Weddings

21 Ideas You’ll Definitely Want to Steal for Your Eastern Shore Wedding

1. Put a crab mallet and some Utz chips in your welcome basket.

Photograph by Abby Jiu Photography.

Two necessities for proper Eastern Shore living.

2. Plan your ceremony right on the water.

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Photograph by Laura’s Focus Photography.

No ceremony decor needed.

3. Or rent Gibson Island for the wedding weekend.

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Photograph by Meredith Hanafi Photography.

Follow the lead of these gentlemen, who rented part of Gibson Island for their outdoor wedding celebrations.

4. Hire a roaming raw bar for cocktail hour.

Christine & Dan - May 2nd, 2015
Photograph by Jodi Miller Photography.

Wow your guests with Chesapeake Bay oysters that will follow them through the party.

5. And serving crab cake appetizers is an obvious must.

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Photography by Becca B Photography.

But you already knew that, didn’t you?

6. Include some seafood instructions for any landlubber guests.

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Photograph by Kate Headley.

7. Use a rowboat as your beer cooler.

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Photography by Becca B Photography.

Because a boat is way cuter than a bar.

8. Include a preppy, navy blue stripe in the decor wherever possible.

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Photography by Becca B Photography.

Because navy blue and nautical themes go together like lobsters and butter.

9. And include a crab motif as well.

Photograph by Jim Kennedy Photographers.
Photograph by Jim Kennedy Photographers.

Print tiny crabs on cocktail napkins, on escort cards and invitations, or on your cake. The options are endless.

10. Incorporate a compass into your wedding crest.

Wedding of Anna Leist and Kevin Weigand at the St. Michaels Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. Saturday, September 6, 2014. (©2014 Michael Connor / Connor Studios)
Photograph by Connor Studios.

Custom wedding crests are an awesome way to celebrate a couple’s unique traits. Give it an Eastern Shore flair by including a compass, like Anna and Kevin did at their Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum wedding.

11. Hang life preservers on the back of the bride and groom’s chairs.

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Photograph by Carly Fuller Photography.

A cute and easy decor addition.

12. Use empty oyster shells to serve seasonings.

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Photograph by Maria Vicencio Photography.

An elegant addition to your tablescape.

13. Let nautical symbols act as table numbers.

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Photograph by Jim Kennedy Photographers.

These wood carved versions were hand-carved by the groom at this Eastern Shore wedding.

14. And replace centerpieces with lighthouse-inspired lanterns.

Wedding of Anna Leist and Kevin Weigand at the St. Michaels Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. Saturday, September 6, 2014. (©2014 Michael Connor / Connor Studios)
Photograph by Connor Studios.

Swap out giant floral arrangements with something more seaside-inspired.

15. Pose for portraits on a dock.

Wedding of Anna Leist and Kevin Weigand at the St. Michaels Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. Saturday, September 6, 2014. (©2014 Michael Connor / Connor Studios)
Photograph by Connor Studios.

Bonus points if you get a sailboat in the background.

16. Open your tent to reveal the water-front views.

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Photograph by Maria Vicencio Photography.

Tents are perfect for outdoor receptions, but you definitely won’t want yours to block the view.

17. Have the groomsmen ditch the black suits.

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Photograph by Carly Fuller Photography.

Dress the gentlemen in your wedding party in lighter fabrics–such as tan or seersucker suits–for a look that’s a little less heavy for the shore.

18. Take your wedding party on a boat cruise.

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Photograph by Laura’s Focus Photography.

A perfect add-on to the wedding weekend, renting a boat on the Chesapeake Bay is a group activity that’ll get everyone ready to celebrate your Eastern Shore love story in style.

18. Order a nautical-inspired cake.

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Photograph by Carly Fuller Photography.

This stunning confection was crafted by Fancy Cakes by Leslie.

20. Or keep it simple with starfish cake toppers.

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Photograph by Abby Jiu Photography.

Simple and sweet is sometimes best.

21. Pass out pretty jars of crab seasoning for favors.

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Photography by Sweat Tea Photography.

Buy the seasoning in bulk, then DIY the packaging to make for an inexpensive favor.

Related: 25 Ideas to Make Your University of Maryland Wedding Amazing

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Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.