With the glorious weather we have been enjoying for the past few weeks, it’s not hard to see why summer is the most popular time of year for a wedding. With this in mind, here’s a quick guide on how to get the most from your summertime wedding.

A bride & groom in the wheat. The willow tree at Crockwell.

May through September are by far the busiest months for any wedding venue; so if you plan on getting married at this time, and particularly in August, you need to be organised. Venues get booked up for this peak season up to three years in advance so it’s a good idea to start your venue search as soon as possible. You will also pay a premium for a summer wedding at any venue – so making the most of what the venue has to offer is important. If your budget is tight but you’re set on a summer wedding, lookout for midweek dates that don’t fall in school holidays.

A guest enjoys a walk in the gardens and is captured by the photographer. Pretty gardens at Crockwell Farm.

If you’re looking around venues in the winter months with a summer wedding in mind, make sure you ask for lots of photos of the grounds and gardens in the month you plan to marry. We have fantastic seasons in Britain, which means the landscape will change drastically according to the time of year and you want to make the most of the beautiful British countryside. Once you have chosen a venue and booked your date, let your guests know as soon as possible to ensure the best attendance.

One of the main advantages of a summer wedding is that despite the British weather, you have a good chance of a warm, dry day. Most couples want to make the most of this by maximising their time outside. If you’re looking for a summer venue, make sure there is plenty of outside space for entertaining – with beautiful views an obvious bonus. Shaded areas are also a plus; if it’s a scorching day then your guests may want to retreat to the cooler areas.

Strolling through the gardens at Crockwell.   

You might want to provide some entertainment during your drinks reception in the form of outside games (particularly good for children) or live music. Pimms & lemonade or Prosecco make for refreshing reception drinks, or you may want to be more adventurous with jugs of bilinis or Mojitos. It’s also great to have a delicious non-alcoholic alternative particularly in hot weather, such as sparkling elderflower.

Mojitos. Bubbles and berries. Refreshing reception drinks.

If you’re having a fairly long drinks reception then some form of canapés or sharing boards always go down well, and ensure your guests aren’t too famished by the time they take their seats for the wedding breakfast. When it comes to the wedding breakfast, think seasonal.

Whitebait canapes. Fruity desserts.

Often a summer wedding lends itself to a more relaxed feel – if there’s ample space outside then a buffet can be a great option for more informal dining. The Chopping Block here at Crockwell can offer a Hog Roast for your main meal with numerous delicious salads and homemade accompaniments or an extensive BBQ. Also new for this year are their Pucca Picnics: a selection of picnic classics such as ham, coronation chicken and charcuterie with salads and cakes served on 3-tiered afternoon tea stands.

For a more traditional wedding breakfast, think starters of smoked salmon mouse or pea & mint soup followed by leg of lamb or rare roast beef served with seasonal salads.

After the meal, your guests are likely to drift outside once again and make the most of the long evening. Camping is another valuable option for a summer wedding. At this time of year, many of your guests will be delighted to sleep under canvas avoiding the need for an expensive taxi and making the most of your wedding night. Here at Crockwell we also offer a full breakfast or just coffee & bacon sandwiches the morning after – no need to rush off.

For further inspiration and lots more pictures please have a look at Melissa & Mark’s wedding in July.