The Smart Couple?s Summer Wedding Survival Guide
Do have a backup plan
Even summer can bring about unexpected weather conditions (think thunderstorms), so make sure you have a plan B in place, be it tenting or a size-appropriate indoor space, says Sojourner Auguste, an event designer and co-owner of New York City’s Erganic Design & Living.
Do offer protective sprays and ’screens
Because the hot and humid months often mean mosquitoes, kindly supply your guests with bug spray or wipes so that they can spend their time celebrating instead of swatting, advises Maggie Lord, founder of RusticWeddingChic and author of “Barn Weddings” (Gibbs Smith, August 2013). Place individual mini-bottles, or larger bottles for sharing, in baskets at the entrance to the ceremony and in the bathrooms. Auguste also advises handing out mini sunscreen bottles, tubes or towelettes, which can be packaged to match your wedding’s theme or color palette.
Do provide cover
Tents aren’t just for rain. Consider using them in key areas where guests might be forced to sit a while in the sun, such as the ceremony or reception tables, and don’t forget about any musicians, says Auguste. Lord also recommends investing in a few dozen stylish umbrellas – they’re helpful in sun or rain, and you can always return them if they aren’t used (leave the tags on).
Do keep your loved ones hydrated/cool
Lord suggests having fun-looking buckets or tubs filled with chilled bottled water that guests can grab as they enter your ceremony location. Keep cold, non-alcoholic drinks close to the dance floor, too.
Do have a second formal shirt on call
Heat plus nerves can make for a sweaty groom. Bring a backup shirt so he can change post-ceremony if he wants to feel and look refreshed for the pictures and reception, Lord says.
Don’t forget to arrange blocks of rooms at several hotels
Between regular summer travel and other weddings a hotel can often overbook or sell out fast, warns Lord. Your guests’ time also can fill up quickly, so send your save-the-dates extra early.
Don’t select delicate flowers
“How sad it would be to have wilted flowers before the cocktail hour!” says Auguste. A good florist will make recommendations that suit your vibe and the season. Think orchids, dahlias, zinnias, hydrangea and sunflowers rather than poppies, tulips and wildflowers.
Don’t overdress your bridal party
Both your ladies-in-waiting and the gents need to be dressed comfortably throughout the wedding, Auguste says, so skip long, bulky, layered gowns in synthetic materials and suits made from thick fabrics like wool.
Don’t forget about your guests’ needs
Having your wedding in a wide-open field is romantic, says Lord, but you’ll need to ensure that it’s accessible for guests with handicaps, the elderly, children, etc.
Don’t say “I do” during peak heat
To avoid sluggish, grouchy, melting guests, it’s typically best to aim for a late morning/early afternoon ceremony (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) or early evening, around 6 p.m. when it may start to cool down, breezes might pick up or there’s more shade.
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