As the first official day of summer approaches for both Nashville and South Florida, it is about time we tackle one of the biggest issues for outdoor weddings: that heat. Weather has always been that uncontrollable guest at every wedding whether in January or July. There is really nothing one can do to prevent it being 100 degrees on your big day, so it is best to be prepared, no matter what. Summertime lends itself beautifully to outdoor ceremonies, and I would never steer you otherwise. However, here are some friendly tips and tricks to help keep your guests cool so that they can enjoy your ceremony and reception rather than counting down the hours until they can go cool off.
One of the best ways to keep your guests cool is to provide refreshments at the ceremony. Do not make them wait until the ceremony is over and they have to make their way to the cocktail reception. It is best to provide or have available drinks that guests can sip on to keep their body temps in check. Water is always a good idea to have- whether you do cute water bottles as seen below or just have a pitcher available for guests. This is especially important for the older guests in attendance. I also love the idea of having fruity drinks or water available too. Fresh lemonade, mint water, or something different like pineapple cilantro juice are all great ways to fill fun drink dispensers at your reception. Of course, a signature drink is also a good idea. Have them available either in jars in a bucket of ice or passed around by a server. This not only cools off your guests, but welcomes them to the celebration.
Fans are a great way to keep guests cool. A trend still popular today is the ceremony program done in a fan. This not only takes care of your ceremony information, but doubles as a way to cool off guests! You might also want to just provide some fans for guests at the ceremony. Print your names or wedding date on them to make them more personal.
Shaved Ice & Popsicles!
A cute idea for a cocktail reception to help guests chill is to provide either popsicles or shaved ice. Many cities have food trucks these days and it is a great way to provide both something cold and something fun for guests to take part in. I suggest it for a cocktail hour because they are light and refreshing, something the guests who just spent approximately 30 minutes outside to enjoy. Of course, carry them on into the reception or for a late night snack too!
This piece of advice is for your cocktail hour. Guests are going to be flocking to the bar as soon as the officiant says “You may now kiss your bride” and so it is best to have multiple bartenders ready to assist in refreshing your (maybe cranky) guests. By having multiple bartenders and/or bars, you are allowing everyone the opportunity to get a drink. Trust me, your guests will thank you tremendously. There is nothing worse than being hot and then having to wait in line to fix it.
Tents have become a near necessity when planning an outdoor wedding…not only for the chance of rain, but for the protection from the sun too! Providing shade for your guests is key. This is especially important for the older family and friends you may have in attendance. Be smart about your tenting and enlist the help of a professional in both choosing and installing a tent. Clear ones may look cool, but if your reception is happening at the heat of the day, you might as well call it an oven. It is also a good idea to check with rental companies if they have air conditioning or fan options for their tents. Again, it can be a lifesaver for your outdoor wedding, but check out our vendor page to find some trusting rental companies to assist you.
Last but certainly not least, is the consideration for time. Depending on the month and time of day, consider when you want to have your ceremony or host your reception. Are you going to have a long break between your ceremony and reception? If yes, will you provide shade or refreshments for out of town guests? Will the ceremony be happening during the sun’s peak hours? How long is the ceremony? These are all questions to consider when putting together a timeline for your big day. Of course, it is your big day, but do consider your guests who have taken time to celebrate with you. You want it to be remembered as an amazing day rather than one that broke a sweat.
Summertime weddings can be beautiful affairs, but don’t let the sun try and ruin that! Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you stay smart about the weather and keep your guests cool so that everyone can enjoy dancing the night away. That’s the only reason they should sweat!