Wedding Styles By Season

Summer –
Summer weddings are ripe for an outdoor setting such as a beach, a garden, or a beautiful yard. Take advantage of the long days with an afternoon wedding, or highlight the glorious sunsets by saying your vows as the sun goes down behind you. Use fresh fruits and vegetables to decorate. Bring light to an evening wedding with torches and strings of lanterns in the trees. An extra-summery idea is to use gingham tablecloths with a few sunflowers in metal watering cans as centerpieces.

The bride who marries in the warmth of the summer is a lucky one; over 75% of dresses that you’ll find are sleeveless and/or strapless, making them perfect for the season. Look for light fabrics such as linen, chiffon, crepe, and other light weight silk, so as to not add too much bulk.

You can’t go wrong with an abundance of flowers at a summer wedding. Fill the scene with bright and cheerful flowers such as roses, sunflowers, dahlias, gerber daisies, cosmos, mums, and zinnias. Bright purple dendrobium orchids are much less expensive during the summer months, so you can feel like a queen without the budget of one. An alternative idea is an airy summer look with mostly white and light colored flowers such as roses, stephanotis, white phlox, elegant white calla lilies, huge and fragrant calla lilies, hydrangea, snowball mums, and daisies (also known as Shasta daisies).

Fall –
Think of storybook fall setting such as inns, 18th century churches and meeting houses, old mills and even barns. A fall wedding can be casual yet elegant set in a beautiful old barn. You might also look at an apple orchard, a vineyard, or any place that will have a view of fall foliage. If you live in a climate where the leaves don’t change, look for a venue with lots of rich dark wood and warmth such as a gentleman’s club or university club. A fireplace is an extra special touch.

Set the tone for your fall wedding as soon as your guests enter with sheaths of wheat or corn at the entrance. Choose either rich jewel tones to decorate the room, or a traditional fall color scheme such as reds, oranges, browns and yellows. A modern fall color scheme uses only chocolate brown with light-blue accents. Fill the room with the bounty of the season – pumpkins, cornucopias, acorns, and gourds. Make jack-o-lanterns with decorative patterns rather than scary faces, or use paper bag luminaria for a similar effect.

Generally you can find Mums, roses, daisies, yarrow, fall leaves, tallow berries and both natural and dried wheat for inexpensive prices during the fall. A spray of wheat or a mum accented with a pheasant feather makes an elegant boutonnière. Consider hollowing out pumpkins for your centerpiece containers – if you don’t have the time, many craft and home stores now sell realistic fake pumpkins. But if you go with the real thing, consider white or blue natural pumpkins for an elegant and unique touch.

Winter –
Think about you and your sweetie in the elegant look of old Hollywood; the groom in tails, and the bride in a white long silk dress with a white fur or faux fur wrap. Evoke the season with “ice” –diamond or diamond-like jewelry. 90% of wedding dresses are strapless or sleeveless, but that’s not so practical for a bride who wants to take pictures outside, or needs to walk any distance. Look for wraps, shrugs, and capes, or dramatic coats. And don’t forget your bridesmaids! An attractive wrap to wear on the day of your wedding and beyond makes a great bridesmaid present.

Look for an inn with a fireplace for an intimate winter wedding. For a larger affair, you may be able to use a historic mansion or private club that will still have intimate warmth. Be sure to ask what seasonal decorations they use – you’ll save money as many sites are already heavily decorated. Also, check to make sure your site will be adequately heated during the winter months; old churches can be especially drafty.

Decide whether you want to go for a silver and white elegant look, or celebrate the season with reds and greens. For those who like silver, look for dusty miller, silver-dollar eucalyptus, and baby blue eucalyptus, mixed with white flowers such as roses, football mums, crocus, lilies and stephanotis. If you’re looking for a brighter bouquet, consider red roses with holly and pine-tree greenery. In season flowers such as tulips, roses, and ornamental berries generally will be less expensive choices.

Spring –
If you’re getting married in a church, talk to them about their Easter decorations. You may be able to save money by using theirs. Vendors and sites may be more available in the spring than in the summer, but remember prom; you may need to book limousines and tuxedos extra early.

The preppy pink and green color combination couldn’t be more spring-like, and is perfect for a beautiful, fresh spring wedding. Accent your tables with polka-dot or gingham fabrics and ribbons, and use alternating pink and green chair colors. For a more elegant look, combine celadon green with white, using silver as an accent color. Instead of rice, consider asking your guests to throw rose petals, or release butterflies.

Flowers in season include roses, tulips, hyacinth, lilies and Gerber daisies. Multi-colored calla lilies are very popular and look beautiful in a spring arrangement.

For centerpieces, subtly evoke the Easter season by using white baskets filled with floral form and an abundance of spring flowers. An inexpensive centerpiece for a garden wedding is a terracotta pot with a spring-moss or ivy covered Styrofoam ball affixed to it. Add small candles around it and/or some rose petals.

Consider tying your bouquet with polka-dot or striped ribbon in a bright or pastel color, adding a bit of unexpected pattern and freshness.

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