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15 Cool Ideas: Plan an Unforgettable Wedding this Summer!


Can’t wait for your summer wedding “I do’s”? Well, neither can we! This is the season when brides and grooms get to be more creative and adventurous with how your special day will be. So we had a blast putting together these 15 innovative ideas for your ceremony and reception. See how you can play with colors, patterns and fonts; take advantage of the outdoors; go hip, trendy, and even casual; and just have fun!

Creative summer wedding reception ideas

1 – Mimosa bar – “Make your own mimosas!” Such an inviting come-on for guests thirsting for light, refreshing summer cocktails. So why not set up a trendy little bar for this, with an array of flavors and garnishes to choose from!

2 – Matching bouquet and shoes – With short bridal dresses being a definite summer option, now’s your chance to coordinate your florals with your footwear. The brighter and bolder the colors, the better!

3 – Destination wedding welcome bags – For out-of-town nuptials, be sure to welcome your guests with fun totes filled with practical goodies and mementos of the place. Love this chic example from a real California wedding—complete with a beach towel, sunnies, sparkling water, oranges, pistachios, and chocolate sea salt almonds!

4 – ‘Time capsule’ guest book – Wedding wishes, memories, and predictions can all be captured in this cool alternative guest book idea—and then opened and enjoyed a year later! Check out the very thorough tutorial (see the numbered link below).

5 – Movie poster-inspired invitations – Thinking of a retro-style Movie Night or Drive-through Cinema theme for your summer wedding? This etsy shop find is the perfect invitation idea for that, designed to mimic a movie poster!

6 – Geometrics’ table setting – Create table settings as hot as this setup in sizzling neons and edgy geometrics! Every element in this styled shoot just seems charged with energy!

7 – ‘Do not disturb’ door signs – Flash some fun messages on those doorknob tags beyond the usual ‘do not disturb’ signs when having a destination wedding. Thanks to this wedding of two graphic designers, there’s loads more inspiration for playing with colors and fonts across all the wedding elements!

Image credits: 1 – Kojo Designs / 2 – attributed to Pearl Events Austin / 3 – 100 Layer Cake / 4 – Something Turquoise / 5 – Two Pooch Paperie / 6 – Nicole Rene Events (a.k.a. Simply Savannah Events, now Ivory and Beau) with French Knot Studios and Izzy Hudgins Photography, via Ruffled / 7 – Mike Arick Wedding Photography

Cool summer wedding ideas that are fun

8 – A tented reception venue – If casual + unique is more your thing, then why not consider a giant teepee (spelled tipi in this real-wedding post) for your reception, along with long picnic-style tables? This is definitely a different kind of ‘tented venue’!

9 – Burger bar – Not only are burgers a fun surprise to serve at your reception, but you could actually go for an In-N-Out wedding theme! Complete with a real In-N-Out truck driving up to serve guests!

10 – Chalkboard menus – The chalkboard trend promises to be around for some time yet, since it’s just so practical and versatile. In this lovely find, it’s used for a menu sign gracing the wedding buffet table.

11 – Unity tree planting ceremony – A sunny outdoor wedding is the ideal chance to do this unique ‘unity’ ceremony: planting a tree sapling. With such a lovely mountain setting as in this real wedding, the choice is perfect!

12 – Beer bar – Now here’s a summery idea for you! How about serving bottles of ice cold beer as a great way to set a relaxed mood and get guests ready to celebrate with you? Plus you can tap local breweries and promote the special ‘spirit’ of the area!

13 – Polaroids as escort cards – Photos bring an instant personal touch to an event. So imagine an entire escort card display made up of ‘Polaroids’ created from actual guests’ snapshots! Neat idea.

14 – Lawn games – Take advantage of being outdoors to get guests on their feet and active—not just for the usual dancing, but for ‘throwback’ lawn games. Think ‘corn hole,’ as seen in this sweet, laid-back wedding, or other favorites like croquet, lawn bowling, horseshoe toss, or even giant Jenga!

15 – Candy box wedding invitations – Playful invites are perfectly acceptable when it comes to a summer wedding. And these ones designed to mimic candy boxes even have real jelly beans enclosed!

Image credits: 8 – Love My Dress / 9 – Ashley Rose blog / 10 – Studio Blush (photo by Denise Cregier) / 11 – Valerie Joy Photography / 12 – Seattle Bride magazine / 13 – Becoming Mrs. Ford, via Hall Events / 14 – Orangerie Events / 15 – Eric Carver, via Behance

See more inspiration for a summer-perfect event:

Dazzling Color Palettes for Summer Weddings

Salute a Summer Wedding With a Citrus Theme

Summer Color Palettes for a Fabulous Wedding Party

Chic Ideas for a Lavender Wedding in the Summer

Elegant Ideas for a Poolside Wedding With a Palm Springs Vibe


  1. Love the burger bar idea! The chalkboard menus are fun too–love to see this in Real Weddings . . .

  2. Hi there, Amy! Yes, isn’t it great that summer allows couples to try really fun ideas for their wedding?

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