For some couples only summer dates work with their family/friends and their work schedules so avoiding warmer months is enviable. However, there are multiple ways you can keep cool while planning a summer wedding. Just always be considerate of your guests and your vendors. Think of their perspective FIRST, not particularly what you’re willing to do or give up.
First try to pick a venue that has some indoor relief from the constant warm temperatures. Ask if your venue hosts summer weddings due to no or little air condition. Don’t forget to see if the kitchen has air condition because most of your desserts can’t sit outside “baking” in the heat or sun. Note, TRUE cream cheese or buttercream frosting needs to be in cooler temperatures. Fruit fillings can shift in warmer temperatures. So plan for later deliveries and areas in the shade or chilled until right before cake cutting.
Second, pick a time that would be cooler in the day. Most sunsets happen well after 8pm so a 6pm ceremony is a GREAT way to have all day to get ready then dance the night away. If you’re worried about having a “shorter” reception, then do first look photos earlier in the day and offer a pre-ceremony cocktail hour from 5-6pm then guests can walk up to their reception seats with salads waiting for them. But seriously a 4 and half hour reception is plenty (I promise) plus I wouldn’t offer booze prior to the ceremony because being hot, it will go down quickly and you want to keep it safe. Offer a simple signature (less liquor) drink, lots of fun fruity punches and flavored waters to hydrate your guest prior to a night of fun (they will thank you).
With summer temperatures rising and becoming warmer we wanted to provide several ideas and options when it comes to planning a summer wedding.
- Create program fans for ceremony
- Add umbrellas or sails over the ceremony area to create shaded spaces for guests
- Have multiple drink stations with flavored waters, lemonades and punch
- Offer popsicles while guests arrive or during cocktail hour
- Rent coolant or BIG fans to use throughout the property
- Wait to seat guests outside for ceremonies (seat 10-15 minutes prior all at once)
- Try to find a shady area for ceremony
- Offer sunscreen at ceremony
- Offer lighter snacks (nothing hot)
- Offer passed appetizers so there are no lines your guests are waiting around in
- Offer a signature drink as guest walk up to cool them off
- Make sure to offer lots of seating and shade
- Remember if outside, most salads can’t be pre-dressed due to wilting or the dressing has to be kept cold
- Offer ice water glasses filled as guests take their seats to encourage hydration during dinner
- Offer lighter dinner options with more late night snacks (but let it be known on menu cards and/or schedule so people know about more food later)
- Offer smoothies, slushies, or ice cream as part of your dessert treats (keeping people cool from the inside out will be a BIG help)
- Have fans by the dance floor if you are not indoors
- Have extra staffing on hand to watch for heat exhaustion and heat stroke (know the difference) and HAVE A GAME PLAN OF ACTION if something happens
- Have cool damp cloths available if anyone over heats
- Tell guys to pack extra shirts to change throughout the day/night so they are not sweaty in photos
- Encourage ladies/brides to change out of BIG heavy thick dresses to avoid over heating
- Encourage guys/grooms not to wear their jackets AT ALL to avoid over heating
- Watch alcohol consumption the day prior and day of the event (it will dehydrate you faster)
- EAT even if you are not hungry… EAT! Fuel up the day prior, the morning of, eat a light lunch, several little snacks
- REST- GET PLENTY of it the week of the event and the night prior
- Encourage staff to wear light color clothes, change often
- Beware of going from HOT outdoors to really cold indoors- your core body temperature can’t keep up the regulation so ease between the two when possible
- Drink a 8oz of water every 2 hours if possible (if not more) to rehydrate your system