A beautiful summer celebration full of love, light, warmth and happily ever after...What could go wrong right?!
If you’re having a summertime wedding, you’re probably envisioning a clear, blue-sky that’s like something out of a movie — not a cloud in sight. Fresh flowers creating a sweet subtle aroma throughout your ceremony room. You may even expect to see your guests in best dressed walking through the gardens with ice- cold champagne glasses in their hands, remarking how this is the most beautiful wedding they’ve ever seen.
What you’re not envisioning is those same guests overheated, dehydrated and slumping in their chairs from the humidity reluctant about standing around and enjoying the amazing entertainment you've put on. Sweat pouring down the back of your dress, and the cast of bugs life being drawn like a magnet to your perfect symmetrical wedding cake which has now melted and sits at an impressive slant. All while the guests remark that they’ve never been so uncomfortable in all their lives.
Don’t let mother nature steal your summer wedding perfection and ruin your dream day! Using tips and advice from several reliable sources such as brides magazine.. here are some top tips for preventing the dangers of the peak summertime heat and humidity for your guests’ comfort, your cake’s survival, and your wedding-day bliss. Here’s how to plan ahead.
Choose an Indoor-Outdoor location. If you haven’t already booked your site — whether all-outdoors or all-indoors — look for a beautiful reception site that offers both outdoor and indoor party areas, such as one with a fabulous ballroom and a lovely outdoor terrace overlooking manicured gardens, a golf course, or the ocean. A few of our favourite venues such as Southend barns, upwaltham barns, farbridge wedding venue , Southdown's manor or perhaps The Queens hotel for a space close to the seaside all of these beautiful indoor-outdoor options. Guests can decide if they want to be in the outdoor elements, or comfortable inside in the air conditioned building. Especially if you have older or pregnant guests, it’s essential to provide a cooler environment option for all.
Rent A/C units. If your wedding will be in a tent or out in the open air, be sure to rent high-quality, portable fans that you test out in the rental store to judge their strength and relative silence. Great party fans now run at a lower volume level so that everyone can hear the toasts and the music. Invest well in plenty of these fans for everyone’s comfort, and place them around the seating area, the bar, anywhere guests will gather.
Create some 'COOL' surprises for your guests. One summer wedding got the amazing caravanilla to show up for a early evening refreshment. I scream, you scream, we all scream and ice-cream. It went a top hit and the guests were literally running to que and get their refreshment. Such a loverly extra for people to enjoy! Guest bonus points are a real thing!
Provide cooling gadgets. At hot outdoor weddings, and even on the tables of the terrace, set out vases or theme-appropriate containers of little hand-held, battery-run fans, or pretty paper fans for guests to cool themselves with. They make the perfect thank you favours and keepsakes - Extra points for personalising them!
Provide sunscreen. You may of seen those thoughtful 'guest survival kits' that some couples put together and leave in the toilets for their guests to enjoy. Well, if your friends and family will be expected to spend hours out in the sun, you’re a terrific host to include a spray bottle of high-SPF sunscreen. Just saying!
Serve lots of ice water in stylish glasses with pretty slices of lemon, lime or orange. Who says your water can’t coordinate with your wedding colors? Guests at outdoor weddings love having fresh, ice-cold water brought to them throughout the event, so be sure to order hand-passed ice water service on silver trays. If you’re having a more informal wedding, consider stocking the bar or buffet with a few ice-filled coolers of water bottles. It sounds like something generic but you'd be sooo surprised how many people spend hours planning the wine list and forget the essentials.
Use natural shade. Scout out your location and ask the site manager to arrange seats and tables under the shade of trees, or with big, bright table umbrellas. Whatever takes your fancy.
No burning their butts! If your site will set out metal chairs for the ceremony or outdoor seating, be aware that metal can heat up in the sun and it's not often considered a problem until it's quite frankly too late. Either arrange for chair cushions or invest in fabric slip covers for chairs that will be placed in peak sunlight.
Choose a summer wedding gown made of lighter fabric, appropriate for a hot-weather summer wedding, and talk to your gown stylist about fabrics that breathe, such as cotton organdy, chiffon, crepe, or voile over silk. You don’t want horrible sweat stains under your breasts, at the base of your spine and at your armpits.
Choose a tuxedo fabric that also breathes for the men, and select open-backed vests for the men’s comfort as well.
Shoes can often be overlooked. Choose the right shoes. Go for comfort as well as style with thicker heels that won’t sink into soft summertime grass.
Consider your summer hair style Prepare for summer hair. Curls and sculpted up-do’s often don't fare well in hot, humid weather, so go for a trial-run hair styling with a pro, explaining your summer wedding date and experimenting with sleeker hairstyles such as a pulled-back chignon or low ponytail. Hairstyles with height just aren’t going to look good for long in hot summer weather.
Re-think the flowers in your hair. Individual fresh blooms tucked into your hair won’t have a water source and may be the first to wilt, which is not the best effect on your wedding day.
Pack blotting papers and powder. Guard against shine on your nose and forehead by including plenty of blotting papers and powder in your purse or emergency kit, and ask a bridesmaid to let you know when you need to treat your skin shine so that you don’t look oil-dipped in your important photos.
Skip the perfume. If you don’t want swarms of bees around you, skip the scent until the evening hours when you can freshen with a gentle spritz. If you or your groom have outdoor allergies, check the day’s pollen counts at Kleenex or Weather.com and use your regular allergy medication to prevent the sniffles, sneezing, red and watery eyes, and stuffed-up sinuses that can wreck your look and comfort.
Keep your guests comfortable by carefully planning your group shot list and the time allocated to this. A rule of thumb for us is each group takes approx 3 mins. 10 groups is 30 minutes. This is a long time for those at the end of the list to be waiting to be called. Prioritise those guests who may be elderly or have medical or situatially reasons that means their resilience to the heat may be reduced. Get these people done first so they can then go off to the shade and not worry.
Be mindful that plans can change and this is okay. You may have set times for certain things to happen on the day. When planning this strict time intinary feels like the gospel but sometimes it has to bend for reasons beyond anyones control. Weather being one. Trust the photographer on this. If your venue provides little shade or relief from the direct sun where group shots must take place your photographer may suggest moving things around so you get the best of the light and feel more comfortable in the warm climate. There is nothing worse than sweaty wet hair and squinty eyes caused by the blinding sun. These photos shouldn't be painful, and most certainly shouldn't be rushed. It's the biggest investment of the day for many. Tweaking the times slightly may allow for much nicer photos and your photographer will be experienced with calling this shot.
Remember the people who are making your day run well and ensuring the comfort of your guests will be moving a lot quicker than you with little rest and time to hydrate and break from the heat. Allow them some time where possible to refuel themselves. This way everyone is happy. It is just something to consider as enjoying a wedding and working a wedding are two very different things. If your venue doesn't provide suppliers with free soft drinks when working then this may be something you wish to cover.
On a hot day, beware of your summer wedding flowers wilting quickly. Sometimes, they’re droopy when they reach you, having suffered during shipment from the floral store to your location. So ask your floral designer to transport your flowers with extra attention paid to their water sources, such as setting all the bouquets upright in a container with a few inches of water for the stems to drink from you would need to make sure that your bouquet handles are wrapped in such a way—such as just around the middle of the gathered stems—so that cut stems are exposed at the bottom to drink up water, not fully covered by satin ribbon. Or choose single-stem flowers as both a budget idea and as a more realistic plan to keep flowers fresh and cool.
Choose your summer wedding flowers well for their water source ability. For instance, hydrangea is a lovely summer flower, but it wilts in minutes without a good water source, so floral designers advise you to keep the hydrangea out of your bouquet and off of your groom’s lapel, instead placing sprigs in little, water-filled vases on each table.
Keep your summer wedding flowers ultra-cool before the ceremony, perhaps popping all of your bouquets into the refrigerator between the pre-wedding photos and when you depart for the ceremony. And don’t spritz centerpiece flowers with water for outdoor settings, since direct sunlight will burn that water right off the bloom and turn your flowers brown. Ask for summertime-sturdy flowers and an efficient water source for all of your flowers, so that they keep their strength and look stunning throughout the event.
Decide on a Plan B for later-in-the-day photos. Often, wedding photographers will bring you outside for additional couple photos while the dancing is going on, so look carefully at your summer wedding bouquet before you bring it into the frame with you. If all the flowers are droopy, dry and damaged from the heat, just leave it out of the frame and pose without it.
The heat can do terrible things to some of your menu items, including making guests sick. So be sure that all seafood, cheeses and meats are stored in super-cooled serving dishes, perhaps on platters made of ice, and that the caterer keeps replacing sun-warmed salad dressings with cooler, fresher supplies every so often. Specifically ask for this cool-food service, as a safety measure.
Choose lighter, non-creamy fare for your cocktail party stations and your meal, to reduce the risk of spoilage. Summer menu items of cold, refreshing veggies, cold seafood, mango skewers and gazpacho shots are far more palatable in hot weather than heavier, cream-sauce dishes…and they’re often less expensive.
Cover those serving platters. Keep the flies and bees away by choosing chafing dishes and serving platters with lids on them, and don’t decorate your buffet table or stations with bee-attracting flowers.
Prevent mosquito and gnat dive-bombers from attacking your cake [they love the sweet frosting!] and keep your cake from melting in the sun—and collapsing to the floor—by having the site staff keep the cake in the refrigerator for the majority of the reception. It can be wheeled out, fresh and cool, when it’s time to cut the cake. I know it's nice to have it out to show but from experience of seeing cakes melt so much they are inedible - I'd play it safe.
Add frozen drinks to your bar menu for your guests’ comfort and enjoyment.