Beat The Heat

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

As the summer season arrives, many couples eagerly plan their dream weddings under the warm sun. However, with the heat in full swing, it's essential to take measures to keep both you and your guests cool and comfortable. We've gathered valuable insights from our wedding industry experts to help you beat the heat and create an unforgettable celebration. 

1. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is crucial during hot summer weddings to beat the heat and maintain optimal well-being. Make hydration easily accessible for your guests by providing water stations throughout the venue. Place them strategically near seating areas, the dance floor, and other high-traffic areas. Offer a variety of infused water options with refreshing flavors like citrus, cucumber, or mint to entice guests to drink more.

Encourage guests to stay hydrated by including a friendly reminder in your wedding program or signage. Consider providing personalized water bottles as wedding favors, allowing guests to refill them throughout the event. By prioritizing hydration, you ensure the comfort and well-being of your guests, keeping them cool and energized throughout the celebration.

2. Cool Off with Frozen Desserts
Hanni Gould from Upper East suggests treating your guests to frozen desserts provides them with a refreshing way to beat the heat, especially after hitting the dance floor. Whether you opt for individual cups of ice cream or nostalgic favorites like Push Ups and Bomb Pops, these icy treats will keep everyone cool and add a touch of delight to the festivities.

Photo by Mikaila Dusenberry Photography, courtesy of Upper East
Photo by Mikaila Dusenberry Photography, courtesy of Upper East

3. Seek Shade for Outdoor Ceremonies
Incorporate shade and cooling elements into your wedding design to ensure a comfortable experience for everyone. Look for venues that offer shaded outdoor spaces, such as gardens with trees or covered pavilions, providing a much-needed break from the sun's rays. It's important to choose a location that allows for ample ventilation, promoting air circulation to keep guests cool. Mitch, from Mitch & Jenna Weddings, emphasizes the significance of selecting an outdoor ceremony location with shade for two reasons: maintaining a cool atmosphere and enhancing the quality of wedding photographs.

​​​4. Provide Sun Protection
Shielding guests from the sun's harmful rays is essential during a summer wedding. In addition to natural shade, Heather Farr from Heather Farr Events suggests enhancing your outdoor ceremony area by providing shade in the form of parasols or umbrellas. Coordinate them with your color scheme and aesthetic, creating a visually appealing addition while offering relief from the sun's rays. This thoughtful touch will be appreciated by your guests as they walk into the ceremony area.

Ashley Kuehnel from Midwestern Bride, shares a valuable tip for planning Midwest weddings - prioritize your guests' comfort amidst full sun during the ceremony. To offer relief from the heat in a charming manner, she suggests strategically placing tall umbrellas around the ceremony seating. These not only provide shade but also added visual appeal with their height. 

Photo by Cassie Rosche Photo courtesy of The Midwestern Bride

5. Offer A Mouth-Watering Menu 
When planning the menu, opt for fresh, light, and seasonally inspired dishes. 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. Twisted Radish Catering prides themselves on creating memorable culinary experiences, such as these, that perfectly complement the season. These delightful bites not only beat the heat but will also delight your guests' palates, creating a memorable dining experience.

6. Optimize Timing
Scheduling your wedding at the optimal time can make a significant difference in beating the summer heat. Christie Forciea from Tattersall Distillery and Event Center recommends considering alternate timing for your wedding/reception service. Choosing to have it earlier in the day, such as at sunrise, or later in the evening when the sun is setting can provide relief from the scorching midday heat. This will help avoid the peak heat hours and allow for a more pleasant experience for both you and your guests. 

7. Offer Refreshing Favors
Surprise your guests with thoughtful and refreshing wedding favors. Offer items such as custom-made hand fans, mini misting bottles, or personalized water bottles. These favors not only serve as practical gifts but also provide a refreshing touch throughout the celebration.

8. Create Thoughtful Toiletry Baskets
Heather Farr from Heather Farr Events suggests going the extra mile by offering toiletry baskets in the restrooms. Include items such as spray antiperspirant/deodorant, sunscreen wipes, facial oil blotting cloths, and hairspray. These thoughtful additions will help your guests freshen up and stay comfortable throughout the event.

9. Dress Smart for the Occasion
Choosing the right attire for a summer wedding is crucial to beat the heat. When planning a summer wedding, Mitch from Mitch & Jenna Weddings advises considering attire that will allow you and your bridal party to stay comfortable. Allow groomsmen to wear vests instead of jackets, and choose lighter fabrics that breathe better for your bridesmaids. It's also a good idea to communicate dress code suggestions to your guests, recommending lightweight fabrics and comfortable shoes. By selecting weather-appropriate attire, you'll ensure that your wedding party remains comfortable and can enjoy the day without feeling overheated.

10. Create a Memorable Cocktail Hour
Jessica Thill from Relics Rentals believes in creating an unforgettable cocktail hour to help guests forget about the heatwave. “Like we always say at Relics Rentals, 'Belly up to the bar'. We believe in creating an unforgettable cocktail hour to forget about the heat wave!” Consider unique and refreshing drink options, along with stylish and comfortable seating arrangements, to provide a cool and relaxing atmosphere for your guests.

Photo by Meghan Lee Harris, courtesy of Relics Rentals
Photo by Meghan Lee Harris, courtesy of Relics Rentals

11. Have Indoor Alternatives
If the heat becomes too intense, have indoor alternatives available for guests to escape and cool down. This could include an air-conditioned lounge area, a designated indoor space for dancing, or access to air-conditioned restrooms.

12. 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.

With these valuable tips and expert insights, you can beat the heat and ensure a comfortable and enjoyable summer wedding for everyone involved. By keeping your guests refreshed, providing shade and thoughtful touches, and offering cooling treats and experiences, you'll create unforgettable memories while celebrating your love in the midst of the summer sun.