We all know the reason summer is the most popular season for weddings: party weather. Long hot days perfect for a marathon of wedding celebrations from dawn to well into…the next dawn. But the question often overlooked is: how do you keep your guests comfortable and cool during your hot summer wedding?
You wake up & instantly squeal with joy over today's weather report: epic sunshine & not a raincloud in sight to deter your outdoor wedding dreams. Your guests wake up & groan with worry at the same weather report: 95 degrees and not a cloud in sight. “We're all going to roast.”
You may be wearing a breathable silk, backless wedding dress (go you!) but many of your guests may be wearing not-so-forgivable formal wedding wear sweating under the hot blazing sun. Wardrobe aside, there are loads of wedding destinations where even the most aptly dress guest can fall victim to wedding-day heat stroke.
I once photographed a wedding in Kansas City in August: 98 degrees (37 C). And yes, the portraits were midday outside as was the ceremony. If the catering hadn't shown up (it did) we would have made excellent Kansas City barbeque ourselves.
While we want you to pick the best time of year for your sunny-weather-wedding, we also want you to take a moment to consider your guests (particularly your older & younger ones!) Luckily, there are plenty of ways aside from “hide inside in air conditioning” to keep your guests cool even on the hottest of summer days. Our friends at Be Inspired PR have rounded up their team of wedding industry experts to dish their best tips…
Coconut water is a super-hydrator.
“When you sweat, you lose more than just water. You lose valuable minerals & nutrients, too. Coconut water, much like sports drinks, offers a large dose of those nutrients you need to rehydrate, particularly electrolytes & sugar. And while I know you were dying to have a Gatoraid vending machine at your wedding, coconut water stations are just a wee bit cuter.” – Claire Eliza, Editor-in-Chief of Bridal Musings
Think beyond a water station.
“Keep your guests hydrated and refreshed during your outdoor ceremony with cold and crisp beverages waiting for them as they head to take their seats! Ice cold water is a must, but consider offering another option in addition to water to make it feel fun!
Try a seasonal flavored lemonade with fresh fruits like raspberries or strawberries, or aromatic herbs like lavender or mint. Alternatively, offer up some refreshing iced teas like peach green tea or passion fruit black tea. These options are delicious and refreshing and will provide the perfect pick-me-up before a ceremony in the sun!” – Michelle’s Catering
Be strategic in your cocktail hour hors d’oeuvres.
“No one wants a hot appetizer when they’re already sweating! Opt for cool choices like a chilled seafood display on ice, gazpacho shooters, caprese skewers, tuna tartare cones…the list goes on and on! Get creative with it!” – Michelle’s Catering
Pick a smart location.
“A great way to keep your guests comfortable and cool is by choosing a location that’s shaded by trees. Not only will your guests thank you for avoiding the harsh sun beating down on them, but your photos will look like a fairytale!” – Lisette Gatliff, Lisette OC Photography
Rent cushioned chairs, not metal.
“An outdoor wedding can be beautiful, but an outdoor wedding in a warm climate can also be uncomfortable for you and your guests. Couples can think ahead of time and include some elements to make sure their wedding is as comfortable as possible. Choose cushioned chairs in lieu of metal to take the heat off of guests’ seats, or add tall umbrellas in gathering areas so people can escape the sun when socializing.” – Matt Ramirez, SVP of Marketing, Generation Tux
Merino Wool keeps you cooler.
“When it comes to the suits and tuxedos for your wedding party, choose a high-quality fabric like Merino Wool. This natural fiber will allow for optimum breathability and comfort, whereas a suit made with synthetic fiber like polyester won’t breathe. Also, wool is naturally odor-resistant to help out on those especially hot days! Look for super 130’s and 140’s Merino Wool suits and tuxedos for a great high-quality look that will make everyone happy!” – Matt Ramirez, SVP of Marketing, Generation Tux
Hop into the pool-party wedding trend.
“We've seen an influx of pool-party weddings in recent years, and what better activity can you offer your wedding guests at a hot summer wedding than a dip in the pool during your wedding reception?” – Claire Eliza, Editor-in-Chief of Bridal Musings
Add popsicles & frozen drinks to your menu.
“Try icy cool options for your cocktail hour beverages, like champagne popsicles or a frozen tropical cocktail. Your guests will love the tasty drinks that will also double as a way to beat the heat!” – AJ Williams, Founder & Creative Director, AJ Events
Consider an alternative timeline.
“Have you thought about an evening ceremony? Schedule your day to start off knocking out a majority of your photos, then opt to say your vows at sundown. The photos of your ceremony will be gorgeous (hello, sunset backdrop!) and it's a great way to avoid the midday sun!” – AJ Williams, Founder & Creative Director, AJ Events
Embroidered, soaked, and chilled washcloths.
“Want to take it to the next level? Let's embroider some washcloths with your new monogram and have them soaked, chilled, and passed out to guests as they arrive to ensure they're staying cool!” – Ashley Lachney, Alston Mayger Events
Wedding fan favors for guests.
“Wedding fan favors will keep your guests cool while they watch your ceremony, attend your reception or enjoy your bridal shower. Each one is custom-designed for each guests’ wedding!” – Jen Halbert, Dulce Press
Set up an IV station.
“This may be a wild idea for most, but my cousin who plans weddings & lavish events in California's very hot Paso Robles wine country has shared with me a new trend.
Worried about hydration? Hire nurses & set up a luxurious, comfortable, lounge IV station. We can imagine Moroccan pillows & poufs, spa water (maybe other spa goodies?) and certified staff to ensure your guests stay hydrated as they enjoy a hot day of summer drinking.” – Claire Eliza, Editor-in-Chief of Bridal Musings
Retire to an indoor location for the reception.
“If your wedding will be in a location similar to Temecula, CA where our winery summer days can be very hot, my advice is always to look for an indoor wedding venue. When the temperature reaches over 100F, your guests, your blooms and even your cake will begin to wilt in full sun. If the outdoors is an important element in your big day, consider a quick outdoor ceremony and then into an indoor location for the reception.” – Karese, Owner of Detailed Floral Design
A straw fan & sunscreen on hand.
“On bright, hot summer days, a straw fan can go a long way during the time guests are outdoors to cool themselves or block the sun while sitting during the ceremony. Sunscreen is also a nice amenity to have on hand!” – Jamie & Stephanie, Cape Cod Celebrations
Find more ways to keep hydrated in our Real Talk feature: Please drink water on your wedding day (plus, 10 helpful tips!)
These tips were gathered by Be Inspired PR, a PR + Social Media Agency for wedding, wellness & lifestyle clients. With over 10+ years of experience, we’re here to take our clients to the next level! Find oodles of stylish wedding inspiration on their Instagram & Pinterest.