The summer months – June, July and August – are the most popular time of year to get married in the United States: days are longer, the sun is shining and options for outdoor venues are plentiful. Perfect for a party, right? However, summer’s glory may also bring with it some challenges – namely sweat, bugs and sunburns – you’ll want to be sure you’re doing your best to keep guests comfortable and party-ready.
Whether you’re planning your own wedding or helping a friend or family member plan their special day, we’ve rounded up our favorite tips from event planners as well as some top wedding blogs to ensure that everyone has the best time possible.
Send Save the Dates Early
Couples typically send save the dates around six months before the wedding. However, summer brides- and grooms-to-be should try to send save the dates as far in advance as possible to give guests ample time to plan around vacations and kids’ summer breaks – especially if it is a destination wedding or in a beach town.
Have a Field Day
Instead of a rehearsal dinner, host a late afternoon field day for guests: queue up a water slide and water guns, fill up water balloons and set up other fun games (bocce ball, cornhole and horseshoes) so everyone can let loose and get to know each other before the wedding. Bonus points for bringing ice-cold beer.
Be Kind with the Dress Code
Be mindful of venue, typical weather and time of day if establishing a dress code for a summer wedding. Outdoor weddings are oftentimes more casual, and all the more so in summer; save the formal dress code for weddings that take place primarily indoors with air conditioning. This goes for bride, groom and bridal party attire as well; the last thing you want is everyone sweating away in tuxes and gowns on a late afternoon in August!
Keep Everyone Hydrated
Set up a table or buckets with ice water, lemonade or iced tea for guests to sip before and during the ceremony. A cold beverage goes a long way to cool people off on a balmy day.
Provide Heat Relief
One of the easiest ways to keep guests cool is to seek out a venue with abundant natural shade or an indoor/outdoor combo venue so guests can retreat inside if needed. Depending on the theme and formailty of the wedding, consider providing fans – which can double as a ceremony program – parasols, hats or sunglasses for guests.
Prevent Sunburns and Bug Bites
Along with keeping guests cool, make sure they don’t get sunburned if they are in the sun for awhile. Put together a basket with sunscreen for normal skin, specifically for faces and for kids. Consider providing bug spray as well, especially if you live in a more humid climate where the pests may come out to play.
Don’t Burn Butts
Stay away from metal chairs for the ceremony and reception – enough said!
Serve Light Food and Desserts
Don’t weigh guests down with heavy foods when summer is at its peak. Stick to seasonal produce, grilled entrees and chilled items – fruit skewers, grilled fish and gazpacho, for instance. For dessert, consider serving pie or cobbler in lieu of traditional cake, or go all-out summer with frozen cocktails, popsicles or a giant banana split.
Provide Powder Room Necessities
Help guests feel gorgeous despite the heat and humidity: assemble toiletry kits for venue bathrooms with useful items such as blotting papers, band-aids, baby powder, body spray, minty gum, hand lotion, bobby pins, etc. That way if someone wants to pin their hair up or gets blisters from their dancing shoes, you have them covered.
Encourage Guests to Kick Off Their Shoes
Provide flip-flops or other comfortable slip-ons for guests to use while dancing the night away.
And a bonus tip for guests: skip the registry and buy the happy couple personalized wedding gifts that will stand out and perfectly commemorate a wonderful day.
Did you get married in summer, or have you been to an awesome summer wedding? What tips would you add to this list?