Between the white, sandy beaches, blue-hued waters, and beautiful color palette options, beach weddings can easily be some of the dreamiest celebrations for nuptials. Beach wedding details don’t always need to include seashells and beach chairs, though. Rather than going over the top with classic nautical elements, there’s beauty in focusing your decor on the location, colors, and level of formality you’re planning for your wedding. That same concept can certainly apply when deciding on your beach wedding cake.
“Wedding cakes have changed so much that while they are a part of the event, they can also take inspiration from the overall design without being kitschy,” says Janderyn Makris, owner of Earth and Sugar. “The word 'coastal' can take on many life forms when it comes to design, but I always encourage couples to take their style with a more careful approach so the overall design is more curated than literal.”
Meet the Expert
Janderyn Makris is the owner and cake artist behind Earth and Sugar, a custom cake studio based in West Palm Beach, Florida.
According to Makris, many couples love the idea of sticking with aqua tones and cream colors. In addition, Makris loves to work with muted blues along with grays and soft neutrals to evoke a more modern feeling. The addition of simple greenery, palm leaves, or lovely florals can also add a beautiful touch to your coastal dessert.
In choosing a cake design for your beach wedding, think about your event's tone and aesthetic. Incorporate bright hues and cute elements for a casual beach party; for a more formal style, opt for subtler, natural elements like oyster shells, sand dollars, and artistic crashing waves.
Ready to get your beach wedding planning started? Read on for 28 cakes to inspire your seaside design.
Embrace the Theme
Accomplish a “clean and simple” look by pairing a white wedding cake with tropical leaves and a mini pineapple. Even better: Accent it with a tropical fruit filling, such as passionfruit, pineapple, or coconut, as this couple did at their wedding in Costa Rica.
Mimic Beach Waves
This is the most incredible representation of ocean waves—and guess what? It's made completely out of sugar. If you're throwing a more contemporary celebration, opting for a sculpture-like, modern cake design inspired by natural elements will complement your overall style in a totally delicious way.
Add Sea-Inspired Surprises
Yes, incorporating seashells and starfish into a cake can be absolutely beautiful. You just have to find the right color palette! Here, whites and neutrals present a stunning design that doesn't make too huge of a splash.
Look to Leaves
Why not add a bit of contrast to your color palette? This seaside confection makes a subtle statement without incorporating too many colors. The neutral leaf detailing paired with a pop of color from a small cascading floral display makes for a beautiful balance.
Incorporate Blue Hues
Doesn’t this cake design just make you want to dance among the waves? The wispy design of this single-tiered cake is awe-inspiring. We love the palette of blue hues against a clean, white cake canvas.
Channel the Tropics
Talk about a fun way to celebrate warm weather and sunny skies! This semi-naked chocolate cake incorporates fresh blackberries for a stunning look while a few cute flamingos take it to the beach in the most beautiful way.
This cake definitely has an island feel, with buttercream ruffles to set the tone. Topped with cascading florals from a peace lily, this design is a simple way to celebrate the tropics.
Embrace All the Colors
Welcome to the tropics! This cake showcases fun pops of color without going too overboard. The hand-painted palm leaf detailing is simply stunning, especially when paired with a cascade of punchy florals.
Set the Base
Sometimes, simple and chic goes such a long way. On this cake, we love how the bright buttercream tiers make a statement without adding color. The two modest sugar flowers are a perfect option for a beach wedding, but this design could easily be adapted to fit any style.
Create Cascading Blooms
Just because it’s a beach wedding doesn’t mean florals can’t be the star of the show. This multi-tiered confection does just that, utilizing neutral tones in such a gorgeous way for an unexpected beach theme.
Add Simple Seashells
What a charming way to incorporate seashells from the seashore! The texture of this buttercream cake makes an ideal canvas for a simple display of blue-hued mussel shells.
For a nod to the beach that's not tacky, utilize natural elements in your cake design. An all-white cake topped with cleaned seashells, sand dollars, or even sea glass can make a beautiful statement.
Look to Your Surroundings
For a delicate display of modern simplicity, consider a hexagonal cake with intricate detailing. This cake is stunning—we especially love how the hand-painted blue hues match sprawling florals, which are paired with elegant greenery.
Decorate With Succulents
This is a beach wedding color palette we don’t see very often, and we’re definitely here for it. With the tiniest shells, starfish, and succulents, the detailing on this cake is absolutely incredible.
The beach is all about sand, so why not replicate that in your design? This cake is the perfect example of a neutral color palette that is anything but boring. Plus, the texture is absolutely dreamy.
Channel Seaside Elegance
A metallic touch can elevate any cake design. Here, a touch of gold-painted coral does just that, adding a dainty touch of the sea to the watercolor-washed bottom tier.
Look to the Ocean
Looking for a beautiful way to bring traditional beach details into a wedding cake without making it look kitschy? Check out this cake, which features cascading wave details with the tiniest bit of sand and metallic detailing.
Consider a Semi-Naked Style
There’s nothing more classic than a semi-naked cake decked out in florals. Thanks to its neutral base and flowers, this cake is definitely ready for a beach party.
Add Blue Accents
Even the smallest seaside details can pull off a beachy look. The simplicity of this white-frosted cake with light turquoise seashells nails that vibe.
Want to make a statement with palm leaves? Look to this three-tiered cake, which features pearled details alongside an asymmetrical display and bold backdrop, for inspiration.
Add a Playful Topper
Don't forget the power of a special cake topper! And what's more perfect for a beach wedding than a pair of flamingos?! Consider a metallic hue if pink isn't in your color palette.
Mix In a Metallic Tier
Add a glam note to a tropical wedding by pairing palm leaves with a metallic touch. Shown here, the result is a taste of the tropics but in the most modern way.
Make a Statement
This sophisticated look shows how one tall statement leaf can go such a long way. Set against an incredibly smooth three-tiered cake, it's the perfect example of less is more.
Add Tropical Blooms
Pink peace lily flowers are also known as flamingo flowers. What could be a more perfect flower to incorporate into a tropical cake than that?
Embrace a Simple Design
For a simple and classic look, stick with the basics for your beach wedding cake. This four-tiered white cake's understated palm leaf icing design was the perfect tropical addition that complemented the couple's color palette perfectly.
Mix Gold and Greenery
For this couple's boho beach wedding in Cabo, the brides opted for a semi-naked cake with adornments of gold flecks and simple greenery. The subtle metallic touch was the perfect contrast with the otherwise organic design.
Stick With Neutrals
To mimic the pure, white sands of Laguna Beach at their seaside nuptials, this couple opted for a neutral cake with tons of texture. The wave-like design of each tier is reminiscent of the waves of the ocean, while the monochromatic floral adornments add a touch of whimsy.