Tips for planning a summer wedding

It's July and the weather has been glorious. The wedding season is well underway and couples everywhere are enjoying sunny summer weddings. If you're planning a summer wedding for next year here are a few things you might want to think about to make sure you enjoy the best seasonal wedding ever!

 An outdoor summer wedding ceremony at Axnoller Farm in Dorset.

1. The outdoor ceremony.
Of course, this can be risky. No one likes to rely on the British weather too much but lots of venues have indoor and outdoor ceremony spaces and can leave it until the last minute to decide if the weather will stay dry for you. As long as you have a wet weather plan that will keep your guests comfortable you will be fine.

On the other hand, outdoor ceremonies can also be really hot and bright, especially if there isn't any shade. It's worth thinking about timing here. Outdoor ceremonies in hotter countries usually take place later in the day for this very reason. It's a bit cooler and the light is less harsh which makes everything look more beautiful. It's not something I had ever really considered for a UK wedding before but this summer of 2018 has been unusually hot!

2. Heels on grass.

Summer weddings conjure up images of lawn games and garden parties. One of the hazards for you and your guests will be how to walk on grass in high heels. You really don't want to trip while walking down your beautiful outdoor aisle! A simple solution is to provide those little heel protectors. At a recent wedding they simply put a little basket of these at the entance with a cute sign.

3. Lawn games.

It's always good to have a few games to entertain guests during quieter moments. Lawn games always go down well and provide some fun photo opportunities. Giant Jenga is always a favourite but depending on your space you might think about croquet, table tennis, hula hoops, giant chess, horseshoes or badminton. I've even known simple paper aeroplanes going down a treat with younger guests. Get creative and pick something you enjoy!

 Giant Jenga is always a popular lawn game for a summer wedding.

4. Fireworks.

Summer evenings are lovely for standing outdoors so fireworks may seem like a great idea. Just remember that it will get dark really late and so lots of your guests and even your photographer might miss them. Talk to your suppliers about timings and make a plan if you really want to fit it in. The same will go for sparklers. It will depend on your date but I've seen them not get used because it's too late by the time its dark enough and by that point everyone is dancing.

5. Flowers.

Well, for summer weddings you really have all the choice. Go big and bold, soft and romantic or chic and modern. Your florist should be able to give you lots of ideas and helpful advice. Roses are obviously a very popular choice but some of my summer favourites are stocks, peonies, sea holly, and dahlias. Just make sure to pick something that will last especially for the buttonholes. I've seen some very sad looking buttonholes that have barely lasted through the ceremony in hot weather.

 Pastel summer bouquet with herbs.

6. Insects.

The odd fly is inevitable but a plague of wasps can be a real nuisance when everyone has a drink in their hand. I once had a bride get stung on the lip by a nasty wasp that flew into her champagne glass. Not ideal on your wedding day! There isn't a lot you can do in some cases but worth having a word with your venue and caterers if you think it might be a problem. Hopefully they will have taken care of any nearby wasp nests and will keep drinks covered until the last possible minute. Wasp traps can work well too and even look quite pretty. You might want to think about insect repellent for the evening too. Nobody wants mosquito bites on their honeymoon! Pop some spray on insect repellent in the bathrooms for your guests.

8. Honeymoon destinations.

I actually think picking a honeymoon destination in the middle of summer is quite hard. It depends on what you want of course but often those exotic locations we think about for honeymoons, like the Indian Ocean or the Caribbean, are better in winter, spring or autumn. Personally I always think its better to stick to the Mediterranean for summer sun. My husband and I went to Mauritius in July and it was lovely but the weather could have been better. I've also done Iceland in July which was fabulous in lots of ways but worth remembering that you will not see the Northern Lights at that time of year. I'll be writing a whole post soon on my favourite honeymoon destinations.

9. Drinking in the heat.

Alcohol in the heat will lead to a lot of intoxicated guests quite early on and a headache for you if you're not careful. Just make sure there is plenty of water available, drink loads yourself and trust your guests to be sensible.

10. The wet weather plan.

You can't trust the weather, not just in the UK but anywhere really. I've known weddings rained out in Cyprus! Just make sure there is a wet weather plan. That way you can relax in the lead up to your day knowing that everything will turn out fine. Don't worry about the photographs. Any photographer worth their salt will be able to produce decent images rain or shine. Just make sure your guests will be comfortable and you can get on with enjoying yourselves.

I hope I haven't put you off! Summer is still the most popular time to get married as chances are you will enjoy some wonderful weather and be able to spill outside into gardens for a wonderfully relaxed day. Every season has something to think about and these are just a few ideas to help keep you organised. The main thing is to talk to your suppliers about any worries you have. While this may be your first wedding it certainly won't be theirs so take advantage of their experience.