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Planning seaside nuptials? The key to pulling off a chic, oceanfront fête is restraint. Of course, you’ll want to draw inspiration from the sand and surf, but there’s no need to invite every coastal element into your big day decor—and that includes your cake.

When it comes to your wedding dessert, consider incorporating one or two under-the-sea details. Perhaps some pops of blue or shell embellishments? That way, you end up with a confection that still pays homage to your wedding locale but in a modern, understated way.

Here are eight cakes that pull off contemporary sophistication without sacrificing an ounce of beachy charm.

Whimsical Waves

Inspired by crashing waves, this dreamy dessert by Vanilla Bake Shop is enhanced with slate and sapphire tones, and accented with rock candy to mirror the surf’s salty texture.

Photography: Blue Rose Pictures Planning & Design: Brilliant Wedding Co.
Cake: Vanilla Bake Shop

Shell Toppers

Planning a white wedding? You can have your classic wedding cake—with a couple of shell and rose accents—and eat it too.

Photography: Tamara Gruner Photography Cake: Bombon Bakery

Ocean Spray

This painterly confection from MJB Cakes looks like it was sprayed by the sea itself. Edible sugar shells and seaglass are a sublime finishing touch.

Photography: Lavender and Twine Planning & design: Shindig Fancy Cake: MJB Cakes

Ombre Tower

From the bridesmaid’s sea foam-colored dresses to the towering ombre treat from Savannah Custom Cakes and shell-adorned stand, this Fripp Island fête was flooded with nautical details.

Photography: Jade + Matthew Take Pictures Cake: Savannah Custom Cakes 

Two-Tiered Trendsetter

We dare anyone not to fall in love with this dreamy dessert. LoveCakes married two major cake trends—geode and marble—without going overboard on either.

Photography: Jillian Rose Photography Planning & Design: EDE by Jacqueline Cake: LoveCakes

Timeless Treasure

Cassidy Budge of Flour and Flourish used a dry-brush technique to add color—antique gold and Aegean blue—and texture to the respective tiers, giving this cake an almost Mediterranean feel.

Photography: Alixann Loosle Venue: The White Shanty Cake: Flour and Flourish

Moody Blue & Silver

Modern, minimalism done right. Sweeping strokes of moody blue create a watercolor effect, while edible silver foil (around the base) adds a touch of glamour.

Photography: Maria Lamb Cake: Sainte G. Cake Company

Concentrated Color

To give this cake a wow factor, Savannah Custom Cakes concentrated the color in the center tier. And instead of a cake topper? A trio of cream roses and greenery.

Photography: Perry Vaile Adams Planning & Design: Ashley Rhodes Events Design Cake: Savannah Custom Cakes 

See more creative cake ideas:

Non-Traditional Wedding Cake Ideas To Help You Stand Out 13 Show-Stopping Wedding Cake Alternatives Cakes Made of Things Other Than Cake