Nautical Wedding Ideas, Photos and Details

by Alli

Remember when my husband and I hosted our youngest daughter’s wedding on May 14? The wedding photos are finally here. Of course, I have to give you all the deets about Caitlin’s nautical wedding. If I shared all of her nautical wedding photos, this would be the longest post in history and I can’t do that to you. So, I’ll just share a few.

Planning a wedding? I've got details, photos and more. I've included links to the best vendors including floral, catering, bakery and more. Click the photo to learn more or pin and save for later.

Nautical Wedding Venue

Caitlin and David were married in Charleston aboard The Carolina Girl Yacht. The yacht is privately owned and you can book it for weddings and corporate events. The yacht accommodates 150 people.

The Carolina Girl Yacht - Nautical Wedding

When Caitlin decided that she wanted to get married in Charleston, we visited all the wedding venues and ultimately decided on The Carolina Girl because it’s so different from everything else. Nautical and different topped the list of her wedding wants.

The Carolina Girl Yacht has three floors. The dining area is on the middle floor and the ceremony is held on the top floor. The bridal party took over the bottom floor to get dressed and have our hair and makeup done.

Captain Bob - nautical wedding

The Carolina Girl drops anchor during the ceremony and cruises around the harbor of Charleston for dinner and dancing. A DJ/DJ Booth and some impressive sound equipment are included. As you can imagine, the scenery is spectacular. Once it gets dark, the lights of Charleston are stunning.

Helpful Hint: Captain Bob is so much fun to work with and he’ll let the kids take the helm for a little while.

The Caterer

Once The Carolina Girl was booked,  we set out to find the best catering company in Charleston.

nautical wedding

Because I’m a foodie, the wedding dinner has to taste amazing. Choosing the menu is always fun too.

Nautical Wedding Food

When we arrived for our tasting at Hamby Catering and Events, we were treated like royalty. The tasting room is rustic, with a for-real brick wall. The table setting is dreamy and menu cards top each china place setting.

The food courses just keep on coming. There was way more than we could eat. Oh, and a complimentary iced bucket of champagne is waiting on a sideboard.

Hamby Food for Wedding

Once we tasted the food, we canceled our other tasting visits. It’s that good. From the sweet potato biscuits to the shrimp and grits with tasso gravy, everything was superb. If you get hitched in the Charleston, SC area, go with Hamby!

Nautical Wedding - Food

Appetizers and drinks were served as our guests boarded the yacht for my daughter’s nautical wedding. It took about 15 minutes for the yacht to reach the point where the anchor was dropped for the ceremony.

Nautical Wedding

The Floral Designer

The venue is about 150 miles from where we live, so many weekends were spent in Charleston. I’m not complaining at all. Most of our trips turned into mother/daughter weekends and we made memories we’ll cherish forever.

Bridal Bouquet for Nautical Wedding

Believe it or not, all correspondence with the florist was done online. We met in person the day of the wedding while the floral team was decorating.

Centerpiece - Nautical Wedding Ideas

We are 100% satisfied and wholeheartedly recommend Lisa Thomas of Ooh! Events.

Nautical Wedding Ideas - Centerpiece

The Wedding Planner

For an additional fee, you can book a wedding planner when you book The Carolina Girl Yacht.  Ashley Davis is the best wedding planner ever. She would not let me lift a finger to do anything. When she was informed that my mom had suddenly passed exactly a week before the wedding, she made sure I didn’t have any added pressures. By the end of the night, I wanted to adopt her. She was well worth the price.

I admit that it’s hard to pass the reins when I’ve been planning parties and directing weddings for a long time. This time, it was so worth it to pass it on to someone else.

The Wedding Cake

Ashley Bakery in Charleston is simply amazing. The gold foil on the middle layer of the wedding cake is gorgeous.

Wedding Cake - Nautical Wedding

The only day my daughter, Caitlin, could do a tasting was on a Saturday. Ashley Bakery closes at lunch on Saturdays, so they boxed up the 12 cake flavors and had the box waiting for us around 11ish.

Starbucks was the perfect place for a cake tasting and a cup of coffee. Everyone in Starbucks was cheering us on.

The cake tasting includes a checklist with each cake named and numbered. It’s so hard picking 3 flavors. Chocolate Kahlua with White Chocolate Mousse, Carrot Cake, and Vanilla with Strawberries and Cream made the cut.

The Photographer and Videographer

Caitlin is all about photography, so skimping on photography and videography is never an option. All photos included in this post are by the very talented Ashley Bosnick Photography of Willmington, NC.

This is one of my fave photos. She’s not a runaway bride. She’s walking back down to the yacht after a photo session under the moss-covered trees.

Nautical Wedding - Walking down the pier

The videographer, Adam Chase –  founder of MPA Weddings, brought along his drone and captured the beauty of Charleston and the beautiful wedding. The video is incredible!

The Bride/Wedding Gown

nautical wedding

The moment Caitlin slipped into her Vera Wang wedding gown, she knew it was the one.

The bride - nautical wedding

She went ahead and tried on several more gowns, but we all knew this one was it. With tears running down my face, I watched as she said yes to the dress.

nautical wedding

Caitlin’s shoes were hurting her feet from walking so much during the photo session before the wedding. Don’t tell anyone, but I told her to ditch the shoes and she walked barefoot down the aisle. No one even knew – until now.

The shoes - Nautical Wedding Ideas

It was too late to change the programs/flowers after my mom passed away, so my dad escorted me to my seat and was seated next to me. Caitlin carried my mom’s wrist corsage with her bridal bouquet down the aisle and gave it to my father. We were all in tears at that point.

Bride and Groom Kissing - Nautical Wedding

My husband, a pastor, officiated the ceremony. My son-in-law, Josh (the grandsons’ dad) assisted as my husband walked our daughter down the aisle.

Nautical Wedding

I’m the most unphotogenic person in the world, but I’ll take one for the team. 🙂 This pic below is special because the photographer caught my BFF/cousin and me talking to my daughter and snapped the photo.

Cait, Linda, Alli - Nautical Wediding

The Groom

I can’t leave out my new son-in-law! David was handsome in a slim-fit gray suit, blush bow tie, and blush vest.

The Groom - Nautical Wedding

He and his mom surprised all the guests (even me) when the mother-son dance started out with Forever Young and turned into whipping, nay naying, and a little bit of everything else. The choreography was awesome and they nailed it.

Nautical Wedding - Groom/Mom Dance

The Boys

Navy and blush are the colors that Caitlin chose for her wedding. The grandsons (belong to another one of my daughters) wore blush nautical shorts, white linen shirts, and navy bow ties with white anchors from Janie and Jack. Even their navy belts had white anchors.

nautical wedding

The oldest two served as Jr. Groomsmen and the youngest two served as bubble boys. Yep, since the wedding was outside, they blew bubbles as they walked down the aisle.

Nautical Wedding Ideas

Happily Ever After . . .

nautical wedding ideas

A vintage Rolls Royce was waiting (well, actually the driver was late) at the end of the pier to whisk them off for a romantic night at The Vendue Boutique Hotel in downtown Charleston.

nautical wedding

The next morning, they boarded a plane to The Cap Juluca Resort in Anguilla.

Rolls - Nautical Wedding

Nautical Wedding Highlight

As the bride and groom were about to say their vows, a speedboat went flying by and someone shouted, “Don’t do it!”

If you’re about to plan a wedding, please follow your heart and plan the wedding of YOUR dreams. It doesn’t matter if it’s large, small, or if you elope.

When my oldest daughter was married at a southern plantation, she had about 170 guests in attendance. My middle daughter had a classic cinderella wedding with a 4-piece stringed quartet and 250+ in attendance. Caitlin, the youngest, wanted a smaller, less formal wedding, so we had about 90 in attendance. Always go with your heart when planning your wedding.

We’re so thankful to everyone who traveled near and far to be at Caitlin’s wedding. Hanging out with everyone at the host hotel was so much fun.

PS – When our guests checked into the hotel, I had welcome bags waiting for them. In it was a book detailing everything to do in Charleston. It also included snacks, bottled water, and a candle made in Charleston.

PSS – Pralines from River City Sweets – a southern classic – served as favors for the wedding.

Pralines - Nautical Wedding

Are you planning a wedding in Charleston, SC? I've got links to the best caterer, floral designer, photographer and more. Click the pic to read more or save the pin for later.

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