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Summer Wedding Ideas

Ideas for Throwing a Fabulous and Fresh Summer Wedding

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Newlywed couple hugging on beach
Trinette Reed / Blend Images / Getty Images
May through August is the number one most popular time of year to get married, and for good reason too. Summer weddings are full of sunshine and warmth, and allow you to get married outside in good weather. Take full advantage of the season and all it has to offer you when planning your summer wedding with these tips and ideas.

The Setting for Your Summer Wedding

Summer weddings are ripe for an outdoor setting such as a beach, a garden, or a beautiful yard. Take advantage of the long days with an afternoon wedding, or highlight the glorious sunsets by saying your vows as the sun goes down behind you. Use fresh fruits and vegetables to decorate -- perhaps including clementines and cumquats in your flower arrangements, or simply filling a large vase with bright yellow lemons. Bring light to an evening wedding with torches and strings of lanterns in the trees. An extra-summery idea is to use gingham tablecloths with a few sunflowers in metal watering cans as centerpieces.

Summer Wedding Dresses and Attire for the Bridal Party

The bride who marries in the warmth of May, June, July or August is a lucky one; over 75% of dresses that you'll find are sleeveless and/or strapless, making them perfect for the season. Look for light fabrics such as organdy, linen, chiffon, crepe, georgette, and other light weight silk, so as to not add too much bulk.

At a beach wedding, look for an easy and elegant slip dress such as Carolyn Bissette wore when she married John F. Kennedy Jr. in Hyannisport. The bridal party can all go barefoot, and the men can wear dress shirts with slacks, or linen suits. For a garden wedding, ; consider big straw hats, either for just you or for all the bridesmaids. You might choose brightly colored dresses or short floral cocktail dresses for the bridesmaids to really evoke the season. The men in the bridal party can go for the classic navy blazer with khaki slacks, or beautiful suits. For a more formal affair, there's no reason not to choose morning suits or tuxedos (depending on whether it's an evening or daytime wedding) but give a nod to the season by replacing the black tuxedo jacket with a natty white dinner jacket.

Of course, for all the women in the bridal party (and some of the men!), you must think about what heat, humidity and moisture will do to your hair. Most importantly, don’t try to fight your hair in the summer: straight hair will get straighter and limper, and wavy hair will get wavier and frizzier. Updos by a professional who will design a long-lasting style are one of your best bets. A crown of flowers, or a single large flower tucked into your hair will look summery and beautiful.

Food for Your Summer Wedding

Celebrate the bounty of the season by filling your menu with fresh fruits such as watermelon, and berries, and fresh vegetables such as corn. Between courses, or as an additional dessert, offer refreshing granitas and sorbets. An elegant summer wedding menu could include a bevy of fresh seafood, including lobster and oysters. For a more casual affair, consider a backyard barbecue, or traditional picnic food including potato salad.

Wedding Favors

Send your guests home with a taste of the season: in August, a fresh pear, or earlier in the summer, a ripe peach. For a beach wedding, you might consider giving out perfect sand dollars, seashells, or beach-themed candles. Summer weddings are is also perfect for seeds or small pots of flowers as favors. If it will be warm or extra sunny, give out beautiful wooden fans or paper parasols to use during the ceremony and then take home.

Summer Wedding Flowers

You can't go wrong with an abundance of flowers at a summer wedding. There are so many varieties in season, you may have a tough time narrowing your choices down! Fill the scene with bright and cheerful flowers such as roses, sunflowers, red and yellow calla lilies, dahlias, gerber daisies, cosmos, mums, and zinnias. Bright purple dendrobium orchids are much less expensive during the summer months, so you can feel like a queen without the budget of one.

An alternative idea is an airy summer look with mostly white and light colored flowers such as roses, stephanotis, white phlox, elegant white calla lilies, huge and fragrant casa blanca lilies, hydrangea, snowball mums, and daisies (also known as Shasta daisies).

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