The Best Summer Wedding Themes for a Sizzling Celebration

The best things in life happen during the summer, and your wedding is no exception with these clever themes.

Updated July 10, 2023
Bride and groom with guests at wedding reception

This isn't just another summer-themed wedding. This is your summer-themed wedding, overflowing with stunning style, seasonal florals, and a theme so perfect that guests will dream of it until autumn. Get creative, bring on the fun, and plan a summer wedding with no shortage of elegance and charm.

A Carnival-Themed Wedding Is Lighthearted & Fun

A wedding with a brightly colored carnival theme is perfect for your summer vows. You'll remind guests of childhood summers gone by and tap into your own nostalgia surrounding the season. Getting married in the summer is a wonderful opportunity to throw a fun-focused wedding and reception.

Wedding couple near carousel

Carnival-Themed Ceremony

Set your wedding location near an actual carnival, or, if allowed, inside the carnival or amusement park itself. Arrange your ceremony so that a brightly colored ride is behind you and rope off the area to keep unaware visitors from cutting through. Of course, you must include photos of the wedding party on the rides, so give your photographer a heads up.

Colorful wedding tents at night

Carnival-Themed Reception

Hosting the reception in the actual carnival will be difficult as guests may scatter. Instead, set up a wedding tent near the carnival. Brightly colored reception decorations in orange, yellow, red, or blue are the right choice for keeping your theme going.

Dessert table for wedding reception
  • Pendant banners and colorful fabric swags can help create the festive feeling.
  • Use flowers for centerpieces to create an upscale aesthetic or swap them out for small balloon bouquets with cotton candy.
  • Hang brightly colored lanterns and industrial lights to complete the carnival tent reception.
  • Hand out tickets to get into the carnival or amusement park as your wedding favor.

A Lilac Wedding Displays Soft Elegance

Decide on your summer wedding's theme and color palette in one aesthetic decision. The soft summer palette of muted purples and earthy greens sets you up for a romantic and timeless celebration, and lilacs are a romantic starting point for those details.

Bride and groom near the arch of lilac

Lilac-Themed Ceremony

Put together a gorgeous outdoor wedding ceremony using lilacs as your base. Cover a rustic wedding arch with lilacs and greenery. Use cream-colored fabric to help break up the florals and separate the arch from background greenery. Candles and large vases complete the ceremony set up. If desired, add pew or chair decorations, like wedding bows, with lilacs tied in the center.

Lilac-Themed Reception

Whether your reception is outdoors or inside, you can easily keep the lilac theme.

Table decoration in Lilac colors
  • Select purple centerpieces that stand tall so you can have the blooms cascade down the vase.
  • Incorporate other flowers, like hydrangeas or peonies, to break up the lilacs.
  • Add a large wedding backdrop behind the head table and use fabric swags in white and purple to add a touch of elegance.
  • Pick out a cake that features lilacs in the topper or as part of a hand-painted design.
  • A naked cake with real lilacs adds simplistic elegance.
  • Give lilac shrub seeds as a wedding favor.
  • Add spotlights and bulbs in shades of purple to highlight the dance floor in your wedding's color palette.

Bountiful Berries Make Your Wedding Sweet & Bright

Berries are a delicious summer staple that can guide your wedding theme from the ceremony to the reception. From berries on the wedding invitations to cakes decorated with strawberries, it's easy to create a theme around summer's bounty. You can go subtle and minimal or really drive the theme home with berries in as many details as you can dream up.

Bridal bouquet of flowers and strawberries

Berry-Themed Ceremony

Start by selecting shades of red, mauve, pink, purple, and blue for your summer wedding color palette. Include berries in the wedding bouquets and altar flowers. Tie berry embellishments onto the programs and use them in your arch.

Berry-Themed Reception

A berry-themed reception can be dark and moody or bright and colorful. The rich shades of berries carry your reception effortlessly into dusk or offer bursts of color for your early afternoon celebration.

Berries and dessert at wedding reception
  • Carry your berry color theme through to the reception by decorating the bridal party table in similar colors.
  • Add table runners and fresh fruit centerpieces featuring your favorite berries, from cherries to raspberries to strawberries.
  • Hand out berry scented candles as wedding favors.
  • Pick a wedding reception playlist that includes songs like Cherry, Cherry and Tutti Frutti.
  • Set up a snack bar featuring mousse, cheesecake, macarons, and berry-flavored drinks.

A Patriotic Wedding Honors Tradition & Country

Planning your wedding near Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, or Labor Day? Get creative and throw a stars and stripes wedding. Wedding colors can be red, white and blue and be used almost everywhere. With so many opportunities to use patriotic colors during the summer, you'll have no shortage of decor for your ceremony and reception.

Bride Against American Flag

Patriotic-Themed Ceremony

Use the American flag as your wedding ceremony backdrop. If you're not a fan of flowers, pick up "waves of grain" to serve as the bridal bouquet and weave them into the bridesmaid's bouquets and groomsmen's boutonnieres. Have guests wave small flags during the bridal party recessional.

Sparkling Reception Options

From an afternoon reception to a night-fall party, there are so many ways to tie in a patriotic theme during this part of your wedding festivities.

Bride and groom holding sparklers
  • Use hanging lanterns with star shapes cut out.
  • Line every other table with a white or red runner.
  • Select a patriotic cake design or opt for cherry, apple, and blueberry wedding pies.
  • Add a tribute to military, police, firefighter, and other service personnel.
  • Handing out sparklers as favors.
  • Shoot off fireworks for an extravagant wedding finale.

More Great Summer Wedding Themes

Consider all possibilities when you select the theme for your summer wedding. Find the creative, fun, or romantic summer wedding theme that tells your love story and honors your relationship.

  • Baseball theme - Couples who spend their summers at the ballpark will love planning a baseball-theme wedding. Personalized baseball cards as parting favors are a must.
  • Butterfly theme - Add a beautiful butterfly to your station, in your hair clips, as part of your reception centerpieces, and more with this whimsical theme.
  • Daisy wedding - Gorgeous daisies offer plenty of inspiration for a sunny summer wedding, and the color palette will be as bright as your future together.
  • Garden theme - Lush gardens offer the perfect backdrop for a summer wedding. Host it in your backyard, in the park, or even a botanical garden. Tea at the reception anyone?
    Beautiful terrace decorated with floral garlands with candles
  • Rainbow theme - Whether you want to show your pride or you simply love a colorful wedding color scheme, rainbow themes are the perfect solution for couples who want a vibrant event that shows off their bright personalities. Here's your chance to use the trending rainbow bridesmaid dresses.
  • Summer barbecue theme - A laid-back summer barbecue might be exactly what you and your sweetheart imagined for your vows. Make sure you choose only the best barbecue in town for the reception.
  • Ocean theme - There are so many directions to take an ocean-themed wedding. You can go for a traditional nautical theme, embrace your love of mermaids, or give your family a reason to jet off to the coast for the ceremony.
    Blue and white wedding aisle in a beach
  • Citrus theme - Lemons, oranges, grapefruits, and limes aren't just a fun and quirky wedding theme, they also create a fresh and bright wedding color palette. Citrus slices on the cake are a must for this theme.
  • Camp theme - You can go the camping or outdoor recreation route here, but a summer camp-themed wedding with all the nostalgic summer camp activities included would be an unforgettable celebration.
  • Stranger Things theme - If you and your betrothed are big fans of the show, then a Stranger Things-themed wedding is dark in the most fun way. Since all the season happen during the summer, this is your opportunity to plan a truly unique wedding.

Summer Weddings Sizzle With Romance

Getting married in the summer isn't just an opportunity to have fun with the theme, it's a truly romantic time of year to say your vows. Give one of these themes a chance and plan a summer wedding you'll remember for a lifetime.

Trending on LoveToKnow
The Best Summer Wedding Themes for a Sizzling Celebration