One of the nice things about living in the Rochester area is that we have four great seasons. Most of the time the temperatures aren’t too extreme, but this summer seems like it’s been a scorcher so far. Good if you sell air conditioners, not so good if you have to dress up for a wedding. Here are a few planning tips to make things a little more bearable.
1. The time of your ceremony and reception. Okay, date and time decisions are one of the first things to check off the list when you’re planning a wedding but we all know that 2pm outdoors in the baking sun won’t be fun for a lot of guests. If you haven’t firmed up the date and you’re set on an August wedding, keep in mind that mornings and evenings are generally cooler so shifting events to those times may help.
2. Take it inside. While a garden event can be a lot of fun in milder weather, an inside ceremony and reception gives you more possibilities to control for temperature or (heaven forbid), rain. Also, scope out the venue by asking other couples who’ve had summer weddings there about the a/c. Cram 200 guests into a small room with weak air conditioning and everyone will be ready for a shower before the first dance.
3. How about a hand fan as a favor? There are a number of companies online that provide general wedding themed hand fans or even personalized ones with the bride and groom’s name on them. Some do double duty with the program for the ceremony printed on them.
4. Sunglasses for your guests. Buying in bulk, you can get a quantity of inexpensive sunglasses for your guests during an outdoor ceremony or reception. You reduce the ‘squint factor’ by a lot and your guests won’t be disappointed if they forgot their own. Another fancier, albeit more expensive alternative is to grab nicer sunglasses as a gift for your groomsmen or bridesmaids. Most couples do something for their attendants, so it may as well be something useful instead of those cute porcelain figurines you found.
5. Under the big top. There are tents, an then there are *tents* – the one you bought at the big box store for your backyard party is not what we mean. Many local venues and the party rental places like Spatola’s have great tents for summer events. Some even feature ice cold air conditioning to keep things comfy on a summer day. There’s really two factors here – the overall temperature and humidity and just keeping people out of the baking sun. A quality tent rental company can help you do both.
6. SPF 9000? It doesn’t really go that high, but some of us with fair complexions sometimes wish it did. Consider having a supply of sunscreen available for your guests if there’s a significant outdoor component to things. A nice extra gesture is to include a few varieties for kids or those with sensitive skin so nobody walks away looking like a lobster.
7. H2O is everyone’s friend. Have a bucket of small water bottles or a water cooler with cups available for your guests to grab while they’re waiting for things to start. Having to call 911 because your guest passed out mid-ceremony makes for a great story five years from now, but not in the moment it happens.
8. Think about your dress/formal wear selections. There are lots of great options for summer weddings that won’t overheat your bridesmaids or groomsmen. For guys, check out some of the tropical wool wedding suits in lighter colors. They can be a great look and a nice choice for a summer or destination wedding in a warm climate.
9. Makeup. While your guys may not be wearing makeup, think about your makeup choices for the bride and bridesmaids. Stay away from any liquid eyeliners, foundations or blushes. Instead, pick the powdered or crayon versions to ensure that your makeup stays put from start to finish. Consider applying a primer to help everything stay put. Above all else, top off your look with waterproof mascara. A few tears or sweat droplets are all it takes to make you look like a linebacker for the Buffalo Bills.
10. Early Pictures Before Everyone Melts into a Puddle. Scheduling picture taking early allows you to get people when they look their best. Once the party starts it’s usually off with the coats for the guys and you want everyone’s best foot forward for the main tangible thing you’ll have to remember your day with.
11. Light and Cool Menu Selections. Put some thought into your menu choices – offering your guests lighter fare, seasonal fruits and things like shaved ice or ice cream can be a great way to keep the everyone’s heat index under control.
12. Spritzing Stations. These are specialized misters that atomize water droplets and cool things off. They don’t throw off enough water to soak you like the log flume ride at Seabreeze, but provide just enough to keep people cool when they walk through the area where you have them set up.
Our wedding research shows that nearly 40% off all weddings happen during the months of June, July and August and with a little preparation there will be a little less perspiration (okay, maybe not but at least your guests will have a great time).