60 Summer Wedding Ideas You Didn’t Know Were Possible

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Couple under a floral arch
Photo: Ashley Cox Photography
chapelle johnson the knot associate editor
Chapelle Johnson
chapelle johnson the knot associate editor
Chapelle Johnson
Associate Editor
  • Chapelle writes articles for The Knot Worldwide. She covers all things wedding-related and has a personal interest in covering celebrity engagements and fashion.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Chapelle was an editorial intern for Subvrt Magazine.
  • Chapelle has a degree in English writing from Loyola University New Orleans.
Updated Mar 11, 2024

If you plan to say "I do" between June and early September, you're in luck because there's plenty of inspiration for your summer wedding. You might not have known this, but summer is when wedding season really pops off, and with that, it can feel overwhelming to narrow down the best options for your celebration. That's where we come in.

To help you plan an unforgettable summer wedding, we've rounded up the top themes, designs, activities, foods and more that you'll definitely want to steal. Get those creative juices flowing by browsing through all our wedding ideas for summer so you can fully cultivate your vision. Then, work with your team of vendors to make your dreams of a romantic summer night a reality.

Summer Wedding Ideas We Love: Themes | Indoor | Outdoor | Decor | Photos

Summer Wedding Themes

The first step in bringing your celebration to life is picking the right summer color combinations and theme. Check out our favorite wedding themes for summer and color ideas here.

1. Retro Tropical Summer Wedding Theme

    To achieve a summery vintage theme, opt for muted reds, greens and yellows, and include the hues in your stationery and signage products to enhance those retro fonts and designs. Having palm leaves as chargers, coconut shell candle holders and photo booth-ready peacock chairs will make guests feel like they've been transported to a swanky 1975 resort.

    2. Beach Summer Wedding Chic Theme

      If you've always dreamed of a beach wedding, summer is the ideal season for you to say "I do." Whether you're heading to a local waterfront or you're whisking loved ones away to a tropical destination, a beach wedding theme is all about light colors, neutral accents and breezy fabrics.

      3. Nautical Prep Wedding Theme for Summer

        Bride and groom posing for portraits in front of lighthouse at nautical preppy summer wedding
        Photo: JessLancePhoto
        Venue: Lighthouse Point Park

        Bring your maritime dreams to life with a nautical prep summer wedding theme. Emulate the essence of New England with shades of blue and white, stripes, accents of rope and twine and nautical motifs of anchors and sea life.

        4. Bright Summer Tropical Wedding Theme

          Whether you're literally (or figuratively) escaping to the tropics for your big day, you'd be remiss not to consider a bold color scheme of rich shades of green, pink, orange and red. Don't forget to have lots of lush greenery and floral garlands, fresh fruit centerpieces, flamingo motifs and more to showcase your creative theme.

          5. Summer Camp Wedding Theme

            If getting in touch with your inner child is one of your goals for the year, why not have a playful summer camp wedding? The activities and venue are the most important aspect here. Canoeing, making s'mores and playing lawn games are just a few of the events you can put on your wedding itinerary. And for your summer camp wedding venue, see if you can rent a campground for your affair.

            6. Sunset Desert Wedding Theme for Summer

              Wedding party in desert wearing sunset colors
              Photo: Porterhouse LA,Venue: Ma Sa Ya Desert Ranch

              Let the setting sun be your inspiration for this theme. Ask your guests to dress in shades of dark yellow, orange, red and brown. Then accent your venue with feathered pampas grass, neutral blooms and wispy greens to give your day chic desert vibes. Just remember to provide plenty of shade and hydration if you want to hold your wedding in an actual desert.

              Indoor Summer Wedding Ideas

              Whether it's too hot at your destination to be outside or you want wedding ideas for summer that fit your hybrid indoor-outdoor celebration, we got you covered. Here are some fun options that'll work for your venue.

              7. Healthy Seasonal Summer Wedding Food Spread

                Healthy summer wedding food spread
                Photo: Emily Loeppke

                Local seasonal produce has been a wedding food trend for the past couple of years. Participate in this trend by having fresh light bites for guests to snack on during the cocktail hour.

                8. Surfboard Summer Wedding Guest Book

                  This summer wedding idea works for outdoor and indoor spaces. If your celebration is close to the ocean or you and your partner love catching waves, have a surfboard as your guest book. It'll work as a unique keepsake and talking piece.

                  9. Summer Wedding Ice Cream Station

                    A chilled sweet is a perfect addition to any summer wedding. Have an assortment of your favorite flavors, non-dairy and allergy-free options so everyone can cool down from the heat. You can even ask for alcohol-infused ice cream from your vendor if you're feeling adventurous.

                    10. Floral Summer Wedding Invitation

                      Floral summer wedding invitation
                      Photo: Jordan Maunder Photography

                      Finding on-theme summer wedding invitations doesn't have to be hard. Use The Knot Paper to satisfy all your summer stationery needs so you can get a pale blue butterfly and flower invitation suite, as this couple did.

                      11. Fresh Summer Wedding Seafood Bar

                        You really can't go wrong with a fresh seafood bar. We think this display is ideal at indoor weddings because you won't have to worry about your food getting spoiled as quickly. This idea is also a great way to nod to your coastal surroundings.

                        12. Faux Tent for an Indoor Summer Wedding

                          Faux tent summer wedding reception
                          Photo: Emily Loeppke

                          If dining outside under a tent with sparkly lights isn't in the cards for you, consider asking your wedding decorator to drape airy fabrics and lights in your indoor reception area. You'll get a very similar feel and beat the heat at the same time.

                          13. Açai Bowl Summer Wedding Station

                            Guests will be delighted to enjoy fresh açai bowls at your beachy destination wedding. With a variety of tropical toppings like berries, granola, coconut flakes and cocoa nibs, your loved ones will feel like they're in a tropical oasis regardless of your coordinates.

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                            Outdoor Summer Wedding Ideas

                            It's time to focus on small details that'll make a huge impact. Here are our top backyard and outdoor wedding ideas for summer.

                            14. Shaved Ice Truck for a Summer Wedding

                              Book a food truck as one of your outdoor wedding ideas for summer. This will help keep you and your guests cool and will be a fun and surprising addition to any celebration.

                              15. Summer Wedding Pool Party

                                Up for a swim? If your venue has a pool (or body of water you have access to), invite guests to cool off and take a splash. This summer wedding idea is particularly fitting for a welcome party or a postwedding brunch. If swimsuits are requested, don't forget to tell guests on your wedding website and your formal invitations.

                                16. Summer Camp-Inspired Seating

                                  Camping aficionados may prefer to give a nod to their favorite pastime with tent-inspired seating. This outdoor wedding idea is a great way to encourage guests to sit back, relax and mingle with each other at your reception. Plus, nothing screams "summer" like a good old-fashioned campfire circle.

                                  17. Summer Wedding Lawn Games

                                    No backyard summer party is complete without a few wedding lawn games. If you're hosting your wedding guests outdoors or in your own backyard, give them a few summery games to play in between events, like cornhole, giant Jenga or ring toss.

                                    18. Summer Wedding Tent With String Lights

                                      A wedding tent is a great investment, especially for an outdoor summer shindig. Not only will it help protect against the elements, like hot temperatures or an unexpected rain shower, but tents can be easily decorated to fit your theme. Regardless of your style, consider decorating the interior of your wedding tent with romantic string lights—they're an easy (and affordable) way to set the mood and cast a cozy, welcoming glow over your space.

                                      19. Simple Summer Wedding Invitation

                                        Summer wedding invitations
                                        Photo: Ioana Porav Photographer

                                        Another route you can take with your summer wedding invitations is going minimalistic with their look. We love how the inside of the envelope has a colorful image of the Greecian coast, where the wedding was held, which contrasts with the calm sage and ivory hues on the stationery.

                                        20. Summer Wedding S'mores Pit

                                          Bride and groom roasting S'mores at casual outdoor backyard summer wedding
                                          Photo: Christina Servin Photographs
                                          Planner: Celebrations by Sandy

                                          No summer event is complete without a few roasted marshmallows. Give guests a sweet nightcap with a s'mores pit or build-your-own s'mores bar. This summer treat is always a crowd-pleaser, and it'll leave your guests raving about your excellent planning skills.

                                          21. Fan and Handkerchief Summer Wedding Favors

                                            Offer fans and handkerchiefs to your guests as useful summer wedding favors. At this Tulum, Mexico ceremony, the happy couple was thoughtful enough to give cute cooling devices to help with the warm weather.

                                            22. Lakefront Summer Wedding Ceremony

                                              What's not to love about an outdoor ceremony on the water's edge? Located in a pocket of trees along a serene lake, this whimsical summer wedding venue offers stunning views and scenery. To emulate this aesthetic, look for venues with lakefront views for your summer soirée.

                                              23. Steel Drum Music at a Summer Wedding

                                                Steel drum music at beach wedding
                                                Photo: Melissa Mowrey

                                                For this beach wedding, the to-be-weds hired a local musician to sing and play steel drums at the ceremony. The performer also entertained the guests at the beach house reception.

                                                24. Shoe Shelves for Outdoor Summer Wedding

                                                  Let your guests get as comfortable as possible during your celebration. Cocktails, dinner and dancing were held at Laguna Beach, so the couple had shoe cubbies for guests who wanted to take their footwear off while walking in the sand.

                                                  25. Synchronized Swimmer Summer Wedding Performance

                                                    Synchronized swimming performance at summer wedding
                                                    Photo: Bonnie Sen Photography
                                                    Performers: Aquabatix

                                                    Want an out-of-the-box summer wedding reception idea? Hire a synchronized swimming group to wow your loved ones as they enter the venue. This works for spaces with indoor or outdoor pools.

                                                    26. Summer Wedding Backyard BBQ

                                                      BBQ at summer wedding
                                                      Photo: Evangeline Lane Photography
                                                      Caterer: Supper Solutions

                                                      Summer is synonymous with casual backyard cookouts. If you're hosting a relaxed outdoor event, fire up a few grills and invite guests to indulge in their favorite summer comfort foods like burgers, hot dogs, barbecue and mac and cheese.

                                                      27. Bold Summer Wedding Sunglasses

                                                        Not everyone will remember to bring proper eyewear for an outdoor wedding. Think ahead for your guests by having sunglasses ready with your wedding colors.

                                                        28. Nautical Summer Wedding Entertainment

                                                          Wedding entertainment isn't limited to live music and time spent on the dance floor. To give your guests an evening to remember, consider hiring additional activities to keep them busy in between cocktail hour, reception speeches, dinner and dancing. This couple took their summer wedding to the next level by hiring maritime performers dressed as mermaids for a sunset boat cruise.

                                                          29. Urban Garden Summer Wedding Rooftop

                                                            Rooftop garden summer wedding
                                                            Photo: Max McQueen Photo

                                                            Just because you want a rooftop wedding doesn't mean you must give up having nature at your nuptials. Have an urban oasis at the entrance of your wedding to put your guests in the summery vibe.

                                                            30. Grilled Seafood at a Summer Wedding

                                                              Grilled octopus at outdoor summer wedding reception
                                                              Photo: Forester Fotógrafos

                                                              Seafood lovers, here's another summer wedding idea for you. Summer is the best time to serve a nautical menu full of fresh catches like fish, crab, lobster, oysters or even octopus. If you're having an outdoor wedding, you should definitely take advantage of the space and have grilled seafood delights.

                                                              Summer Wedding Decorations

                                                              It doesn't matter whether you're doing an indoor or outdoor wedding you'll need the right decorations to make it shine. Below are 12 ways you can adorn your ceremony and reception space.

                                                              31. Pastel Floral Centerpieces at a Summer Wedding

                                                                Emulate cotton candy-colored summer skies with pastel florals. These blush, lilac and ivory centerpieces remind us of a romantic beach sunset, and the rose gold accents add a playful pop of metallic sheen that makes this tablescape unforgettable.

                                                                32. Summer Wedding Succulent Place Cards

                                                                  Avoid wilting florals by having succulents at your summer wedding. These plants require little to no water and can stand the heat. We love how this couple used the plants as place cards and wedding favors.

                                                                  33. Statement Draping for an Outdoor Summer Wedding

                                                                    Get creative with your venue decor, especially if you'll be celebrating outdoors. This couple accented their reception space with ethereal drapes and string lights across towering trees.

                                                                    34. Whimsical Summer Wedding Floral Installations

                                                                      Give guests something to marvel at with a statement floral installation. We love how these floral arrangements frame the altar, making it a focal point of the ceremony venue. To get the most out of your flower investments, work with your florist to transfer any statement pieces from the ceremony to the reception site so you can enjoy them all night.

                                                                      35. Floral and Citrus Summer Wedding Centerpieces

                                                                        Floral and citrus centerpiece at summer wedding
                                                                        Photo: Hannah Bryerton Photography,
                                                                        Florist: William's Florist & Gift House, Inc.

                                                                        Nothing honors the summer season more than having flowers and fruit paired together. At this Almalfi-Cost-inspired reception, each table had pastel-colored flowers and fresh fruits as summer wedding centerpieces.

                                                                        36. Popsicle Summer Wedding Escort Card Display

                                                                          Gold and blush popsicle sign at summer wedding
                                                                          Photo: Devon Donnahoo Photography

                                                                          We're obsessed with this rose gold escort card display. Each popsicle had a guest's name on the stick and sat in a coupe glass to catch the melting deliciousness.

                                                                          37. Palm Frond Summer Wedding Charger

                                                                            For couples who want a tropical wedding, incorporate nature as much as possible. Steal this idea by having palm fronds as chargers so it can make your gold silverware pop.

                                                                            38. Minimal Summer Wedding Aisle Decor

                                                                              You don't have to go over the top with summer wedding decor, especially if your venue is breathtaking. We recommend letting the views speak for themselves. We love how this couple opted for minimal ceremony aisle decorations to not distract from the sweeping views.

                                                                              39. Custom Greenery Wall for a Summer Wedding

                                                                                How about a wall of greens for your venue? This creative backdrop idea will serve as the perfect place to snap photos, especially if you personalize it with a custom sign.

                                                                                40. Lantern Walkway at a Summer Wedding

                                                                                  Keep guests on the right path by creating a lantern walkway from the ceremony venue to the reception space. Just imagine how stunning the lights will look as golden hour sets in. The effort of creating a path will be worth it.

                                                                                  41. Lush Summer Wedding Dance Floor Decor

                                                                                    Lush dancefloor decor at summer wedding
                                                                                    Photo: Ashley Cox Photography,
                                                                                    Florist: Sophie Felts Floral Design

                                                                                    We love this ombre summer wedding flower garland at the base of the reception stage. The climbing vines on the bright trellis are also a great touch for a summer wedding.

                                                                                    42. Botanical Summer Wedding Escort Card Display

                                                                                      Botanical escort card display at summer wedding
                                                                                      Photo: Ashley Cox Photography,
                                                                                      Florist: Sophie Felts Floral Design

                                                                                      Let your imagination run wild when it comes to your floral arrangements. This couple used summery blooms as escort cards in hand-painted custom vases.

                                                                                      Summer Wedding Photo Ideas

                                                                                      Getting the best summer wedding photos requires good ideas. After checking out our picks, talk with your wedding photographer so they can bring your ideas to life.

                                                                                      43. Beach Ball Summer Wedding Ceremony Exit

                                                                                        Let your wedding send-off stand out by giving your guests mini beach balls to throw after saying, "I do." This is a great idea for beach weddings or ones held next to a pool.

                                                                                        44. Pretty in Pastel Summer Wedding First Look

                                                                                          Pastel first look at summer wedding
                                                                                          Photo: Ioana Porav Photographer,Florist: Las Floristas

                                                                                          At this oceanfront affair, the to-be-weds did a traditional first look. This photo opp is the perfect time to get semi-candid moments of you and your partner wearing your beautiful seasonal attire.

                                                                                          45. Summer Wedding Boat Photo Shoot

                                                                                            Don't live with regret by not utilizing the scenic water next to your wedding venue. Book a boat ride to enter your ceremony or reception, and ask your wedding photographer to tag along to snap fun pictures.

                                                                                            46. Personalized Embroidered Summer Wedding Shoes

                                                                                              Embroidered summer wedding shoes
                                                                                              Photo: Ashley Cox Photography

                                                                                              The bride commissioned an artist to embroider the exact blooms that would be at the wedding on her shoes. (Psst. You might have to squint to see it, but the artist also included their wedding date. What a sweet touch!)

                                                                                              47. Custom Summer Wedding Coconuts

                                                                                                This branded coconut featured some of the blooms at the wedding, but we don't think you should stop there. Consider adding your and your partner's names and wedding date if you like this unique idea.

                                                                                                48. Bubble Wedding Exit at a Summer Wedding

                                                                                                  It never hurts to be playful with your wedding reception exit. Have a table of bubble guns so your guests gently blast you while you're heading to your getaway car.

                                                                                                  49. Lemonade Stand as a Summer Wedding Photobooth

                                                                                                    Not every guest will want to make a beeline for the bar, so prepare to have a few non-alcoholic drink options too. We also love the idea of having a lemonade stand at your outdoor summer wedding as a photobooth area.

                                                                                                    50. Colorful Summer Wedding Suit

                                                                                                      Don't feel confined to dark colors for your summer wedding suit. This warm season is the perfect occasion to experiment with bright formalwear shades, like navy, light blue, maroon or forest green.

                                                                                                      51. Summer Wedding Sparkler Exit

                                                                                                        What better way to close your outdoor summer wedding than with a shimmering send-off? Give guests plenty of sparklers to hold as you and your S.O. depart at the end of the evening. Or, if you're feeling bold, go all out with a colorful fireworks display.

                                                                                                        52. Tropical Tiki Summer Wedding Cocktails

                                                                                                          Custom beverages are an easy way to give your big day a personal touch. We recommend experimenting with summery wedding cocktails like Aperol spritzes, frozen wine, popsicle slushies, mojitos or sangria. Work with your wedding planner or bar staff to create a few unique drink options that represent you and your S.O.

                                                                                                          53. Oceanside Summer Wedding Photo Shoot

                                                                                                            Be adventurous for your postceremony photo shoot by climbing on the ocean rocks during sunset. Just remember to wear proper footwear so there aren't any accidents before you get to the reception.

                                                                                                            54. Plunging Summer Wedding Dress

                                                                                                              If you're looking for summer wedding dress ideas, consider experimenting with off-the-shoulder, cold-shoulder or cutout details. Given the warmer temperatures, summer is the right time to opt for daring silhouettes. This bride wore a sleek cold-shoulder dress with a low open back, which was perfect for her outdoor event.

                                                                                                              55. Matching Bouquet and Summer Ceremony Arch

                                                                                                                Make your bouquet brighter than the hot summer sun with vibrant yellow flowers. We love how this bride's cheerful bouquet matches the floral ceremony arch too, which makes the event design feel thoughtful and intentional.

                                                                                                                56. Personalized Ice Luge With Summer Wedding Florals

                                                                                                                  Keep your drinks cold in the summer heat. At this tropical celebration, the bride and groom had a custom ice luge to drink their liquor out of.

                                                                                                                  57. Convertible Getaway Summer Wedding Car

                                                                                                                    Drop the top and enjoy the summer breeze in a convertible. Another perfect summer getaway ride couples love are Jeeps—doors optional.

                                                                                                                    58. Pressed Flower Summer Wedding Cake

                                                                                                                      Summer wedding cakes don't only mean draped flowers and bright colors. Try this minimalistic but artful pressed flower idea for your reception dessert table.

                                                                                                                      59. Summer Champagne Tower

                                                                                                                        There's nothing quite like a cold glass of champagne on a hot summer day. Give guests the ultimate treat with a tower of bubbly beverages at your wedding reception.

                                                                                                                        60. Inflatable Slide for a Summer Wedding

                                                                                                                          Become a kid again and rent a bouncy house or inflatable slide for one of your reception activities. Everyone of all ages will want to give it a try. Just remember to keep the inflatable in the shade since the material can get hot and uncomfortable on people's skin.

                                                                                                                          Sarah Hanlon contributed to the reporting of this story.

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