8 Hot Summer Wedding Trends

Summer is a popular time for weddings, but that doesn't mean you have to stick with the summer wedding tradition standbys. Read on for eight new ideas for your summer celebration.

Trend 1: Dynamic Colors

Bright hues are popular for summer weddings. But if you try to use too many colors in one space, you might wind up with a look that's more carnival than nuptial.

What's hot now: Think sophisticated brights. Sticking with just two hues (or two plus an accent color) will keep your space unified. Rather than splashing color all over your reception space, use one dynamic color for a strong statement -- think all-pink centerpieces or bold orange table linens. This holds especially true for your centerpieces: Instead of multicolored centerpieces, alternate single-color floral arrangements for a pulled-together look. Check out our favorite summer wedding color combos.

Trend 2: Laid-back Music

It's summer, so why not lighten the ambience a little? A pianist or string trio will do the trick if you're having a formal cocktail hour, but to really embrace the season, think about alternative summery music styles.

What's hot now: Create a laid-back vibe during your cocktail hour and dinner with steel drums or a singer accompanied with a ukulele. For the reception, heat up the evening with sultry sounds -- we love the idea of incorporating classic swing or big band music to add a fast, upbeat tempo to the evening. Find your wedding musicians.

Trend 3: New Themes

Basic beach or garden themes are classic for the summer. Instead of a generic setting or theme, take the personal route.

What's hot now: Think of your favorite summer hangouts when planning your theme. Rather than just any beach, bring in elements specific to the beach you remember as a kid. If it was a cabin in the woods, go for a mountain theme. Another idea: Honor your honeymoon destination. If you're having a garden wedding but honeymooning in Hawaii, add orchids to your bouquets or fill the bottoms of your centerpiece vases with black lava rocks.

Trend 4: Unexpected Invitations

Letterpressed invites in ivory and black are still as popular and elegant as ever. But if you want to go for something a little more unexpected, ultra-creative wedding invitation designers definitely have color and printing options for you.

What's hot now: Use colors in a new and unexpected way on your invites by reversing the typical invitation color scheme. For example, rather than using fuchsia lettering on a cream-colored invite, opt for cream print on fuchsia paper. Or mix it up -- do the cream-colored invite with fuchsia writing, and then a bright pink reply card with a cream-colored font. Consider the material of your invite as well. One hot-off-the-press idea: Get fabric-printed invites, programs, and escort cards for a laid-back look perfect for summer.

Trend 5: Natural Centerpieces

Cut citrus fruit is a tried-and-true favorite for summertime centerpieces, but other options out there are more unexpected and just as visually appealing.

What's hot now: Love fruit but want something new? Have your florist use hollowed-out watermelons as a centerpiece container for a casual look that's fun and seasonal. Another option is to go natural and green with your containers. Incorporate wooden vases or pedestals with grass or moss to give centerpieces a textured, natural feel.

Trend 6: Wine Smoothies

Your guests will definitely want something cold and frosty, but margaritas and daiquiris can be had at any summertime bar. Instead, go for a libation that's a little out of the ordinary.

What's hot now: Wine smoothies are cold, frosty, and pack less of an alcoholic punch than margaritas. Perfect for your cocktail hour and as a signature drink for the evening, ask your caterer about serving one of these concoctions. A wine smoothie consists of a fruity wine, like rose, blended with ice and fruits of your choice. Garnished with a couple of berries or fruit slices, it makes for a refreshing and unexpected signature sip.

Trend 7: Beyond Wedding Cake

White wedding cakes are popular for every season, and of course, chocolate always reigns for groom's cakes. But with cake bakers nowadays offering so many delectable flavors and fillings, why not try a seasonal selection?

What's hot now: Get inspired by the summer flavors you loved as a child. Think fresh strawberries and whipped cream filling for a strawberry shortcake-style wedding cake, or a citrus-infused filling like Key lime, lemon, or orange vanilla buttercream that honors a summertime fruit. See more summer wedding cake ideas. Beyond the cake, consider serving other desserts. A big-hit idea we love: Hire an ice cream truck to arrive at the end of the night offering summertime favorites -- the perfect nostalgic, late-night snack for your guests.

Trend 8: Eco-Friendly Favors

Classic summer favors like flip-flops and drink koozies will always satisfy, but why not give back to the planet while you give back to your guests?

What's hot now: Eco-friendly favors are bigger than ever, particularly if you're taking advantage of natural beauty and marrying outdoors. One idea: Give guests locally grown herbs planted in recyclable glass jars or tin cans. Dressed up with ribbon or paper in your wedding colors, they're gorgeous and good for the earth. Beyond plants, you might also consider donating to a local charity for a wedding favor idea that never goes out of season.

Special thanks to: Lori Stephenson, owner and senior event consultant, LOLA Event Productions, Chicago, IL; Miriam Phalen, owner and event planner, Sterling Events LLC, New York, NY

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