Cool DIY Tips for a Hot Summer Wedding

With the hot summer (and wedding!) season upon us, I thought I’d share some cool DIY tips I’ve picked up photographing destination weddings with Pixan Photography over the years so you can create a summer wedding that’s both unique and affordable.

There’s no doubt that DIY weddings can turn out much more personal than weddings that only include bought items. With a DIY wedding, you get to dictate exactly how something looks and feels, not to mention the fact that you made certain things with your own hands! I think most would agree that that’s a pretty special feeling.

Not only that, but a DIY wedding can cost considerably less than a traditional wedding. And don’t think for a minute that cutting costs means cutting comfort or class.

That information can also be overwhelming, especially when you’re using it for a big project, like planning a wedding. To simplify, we’ve pulled together a handful of cool DIY summer wedding projects you can take on for your own event or use as inspiration to think up a new idea altogether.

Tip #1: Spend Less, Get More

It may sound counterintuitive, but hear me out. The less you spend on invites, cake, decor, etc., the more you can spend on creating a wonderful experience for your guests and yourselves.

And that’s really what a wedding is all about, right?

them and you.

And yes, you can definitely DIY some of your entertainment – like a photo booth! Check out The Fool-Proof (and Fun) DIY Photo Booth article on A Practical Wedding and Brides’ Ways to Create a DIY Photo Booth That Your Guests Will Love, for ideas.

Tip #2: Get Digital

It’s an unspoken fact that when most people receive an invitation in the mail, they just jot down the date and then throw the invite in the trash – or it gets lost in an ever-growing pile of junk mail.Paperless Post and Greenvelope, which allow you to choose digital invites that match your wedding theme and colors, and some offer additional services like RSVP tracking to keep you organized.

Then, create a simple online wedding website and share the link with your guests through your invites, email and social media. Provide every last detail of information you think your guests will need to rsvp, participate and prepare for your wedding.

Tip #3: Keep Guests Cool

If any part of your wedding is taking place outside, you’ll want to make sure guests keep cool under the summer sun.

One way to do so is to pass out handmade paper fans or place them in guests’ chairs. They can also double as programs!

Another idea is to provide umbrellas or parasols guests can use for shade.

You can also keep guests from melting by putting together a water mister. Forgo those huge fan misters you see at waterparks and instead DIY your own by printing direction labels and placing them on mini mist bottles. If you want to take the water up a notch, consider creating a rose water or lavender mist to keep guests both cool and refreshed.

Tip #4: Be Smitten, Not Bitten

As with most seasons, summer has its benefits as well as its drawbacks – bugs being one of them. But never fear, you can keep the bugs at bay with a DIY all-natural bug spray that guests can use during the wedding and then take home to use all summer long.

Tip #5: Decor that Rocks

For fun and affordable do-it-yourself decor, consider painting rocks and placing them along the aisle, as this couple did for their Puerto Vallarta wedding.

Tip #6: Fun with Flowers

It’s true that fresh flowers are beautiful and they smell divine, but their price tags are usually anything but lovely. And don’t forget the fact that they will fade and wilt within a few days, making the purchase a nature-lover’s nightmare.

Save some money and be eco-friendly by creating your own wedding flower arrangements. Whether it’s a centerpiece or the bridal bouquet, you can craft wedding flowers that are just as beautiful as the real thing.

Glass jars and jute string, as shown above, are a simple, but charming presentation for stems and greenery.

For more ideas, check out Fave Crafts’ Bountiful Hydrangea Pomander and Paper Flower Centerpiece tutorials.

Tip #7: Cool Food for a Hot Day

Remember those summer days spent patiently waiting for (or maybe chasing down) the ice cream truck? Then handing over a couple of coins for your favorite ice cream bar?

Even if you don’t remember those days, chances are many of your guests will, so give them a little trip down memory lane by serving up some cool treats.

Take the popsicle up an adult notch by whipping up some winesicles. Get yourself a popsicle mold, fill it with the wine of your choice and a popsicle stick (and edible flowers if you want to get fancy), freeze for 4-6 hours, and voila!

You can also DIY your own ice cream bar and give guests the satisfaction of creating their own frozen treats. It’s as simple as setting up a station with a few ice cream flavors (or keep it low-key with vanilla), bowls of toppings, and ice cream cones.

Tip #8: All Natural

And speaking of food, you can DIY your table decor by using natural items like fruit.

One idea is to fill wide vases with citrus fruits such as lemons, limes and oranges to bring bright colors to your centerpieces.

Another idea is to use fruity and refreshing treats like apples, pears, and peaches as place cards by pinning the card to the fruit. Guests can then munch on their fruit during the reception or take home as a bonus favor.

Tip #9: Sweet Favor

Send your guests home with a favor that’s as sweet as summer.

From bags of candy to jars of jam, guests love a consumable gift that won’t sit on a shelf.

A quaint idea is a DIY honey jar filled with local honey like this one. Place a customized label on the jars and add extra touches like a wooden dipper spoon, a bee charm, and ribbon.

You might even want to package your honey jar with a wildflower seed packet. Guests can then scatter the seeds at home and enjoy the blooms next spring.

Tip #10: Exit in DIY Style

What’s cooler than exiting your wedding in a flurry of colorful confetti? Just imagine the photos!

These DIY confetti throwers, which are made from gift boxes, ribbon, and foil confetti, can also double as decor. Tie them onto the backs of chairs for a bright, sparkling, and affordable adornment.

When it’s time to make your ceremony or reception exit, guests can grab their confetti throwers and lavish you and your S.O. in a rainbow of color!

Grab Your Hot Glue and Get To It

As you can see, you can stretch your wedding budget and create a more personal and unique wedding by getting a little crafty with DIY elements. Handmade decor, flowers, and food will take your summer wedding to a whole new hotness level, all while keeping your wallet as cool as a cucumber. Happy crafting!


Vincent is the owner of Pixan Photography, destination wedding photography team based in Cancun, that are as passionate about their clients as they are their work. When he’s not shooting destination weddings, Vincent loves traveling the world with his wife and son.