Summer is here, which means wedding szn is upon us. Wedding planning is stressful, especially when you realize that the best day of your life is just one of many, many events that your loved ones are going to drag themselves to attend between the months of June and September. From kombucha cocktails to custom crests, we've gathered everything you need to take your wedding to the next level. Make sure your special day is the hottest event of the season with these out-of-the-box summer wedding trends.
The Knot suggests dynamic, single-color floral centerpieces to imbue your reception with enough summer-centric verve while keeping your decor sophisticated. They encourage sticking with two colors — for example, white linens offset by bright orange table cloths and accent pieces — to prevent the season's bold hues from becoming too campy. Brides agrees that white weddings with pops of color, whether they're bold or pastel, will make your space easy, breezy, and beautiful despite the summer heat.
Jennifer Thye, owner of Imoni Events, told My Domaine to make use of a signature view during your ceremony. It would be a waste of the gorgeous summer weather to hold your ceremony inside once rainy season has finished, and Jennifer's tip escalates your outdoor ceremony by making a stunning natural backdrop the best (and easiest!) decor money can buy. If your wedding is taking place in a location with sentimental value, letting it become the focal point of your event will make the day even more special.
Once you've decided on your bold accent color, integrate it throughout every aspect of your event planning by making it the focal point of your invitations. The Knot's idea for unexpected invitations involves inverting the common design of using colored lettering on a cream-colored background by putting white lettering on a colored background. For more traditional couples, this can be integrated through the reply cards instead of the invites themselves to add a little unexpected fun to a classic, elegant design.
Another piece of expert advice courtesy of My Domaine, designer and owner of Sprout Floral & Event Design, Michelle Hodges, says to use guest tables and comfortable seating as intimate patio pockets throughout your reception. Take this even further by combining it with creative director Lyndsey Hamilton of Lyndsey Hamilton Events's ~creative~ use of outdoor spaces by placing these lounge spaces inside of micro-tents speckled around the event as oases of calm to escape the raucous party for a quick breather.
Taking a cue from fashion's elite, Harper's Bazaar sees '70s-inspired bridal wear as 2020's next big thing. This isn't just reserved for the boho gowns and flower crowns that will be the most accessible entry point for brides who are ready for some decade-oriented flair — disco jumpsuits like those in Naeem Khan and Viktor & Rolf's latest bridal lines, fringed minis, and slinky silhouettes will be heating up your August aisle walk just like they brought the funk to the Spring 2020 runways.
Food trucks may seem passé, but no one in their right mind would stick up their nose at a vintage ice cream truck serving up cold treats at the end of a hot summer night. This dessert addition recommended by The Knot can incorporate escalated, grown-up takes on season favorites with floral popsicles and inventive flavors, like Salt & Straw's seasonal Oregon Wasabi & Raspberry Sorbet, Sheep's Cheese & Strawberries, and Meyer Lemon with Blueberries. Adding fresh fruit and summer classics like s'mores or rocky road can be a cute, kitschy way to incorporate nostalgia into your dessert menu.
News Flash: The Earth is dying. Climate change is real, and rumors of our imminent demise haven't been greatly exaggerated. There are plenty of ways to make your wedding eco-friendly, like ditching plastic straws and using recycled paper goods, but giving out environmentally conscious favors to your guests is a trendy (and visible!) way to give back to Mother Earth. The Knot suggests gifting locally grown herbs in glass jars or donating to a local charity, but there are a plethora of options including beeswax candles, fair trade coffee, or reusable straws — the gift that keeps on giving.
The Knot and Brides both cited suspended floral arrangements as a seasonal hit. Hanging your reception flowers, stringing blooms from rafters, or floating centerpieces that bring together last year's wild, unkempt bohemian bouquets or classic peonies with an entirely new trend for this wedding season. Dahlias also come into season in mid-July, but as long as the flowers echo your color palette's bright, vibrant summer hues, you can't go wrong by incorporating innovative floral trends in all aspects of your special evening.
Party favors are a nice way to end an evening, but welcome bags are gifts your guests can use to enhance their event experience all night long. If you're bold AF hosting a destination wedding, welcome bags can be given out when your guests arrive to provide location-based essentials, like bottled water, Advil, safety pins, bug repellent, sunscreen, and hair ties. Even for events a little closer to home, bags curated for friends and family from out of town can include your favorite local goods and a list of must-sees in the area in addition to a wedding weekend itinerary.
Laurie Arons of Laurie Arons Special Events knows that outdoor ceremonies can have idiosyncratic struggles, but she shared her catch-all solution with My Domaine. These irregular spaces are just an opportunity to embrace asymmetry with a naturally curved aisle, assuming you have a high enough guest count to clearly define it with dense rows of chairs. Even if you don't have a need for asymmetrical seating, choosing an innovative design for your ceremony, like seating in the round, can be a striking design choice for modern couples.
Chicken or fish? Reception menus can take months to plan, but consider adding refreshments for the ceremony itself to your interminable to-do list. Kate & Company's senior designer and director of marketing, Maureen FitzGibbon, told My Domaine that refreshment stations are a hospitality must with cold champagne and water to keep outdoor ceremony guests hydrated and happy. Brides takes this a step further into summertime fun by suggesting a coconut water station to up your social media game with an Instagrammable raw coconut display.
Blush-toned wedding dresses have been popular for years, but Harper's Bazaar reports that even more non-traditional colors including champagne, lilac, light blue, and black accents have also been introduced by the colorful trend's pioneer Vera Wang in the years since pale pink dresses became a must-have item. Now, Valentino and Elie Saab have incorporated pale green frocks into their bridal lines, a perfect accent for weddings in the great outdoors. Still, with Coral as Pantone's 2019 Color of the Year, don't discount a classic pale pink.
Oregon venue Pronghorn Resort offers Kombucha cocktails made with local Humm Kombucha for the young and hip couples amongst us. Their recipes for afternoon refreshers can be easily recreated whether your getting married in the Pacific Northwest or on a tropical beach. Kombucha is highly popular with millennials because of its myriad of benefits, especially in regard to digestion and gut health via its probiotics. Just please, please, for the love of God, do not try to ferment your own when you can get Health-Ade at any Whole Foods.
Use a custom-made watercolor crest to tell the story of your relationship on your programs, menus, websites, signs, and guest books. Thinking beyond a monogram, The Spruce adds flowers, colors, locations, or even sports teams important to the happy couple in their designs to create an art print personal to your life, your relationship, and your story. If you have any artistically inclined friends, commissioning someone close to you to create the sentimental design can add another element of personalization to make the gesture even more special.
Ritual Paper Goods
Your guest book can be a sweet reminder of your wedding day in more ways than one with a recipe guest book from The Spruce. With an adorable recipe box like the ones sold by Rifle Paper Co. or Anthropologie, make a fully functional guest book that won't just collect dust in a box somewhere. Ask guests to write their favorite recipes on a card at the wedding (or send a recipe card attached to their RSVP) to build an arsenal of meals for your new married life made with love from sentimental recipes, because #adulting begins at home.
Whether its Brides’s boozy shaved ice, The Knot’s light pasta salad, or The Spruce’s roving prosecco bar, the days of family-style wedding buffets and plated meals will soon be a thing of the past. The hot new trend is themed food stations, with artfully decorated tables tailored to specific needs, be it mac ’n’ cheeses, miniature apps, or refreshers. Themed stations are an added opportunity to tie-in your decor, and they streamline the dining process by giving guests exactly what they need without having to wait in line for things they don't want.
We don't know if we'd use a casual pre-party as a rehearsal dinner replacement like Brides recommends, but having a beach or pool party before the big day during your wedding weekend is a great way to blow off steam amid the pressures of planning a giant, expensive party you'll remember forever in front of your friends, family, and God. Celebrate with your boo and your friends before your second cousins and estranged aunts take up all of your time on the big day.
Southern Living's guide for bridesmaid updos can be easily repurposed as humidity-beating styles for summer brides. A soft curl may seem like a good idea before you step into the heat, but by the time you're given away, you'll be saying "I Do" under a frizzy mess. There's not enough hairspray in the world to counter a dewy tropical climate (or a Southern heat wave), so it's better to be safe than sorry with a braided updo that will keep you cool and photo-ready.
Just because we're adults (basically) doesn't mean we can't have a little fun. The beauty of an outdoor wedding is that there's plenty of room to play, and classic backyard activities will make your reception the party of the year. Lawn games like corn hole, giant Jenga, a ring toss, croquet, or bocce ball can be aesthetically pleasing and in line with your decor goals while amping up the fun, or you can incorporate higher-concept installations like giant checkers, a badminton court, or a high striker for a shockingly good time.
Trends may fade, but fashion is forever. Don't discount decoration staples like string lights and sparklers when making your reception plans. A pithy neon sign or flower wall is always a crowd-pleasing photo opportunity and classics like pressed flower details never go out of style. In that same vein, passed appetizers and sophisticated balloons have been eternally popular for good reason. If you want to put your own spin on these designs, consider going all-in on the string lights by making a ceiling of lights for your al fresco dining or place your pressed flowers inside of ice buckets for a fun surprise.