Summer Wedding Themes: Bold and Bright
Bold accents pop against white table linens, chairs, and plates. The inspiration for this table setting -- a beautiful sheet of wrapping paper -- is showcased at the center.
Raising the Bar
Scattering several small-scale cocktail stations around the reception space helps reduce long queues and introduces splashes of color. Here, the sign that identifies the bar area in marigold script is adorned with orchids and hung with warm gray ribbon, while the tabletop is embellished with cymbidium, leucadendron buds, tillandsia, and succulents.
Marigold and Pewter Tabletop
Sunny and steely, dialed up and dulled down, the combination of yellow and gray makes for a contrapuntal dance that's neither too sweet nor too subdued. Add hints of clean white to the mix and you've got it made in the shade -- and in the sunlight.
A Chic Setting
At a reception, bowls with floating candles, peonies, roses, and ranunculuses dot a boldly striped runner. Neutral linens give the eye a place to rest.
Bold and Beautiful
Try tempering all of the daring hues with earth-toned vessels. Copper mugs, compotes, and kettles are the perfect containers to subdue the striking, lush arrangements of red and orange poppies, hot-pink sweetpeas, jasmine, and fringed tulips. Carry this theme of graceful, natural accents throughout the reception by setting the table with wood chargers, hammered flatware, and rustic linen for texture and warmth.
Petal to the Metal
Slender trumpet vases and assorted silver vessels feel of the moment -- and far, far removed from their colonial associations -- when filled with exotic blooms. (Take note: not a single garden rose in sight.) For an unexpected personal touch, incorporate your own silver pieces. Flowers, from front: yellow cattleya orchids; lemon phalaenopsis orchids; mini cattleya orchids; calla lilies with apricot-tinged parrot tulips; lady's slipper orchids; a statuesque vase of butterscotch ranunculus.
This bouquet seems as if it has arrived fresh from a country garden, yet it has an air of sophistication. Bright yellow ranunculus, gold roses, perfumed freesia, ilex berries, and clementines form the warm foundation, while dusty-miller leaves, blue-gray succulents, and leucadendron buds add contrast and texture.
Long-stemmed tulips and calla lilies in shades of orange and tangerine need no more than a satin ribbon to bind them together.
Take Your Pick
Available in a wide range of colors, calla lilies and tulips can be paired into brilliant bundles. Here, some variations on a fiery theme -- one for each bridesmaid. Matching satin ribbons add the finishing touch.
Parrot and Button Tulips
An abundance of ruffled parrot tulips and smooth button tulips appears to flicker with apricot-hued light; pale lime strokes of color add radiance, and a yellow satin ribbon is the perfect accent.
A bouquet that combines roses with seasonal blooms and greenery will have a fresh-from-the-garden feel. Here, these late-summer purple clematis, pale hibiscus, and fuchsia-speckled caladium leaves surround luxurious Dutch and garden roses. One vintage silk ribbon overlays another to form a billowy bow.
This mostly tulip mix interprets the artist's passion for the blooms with orange-and-yellow Dutch, pink Dutch double, French striped parrots, pointy mini-flames, and green-edged peony-flowered tulips. Yellow lupin are sprinkled throughout the asymmetrical cascade tied in royal-blue ribbon, a common painter's touch.
In spite of its sweet nature, pink can be chic, even masculine. Roses with fuchsia-tipped petals strike a nice balance between being subtle and standing out.
Good as Gold
A mix of exuberant gold and yellow flowers appear regal in a bouquet unbound by symmetry. This eclectic array is composed of lady's slipper orchids, four types of cymbidium orchid, and mimosa, and they all mingle effortlessly.
Jewel-tone viburnum berries accentuate the fluttery lightness of the purple hybrid delphiniums and mirror their dark centers. Slender brodiaea blooms hang upside down at the edges of the bouquet. A vintage green satin ribbon covers the handle and is tied with a two-tone bow.
This bold assembly of flowers in shades of green attains its fanlike silhouette through the use of wired gladioli and santini mums. Evergreen leaves offer a fresh feel, and ruffled lady's mantle provides extra texture. The handle, covered in white satin ribbon and chartreuse velvet, is embellished with a double strand of freshwater pearl beads.
Dramatic chartreuse flowers and variegated greenery share the spotlight in this explosion of cymbidium orchids, gloriosa lilies, leucodendron, and hosta leaves.
This tightly packed oval bouquet incorporates five varieties of roses, Blue Curiosa, Rustique, Sahara, Esther, and Magic Silver -- plus the odd surprise of one perfect saffron Oriental Curiosa rose.
This sweeping creation is a twist on the pageant (or presentation) bouquet, named for the long-stemmed arrangement a beauty queen carries in the crook of her arm. It is 18 inches long and consists of hellebores, clematis, gladiolus, forget-me-nots, and sweet peas. Its grand dimensions are ideal for a formal occasion; for a more casual event, try paring down the size.
The contrast of bright yellow and deep purple gives this daring, exotic bouquet -- composed of miltonia and phalaenopsis orchids -- a modern yet playful feel. The stems are bound with velvet ribbon and thin metallic trim.
What's more hopeful than a radiant yellow flower? Dainty details and robust color add up to a bouquet that, with its cheery mound of narcissus, ranunculus, and chrysanthemum buds, speaks of a bright future together. It also gives a sweet nod to your groom. Finished with scalloped fabric secured with yellow pearl-head pins and a simple bow, the handle is reminiscent of a dapper tuxedo shirt.
Audacious, hot colors just beg for a festive, outdoor summer wedding that's anything but traditional. This boisterous bouquet -- so big you'll need both hands! -- of sweetpeas, tulips, and orchids in flashy magentas, corals, and golds (tied with a wide raspberry satin sash) is the floral equivalent of a blast of sexy salsa music on a Miami Beach dance floor.
Cake for One
These monogrammed groom's cakes were given to all at the wedding of Francesca Andrews and Ross Goodwin in New York City. Made by caterer Glorious Food, the cakes were tucked into boxes and bound with bows, which tied them to Andrews's wedding theme: purple.
Pink and Poppy
Bright sugar poppies are planted atop a cake iced in blush-colored buttercream by Sylvia Weinstock.
White-chocolate fondant encases a grand cake wrapped in dramatic silk moire ribbons. The marbling was fashioned with plastic transfer sheets, as were the candy favors.
Tropical Wedding Cake
A creation that is tropical through and through. The yellow-cake layers are brushed with rum syrup and filled with passion-fruit curd and rum-and-vanilla-bean buttercream. The top of each tier is spread with more passion-fruit curd. Hibiscus flowers, lychees, coconut, mini pineapple and bananas, and tamarillo boldly crown the cake.
Devil's Food Cake
The classic American layer cake is dressed up with geraniums for an informal wedding. Use your favorite devil's food cake recipe combined with our favorite old-fashioned chocolate frosting for this delicious cake.
Baskets of Berries
Early summer is the best time to choose a cake like this one -- brimming with a fresh and varied assortment of the season's best berries. Red currants, raspberries, gooseberries, blueberries, and strawberries look beautiful jumbled together on basket-weave tiers.
Ocean-Inspired French Charlotte
This one-of-a-kind cake is ideal for a beach wedding. The lemon-flavored cookielike tea cakes are tied around buttercream tiers with gold ribbon -- every other one finished with a bow.
Making fruits confits, or candied fruit, is a slow process in which the water in fruit is gradually replaced by sugar syrup. A cascade of the sweet gems shines against a pure white cake; the fruit calls for a tart counterpart, which comes in a lemon-zest sponge cake with vanilla mousse and pineapple confit. The green stalks are angelica, an edible plant.
Fauchon's monogrammed pink pastry boxes, or boites roses, are interpreted in tinted white chocolate; the cake itself is vanilla sponge with strawberry syrup and mousse. Almond macaroons in raspberry, chocolate, pistachio, and passion fruit are piled on and around the tiers.
The Frill of It
Cheery poppies don't have to be in season for you to make this pretty, fondant-covered cake. If you're the kind of bride who bookmarks etsy.com, fashion crepe-paper ones yourself, or look for similar ones at crafts stores. Either way you slice it, you've got a cake with flower power that lasts all day.
Framed windows allow a look-see into these fanciful paper packets filled with jelly beans.
Each of the red-box party favors above contains one chocolate and one vanilla fortune cookie. Handwrite or photocopy lines from your favorite classic love poems, or make up your own fortunes.
With a rubber stamp and some ribbon, simple boxes and tins become custom-made containers for favors like sugared almonds, petit fours, or a piece of groom's cake.
Wrap favors in brightly colored tissue paper and top them off with a paper flower -- a low-cost alternative to the real thing.
All Tied Up
A secret message hidden beneath coconut-and-cashew truffles is revealed as the chocolates are devoured.
They may look like the real thing, but candy pebbles in small galvanized pails are a sweet and delightful favor for an outdoor wedding; a note lets guests know they're for eating.
Favors Inside and Out
Boxes and bags decorated with cheery fabric, paper, or ribbon open up to reveal candies and cookies in coordinating hues. The favors are quick and easy to assemble -- even if you have hundreds of guests -- yet each is so special, it will feel as if it's one of a kind.
These containers were made to look like humble brown-paper bags, but that's where the resemblance ends. Sweet and crunchy, they can hold fruit or candy and can be served as an individual dessert, as part of a buffet, or offered as a take-home favor.