Sarah & Williams hot-as-hell wedding
Our wedding is shaping up to be 4th of July weekend… and it's gonna be hot. I've kind of got my heart set on having at least part of our wedding day outside, but man, the heat.

I'm concerned about our elderly guests, and then those friends who may over indulge on drinks. I'd really rather not move everything inside. What do you think? –bluefoote

We already gave you some great ideas on how to keep warm on your wedding day, but what if it looks like your date is smack dab in the midst of a summer scorcher? I know it's hard for some of you to imagine being all hot and sweaty because it might only be April, but we know that some of you are already starting to plan your summer wedding. Here are a few ideas of things you can do to help you and your guests feel more comfortable on a hot wedding day.

Avoid the heat

Hot ceremony
  • Adjust the time. Push the ceremony back so it's as late in the evening as possible. Think about a sunset wedding or a nighttime wedding.
  • Keep it short. Have a short ceremony and then bring the reception inside.
  • Find a venue near water. Lakeside or beach wedding anyone? Or, hell, get married ON the water on a boat — the breeze from a moving ship should keep everyone cool.
  • Shade is your friend. Definitely try to set up your ceremony in a shady location.

Cope with the heat

  • Have a pool party wedding. Pool parties are the coolest parties. (See what I did there?) You can totally take the “first plunge” instead of a first dance.
  • Fans and parasols. Turn your wedding programs into fans, or have fans readily available as favors. Or set out a bucket full of cheap paper parasols.
  • Dress code. Dress in breathable fabrics and inform your guests to dress for the heat — shorts, flip flops, light cotton shirts, sun dresses etc.
  • Hydration station. Have water, iced tea, and/or lemonade readily available
Djinnaya & Jason's wedding of WINNING
  • Hose it down! Spray down any concrete, stone, or brick areas with a garden hose to cool it off.
  • Rent tents. If there's no natural shade to be found, you can rent large tents to provide an escape from the sun.
  • Misters. You can get yourself an outdoor mist cooling system, hook it up to your garden hose, and set these fabulous misters up anywhere.
  • Frosty treats. Treat your guests to cool treats like popsicles or these awesome DIY ice pops.

Your turn! What ways are you planning on beating the heat on your wedding day?

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Comments on How to beat the heat on your wedding day

  1. One wedding in our magazine was mid-July and they had spray bottles at their hydration station filled with distilled water and a few drops of lavender and mint oil. It gives a really nice cooling effect.

    If you’re concerned about guests over-indulging in drinks (I’m assuming you mean the alcoholic variety) don’t offer any until much later in the evening or until the MAIN eating event. By then, they should be plenty hydrated with normal drinks and will have food to help keep things less drunky.

    And a note on food–if it’s a really hot day, a really filling meal might not be the best idea. Choose lighter fare that will sit well with everyone. I always get a little stomach achey if I’ve been sweating all day and I eat something terribly rich or heavy.

    • Dootsie, you’re always such a wealth of information!
      Can I just keep you in my pocket for opportune moments at which time I will open the pocket, whisper “Doostiesayswhat?” and wait for the appropriately awesome response.

        • I’m just envisioning all of us as the aliens from Toy Story, watching in awe as Dootsie is being lifted from the claw machine to the upper echelon of OBB contributors…


          LOL Start writing, Doots!

  2. Remind your guests to bring/wear sunscreen (or provide some). Last July, I went to an outdoor wedding, and sunscreen did not even cross my mind. I just don’t associate nice dress with sun protection. Luckily, I knew a mom at the wedding and she had some sunscreen. Pro tip – A Mom is more prepared than you.

  3. At one wedding I went to let us choose paper umbrellas or a few choices of paper fan styles which kept us pretty cool in middle of July weather in Ohio. You could also allow guest to wear stylish hats too. Some venues that are outdoor have outlets to allow fans to be plugged in.. just another thought….

  4. A dab of facial toner on your pulse points really helps to keep you cool – same effect as rubbing alcohol would have but not as harsh.

  5. If it’s going to be really hot AND humid outside, consider adding gatorade or a sports drink to your hydration station. When people sweat, they’re also losing a fair amount of salts, and that can do them in surprisingly fast. It’s not an issue if people are sweating, but it can be a problem if they’re not replacing everything. Also consider not serving alcohol at all, since that will dehydrate people even faster while making them thirsty.

    In my experience, having any ceremonies outside & then moving inside for more extensive festivities are a good idea. One way around this is to have everything after full dark (which can be pretty late, but really, after dusk will be when it finally starts to cool down). Go to town with white Christmas lights (fairy lights!), maybe some sparklers if there’s no fire advisory. Stay away from grills or bonfires, but candles are another fun alternative light source.

    Finally, if you are having a beach wedding to include the waterfront element, make sure to check the tide charts so people aren’t scrambling out of the way of high tide. It can be a lot cooler, but hopefully any soaking is deliberate and not frantic backpedaling from encroaching waves.

  6. Haha, “I know it’s hard for some of you to imagine being all hot and sweaty because it might only be April”… Some of us live in the Southern Hemisphere, you know! I got sunburnt at my cousin’s wedding last Saturday – no one expected it to be over 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) mid-way through autumn.

  7. we are having an outdoors wedding at a friends organic flower farm just north of Fort Collins in September. It’ll likely be near 90 (if not more) and we are planning the late afternoon. its going to be about 200 people and i’m really having a hard time deciding on food! i’m pretty set on the pot luck idea, but i hadn’t thought of the heat+meat issue mentioned above! anymore ideas would be gold!!

  8. These are really helpful tips! My wedding actually is the weekend of July 4th, in Tennessee. I am definitely thinking fans, and now I’m thinking water outside as well as at the reception. We are doing it late in the evening, and the sun conveniently sets behind the building next to our courtyard! However, I have to say that having a wedding near water might not be the best idea in some areas… I mean, further north that might be great, but if you had a wedding outside near the river in Tennessee on July 4th, everyone would die of humidity – if they didn’t get eaten alive by mosquitos first! I am also planning on using insect spray because at my sister’s outdoor late summer wedding a few years ago, we all got feasted on by bugs.

    • Mosquitos! Watch out for crazy bugs on your wedding, if you’re outdoors! We only took pictures outside (end of May, Michigan) but we were on the water and honestly so many of the pictures turned out to be all of us fending off CLOUDS of bugs!

      • I also have to add that I found a very squished bug INSIDE my corset that night…. not exactly a sexy surprise.

    • We’re putting bug spray and sunscreen ALL over the place, and making sure to make an announcement about it as the festivities begin. We’re having our wedding and reception at my parent’s house on a gorgeous 40 acres in the Wisconsin woods which equals bugs and humidity.

      ALSO we’re figuring out a way to sort of allude to these facts in the invites and on the site. More like telling people that they’re going to want to wear bug spray, telling them it will be provided, and warning them not to wear too much parfume so as to not attract more bugs, which can be a big problem, too! We’ll probably tell them that wearing clothes that stink can’t be easily washed out of (ie dry clean only clothes) probably aren’t the best idea for our wedding.

  9. So many great ideas here!

    I’m making fans for my friends wedding that will have the program printed on them for during the ceremony. Her date is mid-July so it should be roasty-toasty.

  10. I plan on passing out hand painted fans and having a snow cone cart at the cocktail area. My wedding is outdoors in a shaded area but it’s going to be in the hot August Texas sun. We’re getting married around 7pm (the sun doesn’t go completely down until 9 in the summer) and we rented a Port-O-Cool which is an outdoor portable evaporative cooling unit. All you need is a plug and a hose.

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