Let’s talk about the weather… Did you guys notice that it’s been a little warm recently?
With the recent heat waves, many outdoor-loving couples feel extra anxious about their big day – or even almost compelled to reconsider their plans for a romantic outdoor wedding. There are many reasons for concern: oppressive heat is tiring, there’s nothing romantic about sweat stains and melting makeup, and the last thing you want is someone fainting! If there are little kids among your guests, you can bet that their parents will have to be extra watchful to ensure they behave. Not to mention that your older guests or anyone with weak health may have trouble with the heat. And no one wants to see any guests getting tired and even leaving early!
But… but… rushing into the indoor back-up option means missing out on those sunshine blessings, wind in your hair, and the beautiful view softly whispering ‘I do’… No birds singing and no blue sky in your pictures… Is it really necessary?
No, it’s not! Don’t get discouraged… forewarned is forearmed, remember?
Here’s how to have your dream outdoor wedding on a hot day.
People have been living and getting married in hot climates since time immemorial, and so even on the hottest day, there is LOTS you can do to enjoy the outdoors! With some careful planning, you can have your dream outdoor wedding, not pass out, and have guests praise your thoughtfulness for the years to come! You can choose what works with your budget – and the theme of your wedding – among the options below:
Have your ceremony outdoors and reception indoors, and consider:
– Logistics of early arrivals. If a guest arrives a bit early, is there a comfortable place for them to go? Is there a shaded area you can suggest to them? Can the reception hall open its doors early and let everyone into its air-conditioned space?
– Hydration. It’s not the heat itself – but the dehydration that is so dangerous in extreme heat. See if the venue can serve water or juice (alcohol won’t be ideal for hydration) in advance on the ceremony. If not, at least get a table and buckets of ice, and prepare a lots of bottled water for people to take before they sit down.
– Sun protection. Even half an hour in the midday sun can cause skin damage. Leave small bottles of sunscreen in the bathrooms. Buy a bunch of asian conical hats at Pacific Mall (if it works with the theme of the wedding) or parasols (if that works with your theme) and offer them in a conspicuous place. Offer customized sunglasses with your logo. These could double as great wedding favours!
– Cooling devices. Buy individual battery-operated fans or spray fans, or even simpler, get bamboo accordion type fans. Heck, if you are into DYI, you could make accordion type fans out of paper yourself! Leave wet washcloths near the ice bucket. Avoid metal chairs as they tend to overheat.
– Simple dress code. This is a bit non-traditional, but men in attendance will love to know that suits are not required! The wedding party could lead the way with white shirts, rolled up sleeves and khaki pants for a unique beach style. Deodorants and hair ties in the bathrooms can go a long way to help your guests, too.
– Timing. Keep your ceremony short. Half an hour is plenty of time in high heat.
– Take care of you. This should go without saying, but if there is one person who needs to remain fresh and energetic throughout the day and enjoy every moment of it, it’s you! The bride needs to ensure that her make up artist is applying makeup and hair products which can withstand high heat. Put your hair up. Drink plenty of water. Be ready to de-layer or change into lighter clothes (ie, shorter skirt) during the course of the day. The bride can replace flowers with a bright peacock feather fan – or whatever works with her dress – and the groom can do something matching.
If your wedding is within weeks, the venue is not shaded and the weather forecast looks daunting:
– In addition to implementing the ideas above, hire an experienced day-of coordinator, ask for their advice, and then don’t worry about it. Weather is unpredictable at best of times, and you cannot have a back-up for every possibility. People have gotten married during heat waves and everything went well.
– If the forecast is pretty scary and if you or your important guests have frail health, then maybe it’s desperate times for desperate measures. Consider what would be required to move the reception indoors. If your venue does not offer back-up, consider renting a tent with an air conditioner, or even moving the reception into a simpler and cheaper venue – such as a restaurant (work this out with your vendors first!). Yes, both would be crazy expensive and more than a little disappointing, so be sure you NEED to do this to manage the risks of extreme heat.
If you are still in the planning stages:
– Ensure your venue has a back-up indoors facility that can accommodate your reception (ie, it has the right size and the right look, and it works for your vendors).
– If only part of the day, such as your ceremony, is scheduled to be outdoors, consider moving the order of events around so that the outdoors event takes place later in the day. Don’t schedule the outdoors event midday.
– Find venues that have nice shade. Shade and running water provide natural air conditioning.
– If your venue is a tent, make arrangements to rent air conditioners and/or fans. If it’s extreme heat and you only have fans, you may have to get creative, such as strategically placing ice next to your fans – but that’s much better than nothing.
– Consider what food you will serve. Have your caterer offer seasonal menu and lighter fare throughout the day.