How to Keep Your Guests Happy at a Summertime Wedding

What type of wedding is beautiful yet deadly? The summertime wedding, especially if you’ve committed to an August date. While your bridesmaids may be happy to fan you and serve you chilled wine all afternoon long, what about your guests? 

Timing

The best time of the day for a summertime wedding is either in the morning or in the evening - anything that avoids mid-day heat, basically. If you’re moving guests inside for part of the day, then just make sure that the time spent outdoors is before the real heat hits. 

Invitations

Don’t surprise your guests at the last minute by forgetting to tell them that the mid-July wedding is outside, not inside in an air conditioned ballroom. Guests will have to dress accordingly, especially men who will opt for more casual attire than a suit and tie. Women invitees should also know what to wear for shoes - if the wedding’s on the sand, heels just won’t do.

Photo courtesy of Schank Printing, Inc.

Favors and Props

Parasols make adorable wedding favors and they’ll double as useful for when your guests bare the heat outside at your ceremony or reception. The same goes for sunglasses or oriental fans. A cute idea is to have the wedding program printed on the fans so that guests don’t have to juggle too many items. Or, simply have your new monogram printed on the fans. Whatever favors you choose, they’ll make great props for photo ops! 

Photo courtesy of Zank You Weddings  

Another excellent idea is to have a basket filled with flip flops so that guests can kick off their shoes and slip into something much more comfortable. You can also help guests stay cool by providing them with refreshing towelettes and scented water sprays. Give each guest a small gift bag stocked with the items or have them displayed in a basket in each powder room. Other items to make available to guests include bug repellant lotion and sunblock. 

Photo courtesy of WeddingPartyApp.com

Venue

 

Just because a wedding’s outside, that doesn’t mean that it has to be directly in the sun. Ask the venue if they can provide some soft of cover or shade, like a tent or gazebo. Even patio or beach umbrellas will work depending on the theme. This is especially important if you’ve invited elderly people to your wedding, since they can get heat stroke more quickly than most. If possible, book your wedding at a venue that has some type of indoor area for guests who just can’t stand the heat. Even a small room that guests can retreat to when they need to cool off should be fine.

Photo courtesy of MotherOfTheBride.com  

Seating

Let’s say you’re having a casual beach wedding with a short ceremony. Even if your guests will have to listen to your officiant for a mere 15 minutes, this is still enough time to get worn out when the sun’s beating down. Make sure you have enough seating for everyone so that nobody has to stand in one place for too long. The same goes for the cocktail hour and the reception, even if it’s an hors d’oeuvres-only event instead of a full sit-down dinner. Don’t make the mistake of using metal chairs, which will get dangerously hot after spending time in the sun. Instead, opt for sturdy plastic or wooden chairs. You can find ones that are still pretty enough for a wedding!

Menu 

Heavy food could make guests feel sick, so it’s best to stick to lighter fare if you’re having dinner outside. Also, you’ll want to serve food that will hold up in the heat for a few minutes if guests don’t sit down the second their meal is served. For dessert, serve something chilled along with the wedding cake, like ice cream or fruit smoothies.

Refreshments 

The second that guests arrive, they’re probably going to wish they had brought along a drink. Since the bar won’t be open yet, have your caterers serve fresh squeezed lemonade and iced tea. This will hold everyone off until they can get a never-ending supply of drinks for the evening.

You may think that margaritas scream fun in the sun, but your guests will need plenty of cold water, too. Keep bottles on hand or make sure that the caterers know to constantly refill pitchers on each table. If you’re having an outside wedding or a rustic theme, you can display glass bottles filled with cold water in a pretty cooler or silver buckets. Have the labels on the bottles personalized for your wedding!