Beat The Heat

10 essential tips for keeping cool at summer weddings
Written by
Laura Cross

Summer weddings are popular for their vibrant ambiance and outdoor charm. However, the scorching heat can pose a challenge for couples and guests alike. To ensure everyone stays cool, comfortable, and able to fully enjoy the celebration, it's crucial to have strategies in place for beating the heat. From careful planning considerations to guest comfort, these 10 essential tips will ensure that your special day remains unforgettable for all the right reasons.

  1. Select a Suitable Venue: Choosing the right venue is essential when planning a summer wedding. Look for venues that offer both indoor and outdoor spaces, allowing guests to retreat to air-conditioned areas when needed. Consider venues with shaded outdoor spaces, such as gardens with trees or covered pavilions, to provide respite from the sun's rays. An ideal venue should have ample ventilation, allowing for air circulation to keep everyone cool. Additionally, discuss with the venue management about their provisions for cooling systems, such as air conditioning, misters or fans, to ensure a comfortable environment throughout the event.

  2. Optimize Timing: Scheduling your wedding at the optimal time can make a significant difference in beating the summer heat. Consider having your ceremony and reception during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late afternoon. This will help avoid the peak heat hours and allow for a more pleasant experience for both you and your guests. 

  3. Provide Refreshing Beverages: One of the best ways to beat the heat is by keeping guests hydrated. Create a refreshing drink station or mobile beverage carts offering a variety of chilled beverages, such as infused water, lemonade, iced tea, and fruit punches. Jordan and Sydney from JoSi Events recommend adding a twist to the traditional cocktail hour by serving snow cones, slushies, or frozen cocktails. These icy treats not only offer a refreshing respite from the heat but also add a fun element to the festivities. Consider offering a variety of flavors and options, including non-alcoholic versions for the younger attendees. This unique twist on the cocktail hour will delight guests of all ages and keep them cool and refreshed during the warm summer celebration. 

  4. Dress Appropriately: Choosing the right attire for a summer wedding is crucial to beat the heat. For the couple, consider lightweight and breathable fabrics, such as linen or cotton, for wedding attire. Ether Saber from The Downtown Collective Entertainment advises brides to consider an alternate outfit or optional accessories specifically for the ceremony. This way, you can change into something more relaxing and comfortable, allowing you to enjoy the entire wedding day without literally sweating it out. It's also a good idea to communicate dress code suggestions to your guests, recommending lighter fabrics and comfortable shoes. Providing a designated area for guests to leave their jackets or wraps can also help them stay comfortable during the event.

  5. Utilize Shade and Cooling Elements: Maximize the use of shade and cooling elements in your wedding design. Providing ample shade is essential to ensure the comfort and well-being of your guests. Ether Saber from The Downtown Collective Entertainment emphasizes the importance of providing a tent large enough to cover all guests and the dance floor. This not only shields attendees from direct sunlight but also protects the equipment of vendors, such as DJs and live bands, from potential damage caused by excessive heat. If tenting isn't an option, it is important to incorporate natural elements like trees or large umbrellas to create shaded areas for guests to relax and cool down.

  6. Offer Cooling Amenities: To provide guests with additional relief from the heat, consider offering cooling amenities. Carol Lynne, an experienced officiant from I Tie The Knots Weddings, suggests providing guests with bottles of water and programs with handles. This thoughtful gesture ensures that guests stay hydrated and have a handy tool to fan themselves during the ceremony. Another thoughtful gesture is to offer parasols or umbrellas, which not only shield guests from the sun but also add a touch of elegance to the occasion. If budget allows, you could even set up misting stations or rent portable air-conditioning units for key areas like the dance floor or dining area. These amenities will enhance guest comfort and ensure an enjoyable experience for everyone.

  7. Keep Food Fresh and Light: When planning the menu, opt for fresh, light, and seasonally inspired dishes. Summer is the perfect time to showcase vibrant salads, refreshing fruits, and grilled options. Avoid heavy or greasy foods that can make guests feel sluggish in the heat. Incorporate chilled appetizers, refreshing sorbets, and ice cream stations to provide delightful relief. Discuss with your caterer about proper food storage and serving techniques to ensure that the food remains fresh and safe throughout the event. By offering a menu that aligns with the season, guests will enjoy a culinary experience that complements the summer ambiance.

  8. Provide Sun Protection: Shielding guests from the sun's harmful rays is essential during a summer wedding. Set up designated areas with sunscreen stations, offering a range of SPF options for guests to apply. Place baskets filled with sunhats, sunglasses, and sunscreen wipes as thoughtful favors for guests to protect themselves from the heat. Consider providing a basket of colorful parasols or branded umbrellas for guests to use and take memorable photos with. By prioritizing sun protection, you show your care for guests' well-being and ensure their comfort throughout the celebration.

  9. Plan for Indoor Breaks: Even with the best preparations, guests may still need occasional breaks from the outdoor heat. Designate indoor areas where guests can cool down, relax, and escape the sun's intensity. Create lounges with comfortable seating arrangements and air conditioning, allowing guests to recharge and socialize in a refreshing environment. It's also advisable to have backup plans in case of extreme weather conditions, such as access to an indoor venue or a rain contingency plan for inclement weather. These indoor breaks will provide a welcome respite and keep guests comfortable throughout the event.

  10. Communicate and Prepare: Lastly, effective communication is key to ensuring a successful summer wedding. Keep your guests informed about the expected weather conditions and any specific recommendations they need to be aware of, such as dress code, outdoor activities, or potential heat-related challenges. Include this information on your wedding website, invitations, and any pre-wedding communication. Additionally, work closely with your wedding planner, venue coordinator, and vendors to discuss and implement strategies for beating the heat. By preparing and communicating effectively, you can ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience for both you and your guests.