Bride and groom walk down the aisle at their summer weddingGetting married in the summertime can elicit thoughts of warm days, bright flowers, clear skies, and an easy-breezy wedding. However, there are a few things you may want to consider if having your wedding during the hot summer months to make sure that you, your partner, and your guests have the best time possible.
 

Feelin’ hot, hot, hot!

The weather in the summertime can be really hot – over 100 degrees in some areas – so when you’re planning your wedding during the summer months you need to weigh the idea of an indoor wedding versus an outdoor wedding.
 
Though an outdoor wedding can be more whimsical, offer a natural setting, and often more room for guests, it is next to impossible to control the temperature when the day reaches ungodly temperatures. There are a few things you can do and provide for your guests if you have an outdoor wedding, and you’re just not sure what temperature the day will bring. Being prepared is very important as it can be a hazard to your guests’ health if they are not properly cared for in the heat.
 
There are a few key things to include on your shopping list or go over with your venue and be sure that you have available. Here are our 11 tips to follow for an unforgettable summer wedding!
 

1. Shaded Areas

If nature doesn’t provide shaded spaces for your guests, you may want to put up tents and other shade-providing structures to offer a break from the direct sun. Umbrellas over tables or set into the ground are also a possibility and cloth sails that can be tied to trees, buildings, and other structures to offer an attractive shade solution.
 

2. Misters

Though people are usually wearing more elegant clothes for a wedding, having misters placed strategically throughout the venue can give people the option of a quick cool-off if they like.
 
Creative table decor at an outdoor wedding. Photo by Patti Mustain

3. Flowers

Cut flowers for the tables are beautiful, but if you’re holding your reception outdoors in the heat, you may find that they won’t last through the heat of the day. You may want to consider faux flowers or hearty, live sun-loving flowers for each table. You can either offer them to specific guests when it’s over or plant them in your garden.
 

4. Gifts for Guests

When thinking about the wedding favors for your guests, you can give them something to keep them cool. Ideas include hand fans, battery-powered fans, little spray bottles filled with ice water, parasols, and even small cloths drenched in cold water for your guests to use to freshen up.
 

5. Beverages and Food

One of the most important things to remember if you’re having your wedding and/or reception outdoors on a hot day is staying hydrated! The bride and groom will be so busy with the activities of the day that they will often forget to hydrate, and there can be disastrous consequences.
 
Make sure that there is plenty of ice-cold water for the bride and groom to drink throughout the day’s activities. Your guests will need to have access to plenty of cold water to drink, but don’t think you need to serve plain water! There are lots of fun and beautiful additions you can put in water to make it look amazing and taste great too! You can add cucumber slices, sprigs of mint, watermelon, lemon slices, lime slices, and a number of other delicious options and combinations to make your water offering a little more upscale.
 
When it’s hot outside, people are less into eating heavy and more likely to enjoy a lighter meal. Hot meat and pasta dishes are out, and grilled fish, salads, cold pasta salads, cold soups, and simple appetizers are more likely to be crowd-pleasers.
 

6. The Cake

If you’re opting for a wedding cake over cupcakes in the hot weather, make sure that you’re choosing a recipe that will withstand the heat of the day and not melt before you have a chance to cut it! You can provide a dessert bar to your guests that offers ice cream, frozen slushies, smoothies, and shaved ice (you can add a little alcohol to the shaved ice for your adult guests).
 
A summer bride and her bridesmaids dressed for the weather

7. Attire

When you choose a wedding dress, bridesmaids’ dresses, and groomsmen’s suits, you want to be sure to choose styles that are cool and made of fabric that breathes. You don’t want your wedding party to be sweaty and hot as that will affect their experience of your special day (not to mention the photos!)
 
Wedding dresses come in all shapes and sizes. So you can find just the right one that will have you looking your best without making you so hot that you want to pass out! With the suits, they can also be found in breathable fabrics in various styles that can be formal without too many layers.
 

8. Wedding Photos

Getting your wedding photos taken can be a little stressful as they will be the reminder of your special day for the rest of your life. So when taking photos at a wedding when it’s hot, you can do a few things to help minimize your stress and get the pictures you want.
 
Go to your wedding venue ahead of time to make sure the location you’re having your photos taken isn’t in the blazing sun. If it is, plan for some kind of shade or shelter. You’ll be so much more comfortable getting your photos taken in a cooler shaded area, and it’ll show in your wedding photos! Another idea is to choose a place to retreat to in between shots.
 

Stylist carefully hairsprays a bride during a trial run

Photo taken at the Foothills by Andrew & Melanie Photography

9. Hairstyles

When the day is hot, there is no better, more lasting hairstyle that an up-do. You can work with your hairstylist to find just the right solution for you, taking into account whether you’re wearing flowers or a veil. But when it’s hot, having your hair up off your neck will help keep you cool all day. Your bridesmaids will thank you too!
 

10. Wedding Makeup

The trend these days is to wear less makeup than ever before, and that will undoubtedly work to your advantage when it comes to taking photos on a hot wedding day. Makeup tends to run down your face on hot days, and you can end up looking like you feel – hot, drawn, and done!
 
There are brands of makeup designed to withstand sweat and heat. Book a makeup consultation at a department store, Sephora, or Ulta to get tips for a sweat-proof look. Plus, you might hire a makeup artist to create your melt-free summer wedding day look for you. You might also consider investing in high-quality makeup primer and setting spray.
 

11. Efficient timeline

One of your greatest tools on a hot day will be your schedule. If you have a well-thought-out and designed timeline of events at your wedding and the necessary help to pull it off, you will be in good shape. Weddings with little structure can be tough on a hot day as people will need things to keep them distracted and cool enough to enjoy the festivities. Keeping things moving along will help this greatly.

Amanda Rodgers
Written by Amanda Rodgers

Amanda has over 30 years’ experience in promotions, marketing, event production, operations, and fundraising in both the entertainment and corporate markets. She began producing events at the young age of 16 at a local community radio station. A few years later, Amanda moved to Palo Alto to work at an Apple software retail company. She worked for several software startup companies, including Wollongong, Attachmate, and RadMedia, managing their trade show events across the country. In 1993, she moved back to Nevada County, resumed managing events for her local radio station, and produced private events and weddings as an independent contractor.

As an independent contractor, she has broadened her reach and experience and has participated in events with organizations such as Vanern Enterprises. There, she was in registration for a global congress in Montreal, Canada, and Caspian Agency out of Los Angeles, where she was on the team that orchestrated Al Gore’s worldwide VIP movie premiere for An Inconvenient Sequel, Truth to Power. She took a position with Music in the Mountains, a classical music production company. She managed both their Production and Operations departments for almost two years before joining Foothills Events Center as the Venue Assistant Manager in 2019.

Amanda assists with all aspects of the Foothills Event Center’s concerts, parties, celebrations, fundraisers, weddings, and other events. She observes our events as they happen, to ensure the clients and event attendees have a seamless event.