5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Summer Wedding

A bride and groom kissing in a car at their summer wedding.

Every wedding season has its unique perks. Fall weddings boast a gorgeous color palette. Winter weddings have shorter days, meaning the photographer’s “golden hour” can happen during the ceremony. Spring weddings have a wealth of seasonal flowers to choose from. But summer…well, let’s just say there’s a reason this season is ubiquitous with weddings.

Summer weddings have the best of it all. The world is a beautiful rich green, flowers are in bloom, and the days are nice and long (your photographer will have tons of time to get that perfect shot). Even better, your guests are likely more available to attend your nuptials; vacations are common in the summer months, so most out-of-towners have an easier time getting out of work for your special day.

With so many advantages on your side, you’ve got to make sure your summer wedding is one spectacular party—and these ideas can help make that happen.

1. Seasonal Decor

A small table set for a summer wedding reception with tropical flowers in yellow, green, and purple colors.

Summer is a season of big, bold colors, from our fashion choices to the florals blooming and produce growing all around us. As far as I’m concerned, this is a huge perk for couples tying the knot during this season—what’s more fun than a bright color palette? Make the most of your summer wedding by dressing up your venue with seasonal plants and flowers.

What’s the best part of summer’s seasonal decor? The wide variety you have to choose from! If you want to have a tropical-themed wedding, monstera leaves and laceleaf are right at your fingertips. If you’d rather have traditional florals, roses and peonies are blooming beautifully. You can even step outside the box with centerpieces made of fresh fruits and veggies! Whatever decor tickles your fancy, it’s almost certainly available in summer.

2. Cold Hors D’oeuvres

A server at a wedding reception holding a tray of cold appetizers.

The summer season is also a great time to experiment with your hors d’oeuvre options. The weather is bound to be warm, so bite-sized treats that are cool and refreshing will be a hit with your guests. With a little creativity, you and your caterer can put together a chilly menu that sticks to your theme and helps your guests cool off.

Are you having a whimsical wedding? Let your guests get in touch with their inner child by serving the Popsicles we all enjoyed as kids! Is your ceremony more upscale and elegant? Caprese salad bites or chicken skewers with cool mint sauce can be a great option. If you want your guests to get a little loose before the reception, blended margaritas are sure to get the party started! As long as your hors d’oeuvres keep your loved ones from wilting in the heat, you’re on the right track!

3. S’mores Station

A table at a summer wedding reception set up as a s'mores station.

Cold foods are a great way to keep your guests comfy in the heat of the day, but once the temperature drops you may want to try another summer tradition: s’mores. This classic treat is a great alternative for those guests who don’t like cake (or for those guests that want to double up their dessert plate). Best of all, creating a s’mores station is actually quite easy; all it takes is a trip to your favorite big box stores!

To create a s’mores bar for your wedding, stock up on the essentials: marshmallows, graham crackers, and assorted chocolate bars. Feel free to get creative too; Hershey’s bars aren’t the only chocolate filling for s’mores (have you ever made a s’mores with a Reese’s cup? YUM). Then, lay out your ingredients on a dessert table, ideally near a fire pit or an electric fondue maker, and let your guests go to town! Everyone will have a great time toasting their marshmallows and chowing down into the night.

4. Bonfire Pit

A fire pit at a summer wedding reception.

Obviously, if you have a s’mores station at your wedding you will need some sort of fire in your reception space. But even if you don’t opt for the sweet treats (though really, why wouldn’t you?), a fire pit can be a great way to keep the party going after the sun goes down. It’s especially great if you’re having a small wedding, as you and your guests can gather around the fire and chat.

If your venue has fire pits onsite, first make sure you have permission to use them (no one wants to get kicked out of their own wedding). Then, pack up a few blankets, some logs, drinks and dessert, and your nearest and dearest. There’s something really special about gathering with your friends and family around a bonfire, so sharing this moment on your big day will be even better!

5. A Fireworks Celebration

People at a summer wedding holding sparklers.

In the U.S., summer is a season for fireworks. Folks light them on the Fourth of July, of course, but they’re also popular for celebrations throughout the summer months, including your wedding day. If you have enough space (and if fireworks are legal in your area), you could celebrate your special day with a colorful fireworks display. However, if you’re not up for a large-scale show, giving your guests sparklers is a great way to add magic to your big day (and some great photos to your wedding album) without any major explosions.

Your wedding should be a special, magical day regardless of when you tie the knot. But with these suggestions, you can add some extra pizzaz to your summer ceremony!

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