How to plan and style the summer wedding of your dreams

Have you noticed how every season has a quintessential style of wedding? Autumn weddings are filled with warm tones, rusty foliage and the occasional pumpkin. And then there’s festive winter weddings, with their dark night skies, fairy lights and sparkler exits. But a summer wedding? Well summer weddings have got to be my favourite! The beautiful light, the romance and feel-good vibes of the summer, the joy even the smallest ray of sunshine can bring. They’re just great, aren’t they?!

And of all the summer weddings, Sophie and Michael’s wedding last September was simply perfect.

After having to postpone their wedding in Tuscany due to Covid, the wedding of their dreams seemed to have slipped away. But with some truly exquisite summer styling and a lot of luck with the weather, their day really had the look and feel of a destination wedding. 

summer wedding

A gloriously sun-drenched outdoor ceremony, Pimm’s and prosecco on the grass, a dreamy golden hour, and a whole lotta love! Who said Tuscany is better than Essex?! OK, I got a bit carried away. But it really was a lovely day!

If you’re looking for some summer wedding inspiration, get ready to take notes. Because this could quite possibly have been the perfect summer wedding.

Summer wedding colour palette 2022

The 2022 wedding palettes seem to be trending towards darker purples and berry pinks. But for summer weddings, soft sage greens, light blues and greys, whites and sandy shades are still very much on trend for 2022.

And Sophie and Michael really nailed it with their summer wedding palette! The soft dove grey of the bridesmaid dresses paired so well with the light grey shades of the groomsmen suits. 

And oh my goodness the bouquet!!! A truly stunning explosion of delicate white moth orchids, anthurium lilies and blush pink roses. All nestled amongst soft green eucalyptus. 

This beautiful combination of soft greys, pure white, gentle greens and blush pink formed a wedding palette that was light, airy and elegant. And just perfect for an outdoor summer wedding.

Summer wedding styling inspiration

Planning your summer wedding outdoor ceremony 

An outdoor ceremony like Sophie and Michael’s is the summer wedding dream, isn’t it?!

Just imagine it…birds singing from the treetops, the summer sun bathing your nuptials in golden light. Maybe a soft breeze catching your veil and playing in your hair as you say your vows. Choose the right venue and the right styling, and your ceremony could be as beautiful as any destination wedding. 

So how do you plan an outdoor ceremony like this one?

First of all, you need to find a registered venue that offers outdoor ceremonies. Here’s a great list of some of the best outdoor ceremony venues in the UK. Sophie and Michael chose The Lawn in Rochford, Essex. With beautifully manicured grounds and their new ‘wedding gazebo’, it’s the perfect wedding venue for an outdoor ceremony. 

Summer wedding palette

Alternatively, you could have your legal marriage in a registry office and then choose any venue you like for your unofficial ceremony. 

The summer wedding rainy day backup plan

Of course with outdoor ceremonies (and summer weddings in general), there’s a catch. There’s always a catch! Because even in summer months, there’s still that ominous 1 in 3 chance of rain. And you don’t want to put all your eggs in that ‘outdoor ceremony’ basket and end up with glum guests and a soggy celebrant. 

So you need a strong rainy day backup plan. Is there somewhere to get married inside if you need to? Can you have a marquee on standby? Can you get umbrellas for the guests? (Clear ones work best for photos, by the way. Here’s a link to some good ones). 

Speak to your venue and/or planner about what happens if it rains. And whatever you do, make sure the success of the day isn’t hinging entirely on sunshine.

Luckily Sophie and Michael had astonishingly good weather all day. But I could tell by their calm, collected demeanour they had it covered!

Take full advantage of Golden Hour!

In case you don’t know, Golden Hour is the hour just before sunset. The sunlight’s more orangey-red, the light softer, the blues more scattered, the shadows longer. It’s the most romantic time of the day, and it’s the perfect time for photos. 

Now I don’t like to blow my own trumpet, but I’m kinda the Queen of Golden Hour. HRH Lucie of Golden Hour is actually my official title. So when your wedding day comes, prepare yourselves for some epic couple’s portraits!

Golden hour portraits

I love these shots of Sophie and Michael strolling together through the grounds. Sophie’s veil blowing in the breeze as they look into each other’s eyes. So happy to be married, and so hopelessly in love.

Essex wedding photographer

But a Golden Hour portraits session isn’t just about the photos. It’s an amazing experience as well. It’ll be towards the end of the day. You’ll be tired, excited, and overwhelmed with all kinds of emotions. And I’ll come and grab you by the hands and we’ll disappear together away from the crowds and into the blissfully quiet evening. 

Essex wedding photography

The setting sun will make golden wisps of your hair, the birds will be singing their goodnight songs from their nests. And you’ll have a few moments alone together away from the crowds to just be yourselves and get a little soppy and romantic.

Swap sparklers for champagne

Here’s the thing about summer weddings. It gets dark super late! And this is great in so many ways, but it really does cause troubles if you want a sparkler exit. Because by the time it gets dark, your guests will have been drinking solidly for around 8 hours. And I challenge anyone to try organising a group of drunk people to get fifty sparklers all lit at the same time! 

Essex wedding photography

But a great summer wedding alternative to the sparkler exit is the champagne spray. Don’t you just love how happy Sophie and Michael are in these photos?! 

Essex wedding photographer

Champagne shots are always so much fun for everyone (and a lot easier than sparklers). And if you do it at golden hour, the amber sunlight will catch the spray and you’re guaranteed some awesome shots!

Summer wedding palette

Looking for a wedding photographer for your summer wedding?

This is misleading. I do actually work all year round! And whatever season you’re getting married in, I’d love to capture your day for you. I offer relaxed, artistic, timeless photography that captures every beautiful detail of your day. From the spontaneous laughter, to those dreamy golden hour shots, I want you to look through your wedding gallery in years to come and feel your heart skip a beat.

If you love my work, let’s have a chat and find out if I’m your dream wedding photographer! Please get in touch today.

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