Tips for Outdoor Weddings: Temperature

3 Jul

MaltaWeather-proof Your Wedding Day: Part 2 – Hot and Cold
Are you planning an outdoor ceremony, cocktail hour or reception for your big day? An outdoor wedding can be absolutely spectacular, but it pays to be ready in case the weather isn’t on your side. Tune in here if you missed the previous  post on preparing for wedding day rain, and join in next week for battling a windy wedding.

For our nuptials, we had a beachside wedding and a forecast for storms the entire week before our big day! Luckily on the last two days, it downgraded to rain and then evening rain… and on the day itself, the downpour didn’t come until 1am. Phew! So, we did fully prepare for a wet wedding… only to have a hot and windy wedding thrown at us (luckily, the wind made it feel far cooler than it was!).

Keep guests cool with a program fan

Keep guests cool with a program fan

Heat: Provide your guests with decorative fans, or consider ceremony programs or menus at least A5 in size that guests can also use to fan themselves with. (Or add a stick to make it even more fan-like.) You could also give your ushers water spritzers to cool people down before the bride’s big entrance. Also, no one will mind if you put out a couple of bottles of sunscreen; I have an “Irish” complexion and burn within 20 minutes on a hot day. (At my cousin’s wedding, where the guests all sat outside on a hot day while the bride was more than an hour late for the ceremony, my father’s bald spot got completely burnt!) Consider hiring a marquee if you’re really concerned about simmering your guests.

Timing: If your outdoor wedding is planned for a hot summer’s day, start the proceedings a little later in the evening so that the temperature has cooled down a bit. Also, a sunset ceremony will make for some gorgeous pictures!

Refreshments: When we heard that it was forecast to be a warm day for our wedding, our ceremony officiant actually requested us to set up a refreshments table… luckily, that was already our plan. 😀 If you hold your cocktail hour or reception outdoors drinks will already be prepared, but also consider adding drinks to your ceremony. For our refreshments table we bought a tray of 36 mini bottles of water, and lemonade for plastic champagne glasses. The bottles of water disappeared quickly! Your ushers could also give out bottles of water as guests arrive. Consider also serving fruit like strawberries and grapes, but skip any food that can’t handle the sun; the frosted cakes offered at my cousin’s wedding were a melted mess before the bride even arrived. :S

Tahoe-Unveiled-_-Lemonade Food: Consider temper- ature when planning your menu. A hot meal of heavy food might not be so wel- come on a summer night!

Flowers: Make sure that the flowers you choose for your bouquets and decorations are sturdy enough to withstand a heatwave without wilting and turning brown before you’ve even said “I do”. Also remember that many flowers are not in bloom in winter, so you may have to forgo your first, second or even third choice of stem. Chat to your florist about the best varieties for your season, or use artificial flowers to avoid the worry all together.

Insects: An outdoor summer wedding might also bring with it an army of mosquitoes! If you want to avoid swatting hands and the sound of slaps, bring out citronella candles or a bug zapper, or at least make bottles of insect repellant available to your guests.

Cold front expected: If it’s only your ceremony outdoors, the duration is probably short enough that you don’t need to take any extra measures… though guests would certainly feel taken care of if you put out lots of blankets for them to use! If your reception is outdoors you can consider bringing in heaters or building a bonfire, or for a little extra dosh you could hire pedestal heaters or a cute pot-belly stove. Supply warm drinks like tea, coffee, hot chocolate or even warm mulled wine to keep guests cozy.

Rug up for your winter wedding

Rug up for your winter wedding

Dress right: Make sure your guests know that they will be outdoors, so that they know to dress approp- riately for the temperature. If you’re expecting a cold day, brides can add a bolero, pashmina or coat (or even mittens!) to their wedding day outfit, and find matching warmers for bridesmaids especially if they’re not wearing long-sleeved gowns. If you’re expecting snow, consider some cute boots for all of you under your frocks. (This definitely isn’t the time for open-toed shoes!) The menfolk can wear thicker suits and thicker shoes for a winter wedding. Dressing for a summer wedding? Try a bridal gown in a lighter fabric, for example chiffon instead of satin, or go for something a bit shorter so that your legs can breathe a little. Try an up-do for you and your bridesmaids to keep long hair from warming up your neck. Let the groomsmen go casual in lightweight cotton shirts and trousers. For a formal wedding, men can try a lighter material for their suit, and should re-think wearing a vest with their big day outfit. If you do have your heart set on a formal wedding, you’ll have to accept in advance the fact that the male guests and bridal party members will ditch their suit coats quickly on a warm day.

Are you a summer or winter bride who will need to pay close attention to temperature on your big day? What are you planning to do to beat the heat and battle the cold?

(First image from Malta Weddings, second image from Etsy, third image from Tahoe Unveiled, fourth image from Event Look for Less.)

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