Beat The Heat

10 essential tips for keeping cool at summer weddings
Written by
Laura Cross

When it comes to planning a wedding during the hot summer months, keeping your guests cool and comfortable is a top priority. The soaring temperatures can make it challenging to enjoy the festivities, but with a little creativity and some expert advice, you can beat the heat and ensure a memorable and refreshing celebration. We've gathered some valuable insights from industry professionals to help you keep your guests cool at your summer wedding.

1. Hydration is Key
Staying hydrated is crucial during summer weddings, especially when the heat is intense. Elsa Walker from Juliet + Lou states, "Water should be easily accessible to all throughout the day, including while getting ready, pre-ceremony, and the reception."

Michelle Rankin from Tipsy Trailer Mobile Bar & Bartending likes to suggest that couples set up a beautiful hydration station display near their bar area. "Have on hand plenty of easily accessible infused ice water options, a beautiful sparkling lavender lemonade, or even Hibiscus Iced Tea."

Don't forget to provide a variety of beverage options, including non-alcoholic versions for younger attendees. Kate Niklaus from The Edgewater Hotel adds, "Incorporating mocktails is a great way to keep guests satisfied and hydrated on a hot summer day! Pro tip – add cooling ingredients such as mint and cucumber for the most refreshing experience."

Shantel Wall Photography with Tipsy Trailer Mobile Bar & Bartending
Shantel Wall Photography with Tipsy Trailer Mobile Bar & Bartending

2. Timing Is Key
Optimal timing can make a significant difference in combating the summer heat during weddings. Kelvin Lozano from Kaneri Films suggests, "If you're flexible on timing, schedule your events later in the day when the temperature is cooler." Evening weddings often benefit from more pleasant temperatures and picturesque sunsets, creating a magical ambiance. It is also advisable to avoid midday ceremonies when the sun is at its peak. By being mindful of timing, you can ensure that you and your guests are more comfortable throughout the event.

3. Cool Off with Frozen Desserts
Offering frozen treats is another delightful way to combat the summer heat. "Ice cream carts are a fun and interactive way to stay cool on hot summer days! Pro-tip – add Prosecco for an elevated twist on an ice cream (or sorbet) float," advises Niklaus.

Embrace the nostalgia of summer by setting up a dedicated frozen treat station where guests can indulge in icy delights. "Let’s be real, we’re never too old for popsicles. One of my childhood summer staples combined with one of my favorite welcome drinks, (Prosecco) make for a great way to cool guest down at weddings or any event," says Lisha Lee from 3eleven events

Guests of all ages will appreciate the opportunity to enjoy a cool treat and beat the summer heat while celebrating your special day.

Camille Docena Photo with 3eleven events
Camille Docena Photo with 3eleven events

4. Provide Sun Protection
Shielding guests from the sun's harmful rays is essential during a summer wedding. Set up designated areas with sunscreen stations, offering a range of SPF options for guests to apply. By prioritizing sun protection, you show your care for guests' well-being and ensure their comfort throughout the celebration.

5. Opt for Refreshing Menu Options
To beat the heat and create a memorable dining experience for your guests, when planning the wedding menu, opt for fresh and seasonally inspired dishes. Summer provides the perfect opportunity to showcase vibrant and light menu choices. Emily Schiller from Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering suggests avoiding hot or heavy foods and instead choosing chilled or room temperature options like fun, fresh, seasonal salads. Think of delightful bites such as chilled gazpacho shots, crisp salads with juicy fruits, and flavorful grilled seafood skewers bursting with the best ingredients of the season. These menu selections not only keep guests cool but also satisfy their palates, leaving a lasting impression.

Diwas Photography with Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering
Diwas Photography with Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering

6. Create Comfortable Indoor and Outdoor Spaces
To accommodate the preferences of both indoor and outdoor settings, consider creating comfortable spaces that offer the best of both worlds. Choose a venue that provides both indoor and outdoor areas, allowing guests to move freely between the two as they please.

For the indoor spaces, prioritize efficient air conditioning or proper ventilation to maintain a cool and comfortable environment and arrange cozy seating areas where guests can relax and socialize, escaping from the heat outside.

For outdoor spaces, Grand Event Rentals suggests incorporating outdoor structures, beautiful tents, and umbrellas to help you and your guests beat the heat and protect you from the sun's rays. Consider setting up cooling stations equipped with misting fans and offer chilled beverages to keep everyone refreshed, and incorporating comfortable soft seating options that invite guests to unwind and enjoy the outdoor ambiance.

Offering both indoor and outdoor options ensures that everyone can enjoy the wedding festivities in a space that suits their preferences.

Salt and Pine Photography with Grand Event Rentals
Salt and Pine Photography with Grand Event Rentals

7. Dress Appropriately 
Choosing the right attire for a summer wedding is crucial to beat the heat. For the couple, consider lightweight and breathable fabrics, such as linen or cotton, for wedding attire. Brides and bridesmaids should opt for lightweight fabrics like chiffon, organza, or silk that allow for better airflow and breathability. Consider sleeveless or short-sleeved wedding gowns to avoid excessive heat. Flowy and ethereal designs are perfect for a summer wedding, allowing you to move freely while staying cool. 

For grooms and groomsmen, opt for breathable fabrics and lighter colors such as light gray, beige, or even pastel shades, which reflect sunlight and help to minimize heat absorption. Choose suits with a more relaxed fit or consider wearing dress shirts paired with lightweight trousers for a more casual and comfortable look.

It's also a good idea to communicate dress code suggestions to your guests, recommending lighter fabrics and comfortable shoes. As Marc Sense from Integral DJs suggests, "Encourage your guests to wear fashionable, but breathable attire and headwear to minimize direct sunlight." Providing a designated area for guests to leave their jackets or wraps can also help them stay comfortable during the event. 

8. Optimize Timing 
Scheduling your wedding at the optimal time can make a significant difference in beating the summer heat. Keep in mind that shorter ceremonies can significantly help beat the heat and ensure the comfort of your guests. Lozano suggests, "If you're flexible on timing, schedule your events later in the day when the temperature is cooler." This will help avoid the peak heat hours and allow for a more pleasant experience for both you and your guests. 

Meghan Klein Photography with Juliet + Lou
Meghan Klein Photography with Juliet + Lou

9. Stay Indoors and Create a Cool Oasis
If you prefer to beat the heat by staying indoors, you can still have a remarkable and comfortable wedding celebration. Choose a venue with reliable air conditioning or a well-ventilated indoor space that can accommodate your guest list. Transform the indoor area into a cool oasis by incorporating elegant decor elements, such as breezy fabrics, soft lighting, and refreshing color schemes. The Venue Experiences Department at Seattle Art Museum agrees, suggesting couples "Craft a beautiful and timeless indoor reception with stunning, simplistic summer florals." 

And if you want to avoid the outdoors all-together, consider booking a venue like Georgetown Ballroom, that offers fully air-conditioned indoor spaces to ensure maximum comfort for you and your guests throughout the wedding day. 

Bryan Aulick Photography with Seattle Art Museum
Bryan Aulick Photography with Seattle Art Museum

10. Communicate and Prepare
Lastly, effective communication is key to ensuring a successful summer wedding. Keep your guests informed about the expected weather conditions and any specific recommendations they need to be aware of, such as dress code, outdoor activities, or potential heat-related challenges. Include this information on your wedding website, invitations, and any pre-wedding communication. Additionally, work closely with your wedding planner, venue coordinator, and vendors to discuss and implement strategies for beating the heat. By preparing and communicating effectively, you can ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience for both you and your guests.

By incorporating these expert tips into your summer wedding plans, you can beat the heat and create a memorable and enjoyable celebration for everyone involved. Stay cool, hydrated, and have a fantastic wedding day!