While most of us are still trying to cope with the relentless chill of winter (try a hot toddy or three!), it can be difficult to believe that spring is actually here - with summer hot on its heels. Don't worry; I'm not about to start threatening you with the impending swimsuit season, so go ahead and dig into that lasagna like you're wearing a scarf and trench coat for life, my friend...but do keep in mind that if you're getting hitched this summer, it will be here before you know it. This means that it's time to start figuring out how to keep your sizzling summer wedding as cool and comfortable as possible for you and your guests! Here are a few tips.
Don't feel like you have to get married outdoors
While many couples do choose to get married outside, it's not a requirement just because your wedding date happens to fall between June and September. Indoor venues can provide you with an elegant and sophisticated setting for your nuptials, and your guests will probably be thankful for the A/C!
If you do get married outside, plan ahead for the elements
Keep in mind that your unexpected guests could include wind, bugs, afternoon thunderstorms and your sketchy second cousin who brings his own flask and makes creepy googly-eyes at your bridesmaids (although he's not just a seasonal hazard, unfortunately). Be sure to have provisions in place to deal with these intruders, including microphones (wind can make it difficult to hear), citronella candles, tents or other shelters and perhaps a bouncer.
Get creative with your flora
Talk to your florist about how to keep your flowers vibrant throughout the day. Consider options such as heartier blooms (think orchids and other tropical plants that are conditioned to survive high temperatures), and floating (translation: not-wilting) centerpieces.
Keep your food fresh
News flash: Nobody is going to eat the raw oysters that have been sitting outside all afternoon, working on their tan. And if they do, they are not likely to have fond memories of your wedding. Make sure your caterer has a plan - and the necessary equipment - to keep your food tasty and cool. This includes the cake, which will not make as lovely a display piece once the butter cream frosting has oozed to the floor.
Serve festive, frozen cocktails!
Nothing says summer like blended ice and booze! Whether you're a traditionalist who prefers the classic margarita, or you want to break from the norm and try something new such as the Love Potion #9, a tropical frozen drink is sure to get your party rolling.
Give the groomsmen a break
While the most popular wedding dress styles are strapless and sleeveless, grooms' attire isn't usually as well-suited for the scorching summer months. One option is to go with the tuxedo muscle-T (how dreamy would your hairy guy look in one of those bad boys?). Another is to consider materials such as linen and silk that offer more relief than a polyester 3-piece suit with vest. And leave the top hat at home.
Timing is everything
If it's likely to be uncomfortably warm on your wedding day, you may not want to have your ceremony take place at high noon. A late afternoon or evening wedding will still allow you to enjoy the beauty of the season, without all the sweat.
Provide your guests with some beautiful parasols. They can shy away from the heat a bit and focus more on your nuptials than that pounding sun. And while you're at it, maybe throw in a couple of hand fans for a cool off option.
Offer relief and refreshment to your guests
Heat is dehydrating, and so is alcohol. If your friends and family are anything like mine, they're sure to have too much of both before they realize that the combination is causing them to fall down on the dance floor. Be sure to provide both shade and water (or another non-alcoholic beverage) before and after the ceremony. Cheers!