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With the warm breeze, blue skies, and sunshine, it is no wonder that many consider summer to be the most beautiful time of year to have an outdoor wedding. However, if the weather gets too hot, guests run the risk of experiencing general discomfort or even developing sunburn. Fortunately, there are several proactive methods you can use to balance the beauty of the outdoors with the comfort of your visitors.
To keep your guests cool at an outdoor summer wedding, use strategies that will regulate their body temperatures, from both an internal and an external standpoint. You need to use a combination of smart venue choices, appropriate clothing, cooling devices, sunscreen, and proper refreshments.
This article will provide you with detailed explanations of how to apply the ideas summarized in the previous paragraph. If you want to learn simple and effective ways to protect your wedding attendees from the scorching summer weather, keep reading.
1. Choose the coolest summer month for your wedding.
The month chosen for your wedding is one of the most significant factors that will influence how hot the outdoors will be. For this reason, be sure to research the weather forecasts for your selected location as far ahead of the event as possible.
It can be difficult to accurately predict the weather for several months in advance of your big day. However, you can use average temperature information from previous years to estimate the ideal month you should choose.
The Weather Altas is a useful website that summarizes the highest and lowest average temperatures by month, based on location.
Once you click the link, all you need to do is scroll down to the “Countries” section, select your location, and it will take you to a page that discusses that location’s typical weather patterns for each month of the year.
2. Select the coolest time of day.
The coolest time of day is a factor of the time of year, so as previously discussed, it is essential to decide on the month before settling on a timetable.
Generally, to keep from burning up during the summer, it is best to avoid the outdoors when the sun is highest in the sky. Thus, the early morning or late evening is likely to be an ideal time for the festivities.
3. Book a venue with lots of shade.
The goal here is to ensure that your venue is located where you can take advantage of as much shade as possible.
For example, a park with lots of trees is a good option. Natural shade is ideal because it is one less element that you have to worry about during set-up and take-down; it is also already included in the cost of the venue.
If you are unable to find a place with abundant sources of natural shade, consider using a large tent or patio umbrellas, as both can provide excellent substitutes.
Note: be sure to consider how shade may affect the natural lighting available for photography. It would be wise to visit the venue with your photographer ahead of time to plan around this.
4. Use furniture made of heat-resistant materials.
Chairs made out of metal, leather, and similar materials tend to absorb heat and burn skin upon contact.
As such, you should select furniture constructed from more heat-resistant materials. Wicker chairs and chairs covered in a light-weight fabric will be much more comfortable for guests. Even if left in the sun for a long time, they will not absorb heat as much as the previous seating options.
5. Remind guests to wear breathable materials.
People often feel obligated to wear formal, uncomfortable clothes for a wedding, but certain materials can make hot weather difficult to bear.
When corresponding with your guests in the days leading up to the event, stress the importance of wearing comfortable clothing. In fact, go the extra mile and provide them with suggestions. Inform them that they should avoid heavy, restrictive clothes made from materials like leather, nylon, or polyester because they do not allow the skin to breathe.
Loose-fitting outfits made of materials such as cotton, denim, and linen are much more appropriate for hot weather.
6. Serve refreshing drinks.
One of the simplest ways to keep your guests feeling cool is to make sure that they are properly hydrated.
There needs to be a steady supply of water, fruit juices, and ice. Furthermore, you should provide plenty of beverages that are known to be loaded with electrolytes, which promote hydration. Examples include sports drinks, milk, and coconut water.
Hot drinks (like coffee and tea) should be reserved for cooler parts of the day, such as during brunch or after dinner with dessert.
A word of caution about alcohol: while it is a widespread practice to serve it in large quantities at weddings, such drinks can cause dehydration. This is especially the case when consumed on an empty stomach.
You do not have to avoid serving alcohol altogether; instead, be selective about the timing. For instance, serve it during or after meals. Consider limiting the amount of alcohol available as well by using a drink ticket system.
7. Serve hydrating foods.
Balance the meat roasts, pasta, and bread with foods that have high water content to help guests to remain hydrated. Vegetable salads, fruit salads, and soups are excellent options, especially if they incorporate foods such as:
One fun way to incorporate cooling foods is to have an ice cream or a smoothie bar.
8. Supply self-cooling items.
Table fans and air conditioners are not likely to be of much use outside, as their effect is all but lost in wide-open spaces. However, guests will appreciate small hand-held items that they can use to cool themselves. Some examples of what you can provide:
- Ice packs
- Mini battery-powered fans
- Paper fans
Get creative here and incorporate some cooling items into the decor. For example, instead of buying paper fans, you can craft them out of the wedding programs. This is much more cost-effective, and guests will only have to hold one item instead of two.
9. Provide sunscreen.
Sunscreen can help keep you cool, and providing it to your guests will make it easier for them to withstand the summer heat.
It is also vital to protect your family and friends from excessive exposure to the sun, not only for their comfort but also for their health. The sun is a natural source of ultraviolet (UV) radiation; continuous exposure can eventually lead to skin cancer and other problems. Therefore, take the necessary measures to ensure your guests’ safety.
Remind your guests to bring sunscreen, and provide lots of extra in case anyone forgets. Sunscreen provides a barrier against the sun’s UV rays. It is available at almost any supermarket or pharmacy, but be aware that not all brands are created equal. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends some specific guidelines about what type of sunscreen to use.
You now have a summary of 9 simple, effective ways to fight the summer heat and keep your guests feeling fresh and comfortable during the wedding celebrations.
The critical thing to remember is to use techniques that will lower everyone’s body temperatures from both the inside and outside. You can achieve this with a combination of a comfortable environment, proper clothing, cooling devices, sunscreen (external factors), as well as hydrating foods and beverages (internal factors).
If you apply these ideas, your family and friends will be able to focus on enjoying your big day with you.