Wedding 101

10 Ways To Include Outdoor BBQ Vibes At Your Summer Wedding

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There just isn't anything quite like a summer barbeque. From the food and drink to the backyard games, a BBQ is a true celebration of the weather and the fun that summer can provide. So we were thinking... what are the best ways to get those backyard BBQ vibes to translate into your summer wedding? An obvious answer is the food, but before you keep reading, know that we did not include BBQ food on this list, although we are enormous fans of that menu choice. Instead, this list is about the mood and the atmosphere that comes along with a summer night with friends and family. A BBQ is about more than just the food; it’s about the spirit. So here are ten ways that you can include the backyard BBQ vibes at your summer wedding. 

1Choose The Right Setting

bridesmaids standing on dock with bride via Loverly Real Weddings
Let’s be honest: the right setting can make or break your barbeque AND your wedding. You want to choose something meaningful, but don’t forget to have a little fun with it. Maybe it’s at the summer camp where you and your partner met or at the lakehouse you went to every summer with your family. The setting really sets the tone for the entire itinerary of wedding events. You want to convey to your guests that this is a time for celebration and for laughter. Once you have the right setting, deck it out! You’ll be amazed at how quickly a “dance floor” can be made out of an open space and some string lights through the trees.

2You Can Have “White” AND “Bright”

bridal party surrounding bride via Loverly Real Weddings
When it comes to wedding attire, make sure your guests know that they can have a little fun with it. We loved these two weddings where the bridal parties were encouraged to mix-and-match with a general color scheme but no set dress code. At the end of the day, you want to make sure everyone is comfortable and confident in their wedding look, and people will have a lot more fun when they have some flexibility in their outfit. Plus, summertime is a great reason to pick a color scheme that highlights something bright and fun.
groomsmen with bright ties via Loverly Real Weddings

3It’s Time To Get Comfy

bridal party wearing cowboy boots via Loverly Real Weddings
Speaking of attire, comfort can go beyond just color scheme or not assigning a specific bridesmaid dress. Maybe it’s time to have a little more fun. Whether it’s cowboy boots or sunglasses, we all know the definition of backyard BBQ fashion is comfort and confidence. While there’s nothing wrong with being a little buttoned up for the actual ceremony, at the end of the day, your wedding day is all about enjoying yourself, no matter what you’re wearing. So ditch the heels in favor of flip-flops or throw on a baseball cap so you don’t have to squint at the camera; it is summer after all. 

4Make It Feel Like Home

bin full of fuzzy blankets via Loverly Real Weddings
This one is a little hard to get specific with because it’s about you. What would make today feel a little bit more like home? Maybe it’s a basket full of blankets so that guests don’t get cold while they’re chatting into the evening with another round of drinks. Maybe it’s hiring a local band or barbershop quartet that you’ve grown up listening to. A true backyard barbeque has the ability to feel like home even if you’ve never been there before because of the details and the people. Give everyone (including yourself) a chance to relax by adding small touches that remind you of where you come from and where you’re going.

5Don’t Have That? This Will Do

wedding aisle with seating plan via Loverly Real Weddings
One of the ways that you can get creative with the finishing touches is with your decor. Whether it’s a wheelbarrow as a cooler or coffee cans to hold flowers, don’t spend money on something that you might already have at home. As you can see from the photos, these little ways of reusing and repurposing objects and containers definitely don’t mean you have to sacrifice a certain aesthetic. We also loved what this couple did with barrels on the aisle and an old window for their seating chart. Going back to the last point, nothing’s perfect in your own home so it doesn’t have to be here either! Plus, guests will marvel at your ingenuity and probably be jealous of your wedding budget.
wheelbarrow full of beer bottles via Loverly Real Weddings

6Let’s Make This A Family Affair

table of desserts with signs reading family members' names via Loverly Real Weddings
Let’s face it: a backyard barbeque isn’t the same without friends and family. So why not involve them a little more than just the guest list? Maybe you can make it a true potluck by recruiting family members to bring desserts or side dishes inspired by your favorite memories with them. Or, if you don’t trust everyone’s cooking skills, simply recreate them with photos to pay homage to the people who have supported you along the way. We also love the homey presentation to truly feel like you’re in someone’s house and rummaging through the cupboards for a snack. Whether it’s in name only or actually crafted by their hands, one things for sure: your day will be better with some family in it.
pies in cupboard outside via Loverly Real Weddings

7Crack Open A Cold One

custom beer bottles with couples name on them via Loverly Real Weddings
We know you’ve all been waiting for this one. Although we aren’t including BBQ food on this list, we couldn’t forget another thing that makes any backyard cookout a good one: the drinks. We already mentioned the cute wheelbarrow cooler above, but there are plenty of other ways to elevate your beer game, such as this adorable idea of customizing a beer for you and your partner. It’s a custom drink and a cute souvenir all in one. If cocktails are more your thing, don’t be afraid to go classic and simple. Big pitchers to “pour your own” will take away the pressure of ordering from a bartender and keep everyone hydrated during the summer heat. 

8Light It Up!

couple with sparklers via Loverly Real Weddings
If you’re lucky, the best backyard memories include some sort of campfire or fire pit. For that last round of drinks or the close friends and family that linger long after the band has packed up, a fire pit is a great way to stave off mosquitos and enjoy the crisp summer nights without catching a chill. But there are plenty of other ways to make sure all guests get in on the fun. Namely, sparklers. There is something so breathtaking and whimsical about these sparkler photographs. We can all remember being a kid and accidentally burning our fingers because we were marveling at the sparks. Minus the burns, that wonder and amazement are a great addition to any summer wedding night. 
couple walking through sparklers via Loverly Real Weddings

9We All Scream For...

groomsmen holding ice cream via Loverly Real Weddings
ICE CREAM. While we know that there’s nothing quite like a wedding cake, it’s really hard to beat the simple deliciousness of ice cream. It’s an easy-to-please treat that’s good at any time of the day and really brings those BBQ vibes. There are now enough vegan and dairy-free options to ensure that no one gets left out due to dietary restrictions, and it gives everyone a chance to bring out their inner kid. Whether it’s a make-your-own sundae bar or a rented soft-serve machine, we personally think that ice cream is the perfect way to cap off any day but especially a wedding day. 

10A D.I.T. (Do-It-Together) Project

Last but not least, we have something kind of special. While doing research for this post in our Loverly Real Weddings page, we came across a story that just begged to be shared again. Stephanie and Leigh had a stunning wedding at a vineyard, and they made sure to really make it their own. You can read the full story here, but their officiant told them prior to the wedding to write letters to each other and fill a wine crate with two bottles of wine. During the ceremony, they placed their letters (unread) into the box and hammered it shut, only to be opened in case of serious hardships in the future, in which case they would be greeted with wine and kind and loving words from this day in their history to help them get through it. We LOVE the idea of creating some sort of project that helps you symbolize your love for your day. After all, whether it’s a backyard wedding or a summer BBQ, it’s all about the planning and the personal touches that will help you look back on your day with joy. 
couple hammering box at wedding via Loverly Real Weddings
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