Guess what? It’s August. And in case you haven’t stepped outside in the past couple of months (lucky you), in the Raleigh world that means it’s HOT, complete with that sticky, walking-through-water feel that only a North Carolina summer can bring. Just wait until you step into all five layers of that gorgeous princess ball gown of a wedding dress!
Everyone loves summer weddings, including me, but in the heat of August, doing anything outside can be tough and outdoor weddings that much more so. Here are a few things to think about to beat the heat on your big day.
- Avoid the heat
This one sounds obvious, but sometimes it’s an easy one to forget. If you know you’re going to get married on a hot day (read any time June thru August), try going for a later or earlier ceremony time to avoid the heat of the day. You may not be able to escape the temperatures for the whole event, but this way you at least won’t have guests sitting for the ceremony, baking in the hot sun at its peak.
Especially with an outdoor ceremony, take extra time to consider what your wedding party will wear on the day of. Trade the full tux and jacket for a nice vest, bowtie, or suspenders to class up the guys’ outfits without adding undo layers. For the wedding dress, try to pick something light and loose.
I can’t stress this one enough. Especially if you’re wearing a traditional wedding dress, you are going to be hot, hot, hot. Both you and your new hubby will be up on your feet, bouncing from friend to family member and back again. It will be all you can do to get a bite to eat (a pet peeve of mine—please be sure to get food!), but in hot weather definitely do NOT skimp on water. And don’t pass on water right to the beer. Trust me, you’ll regret it later. This goes for your guests, as well. You know how much quicker a cold beer or glass of wine can go to your head on a hot day. Make sure to have cool, non-alcoholic drinks available—and some cocktail hour snacks wouldn’t hurt, either.
Your blooms won’t like the heat any more than you do—and they also need to hydrate. As soon as you can after the ceremony, plop those bouquets in a glass of water. Your florist should take care of the centerpieces or other floral pieces, but just in case have your planner keep on eye on them to maybe top them off with water before dinner if they begin to wilt. (Bonus if your coordinator is also your florist!) What flowers you choose can help save the day, as well. In-season blooms that don’t have to travel far will last longer, and the hardier summer varieties will stand up to the warmth better than more fragile ones.
- Cake or other desserts
Icing also doesn’t hold up well in the heat. While the sweet treats will taste just as delicious with dripping frosting as not, they won’t make for the best pictures, and you’re bound to get extremely sticky if you go for a cake cutting. Have your baker deliver during cocktail hour, so the cake doesn’t stay out long before the cake cutting. You may even want to cut the cake before dinner, so the cake is at its freshest for the pictures. And then guests don’t have to wait long for dessert. J
- Protecting guests
If you plan on spending most of the day in the sun, help guests prepare! Have sunscreen available—in cute little baskets or bins—somewhere near the entrance so they can lather up when they get there. If you plan on using metal chairs for the ceremony, invest in covers so no one burns her bottom. Also try to scope out or create shady areas for people to escape, especially during the cocktail hour.
- Indoor options
Remember the heat takes the biggest toll on the old and the young. If you have grandparents making the trip, make sure there is somewhere for them to go sit and cool off. If there’s an indoor element to the venue—even if not big enough for the entire party—think about making it available for those who really need it. The same goes for small children.
- Think waterpark!
Maybe not quite that extreme, but if temperatures are really getting up there, it might not be a bad idea to get some fans and misters to go on the tent. I heard of a bride who had a fan underneath the head table to blow under her skirt and help her cool off! Or go with the amusement park theme and get everyone those little squirt bottle fans as favors. If the venue has a hose, hook a fan up to the water source and create your own cooling station. Any way that you have to help your guests cool off will go a long way.
- Have some fun
Use the heat as a way to introduce some more casual aspects to your wedding. Give your programs a second purpose by having them printed as fans, so your guests can fan themselves during the ceremony. (Check out the featured photo on this post for a cute example from one of my 2015 summer weddings. Photo by ASB Photography.) Have a late-night snack of popsicles (Lunapops, anyone?), and have frozen drinks at the bar. Ask your caterer to be sure and bring double the amount of water so you don’t run out.
Take it from your Raleigh wedding planner, if you have an outdoor wedding in June, July, or August, your chances of having excessive heat are great. So plan to pamper yourself and your guests to beat the heat! Be creative, have fun, and stay safe!