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Summer is high wedding season, but you already know that. The only hot part of that take is the temperature. Summer work schedules are light, and people are ready to party. There’s something about summer that makes celebrating so easy. Perhaps it’s nostalgia for childhood vacations from school, or perhaps it’s just the fact that the living is just that much easier in the summer. Either way, it’s the perfect season to get hitched. But how can you make your wedding stand out from the pack of summer fetes? We’ve got summer wedding theme ideas that will delight your guests in their originality.

While the world is your oyster when it comes to planning your summer wedding, don’t forget to consider your venue first. Theme often comes down to the location you’ll be in, so if you’re getting married at the beach, you’re probably not going to go with classic Americana barnyard vibes, you know?

Another tip for choosing your summer wedding decorations: don’t feel too influenced by the big holiday of the season, the Fourth of July. You’re a considerate person who would never schedule a wedding on the Fourth, but if you’re getting married the weekend after, you don’t need go the stars-and-stripes route. People have a day off of work and plenty of red-and-blue barbecues to attend outside your wedding. Generally, holiday themes are not your friend when it comes to planning your wedding. Here are some themes you can check out instead.


1. The Classic Tented Party

The trick to an excellent tented party is threefold. First, you need an epic tent (duh). Second, you need an excellently manicured lawn to put it on. Third, maximize the vibe with super simple decorations. All-white weddings look great under tents. Keep the table decorations minimal, and place glowing lanterns across the tent. Keep the food outdoors-friendly — a clambake or riff on a traditional BBQ are fun. An excellent dance floor will complete this vibe.


2. The Nautical Affair

Summer is for oceans and water and boating so if you’re getting married near any salty body of water, why not go for a Nantucket or New England vibe? Yes, think lobster rolls and oysters, but all think navy-and-white stripes and hydrangea bouquets. Maybe you add some rope knots are placecard holders. Just be sure to keep it nautical-chic, not nautical-kitschy.


3. The Retro Poolside Party

The rise of the retro motel and hotel vibe is here to stay, and it makes a great backdrop for your wedding. From the pools in Palm Springs to Gurney’s out in Montauk, there’s something splendid about updating a 1960s vibe. Consider splashy colors like yellow or orange and white stripes, and maybe even incorporate some neon. Go tiki with the cocktails, and snag a photo of the wedding party on the pool lounges before the reception. Groovy.


4. The Camp Out

Do you or your partner have a sleepaway camp that’s dear to your heart? If you’re thinking of a summer wedding, don’t forget to consider the camp as a late-summer venue. (Because nobody wants mosquito-bitten campers running around their celebration.) You can go rustic-chic with the decor, and even offer the option of bunking in the cabins to your younger guests. Coolers full of popsicles and mini Sloppy Joes for late night are Plus, the nostalgia factor is hard to beat.


5. The Flowery Farm Fete

Barn and farm weddings are as popular as ever, but if you’re looking to make yours stand out, blow it out with as many flowers as you can afford. From hanging arrangements to trellises, create a floral haven for your guests. Sounding expensive? Consider dried flowers or wildflower arrangements. A wedding full of nature is always a good idea.

Written by: Kimmy Foskett