaside – they’re unique, and quirky, and I love them!

seaside wedding invitation by Bunny Delicious (2)

seaside wedding invitation by Bunny Delicious (3)

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.



  • Personally I don’t think such a ‘sandy’ wedding location is the best. I find it tough for being dressed and walking with sands in your heels… One should also consider the elder generation that is attending. It is not only about the young couple + friends. And always trying to envision for yourself the question: ‘Would I be still proud of this event 30-40 years down the road?’…
    Considering this is a bond for once in a lifetime. Not that you get bored of selecting new locations for the 2nd or 3rd such event…
    Mariette’s Back to Basics

    • Claire
      8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Mariette – I know a beach wedding isn’t for everyone, but neither is a hotel, or a church… each to their own (and personally I’d love a beach wedding).
      I don’t see why you wouldn’t be proud of a seaside wedding in 30 or 40 years’ time though.

  • I love the seaside invitations!!! And I have to say, that the seaside wedding we shot earlier this year has been one of our fave locations!!! 🙂 T x

    • Claire
      8 years ago

      Thank you Tory, that’s more like it! xxx

  • George
    8 years ago

    Amazing wedding photo ! You are so lucky to live by the seaside

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Modern blue styling ideas with calligraphy for an alternative beach wedding (18)

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