A Style Guide: Beach Cocktail

Emulate the coastal ambience of the Greek Islands or St Tropez with our guide to styling the ideal beach cocktail party.

In the height of the balmy season, draw inspiration from the European coastlines by styling a luxe beachside wedding or event.

A barefoot celebration styled with white-on-white furniture, striped umbrellas and woven décor elements will provide you with an effortless appeal. Keep things comfortable and uncluttered; the salt in the air, the views that surround and the atmosphere it creates are the hero.

Follow the cues from mother nature and develop a theme consisting of organic fibres and neutral colours whilst serving a menu consisting of the freshest local produce.


(Image by Scorpios Mykonos)

Select casual and comfortable lounge furniture

Think white upholstered lounges, rattan day beds and sun-beds or deck chairs in an array of chic stripes. For your side/coffee tables look to Charpai or Manjhi bed designs for inspiration, these woven earthen day beds make ideal coffee tables for this style of setting.


Place close attention to your lighting

Being by the beach your location with most likely not come with ample sources of light, meaning you will need to provide your own. Ensure you engage with a reputable supplier to provide several well-lit areas, when darkness hits candles or lanterns are simply not enough. In saying that for decorative purposes an abundance of candlelit lanterns to frame the perimeter of your event is never a bad idea.


Prepare for the elements

In particular the heavy winds endured along the coastlines. Shy away from exposed candlelight (these will just blow out) and look to an encased option such as hurricane vases or tall votives. Also ensure any structures installed such as marquees, canopies, umbrellas etc. are securely weighted down and suitable for windy conditions.

Provide Sun Protection

Ensure you provide ample shade throughout your space with umbrellas, canopies and gazebos. More than just a shade provider, raffia, striped or tassel finished umbrellas can become a great feature of your wedding.


Cocktail Bar Styling

Make your bar a focal feature and style with an abundance of fresh fruit and floral. Have your catering company serve up an array of cocktails from the traditional to the unexpected, the liquor infused to the mocktail variety.


After Dark Comforts

Depending on your location and its climate you may want to provide blankets for the after dark ocean breeze. Woven baskets topped with simple white throws or turkish towels are a great choice.


Billowing Beach Flags

Take advantage of the breezy conditions and style your surrounds with billowing beach flags in hand dyed silks or ivory linen remnants. Simple yet effective, consider implementing these flags in multi-height clusters or to line the perimeter of your entrance or lounge area.

Floral Design

Styling by the coast you want to keep your flowers contemporary and modern, shying away from anything too pretty or romantic. Opt for flowers that emulate a sophisticated feel with varieties such as phalaenopsis orchids (or any other orchid variety), green or dried palm leaves, hydrangea, lotus pods, figs and tropical fruit accents etc.


Ocean Seafood Bar

Almost an expectation of entertaining by the beach is an Ocean Inspired Seafood Bar. Using metallic accents and shades of blues, layer your seafood on beds of ice complete with edible blooms.


Dress Code

When it comes to describing your dress code be specific that your event is on the sands to ensure your guests are well prepared to endure a night of barefoot dancing. Terms such as beachside chic or beach cocktail along with specifics around suitable footwear should be noted on your invitations.


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