The summer is one of our busiest seasons every year at The Styled Bride. The summer is one of the best seasons for outdoor events; vacations are on everyone’s mind, so guests from out of town will happily make their travel arrangements to attend; flowers, fruit, and color are all in season; and more. Whether you’re already in the midst of planning a summer wedding or you’re hoping to start planning soon, we thought we would explore our list of the top 10 must-haves for summer celebrations!
The summer is the season to embrace outdoor weddings of all kinds, and they are always some of our most memorable. We frequently plan celebrations for couples at family homes under tents, outside at venues, like Weyhill Guest House and Barley Sheaf Farm, and down the shore at beach homes or spots like The Reeds at Shelter Haven and LBI Foundation of the Arts & Sciences. The latter two represent two venues where couples often invite their guests outdoors for their ceremony but retreat inside for their reception.
Many of our couples plan their weddings with neutral colors in mind, which always looks gorgeous. But, the summer is also the season to embrace bold shades! When searching for color inspiration, one of our top suggestions is to look to flowers that are in season. Bright coral and hot pink peonies are still in season at the start of summer, yellow is a color we all frequently see, and bold shades of red and even orange start to pop up once dahlias and zinnias bloom later in August.
3. Cocktail Attire:
Black tie attire always looks gorgeous at weddings. But, if you’re hosting your celebration outdoors during the summer, try to shy away from black tie requirements and embrace cocktail attire instead, to keep everyone a little cooler. While some may still opt for longer dresses, cocktail attire typically makes ladies feel encouraged to wear shorter dresses. Plus, gents won’t need to wear tuxedos and will be happy to add navy sport coats to complete their looks.
4. Welcome Station:
If you’re planning your summer wedding during the middle of the winter, it’s easy to forget the #1 thing guests desire most when attending an event in the sun: drinks! If you’re hosting your ceremony outside, one of our top suggestions is always to incorporate a welcome station. Your station is the best spot to have drinks, like infused water and lemonade, ready for guests to enjoy upon arrival and to take to their seats to sip during your ceremony. To add even more to your station, think about styling with a welcome sign or florals that can be moved to another spot for your reception.
5. Sunscreen & Bug Spray:
When guests are getting ready for your wedding, sunscreen may not be at the forefront of their minds. However, time spent in the sun during your ceremony and cocktail hour may cause them to wish they had added it. So, we recommend adding sunscreen to an amenity kit you can keep outside for guests to easily access. The other product we recommend adding to your kit is bug spray! Mosquitos are notorious during the summer, and guests always appreciate being able to keep them at bay while they enjoy your fete.
For a beautiful and slightly whimsical look, fill your wedding style with fruit! So many of the most popular berries and citrus are all in season, and they conveniently look wonderful as part of floral arrangements, like bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces. Plus, fruit is always a welcome cool treat during cocktail hour, infused into beverages throughout a wedding, and as part of desserts later in the evening.
7. Lighter Fare:
When temperatures rise, guests will typically want to shy away from menu selections featuring rich flavors. So, we recommend serving lighter fare. We recommend grilling stations, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and and considering items that are served best cold or at room temperature.
8. Cool Desserts:
Dessert at weddings is almost always a given, and we love encouraging our couples to think beyond cake. Popsicles and Ice Cream will be viewed by your guests as a welcome treat, especially if they’ve been on the dance floor. Classic flavors are always celebrated, and we also love when our couples opt to embrace flavors that feel slightly more unique. Another suggestion? Serve popsicles infused with alcohol during your cocktail hour to keep guests cool!
9. Games & Entertainment:
Lawn games are a wonderful addition to outdoor weddings in any season, but they always feel particularly appropriate during the summer. Guests will enjoy playing games like cornhole and JENGA during cocktail hour, and many may return to resume play during the reception when they need a break from the dance floor to cool down. Photo booths also offer a welcome respite and a perfect opportunity to offer guests a favor they will actually keep and enjoy. If you’re wanting to splurge, we love recommending circus acts after Andrea and Matt’s wedding last year!
Lounges easily add style to weddings, but their main purpose is to offer guests a spot to sit. These spaces are great to have on hand during cocktail hour because many guests will opt to sit and relax while they sip their drinks and enjoy their appetizers. Plus, lounges are also great during the reception. We recommend placing them within view of the dance floor for guests who would like to press pause but not be too far away from the action.
Are you hosting a summer wedding? What must-haves top your list?