This year’s summer weddings are about small, intimate gatherings of your closest friends and family. Whether the wedding is set in a quiet park in your hometown or far away on a remote beach, nature is the perfect backdrop for your big day.
So what’s the theme? Brides are looking to a more eco-friendly wedding experience, no matter the destination. They are focusing on vintage, repurposed and home-grown decorations in natural, elegant surroundings.
Vintage wedding themes
From a beautiful back yard to an old barn, there’s no wrong place to serve up a vintage-inspired wedding. Picnic tables at the reception and wooden benches during the ceremony add a rustic look to vintage décor. Choose neutral wedding colors like champagne and khaki for a warm, inviting look. Add in dusty pink or aqua blue flowers, candles, cakes and sashes to add a splash of color.
Engagement photos in sepia or black and white are great additions to the tables at your reception. You can print them on the back of the menu, or use them as favors for all the guests who are attending your big celebration. Shop in antique stores to find unique, vintage centerpieces like vases and candleholders to fit your wedding theme. Monogram embossed napkins and ivory tones can help you achieve a vintage look for the reception.
When it comes to your wedding gown, browse thrift stores and online boutiques, or check with your friends and family. Your ideal gown may be stored in an antique hope chest in a friend’s attic!
For the bridal party, parasols and lacy gloves can add those extra special vintage touches to otherwise ordinary attire. For the groomsmen, classics like a black suit and tie or a tuxedo can be easily transformed with simple touches like handkerchiefs or pocket watches – it’s all about the details.
Beach wedding themes
Brighten your summer with an oceanfront wedding! Start with the fresh, cool colors of the ocean and sand, then add a splash of color like coral pink. Or go bright with the hottest color of 2012, Tangerine Tango, offset by bright blues that really pop. There’s no better way to have fun and be comfortable than with super cute flip-flops for the bridesmaids (and even yourself), paired with light fabrics for the men in fresh khaki colors.
Use sand in the bottom of vases and bright flowers to decorate the reception tables. Place cards shaped like starfish, seahorses or shells can add a touch of whimsy to the reception décor. A little brown sugar on the cake or the cake table and on dinner plates makes sweet, edible “sand” for dinner and dessert.
Flowing, breezy gowns with mists of tulle are perfect against an ocean backdrop. Or go extra casual with a shorter dress and flip-flops for super comfortable style. Tropical flowers and small details like umbrellas in drinks can lend a fun beachy feel to your wedding reception without costing a small fortune.
Garden wedding themes
If your wedding is going to be a day at the park, think bright! Hot pink with bright purple, green or dark blue makes for a romantic and elegant outdoor wedding. Something as simple as a hot pink napkin or a bright purple flower arrangement set against bright white linens can add a chic look to your reception décor.
A large clear vase filled with limes can add a splash of green to your food or dessert tables. Set up your reception like a picnic – use mason jars for your drinks with bright, colorful straws and fruit on the edge of the glass to match your wedding colors.
A crisp, bright white wedding gown with lots of lace can set an elegant, romantic tone to your wedding by contrasting with your bright highlight colors. Or choose a soft ivory for a warm, romantic glow. If the garden terrain is uneven, you may want to pick a long dress that covers your shoes and go with comfortable flats rather than heels that might trip you up.
There are endless possibilities for a sophisticated, elegant and fun wedding without exceeding your spending limit. The most important thing to remember is that this day is yours. Have fun with the décor, and your guests will too.