Beat The Heat

Expert tips for keeping cool at summer weddings
Written by
Laura Cross

Summer weddings can be beautiful and memorable, but they often come with the challenge of soaring temperatures and relentless heat. Don't let the scorching sun dampen your big day! With the help of wedding experts, we've compiled a list of valuable advice and tips to keep you and your guests cool and comfortable throughout the celebration. From styling choices to refreshing treats, here's how to beat the heat and make the most of your summer wedding.

Styling: What You Wear Matters!
When it comes to beating the heat, choosing the right attire can make a world of difference. Alysha Haugen from Daniel's Custom Clothing suggests opting for garments made of linen, especially in hot and humid climates. Unlike cotton, linen dries quickly and doesn't retain moisture, helping to reduce heat retention and keep you cool. Light and breathable fabrics can work wonders during hot summers, so consider linen or other lightweight materials to stay comfortable in style.

To provide shade while maintaining a stylish look, Andrew Vick from Vick Photography recommends adding a big-brimmed hat to your wedding ensemble. Not only does it add a trendy touch, but it also offers protection from the sun's rays, keeping you cool and protected throughout the day.

Liz Drevlow from The Dashery suggests choosing light-weight, breathable materials for your outfit. By opting for comfortable and airy fabrics, you can ensure maximum comfort while still looking fashionable and put together.

To combat the high humidity, Alexa Johnson from Alexa Myli Photography suggests sporting a summer-friendly hairstyle that keeps your hair off your neck and shoulders. This not only helps you stay cooler but also minimizes the impact of humidity on your hairstyle as the day progresses.

Photo by Alexa Myli Photography
Photo by Alexa Myli Photography

Refreshing Treats: Keeping Guests Cool and Delighted
Nothing beats the summer heat quite like refreshing treats. Surprise your guests with a fun ice cream truck during the reception, as suggested by Laura Alpizar from Laura Alpizar Photography. Indulging in ice cream delights is not only a delicious way to cool down but also adds an element of joy and nostalgia to your celebration.

Grace Eberhardt from Northern Pacific Center also recommends offering cold treats to your guests, like ice cream sandwiches for dessert. This delightful twist will keep your everyone refreshed and satisfied while creating a memorable and enjoyable experience.

Photo by Laura Alpizar Photography
Photo by Laura Alpizar Photography

Shade: Seeking Shelter from the Sun
As the summer heat can be intense, it's important to provide shelter from the sun to ensure the comfort and well-being of your guests at outdoor weddings. Set up strategically placed shade structures or tents throughout the venue to offer relief from the sun's rays. This can include elegant marquees, canopies, or even stylish umbrellas. Consider positioning these shaded areas near seating areas, cocktail stations, and the dance floor, ensuring that guests can enjoy the festivities while staying cool. If a tenting options isn't available, Jasmine Hamsa from Festivities suggests seating your guests under large shade-providing trees to shield them from the sun's direct rays. By providing ample shade, you'll create comfortable spaces where guests can escape the heat and enjoy your special day to the fullest.

Photo by Graddy Photography courtesy of Festivities
Photo by Graddy Photography courtesy of Festivities

Amenities: Small Touches, Big Impact
Offering thoughtful amenities can go a long way in keeping your guests comfortable and cool. Brandi Hunt-Wright from Hunt Wright Design Co. recommends treating your guests to a dual-purpose wedding ceremony and fan, which not only serves as a keepsake but also helps beat the summer heat.

Customized accordion fans or heart-shaped fold-out fans, as suggested by Michelle Dunlap from Michelle Dunlap Design, add both a stylish and personalized touch to your wedding while offering relief from the heat. Kelene Pfennig from Bunker Hills Event Center agrees but additionally loves the idea of going the extra mile and offering guests a hand fan that doubles a wedding program. This innovative and eco-friendly option prevents you having to add this to your list of printed collateral. 

Party favors can also contribute to guest comfort and enjoyment, as suggested by Melissa Powers-Walker from Mayowood Stone Barn. Consider providing personalized sunglasses or hand fans that guests can use both in celebration and to seek respite from the sun, ensuring they stay happy and festive throughout the festivities.

For outdoor events, Reena Maheshwari from Kahani Events recommends setting up spray fans at entry tables or cocktail areas. These portable cooling devices can provide instant relief and keep guests cool in unreasonably hot weather.

Andrew Vick from Vick Photography suggests bringing a portable phone fan to any summer wedding. These compact and easily stowable fans can be plugged into your phone, providing discreet relief from the heat wherever you go.

Photo by Janelle Elise Photography courtesy of Lasting Impressions Weddings
Photo by Janelle Elise Photography courtesy of Lasting Impressions Weddings

Refreshments: Quenching Thirst and Cooling Down
Ensuring access to plenty of water stations or bars is crucial, states Sarah Trotter from Lasting Impressions Weddings. Offering chilled water throughout the event will keep guests hydrated and comfortable. To kick off the wedding day in a cool and relaxed manner, Lexie Cummings from Availed Wedding & Event Planning suggests hosting a pre-wedding cocktail hour. This allows guests to arrive, settle in, and mingle before the ceremony, while enjoying refreshing signature drinks prepared by professional mixologists. Tyretta Obeying from Glass House seconds that suggesting you greet your guests with pre-ceremony refreshments, such as cool drinks. Providing a welcome drink not only offers hydration but also sets a refreshing tone for the celebration, delighting guests as they arrive.

Jamie Spellerberg from Wilderland Floral recommends treating guests to a signature themed cocktail or drink immediately following the ceremony. This refreshing gesture helps cool off attendees, especially if the event takes place outdoors. Christie Forciea from Tattersall Distillery and Event Center proposes a homemade frozen lemonade slushy as a base for both mocktails and cocktails. This crowd-pleasing and refreshing beverage adds a delightful touch to summer weddings and helps combat the heat.

Photo by Adam Kennedy Photography courtesy of Wilderland Floral
Photo by Adam Kennedy Photography courtesy of Wilderland Floral

Timing: Working with the Elements
Consider adjusting the timing of your wedding to avoid the peak heat of the day. Christie Forciea from Tattersall Distillery and Event Center suggests moving the ceremony or reception to either early in the morning or later in the evening when the sun is setting. These time slots not only offer more pleasant temperatures but also create a beautiful atmosphere for your special day.

Melissa Powers-Walker from Mayowood Stone Barn advises flexibility in planning, particularly when the sun is relentless. By adjusting the schedule or shifting activities, you can ensure that everyone enjoys the day comfortably and safely.

Capture the beauty of your special day while avoiding the scorching sun by taking photos during sunset, as recommended by Alix Bellus from Landmark Center. The soft, golden light of the "golden hour" enhances the ambiance and ensures comfortable conditions for you and your loved ones.

Photo by Vick Photography
Photo by Vick Photography

Food: Minimizing Heat-Inducing Appetizers
When planning the menu, opt for fresh, light, and seasonally inspired dishes and minimize hot appetizers, recommends Reena Maheshwari from Kahani Events. Summer is the perfect time to showcase inspired menu choices such as chilled gazpacho shots, vibrant salads with crisp greens and juicy fruits, and light and flavorful grilled seafood skewers that are bursting with summer's best ingredients. These delightful bites not only beat the heat but will also delight your guests' palates, creating a memorable dining experience.

By following these expert tips and incorporating them into your summer wedding plans, you can ensure that you and your guests stay cool, comfortable, and thoroughly enjoy your special day. Remember, a little preparation and thoughtfulness go a long way in beating the heat and creating lasting memories.