61 Summer Wedding Ideas We Can't Get Enough Of

Pull off an unforgettable and effortlessly cool warm-weather wedding

Updated 06/11/19

Photo by Justin Lee

Looking for summer wedding ideas to make your big day unforgettable? Well, we've got 'em right here! 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 things 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!) As for those sun rays: Consider giving attendees chic straw hats as favors (or use them as escort cards!) and provide everyone with parasols or fans during the reception and dinner, especially if it's in the afternoon.

Once you've covered the basics, it's time to move onto the fun stuff, like summer wedding decor. And get creative with it! 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 overheard 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. (They'll give your celebration A Midsummer Night's Dream vibes!)

Scroll through to discover 61 summer wedding ideas that will make for a truly amazing day!

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Send Destination-Specific Invites

Photo by Allan Zepeda

It all starts with the invites! Take inspiration from your warm-weathered wedding destination and choose invitations that feature the same floral and fauna guests will find at your venue.

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Make Welcome Beach Bags

Photo by Aaron Delesie

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.

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Gift Festive Favors

Photo by Adriana Morais Fotografia

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 event's summer-ready decor.

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Throw a Casual Pre-Party

Photo by Lauren and Abby Ross

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.

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Host a Clam Bake

Photo by Kate Headley

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.

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Embrace Al Fresco Dining

Photo by Lisa Poggi

One of the major benefits of summer weddings is obviously the warm weather. Embrace the celebratory season by hosting your "I dos" outdoors. There's nothing like dining in the sunshine.

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Have Fun With Sand Art

Photo by Ana Hinojosa and Sergio Sandona

Farryn Weiner, the Insta influencer @jetsetfarryn, and Jake Truen, the cofounder of a restaurant in New York City, took advantage of their beach setting by having their names written in sand (how romantic!) at their seaside nuptials in Los Cabos, Mexico.

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Create Custom Beach Towels

Photo by Kate Holstein

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.

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Prepare for the Sun

Photo by Patricia Lyons Photography

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.

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Have a (Coconut) Water Station

Photo by Jana Williams Photography

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.

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Keep the Menu Light and Fresh

Photo by Annie McElwain

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.

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Have Watermelon Snacks

Photo by Caroline Tran Photography

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.

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Serve Prosecco with Popsicles

Photo by Christy Wilson Photography

Add a popsicle to each glass of Prosecco for the perfect summer drink. Make it 'grammable by filling each pop with edible flowers.

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Sport Some Sunnies

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

Sunglasses are a great summer wedding favor: You and guests can use them during the ceremony, then take them home after the wedding is over.

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Consider Humidity-Proof Hairstyles

Photo by Laurken Kendall

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. One idea we love? Trendy braided hairstyles that are an upgrade from more classic looks.

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Choose Airy Fabrics for Everyone

Photo by Sasithon Photography

This summer wedding idea is a crucial on! 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.

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Carry a Cute Clutch

Photo by Lauren and Abby Ross

Embrace the 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.

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Customize Signature Cocktails

Photo by Birds of a Feather Photography

Use refreshing flavors to 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!

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Display Berry Bites

Photo by Christy Wilson Photography

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 cones on your menu.

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Have Bug Spray On Hand

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

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.

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Provide Parasols

Guests with Parasols

Photo by Meg Smith Photography

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?

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Embrace the Flower Wall

Photo by Harwell Photography

Think to yourself, “How can I make my wedding ultra-Instagrammable?” One way surefire way: add a flower wall 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. Plus, it gives your reception room an ambiance perfect for the fresh summer season.

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Opt for a Fresh Color Palette

Photo by Lauren and Abby Ross

For summer weddings, skip darker tones in favor of lighter, airier shades. We love white weddings with pops of pretty pastels or bold colors, like bright yellows, coral, or blue. Figure out what works best in your space, but avoid heavy tones that make everything feel warmer than it already is.

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Provide Some Shade

Photo by Paige Jones Photography

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 serve as an escape from scorching sun.

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Make the Bar a Focal Point

Photo by Lauren and Abby Ross

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 garlands of greenery or set it against a stunning seaside backdrop.

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Display Statement Signage

Photo by Justin Lee

One of our favorite summer wedding ideas are pressed flower details. We love those acrylic signs featuring the dried blossoms.

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Get Creative with Apps

Photo by Mallory Dawn Photography

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?

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Provide Mini Margs

Photo by Tim Willoughby

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.

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Serve Frose

Photo by Aaron Delesie

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 crazy for these fun, push-pop servings.

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Source Local Oysters

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Photo by Cynthia Chung

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 the cocktail hour.

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Party Poolside

Photo by Annie McElwain

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 glistening blue pool!

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Throw In Some Floaties

Photo by Nick Radford; Floral Design by Hello Gem Events

Have we convinced you to throw a poolside bash? Throw some monogrammed letters in the water!

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Decorate with Balloons

Photo by Kate Headley

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!

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Play Games

Photo by Tim Willoughby

Give your guests fun activities to do besides dancing. At backyard summer weddings, we love the idea of having games set up, such as corn hole and croquet.

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Make a Memorable Guestbook

Photo by Tim Willoughby

Instead of a traditional guest book, have your guests sign something that's a little more on-theme—like a surfboard! Hang it on a wall of your home and this becomes a summer wedding idea that you can enjoy way past your wedding date.

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Set Up a Relief Station

Photo by Harwell Photography

This creative bride painted her old nightstand a bright coral pink to match the wedding’s color scheme and turned it into a “relief station” stocked with not only bug spray, but also summer wedding essentials including hand sanitizer, sunscreen, and tissues.

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Make a Cactus the Escort Card Display

Photo by Meg Smith Photography

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.

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Print on Some Palms

Photo by Harwell Photography

Palm leaf details are one of those summer wedding ideas that have withstood the test of time over the past few years.

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Make a Fun Installation

Photo by Les Anagnou Photographers; Design by Corfu Wedding Planner

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.

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Decorate with Fresh Fruit

Photo by Tida Svy

Our summer wedding inspo is bright, unexpected and fresh. Case in point: These citrus fruits that double as chic centerpieces.

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Dine Under Hanging Flowers

Photo by Sugar & Cloth

Think out-of-the box—or in this case, out of 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.

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Use Colorful Candles

Photo by Meg Smith Photography

Summer is truly all about color; and one way to add it to your tables is with candles. Whether in a centerpiece or floating in water in the middle of the table, add a vibrant splash of color by using colored candles.

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Incorporate Summer Succulents

<p>Cacti and Succulent Escort Cards and Wedding Favors</p>

Photo by Jenny Kim Photo

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. Also, as a rule of thumb, hydrangeas will wither in heat, while tropical blooms like calla lilies, orchids, or fluffy flowers like garden roses or sunflowers can handle warmer weather.

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Embrace Seasonal Blooms

Photo by Olivia Rae James

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.

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Provide Next-Level Fans

Photo by Yes Love

At a summer wedding, it is important to think about your fans. One way to make them happy? Place one at each place setting at dinner—bonus points if it doubles as as the escort card.

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Keep Your Tabletop Simple

Photo by Patricia Lyons Photography

Chances are that the setting of your summer wedding is already gorgeous, so ensure that you don't take away from the beautiful natural backdrop by keeping your table decor simple.

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Hang String Lights

Photo by Marcos Sánchez

It wouldn't be a list of summer wedding ideas without including twinkling string lights! Dinner al fresco under the stars is a summer tradition—so we say: Embrace this theme with a casual tabletop (think terra cotta pots, as shown here) surrounded by romantic yet simple twinkle lights.

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Make a Room of Lights

Photos by Ana & Jerome

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 adding string lights up above each dining table.

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Make Flower Garlands

Photo by Sasithon Photography

Dainty flower garlands have such a woodland, fairytale vibe about them. String them up at your summer wedding for sweet look.

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Create a Cozy Lounge

Photo by Mallory Dawn Photography

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 al fresco!

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Prioritize Your Guests

Photo by Melia Lucida

We said it once, and now we'll say it again: Summer weddings are notoriously hot. The best summer wedding idea that we could offer is to focus on your guests. Ensure that they have all they need to deal with the heat, whether it's cold drinks always on tap or plenty of shade.

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Hire A Summer-Friendly Dessert Station

Photo by Lisa Poggi

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!

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Provide Playful Glassware

Photo by James & Jess

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.

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Surprise Everyone with Flower-Filled Ice

Photo by Sugar & Cloth

Add flowers to your ice buckets, making each do double duty as a cooler and decoration.

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Keep the Cake Simple

Photo by Annie McElwain

Keep your confection simple: All a summer wedding cake really needs is a few beautiful flowers to top it off and add some sunshine!

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Wheel in the Cake(s)

Photo by Nichols Photographers

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—just roll it out when you're ready to cut the cake!

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Serve Pies

Photo by Stephanie Brazzle

Everyone loves pie come the Fourth of July, so why not serve it at the wedding? See ya, wedding cake!

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Set Up a Photo Booth

Photo by Mallory Dawn Photography

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.

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Get Some Sparklers

Photo by Lucy Cuneo

Light up the night with sparklers! They'll create some super stunning wedding exit photos.

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Light Up the Night

neon sign

Photo by Ana Hinojosa and Sergio Sandona

One of the biggest decor trends for summer whether your ceremony or reception is indoors or outdoors is having custom neon signs at your wedding. Whether these signs say you and your fiancé’s names, a special slogan, or even your wedding hashtag, putting these signs around your venue 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.

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Make a Sweet Escape

Photo by Shelby Schmidt

Take in the breeze on this open-air cart. It's perfect for photo opps!

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