You might be wondering why I am posting this “summer” article right now, but I just ran into an old friend who’s best friend (who I also know) just got engaged! I’ve known these two girls since high school, and I can’t help but try and help out with the wedding planning in some way!
So the dilemma that they are having is mixing the formal dress of the military uniform with the casual and light summer looks. So here goes my researching, creativity and love for both the military and weddings!
I hope my ideas and tips will help those out there who are also having the same problem of meshing formal with informal!
For the groomsmen who will not be dressed in uniform, I suggest a nice clean-cut suit, not a tux. Tuxes are too formal (especially in black) and will clash with the military uniforms. Use the ties, kerchiefs and boutonniere’s to address the colors of the wedding. This will make for a more cohesive look.
As for the bridesmaids, a long flowing dress is both elegant and simple. With light weight materials they can easily be worn in the summer. Addressing the colors and styles of these dresses is completely up to the bride. I would say if you want to match the formality of the military uniforms, you should have a little more coverage than a strapless. Even an illusion neckline would be gorgeous and perfect for a more elegant, but fun dress.
When wanting to have formal bridesmaids dresses you can always go with a silk or satin fabric that gives off a sheen and shimmer, but for a summer wedding I’d always suggest a light weight material. You don’t want your girls to pass out in the middle of the ceremony if it’s hot!
Flowers are always difficult because they change with the seasons, but no worries there are so many gorgeous flowers out there!
When I think of a formal flower arrangement I think of roses, lilies, calla lilies, orchids, peonies etc. Each of these formal flowers come in several different colors and variations, making it easy to come up with an arrangement that is suitable for the style of your wedding.
A more casual, informal summer wedding makes me think of wildflowers, hyacinths, hydrangeas, daises, and so many more! I can’t list them all! Flowers can always be “dressed up” or “dressed down,” but always keep the season in mind when you’re shopping for the colors and style you want to portray. A simple way to “dress up” a flower is by sticking a jewel in the middle of the flower.
Now for my friends wedding in the summer with yellow, blue and white, I would choose the dark blue calla lily, light yellow to cream carpet roses and lilies, as well as some white hydrangeas. Now of course I would love to actually make a bouquet so that I can see it right in front of me; at that point I may change my mind, but the calla lilies give the structure and formality of the military, and the other yellow and white flowers balance that out with their soft petals. The idea is to have more yellow and white than blue (example).
Since she doesn’t have a “theme” for her wedding we will go with her using simple florals and patterns for her decorative elements!
Decorating the tables doesn’t have to be super eccentric. Each table can be different and have it’s own feel.
For the tablecloths, I would look into either renting or doing a DIY project. If you want a more unique look I would suggest taping into your creative side and make “table runners” to place the center pieces on. This doesn’t mean they are long and skinny though! Make them whatever size and shape you want!
I prefer using one color in a pattern and a second color in a solid more simplistic design. You can mix and match patterns together, just be careful with the size of the patterns, keep them relatively the same size. For this particular wedding I chose to do an emphasis on the yellow pattern and a strong solid blue as the accent tables. I came up with several different categories that I believe would all work.
https://www.fabric.com/buy/eo-382/taza-tarika-yellow; https://www.fabric.com/buy/eb-955/aviary-2-lodge-lattice-vintage-yellow; https://www.fabric.com/buy/0309915/special-delivery-geometric-yellow; https://www.fabric.com/buy/0309985/moonflower-set-geometric-white-yellow?cm_vc=756b1813-cbc1-43b3-84bd-29889bf8fb7b
https://www.fabric.com/buy/bi-418/michael-miller-fairy-frost-butter; https://www.fabric.com/buy/0284562/118-wide-day-lily-quilt-backing-floral-yellow; https://www.fabric.com/buy/0321001/paisley-peacock-metallic-medallions-lilly-gold
The geometric shapes will give a nice crisp appearance, whereas the fabrics with texture and florals will give it a soft summery feel. I like them all and could look at fabrics all day but then I would never post this!
The table numbers can balance out whatever you choose to do for the tablecloths. I would do the opposite “texture” for the numbers. For example I would use a clean-cut, and fancier, table number if I were to choose a table cloth with texture or more detail. If you choose a more geometric and simple design, I would suggest using a simple table number with texture (be creative!). Look around for other nifty DIY projects that can incorporate texture into your table numbers. You can incorporate your colors into table numbers easily; don’t be afraid to mess around with your DIY projects!
As for plates and silverware, I’d keep it simple. People aren’t going to remember the plates at your wedding (let’s be honest unless they’re cheap paper plates, it’s a high probability that nobody cares). If you want to splurge on these things I’d definitely do it if you’re having a small wedding. I’d suggest buying a set you love that you can use after the wedding. You get gorgeous plates for your big day, and something to remind you of it whenever you use them years down the road!