When it comes to summer weddings, especially southern summer weddings, there’s only really one word that can describe them all:
If you’re a wedding guest that gets invited to a summer wedding in a place like Texas, your immediate reaction is to probably cringe from reliving the sweat stains in your clothes from the wedding you attended the previous weekend. Y’all, there’s a reason why we praise Jesus for a little bit of air conditioning. In Texas, everyone wants to get married in the summer. I mean, y’all. My own wedding was outside in June. However, with my move to Georgia, I’ve quickly learned that people would much rather just skip summer in general.
If you want a summer wedding, have one!
I’ll be the first to tell you that your wedding day is all about you. It’s okay to be selfish and do your wedding the way that you want whether it’s outside in the middle of the afternoon in June. I love summer, and I love summer weddings. While they are hot, they are also extremely beautiful. Simple planning that shows you thinking of your guests and making your guests more comfortable at your wedding is a sure way to keep the party going and avoiding the gradual guest leak out that often happens after dinner is served.
Take note of these summer wedding ideas sure to treat your guests and make your wedding day one that is remembered (in a good way!)
Tented Reception + Cooling Units
White tents are a great option to keep your guests out of the hot sun. The best part? They can be dressed up as much as you want or even kept casual. Uplighting and cafe bulbs can also be added to create mood lighting under the beautiful summer night sky. If it’s exceptionally hot where you live and you’re still concerned about your guests, ask your rental company about adding cooling units to keep the air flowing under the tent. I promise your guests will thank you while they’re enjoying their dinner.
You’re planning on having your wedding outside before sunset. But, you may want to think of how the sun will be during your ceremony. There’s nothing worse than your guests coming to your ceremony but not being able to see you actually get married! You don’t want your wedding photos looking like everyone is covering their eyes with their hands. (Talk about awkward!) Ask your photographer about what the lighting will be like during your ceremony. They may even be able to help you come up with a ceremony time that gives you the best lighting for your photos!
One idea is to have a cute basket of sunglasses by your welcome sign as your guests walk to your ceremony site. Dress it up with a cute sign saying something like “Don’t be blinded by our love! Take a pair of sunglasses.” Not only is this is a really cute and fun way to incorporate these into your day. But, these can be really inexpensive if you order them in bulk from somewhere like Oriental Trading Company. I believe you can snag them for approximately $11.99 per dozen.
You could also look into a company that allows you to personalize the sunglasses with your names and wedding date or your wedding hashtag. This way they can double as your wedding favors and can be an awesome keepsake to be used by your friends and family even after your wedding. I mean, it is summer! Who isn’t always looking for sunglasses in the summer?
If you’re having an outside wedding in the summer months or even a tented reception, you’re bound to have wedding guests using your programs as a personal fan throughout the ceremony and the rest of the night. I’ve even been to some indoor weddings with faulty air conditioning that made me wish I had grabbed a program at the ceremony to fan myself with!
A cute way to combine these ideas and show your guests how much you care is to order fan programs. It’s one of those things that says “I know it’s crazy hot, I love you, and I care about your wellbeing. So, here’s a fan!” Make them as elegant looking or casual as you want. They are bound to be an attention grabber! You can even doll them up by adding a bow!
I actually did these for my own wedding. I made them very classy and vintage looking, and I think they turned out beautiful! It’s a great alternative to the traditional programs. Plus, they actually have a use for them. Let’s face it, from what I’ve seen not many people pick up or even read some traditional programs. They are often forgotten about, especially if they aren’t placed in the natural path of the wedding guest. Guests may be more likely to read your program out of curiosity in between fanning themselves.
It’s a good idea to include a summer cocktail on your drink list at the bar. Whether it’s a lemonade, a punch, or frozen something, you can guarantee that your guests will enjoy the cool down. Sometimes there’s nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than a lemonade. The addition of alcohol to these types of drinks is optional. But, you know it’s preferred among 10 out of 10 guests. (At least, that’s what I’ve heard!)
One way you can serve these summer cocktails is with a fresh fruit and cheese tray added to your appetizer spread. Fruit is naturally refreshing when you’re a little overheated and can sometimes be more appetizing than something cooked. Also, the flavors of the fruit and cheese can easily be paired well with your summer cocktail of choice!
This is another idea that I absolutely LOVE. Regardless whether your wedding is inside, outside, day, or night, your guests are bound to take off their heels to shake it at the reception. You saw it at your middle school dances, your high school prom, and other weddings. Let’s be honest, girls choose their shoes based on how it matches their outfit rather than comfort. (Way too guilty!) A cute way to show your guests that you care is to have a basket of assorted flip flops by the dance floor. I did this for my own wedding, and it was a hit! Not only did I get so many thanks on the night of the wedding, it was talked about for weeks after the fact!
Spoiler Alert: One of the main things most guests remember a wedding reception is their opinion on whether the DJ was good or not. Giving guests the opportunity to kick off their heels and put on flip flops will keep the dance floor full and keep your guests having a good time dancing the night away.
If you’re getting married at a more casual venue like an Inn or a Barn, lawn games are a great way to keep your guests entertained during the cocktail hour or reception. Not only will they make your guests forget how hot they are. But, it’s also a great activity for those who don’t necessarily like to dance. Rather than sitting at a table awkwardly on the side of the dance floor, they’ll be having fun with the rest of your friends.
Especially in the summer, there’s nothing better than an ice cold beer on a hot day. Can I get an amen?! (And the readers said amen!) Also, because it’s so hot, there’s no way to avoid the mass condensation on your guest’s beer (or water!) bottle. A great way to treat your guests while helping them keep from awkwardly wiping their wet hands on their dress clothes is to have koozies available at your bar.
Like the sunglasses you can purchase these in bulk from places like Oriental Trading Company and have them customized however you want! Having koozies personalized with your names, wedding hashtag, or even a cute saying like “To have and to hold and to keep your beer cold” is great way to give your guests an awesome keepsake for your big day. Just like sunglasses, who doesn’t always need a koozie in the summer?