Get set for a glorious summer wedding
As the days get longer and the sun shines brighter our thoughts turn to summer weddings. It’s the most popular season for tying the knot – and for good reason. There’s nothing more idyllic than celebrating your nuptials on a balmy day with warm weather, a gorgeous sunset and a warm starry night.
Having said that, there are a few potential downsides. Great weather is not guaranteed. Being Britain, it could rain, blow a gale or be blisteringly hot (and quite possibly all on the same day!). And since guests will probably in attendance at several “I do” events this season you have to make sure yours stands out.
So how do you host the ultimate summer bash that gets it exactly right, come what may? In this post we give you some top tips that will help you make your big day a roaring summer success.
Venue, Venue, Venue
You need a venue that can handle whatever kind of weather you get on the day. Somewhere that enables you to make the most of the sunshine and outdoors if it turns out fine. But with ample indoor spaces if it decides to rain or guests are desperate for some shade – there’s nothing worse than being cooped up in marquee in a monsoon or sweltering under an unrelenting sun that threatens everyone with heatstroke!
Forgive us for this blatant piece of self-promotion but Clevedon Hall is a great example of what you need to look for in a summer wedding venue. You can have a comfortable wedding breakfast for up to 150 guests in the library. The adjoining orangery is ideal for afternoon team and provides a lovely sunny space that’s part indoors part outdoors – the best of both worlds.
Our outside gazebo is fully licensed and we can be very flexible on whether to hold an indoor or outdoor ceremony up to the morning of the wedding. The terrace is perfect for socialising with drinks, nibbles al fresco feasting or a barbecue. There are acres of beautiful lawns for kids (and adults!) to run wild or play games. The house, the lake and grounds offer a host of stunning settings for photographs and videos. You can even have fireworks!
If a venue does not tick all these boxes you may look back later and regret it.
Summer is the wedding season so venues get booked up way ahead of time – especially those, like Clevedon Hall, that are so appropriate for your big day in the sun.
People get booked up too. School and university is out and families have holidays organised, parties to attend and other weddings invites. So if you want to get married in the summer months you need to plan well in advance and let your guests know the date at the earliest opportunity.
Food for thought
Heavy food and heat don't mix so for a summer wedding you’d be well advised to pick a light and refreshing dinner menu. There's a time and place for a heavy, decadent five-course meal – but this is not it! Fill people up with rich and hearty dishes and they’ll soon become sluggish, especially if the weather is hot.
Stick to something like simple grilled fish or chicken, a fresh salad and seasonal vegetables. Gazpacho shooters and grilled fruit skewers make tempting appetizers, while for dessert you might consider fruit pies or tarts in lieu of (or in addition to) cake. Frozen cocktails such as mint, cucumber or watermelon are a great idea too.
Offer Refreshing Cocktails and Wine - nobody wants to sip a tepid cocktail or heavy red wine during the heat of summer. Chilled white or rosé wine or a bright signature cocktail will keep guests cool and refreshed. You may even want to set up a ‘pimp your prosecco’ station. All the rage at the moment they’re a fun and creative way for guests to enjoy one of the nation’s favourite drinks with lots of tempting extras like fresh herbs, berries, cordials, petals and fruit.
Wear something cool and breathable
You want to feel comfortable and confident—not stifling and sticky. We suggest a wedding dress made of light fabric that breathes, such as silk. You might also go for a shorter skirt if you're feeling modern and adventurous. If you can't resist the heavy traditional ball gown, wear it during the ceremony, then change into a lightweight sheath or cocktail dress for dancing. Grooms will look dapper in a fair-toned suit (think: light gray or beige), a crisp linen suit or, for the ultimate beach-casual look, khakis and a button-down.
Choose flowers that hold up in the heat
You'll want to talk to your florist about heat-resistant blooms that won't wilt in high temperatures. Trendy succulents are an ideal, statement-making option that can withstand even the steamiest of wedding days. Also, as a rule of thumb, hydrangeas will wither in heat, while tropical blooms like lilies, orchids, or fluffy flowers like garden roses or sunflowers can handle warmer weather.
Anything else you want to know about summer weddings?
The team at Clevedon Hall have planned and hosted a huge number of wonderful summer weddings - so if you have a question or need some free advice don’t be shy about asking!