There’s something magical about celebrating weddings during the spring and summertime, from gorgeous color palettes to abundant blooms and sunshiny weather. Outdoor weddings are on the rise, so it’s easy to see why these are popular wedding seasons. Who doesn’t love getting married among all that natural beauty?! If your wedding is already booked for these peak months, you’ll want to start planning extra early to account for packed vendor schedules and extended delivery times.
Now is the perfect time to gear up your planning efforts so you can have the wedding day of your dreams. We’re walking you through everything from bridal attire to catering, flowers, and more. Providing our best wedding planning tips & tricks to make sure nothing, not even mother nature, can get in the way of everything going smoothly on your Big Day!
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Avoid the Hottest Hours
Spring's milder temperatures are perfect for an outdoor ceremony or cocktail hour. If you’re looking to take advantage of the summer weather, you’ll want to avoid times when the sun is its strongest. Usually, the sun peaks around noon to 3:00 PM but can vary depending on where you’re getting married. Look ahead to see when the hottest hours are.
Avoid these hours when planning, so your guests can be comfortable rather than sweating in the heat. It’s best to aim for an outdoor ceremony or cocktail hour in the early evening. During the summer, daylight hours are longer, so it typically won’t get dark until later anyway.
Don’t Miss Golden Hour
A simple Google search of your wedding date and location can tell you when sunset will be on your Big Day. If you want some incredible photos, make time into your schedule to sneak away with your photographers for 20-30 minutes before sunset. You’ll end up with golden images naturally lit by the sun. Then head to dinner, where it’ll create the perfect ambiance.
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Wedding Attire Advice
Opt for Florals
Spring is a season of blossoming, and that is never more apparent than when surrounded by beautiful florals. Incorporate this into your wedding dress with elegant floral appliques or embroidery. If you like a more modern look, colored printed flowers have been all over bridal runways.
Not into a floral wedding dress? Consider a veil with floral appliques or real flowers pinned to it instead. We’ve even seen live jewelry and shoe adornments made by creative florists. Wear what makes you feel fabulous and features hints of the season.
Dress for the Weather
When selecting bridesmaids and groomsmen attire, keep the weather in mind. Use an online almanac to check past temperature trends and select fabrics that work best. Lightweight options like linen or silk chiffon are ideal for warmer weather.
In the early spring, dress in layers since the temperature can drop quickly at night. Wearing matching denim or leather jackets is a great way to show some personality while keeping warm when the sun sets. Shorter sundresses can work during these seasons if you keep your wedding modern and lowkey, especially for a daytime brunch wedding.
Breathable suits or tuxes with open-back vests and cotton blend shirts and socks are best for the guys. Be sure to communicate your dress code to guests. Seersucker suits or gingham dresses look perfect during the spring but are misguided if you are hosting a black-tie affair.
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Don’t Dig in Your Heels
Sure, heels are often the go-to wedding shoe, and there are so many swoon-worthy options out there but don’t feel you are limited to stilettos. If your wedding is taking place on an uneven surface like cobblestones or a grassy knoll, you’ll want to consider wedges, stacked heels, platforms, or flats instead. If you’re dead set on high heels, grab some plastic heel protectors for you and your guests to prevent them from digging into the grass.
Hair & Makeup Must-Do’s
Pick a Style that Lasts
Consult with your hairstylist to find a look that’ll have staying power even in high temperatures or humidity. If you have long hair, think about sweeping it into an updo or partially pinning it up if you are getting married on a scorching day.
Speak up at your hair trial about any concerns you have, especially if your hair tends to frizz. These pros will be able to suggest styles that work best. They’ll also make notes on the best products to use to keep your hair looking fresh. While there, ask if it makes sense to get a conditioning or keratin treatment before your Big Day.
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Wear Flowers in Your Hair
We love the look of real flowers pinned in bride’s and bridesmaids’ hair. Just be sure to have your florist pick varieties that can withstand warmer temperatures. Ask to source them locally and be delivered the morning of your wedding. Keep them in water or a refrigerator until your stylist is ready to pin them in. This way, they are sure to last until the photos.
Keep Away the Shine
A youthful, dewy look is beautiful, but be careful it doesn’t go into the shiny, unflattering territory. Let your makeup artist know if you have oily skin so they can prepare to apply some extra powder. Combat shine on your forehead and nose by packing blotting papers in your reapplication kit. Keep a small mirror handy, so you’ll be able to freshen up as needed on the fly.
Skip the Perfume
Smelling great on your wedding day is always a plus, but if most of your wedding is outdoors, you might want to reconsider this. Strong smells can attract insects and might also trigger people’s allergies. It’s something to be mindful of before your wedding day.
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Plan out Your Color Palette
Spring is known for its Easter-y pastel shades. Don’t limit yourself to this color palette if that's not your thing. Look at Pantone colors, and you’ll soon see there’s a whole rainbow you can choose from. Use their book or website as a guide, and check out their past “Colors of the Year” for inspiration.
You might even want to take a peek at a color wheel to determine contrasting and complimentary colors. Differing shades of pink, mint, yellow, light blues, and whites are great alternatives for spring. For summer, don’t be afraid to go bold. Think neons, orange, fuchsia, coral, bright yellow, or rose gold to give your event those tropical vibes.
Use Natural Surroundings
We’re sure you chose a venue with its own built-in beauty; use these surroundings to your advantage to cut back on rental and décor costs. If there’s an area with beautiful stones, place chairs around, and use it as an aisle for your ceremony. Scatter some rose petals, and you are all set.
Are you getting married by a grassy hill or stream? Have your florist create mini floral structures that look like they’re growing up from the ground. Ask your venue for an inventory list of what they have on-hand, like votives, to get more ideas for low-cost décor. Get creative with seating by using antique sofas, swinging chairs, or benches.
If your venue is limited to indoors, there’s still plenty you can do to celebrate the season. Bring nature inside by moving your ceremony arch inside by the sweetheart table, or use it as a photo backdrop. Hang a floral hoop from the ceiling or wrap your dancefloor in a floral-designed vinyl. Use gobo lighting to project a nature pattern onto the walls. Consider a “live bar” with a floral front to create a statement. The options to give your venue a natural touch really are endless.
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Source Local & Seasonal Ingredients
Ask your caterer for seasonal suggestions when it comes to your menu. Not only will the ingredients be fresher and taste better, but it’ll also create a multi-sensory experience that ties in nicely with your theme. For spring and summer, you’ll want to choose lighter fare rather than creamy or heavy dishes. Options like quiche, fresh seafood, crudité, gazpacho, or citrus salads work great.
Keep plating presentation in mind to create dishes full of color that look as tasty as you know they are. For buffets and table displays, use different height platters to create dimension. Incorporate edible flowers to elevate almost any drink or entrée.
Make it Refreshing
Offer guests a refreshing cocktail or signature drink. Mint juleps, rose`, white sangria, and martinis are always popular options for these seasons. You might even want to include some frozen drinks like watermelon froze` or pina colada for a summer cocktail hour. Coordinate the drinks to your color palette and elevate them with an herbal spring or citrus peel.
Keep lots of ice on hand and be sure to set up water stations during your ceremony if it’s outdoors. Garnish the water with lemon or cucumber slices to give it that extra touch. Your guests will appreciate that they can easily stay hydrated throughout the day.
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Be Mindful if Serving Outdoors
Factor in the heat for an outdoor wedding when choosing your menu. Lean on your caterer for recommendations and make sure there is plenty of ice if serving seafood or other items that can spoil. Steer clear of charcuterie or cheeses that might melt or turn bad after too many hours in the sun. Make sure chafing dishes and platters are covered to prevent bees or insects from finding their way in.
Cake & Dessert Ideas
Pick Seasonal Flavors
Just as your menu should be tailored to the season, so should your wedding cake and desserts. Rather than choosing heavy flavors like chocolate truffle, red velvet, or cream cheese frosting, stick to lighter, fruitier flavors like lemon or raspberry.
If your wedding is in the summer, consider hiring an ice cream truck or setting up a sorbet station too. Other dessert ideas include strawberry cupcakes, fruit tarts, white chocolate-dipped fruit, mini pastries, or floral shortbread cookies.
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Don’t Let the Cake Melt
Try your best to keep your cake indoors if possible, so it stays looking fresh. If you are getting married in the later spring or summertime, skip the buttercream cake and opt for one covered in fondant instead, which will hold up longer. Consult with your venue and make sure they have freezer space to store your cake until it is ready to be served.
Choose Flowers in Bloom
When most people think of spring, they envision an abundance of flowers. This is the season where everything is in bloom, so you have an excellent selection of florals to choose from. Stick with locally grown ones that are in season, and they will last the entire day. This will also help keep your floral budget down too.
Some beautiful selections for spring include tulips, peonies, sweet peas, lilacs, cherry blossoms, hyacinths, or fresh herbs. For summer weddings, choose florals like eucalyptus, orchids, palm leaves, protea, anthurium, zinnias, amaranths, ranunculus, succulents, pampas grass, or other dried flowers. Go bold with your selections, incorporating floral colors that match your palette.
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Tips to Prevent Wilting
Steer clear of any flowers known to wilt quickly, especially in warmer temperatures. These include hydrangeas, gardenias, or petunias. The last thing you want is to get back your wedding photos and see all of your bouquets drooping and wilting. Instead, go with more durable flowers like succulents.
Most florists will deliver bouquets in a vase of water so keep these nearby. Place your flowers in the refrigerator if there is time beforehand to give them an extra boost. Put them in water when they’re not being carried around at the venue. This will keep them cool throughout the day. Also, try not to place them in direct sunlight if possible.
Outdoor Wedding Wisdom
Have a Plan B in Case of Showers
There’s a lot that you can control when it comes to your wedding day, but the weather is definitely not one of them. This is why it is always essential to have a plan B, especially when it comes to spring showers. Keep your guests dry by hosting under a tent and having umbrellas ready on hand. Ideally, your venue should have an indoor option available too.
Check the weather in the morning and consult with your event planner to quickly spread the word if you need to move guests inside. Offer valet parking and secure your venue’s entrance with tented hallways or a canopy and outdoor rubber mats.
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Make Guests Comfortable
Late spring and summer heat can get intense, so it’s important to always keep you and your guests’ comfort top of mind. Select a venue with indoor and outdoor space, so guests can grab some shade or cool off when they want to. Keep guests refreshed with chilled beverages and cool towels too.
Position chairs near naturally shaded areas, rent market umbrellas, and place personal fans on each seat or rent large drum fans. Avoid metal chairs that will overheat or use cushions and slipcovers to prevent this. Fill a basket with bug spray and sunscreen to keep out any unwanted visitors and avoid sunburn.
If it’s early spring and the night gets chilly, plan to have space heaters around to keep everyone warm. Another option is to hand out color-coordinated blankets for guests to keep. Prepare as much as possible, but if you still find yourself caught in a sudden wind, heatwave, or the middle of a rainstorm, make the best of it. Try to laugh and bask in that newlywedded bliss instead of cursing up at the sky.