Add an extra touch of elegance to your wedding with a beautiful monogram. A chic pearl monogram, tied with a satin bow and hanging from a sconce, will add personalization and style to your wedding. To make this stylish accent, simply string pearl beads onto 16-gauge wire and make loops at ends. Then shape the wire into a letter 20 inches tall. Secure the junctions with finer wire and you have a wonderful addition to your wedding.
If you are anything like me, then you cannot live without your chips! Some people love sweets but others would die for that salty goodness. If you are a chipoholic, then why not serve chips at your wedding? You can spice things up a bit by serving gourmet flavors or freshly made chips. Serve the chips in a stylish cone and you have a stylish snack that everyone is sure to love. Plus, you will be able to get your chip fix at your wedding!
Perfect for a wedding by the ocean, these scallop shells clasp table designations as if bearing treasures from the sea. Guests pull out their cards to discover their table numbers, which are hidden behind the shells.
To get the fan-shaped mollusks to stand, we anchored them in polymer clay, then baked them in the oven. The result is sturdy enough to last for years; encourage guests to take the holders home as keepsakes and use them to display photographs.
Tools & Materials
All the materials for this project can be found at a crafts-supply store.
Plexiglas craft roller
1 3/4-inch oval-shaped cutter
Shells, attached as pairs, about 2 1/4 inches wide
Summer weddings are beautiful and full of color, but they can also be very hot! Cool your guests down with a refreshing treat. Rent a snow cone maker and have everyone enjoy a frozen treat. You can stick with traditional flavors such as Cherry and Blueberry or venture out into new favors such as Bahama Mama, Wedding Cake, or Passion Fruit. There are many flavor options available. You could also choose favors that will coordinate with your wedding colors. Be creative and have fun with it! This idea is sure to bring out the kid in all your guests.
If you’re getting married in the summer, you have a whole host of things you need to consider to make sure your wedding is comfortable. While spring and fall brides can just bask in the cool and moderate temperatures, summer brides are often going up against melting heats, seasonal rains, and the discomfort of itchy fabrics. When planning your summer wedding, take the following 100 tips and resources into consideration.
If you have any control over the location of your wedding, try to steer clear of the desert and the south, unless you’re near water. And even then, you need to think about the region’s average temperatures and how to best work with them. For example, if you must get married in Phoenix or Atlanta in July, please consider only indoor venues. If you have some flexibility, however, think about having a destination wedding at some of these extremely pleasant summer locales.
- San Francisco: Are you going to San Francisco? Yes. Especially if you are getting married in the summer. The city is gorgeous, with sandblasted-white buildings and a gorgeous backdrop of grassy foothills. Plus, the region is overflowing with a number of good wineries and amazing chefs. Look into picturesque locations in Napa and Sonoma valleys north of the city, check out the beautiful coastal spots south at Half Moon Bay, or get comfortable at one of the luxurious hotels downtown.
- Montana: Going north in the summer is a good call, especially when that northern location has the beauty of the mountains of Montana. Montana has many lake resorts and isolated vistas that will take your breath away. If you’re a bride with a country spirit, Montana is definitely worth a look.
- Nova Scotia: If you’re an East Coast type of bride think about Nova Scotia. With average July temperatures hovering between 68 and 77 degrees the weather couldn’t be more perfect. Plus, you can easily pick from many seaside resorts. Just think about the wedding photo of you and your hubby in front of one of the country’s iconic lighthouses.
- Vancouver Island: OK, so you’re a West Coast kind of bride. Check out Vancouver Island, off the coast from the city of Vancouver in British Columbia. Not only does the island have an active and photogenic city, but it is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and mountains in the distance. A very beautiful locale accompanied by perfect summer temperatures.
- Ruidoso, New Mexico: Ruidoso is located in the mountains of New Mexico and unlike the other parts of this desert state it offers cool summer temperatures, beautiful mountain views, and plenty of rivers and lakes. Ruidoso also has a very cute downtown area that caters to tourists – a perfect place for your guests to mill about during their free time.
- Alaska: We’ve all heard about the monstrous mosquitoes that plague Alaska each summer, but have you heard about the beautiful weather, snowcapped mountains, and glorious pine trees? Most people dream of going to Alaska, so why not take them there in the summer? You can choose to get married on the coast, on a lake or in the Yukon.
- Hawaii: Yes, it gets hot in Hawaii in the summer, but it’s a bearable heat. Let’s face it, Hawaii is pretty much a good option for a wedding no matter what the time of year, despite the rainy season in the winter months. But summer temps in Hawaii are moderate and breezy with a constant ocean wind. And the island culture makes for a festive locale.
- Lake Erie, Ontario: Right across the border from Buffalo, New York is a quieter, more isolated area of Lake Erie. Another excellent Canadian destination, consider crossing the border just slightly and checking out such quaint locations like the Buffalo Canoe Club.
- Colorado: Mountains galore is what you’ll find in Colorado and you can pretty much guarantee beautiful scenery in any mountain town, whether it be Crested Butte, Teluride, Durango, Breckenridge, or Estes Park. Just warn your guests about the altitude change!
- Oregon: Whether you are looking for a beach wedding, a city wedding, or a mountain wedding, look no further than Oregon, a state that has all of this plus gorgeous summer temperatures to boot. Check out Portland, Mount Hood, Eugene, and Astoria, to name a few.
The key to summer bridal dresses is cool, cool, cool – and of course stylish! And more than any other seasonal bride, those of you marrying in the summer need to think about comfort and breathable fabrics. No one wants a sweaty bride. Even if you get married in a temperate climate you will still be dealing with some sun. Look for fabrics like chiffon, organza, cotton eyelet, crepe, and definitely go minimal with the sleeves and the skirts. Here are a few excellent dress styles to consider.
- Alfred Angelo: This strappy, simple dress is a perfect example of a summer wedding gown. It’s fitted, but not too tight; airy, but not too causal. And the lightweight lace and gentle beaded accents make for a radiant look that isn’t overdone.
- Platinum by Priscilla Short Crepe: This dress is a terrific consideration for a modern, highly sophisticated bride that wants to retain an elegant style while also meshing with the season. This mini-dress is highly movable, falling slightly above the knee and featuring a lovely tulle overlay that lends the dress a sheer, light quality.
- Amsale Summer 2008: If you’re looking for a long dress and don’t want to stick to a feminine, princess theme, check out these dresses from Amsale’s new summer line. Most all gowns are floor length and are constructed to be light while still looking full. All the gowns are strapless, accenting the collar bone, and there are a variety of summery looks to choose from, whether you want satin, lace or both!
- Paula Varsalona: This dress is an incredible combination of the elegant and casual and would be a great pick for a beach or outdoor wedding. The sheath-style silk and chiffon gown is loose while still looking fitted, and the architectural V-neck gives it class and technical points. This summer bride will look picture-perfect no matter where she weds.
- Melissa Sweet Short Lace: A short, A-line gown that screams garden wedding, this dress is simple and stylish; light and cool. The designer didn’t overdo the details and therefore gets great style points for summer wedding dress design. The lace will conceal any perspiration a bride might have and the gentle lavender bow beneath the waist is a great color accent for the season.
- Amsale Short: You’ve seen most of Amsale’s long gowns for this season, so now you have to check out one of their shorter numbers. This knee-length bead dress looks so comfy you almost want to sleep in it. Yet it’s also very glamorous and trendy. The beaded V-line straps also add a unique design element to this very light, summery dress.
- David’s Bridal Chiffon A-Line: A great dress for summer, this one is made with all the right materials, namely a very sheer chiffon, that falls gracefully to the floor without weighing down the bride. The pleated bodice adds beauty and style to a simple A-line cut and you can practically see the gown moving with a gentle breeze. An excellent, stylish choice for a no-frills bride or an outdoor wedding.
- Essence of Australia: A clingy gown that doesn’t accentuate unflattering areas, this floor-length gown is also made of chiffon and is a light option for a bride that still wants a layered look. A strapless gown that’s both sexy and beach casual.
- Angel Sanchez: A great look for a funkier bride, this gown by Angel Sanchez is short and sassy. The cut is such that the gown keeps its distance from the bride’s skin, allowing for a little air conditioning. And the gathered neckline and skirt ruffle is very cute and unique. This gown will keep you cool and stylish.
- Adele Weschler: Canadian designer Adele Weschler is a master of summer-ready dress designs. So many of her styles incorporate light, flowy fabrics and floral details. She’s a designer that really runs the gamut from simple to ornate and keeps romance and femininity in mind at all times. Check out her latest looks for some inspiration!
Your bridesmaids dresses are almost as important to setting the look and feel of your wedding as your own dress is. Summer is a great time to take advantage of fun and flirty styles and colors for your closest friends. For those of you seeking a casual wedding, think hard about the kinds of dresses your maids could wear again. No one likes to spend lots of money on a dress they’re just going to wear once and give away. Here are a few looks to consider.
- Eden Maids: This little number comes in about any color imaginable and is made of a free flowing chiffon material that is stylish and simple. Your bridesmaids will appreciate your departure from the staid tried and true looks and the pleated bust and delicate ribbon add a valued element of style.
- Go Gray: This gray number by Laundry is flirty, fun and neutral – just think how well a bouquet of bright pink red or orange flowers would stand out against this stylish backdrop. Plus, this is a dress that your bridesmaids will thank you for – it’s multi-faceted and could be worn to a cocktail party or a club.
- Navy Patterned J.Crew: Have fun with some bold patterns! Check out this sassy number from J. Crew. It’s strapless, comfortable, and super-stylish and can definitely be worn again in a variety of situations. Love the bold floral patter on the skirt, as well – definitely different from your typical bridesmaids dress.
- BCBG Satin: This dress is a gorgeous shade of blue and features a very attractive and cute design of satin tiered pleating followed by a tulle hem. It’s fun and dressy and versatile all at once and a great shade for summer.
- Nicole Miller Fuschia: An excellent, excellent choice for your bridesmaids, this short Nicole Miller dress has a simple cut, but a lot of style. The color is bold and feminine, the draping is expertly done, and the fabric is very breathable. Your friends will thank you for giving the gift of fashion and comfort.
- Vera Wang Goddess Gown: How romantic is this dress? The light sky-blue fabric hangs beautifully, creating interesting lines. The material, color, and style couldn’t be more summery if it tried and again even though this is a floor-length dress it’s something that can definitely be re-worn.
- Vera Wang Short: Cute and ladylike, this cream colored gown is accented by a black waistband and presents another perfect outfit for a summer bridesmaid. The bubble skirt is very in right now and the sweetheart bodice gives the otherwise simple dress a little texture.
- Bebe Slip Dress: Go easy on your bridesmaids’ wallet and give them a little sex appeal with this tight black number from Bebe. Clearly a reusable dress, black is a very popular wedding color – especially appropriate for night weddings. This dress is both sexy and classy.
- La Femme Bubble Dress: This spunky, funky strapless dress is a great shade of cherry red. The gathered skirt and well-cut bodice are fashionable and would fit many a body type. A very flirtatious style, indeed.
- Betsey Johnson Sea Foam: This cute, ballerina-like dress from Betsey Johnson is a great color and style for summer. Baby blue with a broad pink sash and tulle edging, this dress will stand out and make your bridesmaids look gorgeous!
The style for summer weddings is light and breezy, so when you’re thinking about how to do your hair steer clear of tight buns and harsh updos. Summer styles are all about flowing locks and tousled curls. Here are a few examples of some looks you’ll definitely want to consider for summer.
- Simple Waves: A classic look for any bride, if you’ve got long, luxurious locks, show ‘em off. Go for big easy waves cascading down your back and gently framing your face.
- Windswept Updo: This wavy, messy-yet-controlled updo is modern and sophisticated. Get your hair out of your face while still making it a main focal point of your look.
- Floral Accent: A loose and layered updo elegantly accented with one strong floral hairpin. A gorgeous look that is definitely in line with the spirit of the season.
- Wavy Headband: This look is so cute and mod – it’s perfect for the bride with an impeccable sense of style and a flirtatious nature. It can be worn with a preppy or a funky dress. And it’s unique – you rarely see a bride wearing a headband.
- Retro Short: A retro style for a bride with a hip sense of style and short hair. Pin some small calla lilies into a tousle of pin curls.
- Natural Updo: The brilliance behind this style is that it’s so natural and simple it looks like the bride did it herself moments before walking down the aisle. A wonderful style that would really suit a casual outdoor wedding.
- Long, Soft Curls: A beautiful look, pulling a few strands of hair away from the front of your face is a romantic and classic style.
- Long Curly Headband: If you’re going to play around with hair accessories like headbands, try positioning them in between the front and back locks to create a little depth. Also, try out different accessory styles. This headband’s silver, jeweled look adds a fancy touch.
- Curly Ponytail: This pulled back bunch of curls is well-accented by flowers. The bangs give the look more layers and the bride achieves the goal of looking both beautiful and carefree at the same time.
- Bright Flower: Get bold with your accents, like this bride who used a well-placed, poppy-colored anemone over her right ear. Summer is a colorful and bold season, so your style and accessories should be, too. Be brave and stand out! This look can work for long or short hair, too.
Summer weddings are ideal for flower arrangements, since many beautiful species are in bloom during these months. Still, while several varietals are available during the summer keep in mind the temperatures and weather conditions of your chosen location. Obviously, some flowers do better than others in strong heats, winds, or cooler temperatures. Here are some options for your floral arrangements and how they will stack up against your conditions.
- Dahlias: These round little pinwheels come in all sorts of colors and different varieties. They’re sturdy and bold while still being feminine and cute. They make a great addition to a centerpiece or can be carried on their own. Check out the Dahlia Aurora Kiss for a truly mesmerizing bud or the Aspen range for a more delicate, dreamy look.
- Calla Lilies: The Calla Lily is a very common and standard choice for a wedding, and the reason is because it’s a flower that can stand on it’s own. Its independence and complete elegance is testament to why. Consider a bunch tied together with a delicate ribbon or have your bridesmaids carry one long stem each. They also make an excellent and strong centerpiece for a table arrangement.
- Daisy: A classic flower that is both beautiful, cute, and simple. The daisy is a great choice for those brides seeking a casual wedding experience. They signify the innocence of childhood and the playfulness of love. Not a high-tech flower, but a very communicative one, indeed.
- Sunflowers: Sunflowers, always iconic, are a terrific choice for summer weddings, mostly because the summer months are when they peak. Plus, if you’re getting married outside – maybe on a mountain top or in a garden – sunflowers are an even better choice because they are a signature wildflower. Consider pairing them with a colorful purple flower like an iris or some gentle lavender.
- Zinnias: They come in purple, yellow, pink, orange and green to name a few colors and like Dahlias the Zinnia flower resembles a delicate, fun pinwheel. Play with the colors, insert them into a diverse bouquet, or let them stand alone in huge bunches. The Zinnia is a gorgeous summer flower that will fit in well with any wedding theme or style.
- Gerber Daisies: While gerber daisies are available throughout most of the year, they have a playful, fun look that makes them very appropriate for summer weddings. Plus, they’re colorful, so you can pick and choose the shade that best matches your theme.
- Hydrangeas: Looking for a bold flower that defines less is more? Then look no further than the hydrangea plant. One clipping is enough for an entire centerpiece or bouquet. This full flower is powerful and establishes a strong presence. It’s available in all sorts of colors and also peaks during the summer. Watch out, though, for high winds or extremely hot conditions, because the hydrangea is as bold as it is frail and tends to wilt quickly in harsh weather.
- Hyancinth: This playful, star-shaped flower comes in many colors and seems to exemplify the literal expression of one heart giving itself to another. The sturdy petals will hold up to many summer weather conditions, while retaining a delicate and feminine look.
- Cosmos: The Cosmos is a humble flower that is the embodiment of warm wishes and sentimentality. Perfect for a garden wedding or an outside wedding the Cosmos is cute and happy, and while it comes in only a few colors — pinks, white and chocolate brown – the colors are blendable with many wedding themes and styles. They aren’t available though until mid-spring, so you June brides may have to look elsewhere.
- Gladiolus: The strength of the Gladiolus is quite formidable and while you may want to mix other flowers in with this varietal to make it a little more feminine and delicate, it’s a flower that is sure to make a bold accent to any arrangement. And considering all the colors available it will be easy to match to any color scheme.
Summer is a great time to play with color and flowers and go big with them both! Whether you are getting married at the beach or in your backyard, there are so many creative and exciting things one can do to liven up an outdoor space. Here a re just a few style points and trends to use as a guide.
- Nautical: If you’re getting married lakeside or seaside, consider a nautical theme. Navy, yellow, and gold are the colors to look to for this preppy style. Use decorative ropes throughout your reception area and sailboat-shaped place cards.
- Garden: Garden weddings are the ultimate style trend for summer and you can go with this theme in just about any location. The key to carrying it off is lots and lots of cascading flowers, pastels, and ribbons. Go with neutral, natural colors, hang lights from trees, and use chair covers with wide sashes.
- Environmentally Conscious: The absolute biggest and brightest trend for wedding themes this year is going green. And what better time to defy global warming than during the warmest months of all? Make everything about your wedding eco-friendly and take the color of the movement literally – green is an excellent color scheme for a summer wedding!
- Starlight: Make your wedding sparkle with diamond accents and some creative lighting! Hold your reception at night and use twinkling spotlights and candles to make it feel like you’re dancing under the stars. Go for a color theme of silver, diamond white, navy and plum.
- In Bloom: Flowers, flowers everywhere is a great theme for summer wedding. Pick a refined, yet happy flower, like the cherry blossom, to pull of this theme in a more casual way. Or if you’re going the fancy route, douse your reception with orchids or calla lilies and breath in the fragrances.
- Color Coded: Pick a color and stick with it. Monotone weddings are all the rage these days, especially if you choose in colors like off-white, lavender, and green. Once you choose your color, accent your décor by going a shade lighter or darker in different areas. This will create a layered look and make your space look bigger.
- Down Home: For those brides who are most down-to-earth, you might be comfortable having a down home country wedding in the comfort of your own backyard. Decorate with gingham table clothes and napkins, lay out your spread on a picnic table, and ask your guests to dress casual. Or look into hosting your ceremony and reception at a local ranch or winery in the country.
- Citrus Grove: The trendy colors for 2008 are yellows, oranges, and greens, so take one, two or all of them and combine them together for a citrus-themed wedding. Dress your bridesmaids in yellows, serve cocktails made with orange juice, and use the theme of a citrus tree for your centerpieces. There are so many ways to have fun with these vibrant and crisp colors.
- Floral Lanterns: Flowers are big during summer weddings, but if you don’t want to go overboard on the real thing, incorporate them into your look through different fabrics. Tie a floral-print sash around your chairs, use printed table cloths, and hang flowery tea lamps around your reception area. Accent the heavy prints with delicate-looking flowers, like baby’s breath and iris.
- Trendy Lounge: Find a great outdoor space for your reception and decorate it with large cushions and brightly-colored throw pillows. Hang some paper lanterns or tea lights around the area and soak in the chill vibe. This trend can be enhanced with some ambient music.
Keeping your guests cool is a must if you want your wedding to be pleasant and if you want to avoid having someone pass out from heat exhaustion during your vows. There are many ways you can work around your surroundings to provide comfort to your adoring guests. Here are some things to keep in mind.
- Air Conditioning: Air conditioning is an obvious way to make sure your guests stay cool. Look at venues that offer air conditioning if you’re planning a long ceremony or raucous reception. If you’re getting married in a particularly hot climate, this is a must. Outdoor venues aren’t appropriate if it’s 100 degrees out.
- Cool Tents: If you must have an outdoor wedding, however, consider stationing a few cooling tents around the ceremony and reception area. Erect tents tall enough for people to stand upright and install some portable air conditioners. That way guests can duck in and out to cool down as they need to.
- Electric Fans: If air conditioning is not an option – and even if it is – you may still want to test the air circulation in your chosen venue. If it’s poor or stifling, get some electric fans to keep things ventilated. Look into quieter more energy efficient models to use during the ceremony.
- Paper Fans: Aside from being a great decoration for your table settings, paper fans are helpful in helping people keep cool. Place one on each chair at your ceremony and reception so that guests have them handy when they need a little breeze.
- Positioning: Think strongly about where you’re positioning your tables and chairs before setting up. What time is your ceremony? Where will the sun be then? Can you seat your guests under a tree so they can enjoy some shade? Figuring out how nature will spread itself across your venue beforehand will give you some handy ideas on where and how to conduct your wedding.
- Morning and Night: If temperatures in your area get frighteningly high during the daytime, why not consider holding your wedding early in the morning or late at night? While a little unconventional, a morning or night wedding will create a memorable experience for everyone while providing some natural relief. Serve brunch and mimosas for a morning wedding; get creative with some spotlights at night and create a whole new feel.
- Popsicles: Have items on hand that will help cool off your guests, like popsicles. Ask your caterer if he or she can make their own or just go to the store for some tried and true frozen treats. You can have your servers hand them out before and after the ceremony and as they’re walking into the reception, and keep a supply handy behind the bar.
- Parasoles:Invest in some bright and colorful parasols that your guests can use at their leisure during your ceremony and reception. If you’re feeling generous, you might consider allowing them to take them home as a favor; if not, see if there’s a local business that might rent you a supply for the day.
- Canopies: If trees and indoor spaces aren’t at your immediate disposal, create your own artificial shields with some well-placed canopies. You can find huge reception tents or smaller coverings through a variety of dealers across the country.
- Koozies: What? Koozies are tacky, you say? No way! Think about keeping your guests’ drinks sweat free and look into ordering some personalized drink koozies for your big day. It’s a cute and original wedding favor that everyone will notice and use for years to come!
One sure fire way to keep yourself and your guests calm, cool, and collected at your wedding is through some fun, festive and refreshing summer drinks. The common thread among all of these options is that they’re cold, cold, cold! Think frozen margaritas, slushy punches, and lots of ice. Here are some great cocktails to stock behind your reception bar and the good news is that many of them can be made without alcohol!
- Viognier: No wedding would be complete without wine, and during the summer you’re going to want to look to white wines since they can be served cold. Look for a light, crisp wine like a viognier, a rare variety that is both sweet and complex. Make sure your bartender is serving small pours so the wine stays cold throughout. If you’re unfamiliar with viogniers, try the one made by Becker Vineyards – it’s delicious and affordable.
- Cider: A beer drink that both men and women can enjoy alike, ciders are so very refreshing on a hot, summer day, they’re light so they won’t weigh your guests down, and many are gluten free – a plus if some of your guests suffer from celiac disease. Spice up your cider offerings and consider a mixed drink, like the Devon Gin, a mixture of cider, gin, and triple sec.
- Cucumber Martini: It may sound strange, but cucumber martinis are delicious and very refreshing in hot conditions. Sometimes super-sweet drinks have a tendency to taste heavy in the heat. Subtle drinks like this one made with cucumber, vodka and lime juice, will cool off your guests and allow them to walk away with a new idea for their own party.
- Avocado Margarita: It may sound strange, much like the above drink, but avocado margaritas are a must-try. Cool and smooth they go down easy and leave you feeling less full than regular margaritas. It’s a nice consideration for guests trying not to carbo load and another unique item that will make your reception stand out.
- Electric Lemonade: This is a festive-looking drink that is a terrific alternative to lemonade. Made with lemons, Sprite, and blue Curacao, your guests will be feeling the cool breezes in no time. For a non-alcoholic option, serve regular lemonade with a citrus garnish.
- Slush Punch: Nothing tastes better than a slightly-frozen slush punch when it’s hot outside. Consider this yummy recipe made with strawberry and lemonade flavors. Take a party-pleasing approach — make two batches and spike one with vodka.
- Aguas Frescas: Aguas Frescas is a Mexican drink made from fruit, sugar and water. Traditionally non-alcoholic, these juices are light, refreshing, and can be made in a variety of flavors. Plus, they’re typically contained in large, clear jars – a colorful and interesting design element for your wedding! Serve the juice in frozen mugs or glasses to increase its coldness.
- Champagne Cocktails: Champagne is a wedding staple, for sure. But why not have fun with it? Add some peach puree and make some Bellinis, add some chilled orange juice for a mimosa, or throw some champagne together with vodka and pineapple juice for a delicious Flirtini!
- Frozen Mojito: Though traditionally served over ice, mojitos are refreshing, minty drinks that can be served frozen as well. Combine lime sherbet with rum, mint leaves, and ice and press blend.
- Hibiscus Iced Tea: Iced tea is a staple summer drink, but try serving your guests a different version of the old-faithful. Hibiscus tea is made from dried flower petals and tastes cool, clean and refreshing. There’s also no caffeine in hibiscus tea, so it’s even more hydrating. Garnish the drink with colorful flowers.
Everyone loves a wedding for the romance and the free food! Your menu, whether you’re going sit-down or buffet style, is one of your most important considerations when planning your wedding. What you serve will say a lot about your tastes, but also consider the tastes of your guests. Summer weddings are all about light fare. Here are some tasty options for your menu.
- Spinach and Strawberry salad: Adding fruit to traditional salads is a great idea for a summer meal. Strawberries are one such fruit that go very well with leaves, nuts, and seasonal cheeses. Check out a variety of recipes for the one that sounds most delicious to you.
- Cold Tortellini Salad: Cold pasta salads are also wildly popular when it’s warm out – just think about every barbeque you’ve attended! For your wedding, you can make this offering a little classier by using cheese-filled tortellinis and elegant looking vegetables like thinly sliced zucchini, green beans, and yellow peppers.
- Gazpacho: Gazpacho, a traditional Spanish soup that is served chilled, is an excellent idea for a summer wedding. It’s light, cold, and packed with nutrients from the tomatoes, onions, and veggies used. A wonderful option for an appetizer or first course.
- Tomato and Mozzarella: Tomatoes, basil and mozzarella go together fabulously. You can serve the combination on its own as a salad, drizzled with some balsamic vinaigrette or throw the ingredients together on a baguette for a tasty, light finger food.
- Salmon with Sweet Corn and Avocado: It’s a smart idea to serve a couple of choices for a main course, one type of meat and one type of fish. Grilled salmon accompanied by a sweet corn, tomato and avocado relish is a great fish option for summer months – filling and light all at once.
- Crab Cakes and Aioli: Crab cakes are a favorite served either as an appetizer or a main course. A standard crowd-pleaser, consult with your caterer on different ways to serve the dish – with a garlic aioli or other kind of complimentary dipping sauce.
- Spinach and Feta Phyllos: Another yummy and light finger food is a phyllo dough purse stuffed with spinach, feta cheese, and onion. A delicious appetizer or side that can be eaten easily.
- Roasted Dijon Chicken: Chicken is another great light summer meat. Spice yours up by roasting it in lemon and Dijon flavors. Add some garlic and paprika to give it a little pizzazz, or talk with your chef about their own chicken recipes.
- Steak: The key to serving steak in the summer is to do it in manageable portions. Go with a skirt steak and offer a horseradish garnish on the side. Light and flavorful, your guests will love the minimalist approach.
- Lobster: If you’ve got the dough, lobster is a luxury that should definitely be reserved for the special occasion of a wedding. Look into a crab-stuffed lobster recipe or serve it with a pea sauce and vegetable risotto.
Like the food you serve for dinner, you also need to think about what kind of cake you want. Don’t go overboard with icings or heavy creams in the summer and probably steer clear of heavy chocolate cakes. Check out this list for some ideas on summery cake tastes and styles.
- Fresh Orange Wedding Cake: A simple, light cake graced with fruity flavors. Though this cake does use buttercream frosting, the apricot mousse filling will undercut its heaviness.
- Three Tiered Calla Lily: This three-tiered white cake with calla lily and lemon accents is a perfect summer look. Ask your baker to go for a simple white cake underneath with a light filling.
- Berry Cake: Garnish your cake with a lightly colored frosting and an overflowing of seasonal summer berries. The berries are both decorative and healthy and will give your cake a light tartness it needs in the summer months.
- Cupcake Wedding Cake: Build your cake out of lots of mini-cupcakes! Cupcake wedding cakes are cute and stylish and very easy on your guests. The best part is that your cake is already divided up into small, manageable portions. Consider making an assortment of different cupcake flavors to suit everyone’s tastebuds.
- Mini Cakes: Another alternative similar to the cupcake cake is the mini-cake – small, pre-made cakes for each individual guest. This example shows the mini cakes made to look like presents – very fun and festive!
- Striped Cake: This funky cake is colorful and bold and is a great cake for a summer wedding. The striping done with the frosting is very unique and you can pick whatever colors you wish to match your theme. A bright idea for a bright season, this cake is also perfect for the more casual bride.
- Apricot Cake: Summer is all about light fruits, and it’s a thought you should try to incorporate into whatever kind of cake you pick. Apricot is a quintessential summer fruit with a strong flavor and a festive color.
- Cherry Blossom Cake: Cherries are another great summery fruit. Think about a tiered cake with sugar covered cherries resting on each layer or check out this floral cake decorated to resemble a cherry blossom tree. Truly beautiful and great for summer or spring.
- Polka Dot Cake: A cute, stylish cake perfect for hipper brides. The polka dot icing is playful and fitting with the season, as are the colors used in this particular example. The upward swooping of the dots conjures images of champagne as well!
- Orchid Cake: This simple white cake is adorned with light blue orchids, a rare and special flower. A very light, feminine, and classy cake design.
Photography by Nicole Goddard – see more at www.nicolegoddard.com
Most couples look forward to their honeymoon with wide-eyed anticipation, awaiting a night of fiery passion and picture-perfect romance that would put any Hollywood chick-flick to shame. In pursuit of this lofty goal, couples book breathtaking week-long getaways in exotic places like Hawaii or the Caribbean. And, in most cases, these romantic excursions deliver the goods. Lots of romantic moments, special memories, and pictures that bring the memories from the fleeting present into the distant future. Unfortunately, not every place can produce such memories. There are some places you should never go on a honeymoon, and this article profiles 10 of them.
While an exception could be made in the case of a couple that is very outdoorsy and adventurous, 9 women out of 10 will not go for this on their honeymoon. To understand why, try putting yourself in their shoes. Many women dream about their weddings and honeymoons, and envision them as paragons of romantic bliss–as well they should be. That being said, most women don’t find it very romantic to be putting together their beds by hand, pitching tents, and creating warmth by burning logs. They envision candlelit dinners, not firelit dinners. Therefore, skip the camping trip for now and save it for a bit later, when it is more appropriate.
2. Dangerous or lawless countries
It’s generally not safe to vacation in uncivilized places or countries that are plagued by lawlessness, political unrest, disease, unsafe terrain, and the like. This becomes even more obvious when you’re talking about where to take a honeymoon. Think about it: You might have done a Google Image search on some remote destination that looks great from the comfort of your living room, but what could be worse than a honeymoon that gets ruined by sickness or even gang violence? Laugh now, but realize that these things do happen in certain parts of the world – and avoid them for your honeymoon!
3. Obviously boring areas
Use common sense here. No girl ever grew up longing for the day when she could take a honeymoon in Kansas, Nebraska, or someplace equally boring (no offense to Midwesterners, of course). The simple, peaceful life has a lot to be said for it. However, it’s just not the picture of romance that most women or men envision for themselves. Therefore, steer clear of any obviously boring places and opt for somewhere a bit more fun or exciting.
4. Somewhere that only you want to go
It happens; couples can and sometimes do have radically different ideas of what their perfect honeymoon means to them. Maybe you want to see the ancient Greek ruins, while your new bride wants fun in the sun. Clearly, you need to reach some kind of agreement so one of you doesn’t remember the honeymoon as a pride-sucking compromise. The goal is to enjoy yourselves, after all! The best solution is to pick somewhere that offers something you both want. Put some serious thought and discussion into what each of you are looking for and make a point of finding somewhere that makes you both happy.
5. Somewhere very close to where you live
A big part of the honeymoon appeal is the “getaway” element; the idea that you are going somewhere far away from your everyday life to celebrate your love together. For this reason, going somewhere close to home can be a real downer. If you live in Connecticut, what’s the excitement in honeymooning in Massachusetts? You guessed it – none! To avoid this trap, try to vacation somewhere a bit further away unless you and your bride truly want to go somewhere close.
6. Anywhere you will be micromanaged
Nothing kills a honeymoon faster than when one spouse feels compelled to micromanage everything (i.e., eating at 9AM, scuba diving at 11AM, sightseeing at 1PM, etc). The fun of a honeymoon is that the two of you can spontaneously enjoy yourselves, whatever that may entail. Therefore, try to avoid trips that are highly scheduled and require you to do certain things at exact times. It will make everything more loose and fun.
7. Anywhere you aren’t going solely for honeymoon purposes
Some spouses (particularly husbands) actually try to cram a business trip and a honeymoon into one! It should go without saying that this is a very unromantic thing to do. You have just been married and the sole focus of your trip should be on togetherness and fun with your spouse. Do both of you a favor and leave business and work behind for a week or two!
8 Very crowded places
Tourist areas are not always a smart choice for honeymooners. Even if you both want fun in the sun, somewhere like Miami Beach that’s crawling with tourists and kids may not be the most romantic setting for you. Instead, find more remote places that cater to adults. Another option is to hit the touristy spots in the off season when you’ll less likely be bombarded by large crowds. The idea is to cut down on distractions and just enjoy being with each other.
9. Anywhere with your in-laws.
Believe it or not, some couples think it’s smart to invite in-laws or other family members along to build a sense of bonding with their new family. While this might sound good to some people, it often spells disaster for honeymoons. Again, the whole idea is to celebrate your new love together. This is only made more difficult by other people and their own ideas about where to go, what to see, where to eat, etc. It’s better to just leave them out of the equation.
10. Anywhere you haven’t thoroughly researched.
Sadly, some places look good from the pictures but don’t actually deliver when you arrive. You don’t want to show up to some hotel or resort to find the place dirty, the staff surly, or the surroundings lacking the right ambiance. Thankfully, the Internet makes it possible to avoid this outcome. Sites like TripAdvisor.com make it extremely easy to find out what past travelers think about your chosen destination. Do your homework and you should have a great time!
Here is a great favor idea for a beach or garden themed wedding. Purchase small, galvanized, buckets from your local craft store and fill them with fresh fruit. Blueberries look wonderful piled high in these tiny buckets. Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and grapes would be some other great options. Just keep in mind that the smaller the fruit the more your guests will get to enjoy! Plus, this is a much healthier option than the traditional candy.