Ideas for a Simple Poolside Wedding

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Pools make the perfect stage for couples who want a small, casual wedding. Whether chosen as a single site for both the ceremony and reception, or as a ceremony-only or reception-only venue, a pool setting requires minimal decoration, making it budget-friendly. Beach, boating, water sports and island themes can play off the calming blue water with a modern, vintage or ethnic flair.

Exchanging Vows Poolside

  • As you scout pool locations at resorts, hotels, the family backyard or the community swimming pool, keep logistics in mind. If you plan to use a hotel, resort or community pool, check public closing times and schedule your ceremony accordingly for privacy. Seat guests on acrylic or Adirondack lawn chairs with the pool as the backdrop for your ceremony. Make sure there's enough walking room when seating guests alongside the pool. Take advantage of existing trees, plantings and fountains to situate your welcome center, altar and aisle.

Celebrating Post-Ceremony

  • Poolside settings are ideal for cocktail party receptions. Serve your signature drink or cocktails at Tiki bars and have wait staff serve hors d'oeuvres on trays. High bar tables and stools interspersed with umbrella tables and chairs work well for cocktail seating, while banquet tables that can be moved quickly for dancing work well for a buffet or seated meal. Make the most of the site's features to create a "traveling wedding" with stations devoted to different courses. For example, start with cocktails at the pool, followed by a seafood bar on an adjacent terrace, then a sit-down dinner indoors before returning poolside for dessert and dancing. Use an adjacent lounge area or garden for entertainment such as a photo booth or caricature artist.

Striking the Right Mood

  • The pool serves as a focal point to create a romantic atmosphere, so get permission to decorate it. Flowers or petals can float together, held in place with a hula hoop. Floating candles give an evening event a soft glow, especially when dozens are lit. Consider using flowers with solar-powered lights that come on as the sun sets or add to the pool’s underwater lighting with lanterns and rope lights around the perimeter. Pick colors such as yellow, green and pink that complement the blue water for placemats, napkins and centerpieces.

Dressing for the Occasion

  • Poolside weddings are outdoor events so plan for hot, humid and windy conditions. Halter necks lend a swimsuit feel, but any sleeveless or cap-sleeved dress made from a lightweight fabric would be more appropriate than a ballgown or dress with a long train. Low-heeled shoes or flat sandals make a comfortable choice that goes with a pool wedding’s casual atmosphere. Rather than deal with the wind and a veil, you may want to wear a birdcage veil, fascinator or hair accessories. Your groom and groomsmen can forgo the formal tux and wear navy or khaki-colored lightweight suits.

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  • Photo Credit Schtzstudio/iStock/Getty Images
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