How to Plan a Summer Wedding

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Beautiful flowers, sunshine and blue skies – what’s not to love about a summer wedding? In most areas around the country, May to October are the most popular months for brides and grooms to tie the knot. But a summer wedding also comes with its share of issues to worry about like sudden storms and heat waves.

Whether it’s a destination wedding right on the beach or a ceremony with a beautiful garden backdrop, here are five things to keep in mind for pulling off a stress-free summertime soiree.

1. Consider the time and location of your celebration

Be strategic of when and where you’re exchanging vows. If possible, avoid times when the heat and sun will be at its peak. Instead, couples to hold the ceremony either in the later hours of the morning or in the evening after the sun has gone to bed for the night suggests Aviva Samuels, wedding planner at Kiss The Planner in Delray Beach, Fla.

If you have your heart set on exchanging vows during a notoriously hot part of the day, consider putting up a tent or archway to protect you and your guests.

2. Plan ahead to look and feel your best all day long

Hair and makeup are huge parts of your overall wedding day look and no one wants hours of careful primping swept away by unruly weather. Brides getting married in hot and humid climates should opt a simple hairstyle that requires little maintenance. Samuels suggests an up-do, at least during the day, keeping in mind you can always let your hair down when it’s cooler in the evening.

For makeup, Chicago-based artist Carly Pribich of Carly Does Makeup emphasizes the importance of using moisturizer and SPF in preparing for a summer wedding, even if you’re prone to oily skin. Brides should also be sure to pick a getting-ready location that’s cool and air conditioned and have a makeup touch-up kit ready at all times.

“I personally give all of my brides their own mini touch-up kit that has a bunch of items that will help her easily touch up her bridal makeup throughout the day,” says Pribich.

Two must-haves: blotting sheets (Pribich’s personal favorite is Nurturing Force Facial Body Blotting Paper) and transparent setting powder that’s easy to use on the go.

3. Stay two steps ahead of unpredictable weather

Sunny skies and warm temps are quintessential summer, but there’s no guarantee it’s what you’ll get on your wedding day. When hosting any outdoor event, it’s important to check with your venue on their inclement weather backup plan: Is there a backup indoor facility? Will there be a separate area for the ceremony and reception?

If weather is a concern, you may also want to look into wedding insurance – plans can include coverage for any cancellations made due to inclement weather.

4. Be mindful of your wedding guests

Chances are you’ve been a guest to other weddings in past, so put yourself in your guests’ shoes and try your best to help make people as comfortable as possible during a summer wedding. Ensure your guests stay cool and hydrated by providing plenty of cold water, along with ice and cooling drinks during the cocktail hour or dinner. Consider incorporating refreshing ingredients like cucumber and mint like in a cucumber mojito or go with warm weather-friendly light beers instead of heavy ales to please brew lovers.

Set up self-serve stations where people can help themselves to what they might need during the wedding day. You can provide items like unisex flip flops for anyone looking to change out of heavier footwear, sunglasses, hats, or visors to keep the sun out of people’s eyes, essentials like sunscreen and bug spray or pashminas and cover ups (in case of cold) for after the sun goes down.

5. Get creative with decor and favors

You’re already planning on printing out programs for the ceremony and you know some guests will likely get hot out in the sun, so why not combine the two with a printed handheld paper fan? Personalized sunglasses make for great favors and will also come in handy during the wedding. There are many other ways to incorporate function in already existing wedding elements. Instead of traditional floral bouquets, consider having your bridesmaids carry items that can work double duty for blocking the heat and sun like customized parasols, umbrellas or fans.

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