Of all the months in the year, June is perhaps the one most associated with weddings. Of course, June kicks off a whole summer season that is ideal for throwing a wedding: great weather, vacation time, no school (in most places), and more create an almost irresistible climate for tying the knot. However, there are some things you should keep in mind about planning your summer wedding and putting together appropriate invitations to the event.
Summer Wedding Planning
Because summer is a popular season for weddings, you’re going to need to start booking your venues and your vendors as early as possible. Some popular locations are booked almost two years in advance for weddings during these peak months, so if you can’t start planning early, at least be flexible enough to honestly evaluate your options.
Summer weddings are perfect outdoor occasions, but you have to consider the weather. Heat and humidity will make your guests and your attendants suffer. If you want to get married outside, pick a time in the evening or at sunset when the temperatures are going to be cooler and the bright sun won’t be baring down on everyone. No matter when you have the outdoor ceremony, however, you’ll want to surround the area with plenty of citronella lanterns and candles to ward off insects, especially mosquitoes.
What you wear to a summer wedding is also important. Because of the heat, you will want something as cool as possible. If you’re comfortable wearing a sleeveless gown, that’s a good choice. You should also choose lighter fabrics, such as linen or organdy. The groom and his attendants should wear suits but they should be made of the lightest fabric.
As with spring, summer is a time for lots of flowers to be in bloom. You should make the most of these flowers, especially since they should be available for a lower price than in their off-season. Sunflowers, mums, calla lilies, roses, and orchids can be useful decorations, additions to bouquets, and even nice wedding favors.
For the reception, try to find entertainment that will bring everyone outdoors. For example, you could have a picnic with catered food (choose traditional picnic food, such as fried chicken, potato salad, etc.) and enjoy badminton, horse shoes, and other outdoor games. If you have your wedding near water – either on the beach, in a backyard, or near a public pool – let your guests go swimming. Even the couple can go swimming. The bride can wear a white bathing suit under her gown.
You could also have a backyard barbecue. Consider renting a jukebox for the entertainment or shooting off fireworks. If you don’t have a nice barbecue of your own, many catering companies can provide everything you need, but it will cost more.
There are a few other considerations you need to keep in mind if you’re planning a summer wedding. Wedding cakes need to be carefully refrigerated because the heat can quickly ruin them. Another issue is timing. With summer weddings, you should definitely send out Save the Date cards because so many families will be planning vacations during those months. You don’t want to lose guests just because of a scheduling conflict.
Invitations for Summer Weddings
You’ll probably need to order your save the date cards a little earlier than your invitations since you’ll want to send them out approximately four months before the wedding date. These cards will usually be similar in design to your actual invitations.
As far as your actual invitations go, you should choose something fun if you’re having an outdoor or casual wedding. Bold, bright colors are synonymous with summer and look amazing on invitations. Unless your wedding is very formal, you can be creative with the invitations. For example, you could send out invitations that are shaped like palm trees or a bright yellow sun to represent summer. Even if you can’t find these cards at your local printer’s shop, you could hire a graphic designer to do the work for you.
Photographs of beaches, sunsets, palm trees, and tropical locales also can be used with your invitations. They set the tone for the ceremony and remind recipients of what they’ll have to look forward to in just a few weeks: a return of warm weather.
If you are having a formal wedding during the summer, you may want to use a thinner paper, such as printable vellum for your invitations. Heavy card stock doesn’t convey the same airy coolness. Printed vellum can be transparent or decorative and the ink shows up just as beautifully as it would on the paper.
[image credit: Shawna Herring]