Beach weddings are fine if you don’t mind strong winds and blowing sand, but what does a water-loving couple do if they want a sunny wedding reception in a more controlled environment? The answer is found in the growing trend of pool party weddings. These informal, fun affairs take pool parties to a whole new level. From backyard barbecues to ultra-swanky hotel and resort pools, it’s amazing how an inviting swimming area can put your guests in a “wet and wild” mood.
Bridal Party Swimwear
Why smother your girls in head-to-toe satin when you can let them pick swanky swimwear instead? Bridesmaid swimsuits are far more likely to be worn again than most bridesmaid dresses. As an added bonus, swimwear is easier on the wallet (and on the eyes) than the stereotypical, chiffon-laden bridesmaid gown.
The only complicated part about choosing bridal party swimwear is getting all of your bridesmaids on the same page. While groomsmen are usually good-natured about pulling on matching pairs of swim trunks for your party, it can be difficult convincing the bridesmaids to show up in public wearing swimsuits of another person’s choosing.
Swimwear is intimate and tricky. What looks fantastic on one woman’s body may add strange lumps to another woman’s silhouette. Unless you’re blessed with several best friends who all rock the same swimsuit style flawlessly, it’s best to let each bridesmaid choose her own preferred style of swimsuit. Give them a unifying color and let them choose the styles that best flatter their shapes. You may want to impose certain limits, such as “pick something tasteful enough to wear in front of my grandparents” or “no string bikinis.”
Tie your bridal party together with added unifying elements such as matching sarongs, sun hats, sandals or jewelry. Since it can be hard to pin corsages onto stretchy swimsuit material, give your bridesmaids elegant wrist corsages instead.
Backyard Pool Parties
If you have access to a backyard and a swimming pool that’s large enough to accommodate your guest list, you already have the perfect wedding venue available. Pool parties are a fun, hip way to celebrate your new marriage in a nearly-free location.
Of course, you’ll still need to spice up the yard to make it “wedding ready.” This includes paying for a professional cleaning service and yard maintenance service the day before the reception. Depending on the state of the yard, you may want to plant colorful flowers or other landscaping. If the yard belongs to a friend, paying for these improvements is a way to thank your host in lieu of paying a venue rental fee. It doesn’t hurt to pay for a professional cleaning service afterward, either.
Tents and party rentals like matching tables and chairs are a good way to turn a suburban yard into a more professional-looking reception location. Since you’ll be saving money on the rental fee, you can splurge on more elegant details like chair covers and table runners. You can also use the pool as a photo opportunity, with floating candles and flowers, before everyone jumps in.
Don’t forget the little details. Offer baskets of custom-labeled mini bottles of sun block to protect your guests from experiencing more than a rosy glow of delight. Towels, sun hats, sunglasses, and parasols printed with your names and wedding date make fun (and useful) wedding favors. Waterproof cameras encourage guests to capture any fun moments your photographer misses.
Elegant Pool Party Venues
When you rent a venue with a pool, such as a hotel or resort, you combine the elegance of a first-class reception location with the festivity of an informal, poolside affair. Renting the deck or roof area of a pool is the perfect compromise when not every guest is comfortable with the idea of a swim-friendly reception. Those who want to take a dip can, while those who prefer to keep their makeup intact can mingle away from the splash zone.
Renting space at an elegant venue that also happens to have a pool is a good indoor/outdoor compromise in case of rain. Look for locations that have a good mix of outdoor and covered areas such as tiki bars, cabanas, and patio-facing ballrooms.
A pool party reception is the perfect way for couples to socialize with all of their gathered guests without risking the stodgy atmosphere of an overly-formal reception. If your idea of a perfect celebration involves tropical drinks and mini-umbrellas without any trace of pretension, invite your friends and family to help you celebrate your marriage and show off their pedicures, too. Plus, you don’t have to worry about getting cold feet when there’s a hot tub only inches away!
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.