What’s not to love about summertime? It’s bright, the sun is shining, the weather is warm, and everyone’s spirits are elevated. No matter when you get married, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, summer is a great time to hold a wedding because your options seem endless. From a beachside wedding under an ethereal white tent to an indoor summer camp-themed affair, a summer wedding can be the perfect way to capitalize on a season with some built-in decor.
We’ve gathered some incredibly gorgeous summer decor ideas—and, given that your guests can be a built-in part of your wedding decoration, we’ve pointed out a few ways to make sure that their comfort is also a part of the success of the day. Here at Zola, we’ve answered every question you might have. Below, we’ll be covering some of the top summer wedding decoration ideas to create the perfect atmosphere on your special day.
One of the best parts of summer is the fruit—watermelons, oranges, cherries, and peaches are all at their peak ripeness during the season, which is why they are a great option to incorporate into your special day, in both the wedding decor and your menu. A table centerpiece with oranges, blood oranges, and grapefruits surrounded by white flowers is a gorgeous way to bring some fruity zest into the event. Even if you’re worried about actually incorporating real fruit into the event, fruit-inspired colors, such as oranges, yellows, and grapefruit pinks, can be a stunning addition to your wedding color scheme.
And, of course, who doesn’t love a kitschy fruit-shaped item? Giving away copper pineapple cocktail shakers or using plastic oranges as place card displays are bound to make your guests smile as bright as the sun.
Mixing in seasonal summer wedding flowers such as geraniums, hydrangeas, and green roses with flowers that are available year-round, such as orchids, lilies, and roses, can bring some seasonal cheer into a wedding bouquet or a flower arrangement, or even an abundant flower wall. Incorporating them into hanging flower garlands and daisy chains around your wedding venue space can maximize the wedding decoration use. And, no worries: The flowers will withstand the heat of the day—even in the hottest of August days—as well as make for a gorgeous statement. But here’s a hint, avoid putting a real flower in your hair on a hot wedding day, because without a water source, that flower could be wilted midway through your wedding ceremony, yikes.
If you're going for a tropical theme or having a beach wedding, incorporating large palm leaves and banana leaves into your decor can bring the island to you. Decorate the backs of your chairs with palm leaves, or make a stunning wedding arch with the beach behind you as an enhancer to your built-in backdrop for your wedding decorations.
Fireworks are synonymous with summer, so, of course, adding a little twinkle here and there in your wedding decor is pretty much a no-brainer. While it might be smart to check with your venue before setting up a flash-and-bang fireworks show, there are plenty of other ways to incorporate a little shebang into your wedding. Twinkly string lights strung from trees or serving as a make-shift tent can set the romantic tone for the day, as well as provide a simple and gentle light source for your guests. And, while everyone may be doing it, using sparklers as an energetic, romantic sendoff is perfect for photo-friendly moments and an interactive memory for your guests.
Balloons and streamers aren't just for birthday parties—they're always a great decoration idea because of their versatility. A hanging backdrop made up of streamers in your wedding color palette, balloons as a wedding ceremony backdrop, or both tied to lanterns with decorative candles—with a little creativity, the options are endless (and they don't need to look juvenile, either).
Listen, the best part of having a summer wedding is that often the venue can serve as decor, thus doing the work for you, especially if you're getting married on a beach or in a glamorous tent. This leaves you with plenty of ways to creatively enthrall your guests and make a memorable day. Plus, it allows you to play up your wedding theme by introducing items that your guests would definitely bring along to a summer event into your wedding day celebration.
To keep guests cool, fans are a wonderful option. If your wedding takes place in a spot without shade, you can buy battery-powered fans in the palette of the day or have a fan station set up with decorative fans that your guests can grab, if they wish. Another option is to have fans as your escort cards, so that your guests can be in the breeze all day.
Another way to keep the sun from beating down on your guests and to ensure that they see every part of the day is to provide sunglasses and parasols. Everyone looks like they're entering a ‘50s movie with a parasol and a chic pair of sunglasses, plus those items can help keep your guests cool (and cool-looking) on the wedding day and serve as take away gifts. Regardless, it's important to provide shade and shelter for your guests if you're using an outdoor wedding venue. Also, if you're having an outdoor wedding, bug spray is always a good welcome gift, and your guests will thank you for taking the care and time to be so mindful.
Another way to incorporate your color palette into your backyard or garden-themed wedding is with games. You can paint giant Jenga blocks in your colors, or have a custom made cornhole or croquet set up in the same shades and monogram as your big day. Your wedding guests will love the care taken and the element of fun. Of course, no one is going to play games in their high heels—a good suggestion is to purchase inexpensive flip flops in bulk so that guests can fully engage in these games without worry about ruining their shoes or hurting themselves.
An outdoor bar is a welcome (very, very welcome) way to keep drinks flowing, and it serves as a stunning statement decoration at your wedding. This is a great way to integrate color, flowers, and any other decoration you'd want as a focal point at your wedding, as well as show off the custom cocktail you've created for your big day.