Summer Wedding Tips from a Photographer

July 18, 2022

follow along @HOLLYVirginiaphoto

The photographer behind Holly Virginia Photography! I am based out of Norfolk, VA but am available for sessions and weddings all around Virginia. Welcome to my blog!

Hi, I'm Holly!

Here are my Summer Wedding Tips as a Wedding Photographer and a recent June BRIDE myself!

I LOVE Summer Weddings! I myself was a June bride, so trust me, I am coming in HOT with the tips!

With planning a wedding, considering the time of year is crucial to making your wedding a success! Just like how you wouldn’t want your guests freezing outside in January, you have to take into consideration the challenges and rewards of summer weddings. 

Things to Consider When Planning a Summer Wedding


When planning a summer wedding it is so important to keep in mind your guest’s comfortability. Just like you wouldn’t want your guests freezing outside in February, you do NOT want your guests to have to sit through a ceremony in sweltering heat with no shade, no water, etc. 

For a ceremony location, I would suggest indoor, or an area that has an option to be covered from the sun whether it’s under a tent, or with natural shaded areas. 

Not only will your guest appreciate the reprieve from the heat, but indoors, and shade is better for your photographer’s lighting. 

Speaking of lighting, the time of the ceremony is also important to consider. A nice perk of a summer wedding is that the sun stays out way later than any other time of year. Because of this, a ceremony in the early evening is ideal, especially if the ceremony is outside. I would recommend a ceremony start between 4-6 pm.  

If you’re having an outdoor ceremony, please avoid an afternoon start time. The lighting is most harsh when the sun is at its highest point, between 11-2 pm.  You want to make sure that the photographer has optimal lighting so that your ceremony photos turn out beautiful!

Heat Plan

Summer weather is unpredictable. Just like you would have a rain plan, please consider working with your vendor team to have a Heat Plan. 

I have been to a summer wedding where the weather was over 100 degrees, and the ceremony was outside in the middle of a big field, with no shade at 12:00 noon. I watched as guests really suffered from the heat. It was hard for them to enjoy the ceremony service when they were so uncomfortable. 

Though I know the couple had their heart set on doing the ceremony outside in that field, afterward, they said they wished they had moved the ceremony to their reception area, under the tents with fans. The heat was extreme that day, and unfortunately, it caused a lot of guests to leave early due to heat fatigue. 

Heat can cause a lot of uncomfortability, and in my opinion, it should be treated the same as rain. If the temperatures rise to an extreme level, have a rain plan. Plus if you’re a bride, you will NOT want to be sweating off all that beautiful makeup in your dress.

First Look/Time Together

I am always a fan of first looks, but for summer weddings I recommend them even MORE! If you’re having an evening ceremony and you opt not to do a first look, that means you really go the whole day without seeing your spouse-to-be!

Here are some things my husband and I did to optimize time together on our big day:

  1. Joint Breakfast! –  We did a joint wedding party breakfast with lots of food and drinks! This was a fun hour to kick off the wedding day and I was so happy to spend this time with my husband and all of our friends! 
  1. First Look! – With a ceremony start of 4:00 pm, we knew we wanted to do a first look so that we could spend more time together before the wedding “officially” started. WE LOVED IT! Because we did our first look at 12:00, we then got to be together for the rest of the day. Wedding days go by so fast, and you’re going to want to spend your day with your honey!

Incorporate Summer into your Theme!

Summer is such a fun season and there are so many fun things you can do to incorporate the season into your wedding day. 

  1. BBQ – When I think of summer I think of backyard BBQs. Great food, cold drinks etc. While you don’t have to have Barbeque food, having a BBQ feel could be really fun!
  1. Cold Treats – There is nothing better than enjoying an ice cream or popsicle in the heat! If you’re looking for a cool dessert to make your wedding unique, consider a cold dessert!
  1. Flip Flops – A really cool thing I’ve seen at weddings is offering flip-flops for guests to change into so they can tear it up on the dance floor with comfort!
  1. Cool Down Station – Consider having a cool-down station. A table with handheld fans, maybe some battery-powered fans, sunscreen, bug spray, and water! This will make sure that guests know where they can get resources to make themselves comfortable!

Plan Ahead!

Make sure to plan ahead! Summer is a busy season for wedding vendors, so make sure to secure your top vendors about a year in advance, if you can!

Comments +

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I LOVE Summer Weddings! I myself was a June bride, so trust me, I am coming in HOT with the tips!

Where to go from here:

stay awhile + learn a bit

meet holly

lets create some content


lets capture your story

author headshots