Pools and weddings don’t normally go hand-in-hand, unless you’re talking about some great backgrounds for photos. However, “normal” is liquid and ever-changing. If you’re a water-loving bride and groom, why not make your day truly yours?

Here are a few tips on keeping your reception more romantic than MTV Spring Break.

Location, Location, Location

First, remember that location still really counts. Imagine how you want your reception to be and choose the pool accordingly. There are many country clubs and hotels that are willing to rent out their outdoor dining space along with the pool. Check to make sure that the pool can be truly closed off, perhaps with temporary pool fencing, so you don’t have voyeurs or non-guests using your location.

Easy Decor Transitions

Decorating for a pool reception isn’t that much different than decorating a garden reception. Follow similar themes, and steer clear of anything that’s too kitschy or little kid pool party-esque. You might think it’s cute to use blow-up pool toys as centerpieces, but unless you’re wanting a very low-key wedding, it likely won’t work. Stick with grace and elegance when it comes to decor.

It’s also important to choose a location that has large bathrooms or changing rooms for your guests. Make sure your guests know exactly what type of reception this will be so they can plan accordingly. Easy, useful favors for a pool reception are beach towels with a special saying or the bride and groom’s names monogrammed on them.

Balancing Class with Fun

You can go one of two ways with catering. You can choose a traditional buffet or served reception with the pool party following. On the other hand, you can choose an outdoor grilled reception that is seemingly less formal, but you don’t need to skimp on the gourmet touches.

If you want the traditional pieces of a reception such as a first dance, cake cutting and toasts, it’s best to do this before you hit the water. The cake cutting is often the finale of a wedding, and you’ll be sure to look stunning for all the big reception milestones before slipping on your swimsuit. You can even tie in the schedule with Mom’s “waiting 30 minutes after eating to swim” rule!

Choose the Right Photographer

You need to make sure you get absolutely all the photos you want pre-pool. This includes photos with family members, the wedding party, dances and the bouquet toss. Once you’re in the water, the formal wedding dress photo opportunities are over. Of course, now’s the time to score those fun-filled candid pool party photos. And at another wedding recently they had an absolutely amazing London Wedding photographer who was an absolute star, so if you’re getting married in London definitely check him out.

Your wedding is yours, so plan it how you’d like. A pool party reception is a fun, unique and still beautiful way to celebrate your love. It also gives you a little extra motivation to get in great shape for your wedding day.

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