March 28, 2019
Summer weddings are gorgeous, can last long into the glowy sunset evening, and can make for stunning memories. Yet, there are a few things that you must be cautious about when planning an outdoor summer wedding! Today, Michelle and I are going to share some of our top tips on how to create a perfect outdoor Summertime wedding!
Provide plenty of enough shade
Shade is required at summer weddings. Even if most of your wedding takes place indoors, your guests will be drawn to the outdoors. Set up some seating under large trees where people can hang with cocktails firmly in hand. Set up an additional tented “lounge” with couches and cocktail table and chairs. Add a minibar and some music (bluegrass band, pianist) so guests can comfortably take a reprieve from the heat without having to escape all the fun. PS—If it’s gonna be a scorcher, place small bottled waters and handheld fans on every seat at the ceremony so guests have a way to keep themselves cool. (No one likes an irritable crowd.
Offering alcohol should stay at the reception
The party doesn’t have to start after you’re pronounced husband and wife. Set the time on your invitations for an hour before the ceremony really starts and have a pre-ceremony cocktail hour. Let guests mingle to filtered sounds of reggae through your own iPod or hire violinists to stroll through the gardens. Anything that sets the right mood. Have waiters pass around signature NON-ALCOHOLIC drinks such as lemonade and iced tea in fun tumblers with straws. Or have a selection of vintage-style sodas (Izze, Gus, etc.) on hand for guests to help themselves. Let us just repeat these words: non-alcoholic drinks. There’s time to get to the good stuff later and you don’t need a pair of loose lips on hand for the ceremony you’ve been waiting all your life for.
Scheduling your portraits for high noon with no shade around
Whenever possible, take your portraits in indirect light or in the shade, but make sure your outdoor venue has plenty. And if you’re cool with bucking tradition, schedule your coupledom portraits for before the start to the ceremony when your time frame may be a bit more flexible.
Always have a rain plan
Don’t put all your eggs in your weatherman’s basket. The last thing you want to be unprepared for is rain. Better safe than sorry. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. However you want to think about it, just do it. Spend a little extra to rent tents—just in case. Have a fully scouted, equipped, and planned-to-perfection indoor option—just in case. If everything is well thought-out, you can make a decision an hour ahead of time-based on the hour-by-hour forecast and your guests will never know the difference. Love both your outdoor and indoor plan so you won’t be disappointed either way.
Start off the light
I think by now we all have “been there” and know that the hot summer sun and alcohol don’t always mix. A little goes a long way so instead of going all out with a top-shelf liquor-stocked bar immediately following the ceremony, consider offering a lighter selection of cocktails—at least for the cocktail hour. White wine spritzers, sangria, a selection of local beer, mango martini. There are a lot of ways to be smart with your selection without sucking the life out of the party. Once the party moves indoors for dinner (or even if you’re outside for the duration of the night), you can progress to stiffer drinks as dinner winds down.
Always stock a bathroom basket
Are guests feeling sweaty? Hot? Flushed? Make sure everyone has a way to freshen up. Find containers that match your wedding-day decor—galvanized tin buckets, vintage wooden crates, ornate ceramic boxes—and use them to house freshen-up essentials: mini-deodorants, sunscreen, blotters, bug spray, mints, mini water bottles, and so on. A little refreshment will go a long way in the hot summer sun!
The last way to beat the heat is to have a tent
If you are getting married in an open space that has zero shade, build your own shade by renting a tent. You won’t regret it! Another way to bless your guests is to create for them a comfy area where they can take a rest. Whether they are tired from dancing or from being in the sun, this will be a great place for them to relax and enjoy your wedding from a different angle. We love mixing antique chairs with benches and even providing cool clothes for people to pat themselves with!