Looking for summer wedding ideas to make your big day unforgettable? Well, we've got 'em! From seasonal florals to fresh and light reception bites, these stunning summer wedding ideas are all you need to pull off the coolest warm-weather wedding.
First thing's first when it comes to planning a summer wedding: Keep your guests in mind and remember that you'll be dealing with extra-high temps and UV rays. Creative signature cocktails—like Popsicles in Prosecco, sangria stations, and edible flower-garnished Cosmos—can help guests battle the heat and will quench their thirst. You can also exchange the traditional tiered wedding cake for ice cream to give guests a sweet treat at the reception. (You can even hire an actual ice-cream truck to come to your wedding as a special surprise!)
Once you've covered the basics, it's time to move onto the fun stuff, like summer wedding decor. Create a monogrammed float for the pool if you're celebrating your nuptials poolside. You can also hand out mini-flamingo floats—think the famous pool float but smaller, for your drinks—in a chic, elevated way. Greenery and colorful blooms hanging overhead also make for some seriously gorgeous summer wedding decor that'll capture your guests' attention. And there's something utterly romantic about hanging twinkle lights at your outdoor summer wedding.
Ahead, discover 60 summer wedding ideas that will make for a truly amazing day.
Send Destination-Specific Invites
It all starts with the invites! Take inspiration from your warm-weather wedding destination and choose invitations that feature the same floral and fauna guests will find at your venue.
Make Welcome Beach Bags
If you’re hosting your summer wedding in a remote location, it’s important to think of all the things guests may need in a pinch but might not be able to find. Put together a welcome bag filled with essentials like bottled water, sweet and savory snacks, Advil, Band-Aids, safety pins, sunscreen, and bug repellent.
Gift Festive Favors
Help your guests battle the heat waves (and look cool while they're at it) by gifting them chic fedora hats. Even better? Make the straw party favors an element of the event's summer-ready decor.
Throw a Casual Pre-Party
Summer is all about letting the good times roll, so instead of a traditional rehearsal dinner, host a pool or beach party ahead of the big day. Before their walk down the aisle, this couple celebrated at a beach party during their week-long destination wedding in Anguilla.
Host a Clam Bake
You can also get creative with the food you serve at a summer rehearsal dinner. For example, this couple hosted a clam bake in honor of the groom's Maine roots. The event's printed materials (cocktail napkins, reusable cups, and lobster bibs) featured catchy sayings with nods to the couple and the wedding setting.
Embrace Alfresco Dining
One of the major benefits of summer weddings is obviously the warm weather. If the weather is mild enough, embrace the celebratory season by hosting your "I dos" outdoors. There's nothing like dining in the sunshine.
Create Custom Beach Towels
How cute is this summer wedding idea?! Leave custom beach towels in your guests' hotel rooms, so they can use them at the pool or beach all weekend long! This couple created a map of their wedding festivities for their custom towels.
Minimize Time in Direct Sun
The last thing you want to do is ask guests to stand around in the sun for hours on end. While we suggest keeping the time between your ceremony and reception short at any time of year, it's especially essential when temps spike. Minimize time without shade and try to plan your wedding to start at the cooler points of the day, like a sunset ceremony and evening reception.
Have a (Coconut) Water Station
Keep your guests hydrated while giving them A+ social media content with a coconut water station. The tropical beverage will quench their thirst, and the coconuts are so Instagrammable.
Keep the Menu Light and Fresh
There's a time and place for a heavy, decadent five-course meal, and your summer wedding is not it. Stick to lighter, more refreshing fare, like simple grilled fish or chicken, a fresh salad, and seasonal vegetables.
Have Watermelon Snacks
Everyone loves watermelon during the summertime! Have your caterer cut small pieces and attach them to sticks for easy eating—and make sure you have plenty of personalized cocktail napkins on hand while you're at it.
Serve Prosecco With Popsicles
Add a Popsicle to each glass of Prosecco for the perfect summer drink. Make it 'grammable by filling each pop with edible flowers.
Sport Some Sunnies
Sunglasses are the perfect summer wedding favor. You and your guests can use them during the ceremony and take them home after the wedding is over. They also make for a great photo op with your wedding party.
Carry a Cute Clutch
Embrace a summer wardrobe (and vacation) staple by having a custom clutch made for your big day. This design incorporates the couple's wedding venue and favorite local locations alongside their wedding date.
Consider Humidity-Proof Hairstyles
It's hard enough for most brides and bridesmaids to tame their hair into a perfect, flowing 'do. Add in heat and humidity, and long curls or waves will be disastrous. To fight frizz and humidity, ladies should try pulling part or all of their hair off their face and neck to stay cool and picture perfect.
A trendy braided hairstyle is perfect for a summer wedding. It'll keep you cool and is an upgrade from a more classic look (especially if you're rocking a boho theme).
Choose Airy Fabrics for Everyone
This summer wedding idea is a crucial one! Whether it's your wedding dress, your groom's suit, or your bridal party's ensembles, stick to lighter, flowing fabrics that will keep everyone cool. Sweaty brides, grooms, and attendants do not make for chic wedding photos.
Customize Signature Cocktails
Use refreshing flavors in the signature cocktails at your summer wedding to keep guests cool. Focus on flavors like cucumber, mint, and berries—those are always crowd-pleasers!
Display Berry Bites
When it's scorching hot outside, most people crave something light and refreshing. And at a party, they want something bite-size! That's why you should put these cute little fresh raspberry cones on your menu.
Have Bug Spray on Hand
On steamy summer days, it’s a thoughtful idea to provide wedding guests with bug spray to help protect them from pesky mosquitoes. Fill a wooden crate or basket with a few bottles of bug spray and display it at a table near the entrance to the wedding ceremony. Don’t forget to add a cute handmade sign so guests will be sure to spot the bug-spray station.
Guests look sophisticated with a parasol in hand, right? They'll also protect everyone from harsh UV rays. Who doesn't love a prop that pulls double duty?
Provide Next-Level Fans
At a summer wedding, it is important to think about your fans. One way to make them happy? Provide fans with (or as) programs, or place one at each place setting at dinner—bonus points if it doubles as the escort card.
Embrace a Flower Wall
Think to yourself, “How can I make my wedding ultra-Instagrammable?” One surefire way: a flower wall. Make it your altar, like this couple, or add one to your decor. Instead of going big and bold with your floral centerpieces, opt for a flower wall that guests can pose in front of and stop and smell as they walk by.
Opt for a Fresh Color Palette
For summer weddings, skip darker tones in favor of lighter, airier shades. We love white and neutral weddings with pops of pretty pastels or bold colors, like bright yellow, coral, or blue. Figure out what works best in your space, but avoid heavy tones that make everything feel warmer than it already is.
Provide Some Shade
If you're throwing a summer wedding, you're probably hosting at least the reception outdoors, so make sure to have shaded areas where guests can escape the heat. A tent for dinner or plenty of umbrella-covered seating can serve as escapes from the scorching sun.
Make the Bar a Focal Point
You'll likely be in the great outdoors at your summer wedding, and nothing says cool like a bar outside. Guests can sip their drinks in the sunshine, and you can decorate the bar with flowers and garlands of greenery or set it against a stunning seaside backdrop.
Get Creative With Apps
We love the idea of summer-inspired passed appetizers. Think of everything you enjoy munching on in your backyard when June, July, and August roll around: Burgers, hot dogs, tacos, and other barbecue favorites. Then, leave it to your caterer to elevate the noshes and make them cocktail-hour-ready. Who knew that BBQ could be fancy enough for a wedding?
Provide Mini Margs
Who doesn't love a refreshing margarita when summertime rolls around? Serve adorable mini margaritas at your cocktail hour, and your guests will instantly be transported to the tropics.
Clearly, we love boozy summer wedding ideas—and we promise your guests will, too! Have your caterer or bartender freeze a few bottles of everyone's favorite summer wine—rosé—to create this delicious, slushy beverage. We especially go crazy for these fun, push-pop servings.
Decorate With Balloons
Balloons aren't just for children's birthday parties! They also make fun and playful summer wedding decor. You can stick to white balloons to keep the color palette clean and sophisticated or go all out with a colorful rainbow of balloons.
Source Local Oysters
Summer is all about seafood! If you're hosting your summer wedding seaside, see if you can source fresh local oysters for your guests to enjoy during cocktail hour.
The days of pool parties don't have to end now that you're a full-fledged adult! Find a venue (such as a resort) where you can host your nuptials poolside. Nothing says summer wedding like a glistening blue pool!
Throw in Some Floaties
Have we convinced you to throw a poolside bash? Throw some monogrammed floaties in the water, like this couple. They can be actual blow-up floats or made of flowers for something more sophisticated.
Make a Memorable Guest Book
Instead of a traditional guest book, have your guests sign something a little more on theme—like a surfboard! Hang it on a wall of your home after the big day, and this becomes an idea that you can enjoy way past your wedding date.
Set Up a Refreshments Station
Help guests beat the heat upon arrival with a selection of tasty, refreshing, and hydrating beverages. This will help everyone stay balanced before the cocktails start pouring. This creative couple set up a refreshments station with things like cucumber water and iced tea on the back of a decorated vintage truck.
Make a Cactus Escort Card Display
Play up your destination by embracing the local fauna. This idea works especially well for summer because it's bright and poppy—thanks to colorful name cards—yet doesn't require any flowers, which can wilt in especially warm locales.
Print on Some Palms
Palm leaf details are one of those summer wedding ideas that have withstood the test of time. They're fresh, bright, tropical, and can even work as a source of shade! You can get creative and use them for your seating chart, like this couple did.
Make a Fun Installation
If you haven't heard, palm leaves are the ultimate destination wedding decor. Hang some up above the head table—with a sign to get the party going!—and you'll be mega on trend.
Decorate With Fresh Fruit
Our summer wedding inspo is bright, unexpected, and fresh. Case in point: These citrus fruits that double as chic centerpieces.
Dine Under Hanging Flowers
Think outside the box—or in this case, outside the basket—when approaching summer florals. A favorite idea? These hanging florals, which showcase the summer's bright hues without screaming for too much attention.
Use Colorful Candles
Summer is truly all about color, and one way to add it to your tables is with candles. Whether standing alone or floating in water in the middle of the table, colored candles will add a vibrant splash of color (and double as mood lighting when the sun goes down)
Incorporate Summer Succulents
You'll want to talk to your florist about heat-resistant blooms that won't wilt in high temps. Trendy succulents are an ideal, statement-making option that can withstand even the steamiest of wedding days. We love the idea of using potted succulents as escort cards that double as favors!
As a rule of thumb, hydrangeas will wither in the heat while tropical blooms like calla lilies, orchids, or fluffy flowers like garden roses or sunflowers can handle warmer weather.
Embrace Seasonal Blooms
Summer wedding flowers are not only drop-dead-gorgeous, but they also might save you a bit of money! It's much easier for florists to source seasonal blooms than those that are out of season.
Set the Ambiance With String Lights
It wouldn't be a list of summer wedding ideas without including twinkling string lights! Dinner under the stars is a summer tradition; embrace this theme with an elegant, understated tabletop surrounded by romantic yet simple string lights.
Keep Your Tabletop Simple
Chances are that the setting of your summer wedding is already gorgeous. Ensure that you don't take away from the beautiful natural backdrop by keeping your table decor simple.
Set Up a Cozy Lounge Area
Give guests a place to rest their feet from all that dancing by setting up a relaxing lounge area, full of vibrant summer hues and florals. Even better if it's alfresco!
Hang Flower Garlands
Dainty flower garlands have such a woodland, fairy-tale vibe about them. String them up at your summer wedding for a sweet look. You can attach them to string lights or hang them solo.
Create a String Light Canopy
We've said it once, and we'll say it again: We love a summer dinner outdoors. That said, feel free to dress up the destination by hanging string lights above each dining table. This canopy of lights is totally gorgeous and creative.
Opt for a Summer-Friendly Dessert Station
Want to really wow your guests? Have your caterer create a summer-friendly dessert station with chilly treats like ice cream or Popsicles to help cool everyone down on the dance floor. Alcohol-spiked shaved ice is a delicious, adult-friendly option to elevate the idea even more!
Provide Playful Glassware
Every summer party needs flamingo pool floats. Elevate yours (these mini ones fit beer cans) with a pretty display of coordinating glassware—and plastic pineapple cups for fun.
Surprise Everyone With Flower-Filled Ice
Add flowers to your ice buckets, making each do double duty as a cooler and decoration. They might even emit a delightful fragrance.
Keep the Cake Simple
Keep your confection simple: All a summer wedding cake really needs is a few beautiful flowers to top it off, plus some sunshine!
Everyone loves pie come the Fourth of July, so why not serve it at the wedding? See ya, wedding cake!
Set Up a Photo Booth
Photo booths are a longstanding wedding staple for a reason: They're just so much fun! Make yours summer-wedding appropriate by outfitting it in plenty of florals and summer hues.
Get Some Sparklers
Light up the night with sparklers! They'll create some super-stunning wedding exit photos.
Wheel in the Cake(s)
It's no surprise that the summer heat can make fondant and icing melt. That's why this rolling cart is an awesome choice for summer weddings—keep it in a cool place and just roll it out when you're ready to cut the cake!
Light Up the Night
One of the biggest decor trends for summer is custom neon signs. Whether the sign says you and your partner's names, a special slogan, or even your wedding hashtag, it gives your party an electric vibe. Plus, it’s the kind of decoration you can take from your wedding and display in your home afterward.
Make a Sweet Escape
Take in the breeze on an open-air cart. It's perfect for photo ops and as a unique getaway car!