Wedding planning tips: Advice and suggestions just for summer weddings
Suggestions and advice for planning a safe, unusual, and fun summer wedding. Includes ideas for selecting a location, menu, and favors.
A summer wedding is a romantic and beautiful occasion. It’s the most popular time of year to get married. Summer brides and grooms can look forward to enjoying their special day in unique ways that celebrate the season as well as their relationship. Some tips to make the most of your wedding day are included below.
Come up with a summer theme such as the beach, a sun-drenched Tuscan villa, an English garden, a Mexican Fiesta, a baseball game, or a back-yard barbeque. Coordinate your invitations, favors, foods, and centerpieces along your theme.
Remember the rehearsal dinner! Even if you have a more formal wedding planned, a casual picnic-style rehearsal dinner can let your guests relax and mingle in comfort. Consider using a caterer to prepare the food, so you can spend time with your guests.
Organize a golf outing for the day before or after your wedding. It allows your guests to get to know one another and enjoy a bright summer day.
Prepare for summer emergencies – heat stroke, sunstroke, and bug bites can ruin the even the most perfectly planned day. Keep a first-aid kit handy, and offer plenty of non-alcoholic refreshments to keep guests and the bridal party well hydrated.
Think about starting your ceremony at unusual times. In the summer, you can take advantage of longer daylight hours to have a breathtaking sunset ceremony. Or, try a mid-morning ceremony, complete with tea cakes and finger sandwiches.
Some summer location ideas include using a local botanical garden, a baseball stadium, a public park, dock, or shore; a romantic train ride or boat trip, or a friend or family member’s beautiful yard. Consider your locale carefully – remember in summer, fierce rain storms, as well as scorching temperatures can sneak up on you! Rent a gazebo, tent, or shelter along with your location.
Take advantage of the bounty of fresh produce available in summer. Consider hors’doeuvres of fresh fruit kabobs, locally grown grilled vegetables, and grilled chicken or shrimp. Your guests will appreciate the fresh taste, as well as the lighter summer fare.
Decide on a special cocktail for your wedding reception, and ask your bartenders to create it in advance. Think about sangria punch, Champagne coolers, or mojitos. You can even invent a new drink just for your special day! Make sure you have plenty of fun summer garnishes, like cocktail umbrellas and fresh fruit slices, to compliment your drinks.
Use in-season flowers to add to the romance of your day. Ask your florist which flowers are available locally and seasonally – this will help you save money, as well as provide you with the freshest blooms. Think about using cut flowers from a family member’s gardens, if possible, for your bouquets, centerpieces, and decorations. Even if there is not enough to completely decorate your wedding ceremony or reception site, you can work these flowers into your decorating scheme. Some long lasting and bright blooms available readily in summer include hydrangea flowers, zinnias, roses, and chrysanthemums.
Don’t limit your centerpieces to flowers! Incorporate fresh herbs, potted plants, sea shells, or fresh fruit into your designs. Also include white votive candles, white electric lights, or small citronella candles. Remember, when using citronella candles in a centerpiece, you do not want the smell to overwhelm the food your guests are enjoying.
Use fireworks to light up the night! Arrange for fireworks to go off during a sunset wedding, or use sparklers when introducing the bridal party. Make sure to use common sense fire safety, and check with local officials concerning the use of fireworks at your venue site.
Some unusual and low-cost summer wedding favor ideas include:
- Small plants in decorated clay pots, painted with the names and date of the happy couple.
- Toy shovel and pails (or other sand toys) with the couple’s name written in paint marker on the outside of the pail.
- Packets of seeds or tree saplings, often available in bulk from local garden centers or from the National Arbor Day foundation.
- Candles made inside of sea shells.
- Baseballs imprinted with your names and date, along with “baseball cards” with your
- ”stats” like first date, favorite activities, future goals, and your new address and phone number.
- Personalized glasses, such as margarita glasses for a fiesta theme, tea cups for an English garden theme, or printed plastic cups for a backyard barbeque theme. Check with local screen printers or advertising specialty companies to find these items.
- Baseball caps or train engineer caps embroidered with your date.
- Key floats, small can cozies, or lunch-bag sized coolers imprinted with your name and date. Again, advertising specialty companies may offer the best deals on these items, particularly if purchased in bulk.
- Imprinted golf balls and tees.
- Small citronella candles.
Make sure your clothing is appropriate for the weather. If possible, forget the pantyhose and slip into sandals, let the groom and groomsmen go without vests or jackets, and avoid fussy styles for everybody.
Above all, relax and enjoy your day in the sun!