Pros of having a Summer Wedding:
Summer sunshine: Summer gives you long, beautiful days of sunshine, with the sun not setting until gone 9pm on most days. This means that you can spread your timeline out as much as you like, because there will be plenty of natural daylight to play with for your photos.
Outdoor ceremonies: You can even have your entire day, including your ceremony outside. Outside photographs means you can have beautiful backdrops of greenery and of your venue in natural light conditions.
Lighter meals: There are a lot more food options for a summer wedding than a winter one, where you are fairly likely to go for some kind of roast dinner to keep your guests nice and warm. Summer invites fresh fruit and veg, buffets, and even outdoor options like a hog roast or food trucks. Your options are endless! If you are going for a more relaxed vibe to your wedding, you don't have to have a 3 course sit down meal inside!
Sunset photos: Yes, this might involve paying for a few extra hours of coverage on the day for your photographer because golden hour (the hour before sunset when it is the perfect time to capture photos) is going to be at least 8pm onwards. But, if you're willing to do this, or if you are having a later ceremony anyway, and have 8 hours of photography coverage, then sunset photos are such a lovely bonus. This is the most flattering light for portrait photography, and you can capture some beautiful, dramatic sunset backdrops. These may end up being your favourite photos of the day!
Flowers: Summer gives you the biggest variety for what flowers are in season. In-season flowers will be less expensive than those grown in a hot house, so going for something that naturally blooms in the summer can help keep you on-budget.
Theme variety: With the exception of a Christmas or snowy themed wedding, pretty much any theme will suit a summer wedding. You can go for black tie formal, or rustic, relaxed chic. Most colours will work well for a summer wedding for bridesmaid dresses and flowers, so you really can plan the day of your dreams! Open top horse and carriage - go for it! Outside ceremony followed by a hog roast - tick! Bow ties and floor-length ball gowns - why not!?
Cons of having a Summer Wedding:
The heat: Remember that British summers can be very hot - something to consider when choosing your dress and hairstyle. If your dream dress has long sleeves and heavy beading, you are going to get very hot. Maybe think about having a dress with less layers, or thin straps, so that you can wear a normal bra rather than one of those sticky strapless ones. Hair is important too. Personally, as soon as it gets over 25 degrees, my hair goes into a pony tail and doesn't even touch the back of my neck until Autumn. I get stressed just thinking about having my long hot hair on my neck. I got married in July. I had my hair in an elaborate up-do and was perfectly cool in 32 degree heat! Make up is also a factor. If it's hot, you WILL sweat. Think about trying out some light make up looks that don't need thick layers of foundation or have dark colours around your eyes. In the summer, lighter colours, fabric, lighter everything is better!
Rain: As well as being very hot, British summers can also be very wet. My own wedding was very hot and we had an outdoor ceremony, but the day before had been absolutely torrential rain! Make sure you have a back up plan! And don't forget - there is absolutely nothing you can do about the weather, so just concentrate on the things you can control, not the things you can't! For example, what you CAN control, is buying some provisions as back ups - a clear umbrella (I always carry one), so that you can still get photos outside even if it's wet. (Clear is better than white as it still lets the natural daylight through). If you are having your guests sitting outside in the sun, think about buying some fans or suncream. Be prepared for any type of weather, then you won't be disappointed on the big day.
Holiday clashes: Clashing with your friends and families summer holidays is always a risk with a summer wedding. If you send out your save the dates early enough (Christmas time/January), then people may be able to plan around you, but just be aware that if you're not giving your guests months and months of notice then you might have a few people missing.
Unflattering light: Everyone wishes for glorious sunshine on their wedding day, but beware that harsh sunlight is the most unflattering type of light in photographs. A good photographer will always have you facing your shadow in harsh sunlight, and ideally will have you standing in open shade. But, if you are at a small venue with not much outside space, then the options for flattering light may be very limited. You may have your heart set on a particular background for your photos, but if it means you are going to be squinting into the bright sunlight, you may have to trust your photographer that a different spot will look better, even if the background is not as perfect as the spot you had in mind. On the day, I am always happy to take a photo of the couple in the area they requested, but I will also take some in more flattering light if necessary. When people look at your photos, the first thing they look at will be your face, then the rest of your body, then the background. So, you want your face to look the best, then your body, then the background. If you are squinting into the sun, that is the first thing people will see. I had a wedding recently on the cliff tops of Barton on Sea, which overlook the Isle of Wight. The couple really wanted this as their background, but the sun was shining right into their faces. We still took those photos, of course, but they had to close their eyes because it was so bright and open them on the count of 3 for the photos! I will show you an example below of the photos with the Isle of Wight in the background and then facing the opposite way on the cliff top with Bournemouth in the background. Everyone was happy - the couple got the background they wanted, and they also got photos with more flattering light - lots of variety to choose from! See below for examples: