Summers weddings, and their anticipated beautiful weather, give brides and grooms a host of planning options they don't have when it's freezing outside. Lawns, gardens, vineyards, and beaches are gorgeous ceremony and receptions options that aren't typically available off-season.
There are literally thousands of beautiful venues with large exterior event areas all over the world. Some have an outside space for cocktails, with dinner and dancing inside later on. But many, historic buildings for example, don't have any entertainment space inside the buildings, so your guests won't get any relief from the summertime temps, even if it's a particularly hot day.
Certainly there are some must-do items if you're having wedding activities outside during these hotter months, such as tents that provide enough shade and rain protection for all of your guests. But there are also some things you may want to avoid when it's sweltering outside.
Getting Married Too Early in the Day
A hot summer day is great for the beach, or sitting by the pool, but it can be miserably uncomfortable for wedding guests who are dressed up for your wedding ceremony and reception. Also, wedding photographers have told me time and again that midday sun isn't ideal for the best wedding pictures. Not to mention the fact that nobody (not even a bride) looks beautiful with sweat (and her makeup) sliding down her face. Plan your ceremony for after the hottest time of day has passed (but far enough ahead of true sunset that you get all the pictures you want), and be prepared to have industrial-sized fans on hand if things are unbearable.
Temperature Sensitive Foods
Certainly, you can have anything you want as long as your caterer has the proper equipment to display it and keep it safe, but you're always taking a risk when you offer raw seafood at an outdoor buffet. Raw bars and sushi displays are better served inside, if you have an air-conditioned space available. Even ice cream, summer tradition that it is, is difficult to serve in an attractive manner at an outdoor wedding reception, unless you have an ice cream cart. It only takes a couple of minutes to start looking like a soupy mess.
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Before you make a deposit on an ice sculpture that's going to be displayed anyplace that is not well-cooled, take a look at some pictures of what the sculpture you've chosen looks like after it's partially melted. I learned the hard way that kissing swans appear to be weeping once the great melt begins. Melting dolphins are flat-out obscene (if you know what I mean). Ice sculptures that incorporate words are often illegible before cocktails are over when they're displayed in heat and humidity. Bottom line? Think hard about committing to a frozen ice cube in the shape of Cupid for an August wedding.
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events and author of How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show Wedding Island, about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques.