How To Pull Off A Flawless Summer Wedding: Tips from Mike Nolte

We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Mike Nolte, founder of Nolte’s Bridal in Overland Park, Kan., one of the longest running privately-owned bridal salons in the country. With more than 35 years of experience in the industry, Mike has developed a keen eye for design and recognizing trends. Read Mike’s expert tips for pulling off a flawless summer wedding!


Mike’s daughter, Caroline, used Creative Candles metallic shimmer tapers to create an elegant and stunning tablescape at her recent wedding.


  • What are your favorite bouquet shapes and flowers to consider for brides?
  • I personally love any shape other than the typical round ball. Loose and airy cascades are so different and have a strong impact in photographs of the bridesmaids. As for blooms; gardenias and stephanotis for brides are classics in my book. Succulents have been popular too in the past couple of years. They add interesting texture.
  • What type of candles do you recommend for summer weddings?
  • Well, you can never have too many candles of any shape or color! Tapers are my favorite of course as they are so formal and not common. The elegance of height is an instant “Wow!” Though a lot of times the battery lights can be used in suspended votives…there is no substitute for the authenticity of a real flickering flame at eye level.
  • What are wedding trends you see emerging?
  • Lighting is finally rising to new levels of importance in the budgets. To have the walls washed with lights that change color through the evening is so magical. Additionally, I love to rent suspended chandeliers, Japanese lanterns, strings of Edison lights or anything that creates a “ceiling” over the dance floor. People just love that!
  • Are their trade secrets to using candles outdoors?
  • Realize the LED lighting is the best and if you use real flame it needs to be an oil wick that will keep burning in spite of breezy nights.
  • What color candles do you like to use at your weddings?
  • In churches I like the traditional look of ivory tapers…but to make them have more punch…do them at least 24” tall. At receptions, I think colors are wonderful. At my daughter’s recent wedding, I draped the tables with custom linens of striped pistachio and gold damask. The tapers were hand dipped in antique silver. (From Creative Candles of course!) The metallic shimmer was breathtaking.
    Established in 1980, Nolte’s Bridal has quickly become one of the longest running privately-owned bridal salons in the country. Read more about Mike Nolte here.