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Have the best summer wedding with our top tips

The truth about summer weddings is this: they have the appearance of simplicity. But that’s often a facade. Just because summer weddings have a natural ease about them, doesn’t mean they’re always easy to plan. But you’ve always wanted a summer wedding, right? Well then, let’s make sure you do it right with these “do’s” of planning. They’re small considerations that will keep pictures looking fresh, guests cool and happy, and your atmosphere lively.

Boutineer

Have a backup boutonniere. This is true whether you’ve chosen to take pictures before of after the ceremony—a single bloom will start to look wilty after a few hours. Your bouquet can be periodically placed in water but his boutonniere stays pinned to his jacket where it gets heated, hugged, and fussed with. Having a backup boutonniere on hand will ensure his ensemble is in impeccable shape and will keep your bridal portraits looking fresh.

Quiet

Choose a quiet outdoor ceremony location. Beach weddings are stunning—no doubt about it, but it has to be more than just picturesque. You really want your wedding guests to be able to sit comfortably and hear your vows. And this is difficult if the wind is whipping and the waves are crashing in. Where’s the best place to say ‘I Do’? At a lakeside or at a farm or vineyard. Even on the patio at your favorite French restaurant. Bottom line: if it’s private and it’s quiet, it’s a winner.

Shade

Provide plenty of shade. Even if most of your wedding takes place indoors, your guests will be drawn to the outdoors. Set up some seating under large trees where people can hang with cocktails firmly in hand. Set up an additional tented “lounge” with couches and cocktail table and chairs. Add a mini bar and some music (bluegrass band, pianist) so guests can comfortably take a reprieve from the heat without having to escape all the fun. And if it’s going to be an especially hot one, place small bottled waters and handheld fans on every seat at the ceremony so guests have a way to keep themselves cool since no one likes an irritable crowd.

Light

Avoid scheduling your portraits at noontime. When the sun is directly overhead, light becomes disastrously harsh and unforgiving. Morning light and twilight time are best, when light is most beautiful and gentle. So whenever possible, take your portraits in indirect light or in the shade.

Rain

Have a rain plan. Quite literally. Don’t put all your eggs in your weatherman’s basket. The last thing you want is to be unprepared for rain. So we say, hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Spend a little extra money to rent tents—just in case. Have a fully scouted, equipped, and planned-to-perfection indoor option—just in case. If everything is well thought-out, you can make a decision an hour ahead of time based on the hour-by-hour forecast and your guests will never know the difference. Love both your outdoor and indoor plan so you won’t be disappointed either way.

 Drinks

Don’t open the bar too soon. A little goes a long way, and we know that summer sun and alcohol don’t always mix. So instead of going all out with a top shelf liquor-stocked bar immediately following the ceremony, consider offering a lighter selection of cocktails—at least for the cocktail hour. White wine spritzers, sangria, a selection of local beer, mango martini. There are a lot of ways to be smart with your selection without sucking the life out of the party. Once the party moves indoors for dinner (or even if you’re outside for the duration of the night), you can progress to stiffer drinks as dinner winds down.

Relief

Pack bathroom baskets. Guests feeling sweaty? Hot? Flushed? Make sure everyone has a way to freshen up. Find containers that match your wedding-day decor—galvanized tin buckets, vintage wooden crates, ornate ceramic boxes—and use them to house freshen-up essentials: mini deodorants, sunscreen, blotters, bug spray, mints, mini water bottles, and so on. A little refreshment will go a long way in the hot summer sun!

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