parasol by picnic dinner

You don't have to be a Southern belle to want a wedding full of paper parasols!  During the month of May we have focused on all sorts of accessories, from the earrings you wear with the dress to the toppers adorning those bite-sized red velvets.  So it is fitting that we conclude this month with something that works as both fashion and decor accessory: parasols!  Use them to brighten up bridal party photos, keep Aunt Betsy cool during your August outdoor wedding, and to create a festive atmosphere at your reception!

bride carrying red parasol
bridesmaids with colorful paper parasols

I suffer from a common problem the second a camera is aimed in my direction: What do I do with my hands?!  Everything just seems wrong or posed in a really 1980s department photo studio kind of way.  Hand your bridesmaids parasols, and instantly everyone just knows what to do.  And don't forget the littler ladies (below).  If you want to skip them dropping petals down the aisle, give them something to carry like one of these mini paper parasols.

flower girls with parasols
bucket of parasols for wedding guests
  
parasols for guests

Offer guests parasols when they arrive at your outdoor ceremony or reception.  Many guests show up early to these types of events and you don't want them wilting as they wait for you to make your grand entrance.  Guests, be cognizant of the people sitting behind you (as well as the photographers) when using a parasol to keep yourself shaded.  Either put it down during the ceremony, or sit in one of the back rows.

cocktails with pink umbrellas

Ultra-miniscule paper umbrellas are an adorable addition to your food and decor.  Whether you are using larger parasols or not, chic or retro cocktail umbrellas are always welcome in a tropical drink or decadent cupcake!

cupcake with umbrella topper
white parasols as aisle decor

One of the most common ways to decorate with parasols is hanging them from your venue's ceiling. But one of the most unique examples I've seen of this is the way this wedding (above) used paper parasols and tissue flowers to decorate their ceremony aisle.  There is something really exquisitely simple about it.  Perfect for a tent wedding on a hot day!

parasols over sweet table
parasols made into decorative wall
  
parasols hanging over patio

A more advanced DIY project is this decorative wall (above, left) made with flattened out tops of paper parasols.  You could use it to create the illusion of separate spaces in a loft venue, or decorate an existing wall into a backdrop for a photo booth.

Credits: 1//2//3//4//5//6//7//8//9//10//11//12