Sail Away With Me ~ A Beach Blue, Harbour-side, Nautical Style Wedding…

I've a day packed full for you on Love My Dress today.  We started out with this thorny discussion topic  this morning, a matter considered so eloquently by Franky, and right now is the first of 2 weddings I'm featuring today – both very different in style, both equally as inspirational – lots of yummy ideas to put a twist of your own version on for your wedding day.

Michelle and Nick tie the knot on 22nd June at Bembridge Sailing Club on the Isle of Wight and I just love the laid back and relaxed nautical, harbour-side styling…

"After searching various venues we were thinking about having our wedding abroad but a friend of ours told us about Bembridge Sailing Club. Nick said that when he saw it he had the same feeling as he had when he found my engagement ring, he just knew it was the one…" 

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photograpy Copyright (c) 2012, Jason Mark Harris

Nautical Style Wedding

Nautical, beach them wedding table plan

"A friend of mine, Sue Ward is a dress maker – a hobby she enjoys on the side, and I knew from the start that I wanted her to make the bridesmaids dresses. I asked the girls {I had four bridesmaids} to gather inspiration to share with Sue and Sue went on to create all the dresses. They all looked stunning…"  

electric blue bridesmaids dresses

"Bembridge Sailing Club is a fantastic venue and we had amazing views of the harbour as a backdrop so we knew that we didn’t need much to decorate it.

Nick’s always been creative (which helps as a Graphic Designer) so he was the main inspiration for our entire creative decor. We wanted to incorporate a lot of driftwood into the day so Nick sourced some wood and along with his Granddad Bryan Cole, they made chalkboard signs which he then used as a table plan and a ‘all you need is love’ sign which we placed between 2 cream deckchairs {for when our guests needed a rest!}…"

Driftwood wedding decor 

"I’ve always thought that cupcakes are a really great alternative to the traditional cake so Nick and I asked our friend Kate Morling to bake 90 cupcakes for the day. 

 To accompany our beach theme, we chose to have lemon cupcakes with vanilla butter cream icing shaped like a Mr Whippy ice cream with a flake! They were delicious!"

beach wedding cupcakes

Nautical Style Wedding

"Like my dress, I wanted a simple design for my wedding flowers. My friend Emma chose Flowers By Nic for her wedding last year and they were absolutely stunning.

I knew that I didn’t want a lot of flowers as I’m more of a candle and fairy light girl so I chose a white hydrangea and freesia bouquet for myself and 4 white hydrangea bouquets for the girls. I then had 4 white freesia buttonholes for Nick, his best men and my dad.."

Nautical Style Wedding 

"Our photographer was Jason Mark Harris, and we honestly couldn’t have been in better hands. Looking at our wedding photos, we were amazed at some of the shots he got {he didn’t even realise he was there doing it!}.

We managed to get to know Jason throughout the process and with Nick being a Graphic Designer, they talk for hours about design. He’s an unbelievably talented photographer and I’m always in awe of the photos that he produces…" 

Nautical Style Wedding

"We thought it would be a great idea to have ‘messages in a bottle’ for every guest so I found some glass bottles from Ebay and then we spent many a night writing each guest an individual letter to thank them for being there and letting them know how much they meant to us. We then printed them off on parchment paper with our wedding logo {Nick’s design} and placed them in a bottle with some sand at the bottom.

The favours doubled up as name tags as we bought some luggage tags from a local stationery supplier and asked Nicks mum Jan {as she can do calligraphy} to write everyone’s name on to a tag which were then tied to the bottle neck…"


"Nick proposed to me on a beach so we wanted to continue the beach theme into our wedding day.  The colours – electric blue and ivory were chosen by Nick as he’s a huge Everton fan (!) By letting him decide the colour scheme meant that I didn’t have to worry about getting married at Goodison Park!"

Nautical Style Wedding

Nautical Style Wedding

"My dress was a Venus Informal dress which I’ve been told is no longer available. I bought it from Gems Bridalwear in Newport Isle of Wight.

I didn’t think that I would find my wedding dress so early (bought it in February 2011) but I saw that Gems were having a sale so I dragged my Chief Bridesmaid and some family along to take a look. I couldn’t find anything in the sale that I liked so I thought I’d take the opportunity to try on some different styles. I had always pictured myself in a simple, strapless, classic dress and my wedding dress was the second dress that I tried on.

It's weird because everyone told me that I would just know and I never believed them but as soon as I put the dress on, it was everything that I imagined me wearing. I did try on a couple of styles as my friends advised me that I should but none were as great as my dress so I bought it there and then..."

Nautical Style Wedding

"I don’t like a lot of fuss with my hair so I chose to wear it down and swept to the side. I just wanted a simple hair slide for the extra bit of detail at the back and I actually found it from a Japanese store on Ebay!

My mum passed away when I was young and my sister in law Lou bought me a heart locket for Christmas a few years ago with a picture of my mum in it. I knew straight away that I would be wearing it on my wedding day so that she was with me. Jan, my mother in law, lent me a chain to put the locket on as my something borrowed.

I wore a Tiffany heart bracelet that Nick bought me for my 30th birthday. He actually bought me the matching necklace as a wedding present.  The earrings I found in a small vintage jewellery shop when I went shopping one day. Jan my mother in law bought them as a present to me and she kept them until the day.  And finally, my own something blue was a garter from Agent Provocateur – a gift from my good friend Emma, who got married in 2011. Originally I was going to have her garter as my something borrowed but she wanted to buy me my own so that I could keep it and perhaps pass it down to my daughter if we ever have one…"


Nautical Style Wedding

"The bridesmaids shoes were a steal as they were on sale from Debenhams. They were silver kitten shoes which went perfectly with the dresses and I wish I bought myself a pair!"

Nautical Style Wedding

"I always thought that I would know when Nick would propose but it ended up taking me completely by surprise!  I had just started a new job and had to go away for a week’s course in Reading shortly after. It was Friday evening and I was exhausted as I didn’t have much sleep the night before worrying about the two and a half hour exam I had to endure the next day.

When I got home, Nick decided to celebrate me passing my course by going out to dinner so we drove to Shanklin (where we had our first date) to go to a little local pub. When we parked, Nick produced thre red roses {one for each year we had been together} and a picnic and said that we were going to have a picnic on the beach. I knew then that he was going to propose and was so excited!

He laid out a rug and some candles and we opened a bottle of champagne and had a gorgeous picnic together. When we had finished eating he pulled out a small present from his bag and gave it to me and said it was a present for doing so well on my course. I opened it up and it was a cuddly bulldog! {which is what we’ve always wanted and hope to get in the future}. I admit I was a bit shocked and disappointed but thought that he’d still have time to propose so remained hopeful…"

Nautical Style Wedding

"We then had some strawberries and cream and enjoyed the sunset sipping champagne when all of the sudden he said that we should go {because I was hogging all the champagne and he couldn’t have anymore because he was driving!}. At that point I had completely resigned myself to the fact that the proposal wasn’t going to happen so we started to pack up.

As we were doing so, this random elderly couple that were walking on the esplanade above us commented on how romantic our picnic was so I ended up chatting to them for a few minutes. Little did I know that Nick was actually sat behind me with the ring in his hand waiting to propose so I was shocked when I turned round! I can’t even remember saying yes, I was just crying and hugging him and spent the car journey home calling family and friends to tell them our news!

When we got home we walked into the kitchen which leads into our garden and all I could see were lights so I stepped outside and the entire garden was decorated with fairy lights, candle lights and flowers and Nick's mum, dad and sister and my dad and his wife were all waiting in the garden for us! It took me completely by surprise and they had organised it whilst we were out {…so thank God I said yes!!}

We spent the rest of the night celebrating into the early hours and I very quickly forgot how exhausted I was!"

Nautical Style Wedding

Nautical Style Wedding

Nautical Style Wedding

Nautical Style Wedding

Nautical Style Wedding

Nautical Style Wedding

Nautical Style Wedding

"I’m a massive fan of candlelight and I’ve seen in wedding magazines that other couples have used glass jars with different sizes of candles around their venue which I knew I wanted to do. We collected approx 80 jars and I spent a long time scrubbing the labels off them! We bought the candles from Ikea and Ebay so we had a variety and bought fairy lights to wrap round pillars and the staircase using ivory ribbon with it as well.

For the fireplace, we also bought some ivory and blue cotton fairy light balls from a shop in Brighton called Cable and Cotton, which looked really effective.

Nautical Style Wedding

"Bembridge Sailing Club work with the company All About Catering and David Rogers was brilliant in helping us choose our menu. To go alongside our beach theme we chose to have a fish and chip or chicken and chip meal accompanied by Eton Mess for dessert.

The chips were served in small aluminium buckets and Nick designed a newspaper article to line the inside which was a lot of fun writing. We even had bottles of Isle of Wight tomato ketchup!"


"In the evening we decided that we didn’t want a buffet so instead had bacon baps served and also a sweetie bar which went down a storm!!"

Nautical Style Wedding

Nautical Style Wedding

Nautical Style Wedding


Words of Wedded Wisdom…

"Don’t worry that you’re going to be nervous on the day. The main thing that I was worried about was that I was going to be incredibly nervous in the morning, getting to the venue and saying my vows but on the actual day, everyone kept saying that they couldn’t believe how calm I was!

Also, everyone says it but on the wedding day, take some time out with your new husband to have a catch up because you don’t see much of each other! We kept making sure that at different points in the day, we took a few minutes to step back and just watch and take it in. It’s an absolutely amazing day and one that you will truly cherish.

We decided straight away that we really wanted to make our wedding informal and personal as possible. Our main aim was that everyone could relax and have a brilliant day…"  

Nautical Style Wedding

Awww, congratulations Michelle and Nick, your day looks like it was absolutely perfect and the stylish theme offers so much inspiration to my readers – thank you!!

Love to hear from those of you planning something similar in terms of style 🙂 Leave a lovely comment or question below why don't you?

You can see more inspiration via these categories if you fancy a browse; blue, nautical, beach.

Much love alll,



Photographer – Jason Mark Harris
Venue – Bembridge Sailing Club on the Isle of Wight
Brides dress – Venus Informal Dress {no longer available} via Gems Bridalwear in Newport Isle of Wight
Brides Shoes – Paradox Pink Crush from Elegant Steps
Grooms Suit – Charcoal grey 3 piece suit from Michaels Menswear + a patterned navy/electric blue tie from Moss BrossMr Shoes
Bridesmaids – Made by a friend + Debenhams shoes
Florist – Flowers By Nic
Cakes – Made by a friend
Chalk Board Signs – made by the Groom & His Dad
Message in a Bottle Favours – Made by the bride and groom {bottles from Ebay}
Fairy Light Balls – Cable and Cotton
Catering – All About Catering


Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.