Whether you’re planning outdoor nuptials or a reception in the comfort of air conditioning, there are a lot of things to consider while preparing decor.

While details feel important, don’t get lost in them. Pick just a few areas and concentrate your efforts there. If you invest your labors in concentrated areas, your guests are sure to notice your hard work.

Create a focal point

If you are having an outdoor ceremony, the area you will definitely want to focus on is creating an altar. This can be done by choosing a location that already provides a landmark, such as a live oak.

Consider hanging a large piece of luxe fabric behind the officiant, or standing between two large planters filled with flowers or greenery. Other places on which you might want to concentrate could be the dance floor or head table, if you choose to have one.

Let there be light

Paying special attention to lighting at your event can be a great way to punch up the style of your summer wedding. Cafe lights are great for illuminating an outdoor ceremony or reception, and any type of strung lighting complements white paper lanterns hung at varying levels.

Mason jars can be found on the cheap at many flea markets and yard sales and are the perfect vessel for containing small votive candles. You can create dimension by placing lanterns of various heights on tables or lining doorways. If you are after a real “wow” factor, plan a send-off with sparklers.

Have fun communicating

Guests are there happiest when they are informed. Everyone likes to know what to expect, where to go and what they need to do. Have fun communicating to your guests. Sandwich boards (the two-sided chalkboards commonly seen in cafes) are a great way to point guests in the direction of seating, the dance floor or the ceremony space if you are hosting the ceremony and reception in the same location.

Easels are fantastic for displaying menus or placards, and chalk board hangtags add a special touch to drink stations and buffet tables.

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