The summer heat and humidity is at it’s peak here in Nashville and it can be a difficult obstacle to overcome when planning a wedding. Here are a few tips on ways to keep everyone more comfortable throughout the day.
- Pre-Ceremony: Give your guests a heads-up if any part of your big day will take place outdoors. Wardrobe, hair, and most importantly, shoe choice could all be affected based on this tidbit of information. For outdoor pictures, make sure you keep an iced cooler with small bottles of water or sports drinks….CLEAR sports drinks of course 😉 available for your wedding party & the photographer. Giving your bridal party small hand-held battery powered fans is another good idea. That dewy look only looks good for so long & a little self-made breeze can make a huge difference!
Be careful with alcohol on the day of. This is a good reminder throughout the whole year, but especially during the summer months staying hydrated is key!
- Ceremony: Outdoor ceremonies are beautiful, but your guests won’t notice the setting if they’re sweating to death or fighting off mosquitoes. Offer small water bottles as they arrive. You could have the ushers assist with this, or just ice down galvanized tin buckets for self-serv. For a more elegant feel, have a bartender serve ice cold water (or tea) with a selection of garnishes such as lemon, lime & cucumber. Bug spray, sun screen, and mister bottles are all nice things to offer at the welcome table. You should also consider using personal fans instead of standard programs.
- Reception: If you are having an outdoor reception, find some unscented non-oil based bug spray & give your tablecloths a good spray around the bottom. This will keep your guests more comfortable while they eat without the smell of citronella wafting through the air. If at all possible, serve your food indoors. This takes care of several different “outdoorsy” issues all at once. If this is not an option, talk to your caterer and make sure that all food will be put out at the last possible minute, kept covered, and temperature controlled. For your cake, fondant has a tendency to sweat in strong heat….just like the rest of us….and buttercream will actually melt so make sure your cake is somewhere cool until it’s ready to be cut and served. Consider fun options to help refresh your guest; a gelato bar or ice cold daiquiris are two examples. Lastly, don’t be afraid to bring in some fans. They may not be beautiful, but they will be appreciated!
- Decor: Decorating for an outdoor event is often easier than that of an indoor. More than likely, nature will do most of the work for you. However, most brides will bring in some extra ambiance by way of floral design. It is very important to consult your florist before falling in love with a specific flower. Ask which ones have the staying power to withstand the heat & which ones are likely to wilt. Also, if you are considering using any fresh fruit in your decor, we suggest using whole versus cut. This will hopefully cut down on any gnats that may be eyeballing your decor for an easy meal. They’re super cute & on a muggy evening, your guests will greatly appreciate the gesture!
- Details: Southerners are known for their hospitality and your summer wedding or outdoor event can include some extra touches to show your guests that you’re thinking of them. Create a “Beat the Heat” table near your entrance and offer small bottles of sunscreen, bug spray, etc.; anything that you would appreciate if you were in their shoes. Speaking of shoes, a basket o’ flip flops is another great idea especially if you have a dancing crowd! It’s also nice to put a basket of “goodies” in each of your restrooms. Heat can do miserable things to one’s hair and errr.. hygiene. Staples include mints, deodorant, ponytail holders, bobby pins, hairspray, feminine products, subtle body spray, and make-up oil blotting sheets. Don’t forget to leave a nice scented candle burning as well!
Hopefully these tips, along with some cooperation from Mother Nature, will leave you and your guests with unforgettable memories of a perfect summer southern soiree. Cheers to keeping your cool and enjoying every minute!