Preparing for Your Outdoor Wedding
Picture this… It’s mid-summer in Michigan and you’re having an outdoor wedding. You’re expecting (and truly hoping for) a beautiful wedding day filled with cooler temperatures, sunshine, even a slight breeze…. but then reality kicks in (it is Michigan after all)! Your wedding turns sticky and stagnant with temperatures soaring into the 90’s. Greaaaaaaaat. Now what? We also know (since it’s Michigan) these warm temperatures can stick around into early fall!
Mike Staff Productions DJs, Photographers and Videographers have worked weddings in all sorts of wedding conditions so, here are a few ways you and your guests can beat the summer heat — without it ruining your big day!
Add SPF to Your Guest List
The last thing you or your guests want is to leave your wedding with a sunburn. Prior to getting dressed, the bride, groom, and attendants should apply sunscreen to skin that will be exposed. Consider wearing a moisturizer and foundation or powder that contains SPF (just give it a test-drive for allergies weeks beforehand). In the guest bathroom, include a basket with sunblock wipes as well as bug spray (which should also be available at the ceremony site).
Keep the Crowd Cool
Pair fans with your ceremony programs or better yet create program fans that work double-duty. You’ll look like you thought of everything (because you did)! Offering sunglasses to guests are also a nice touch. You don’t want your guests to see your ceremony while squinting.
Towels, Water, Shade – Repeat!
Make sure an outdoor venue offers some type of shaded or air-conditioned area for guests to escape if needed. Tent rentals can include portable air-conditioning systems. Have an usher pass out small ice-cold hand towels across the rows. Scatter decorative tubs or baskets filled with bottles of water near the ceremony site — and once the dancing begins, place water in close proximity to the action. You can even personalize the water labels! Oh, and don’t forget your vendors: Set up an area where they can grab cold beverages as well.
Put a Drink in Their Hand
At your outdoor summer wedding ceremony, consider including a lemonade or iced tea bar — chalk full of different flavors, garnishes and lots and lots of ice! Here’s another idea, have self-serve pitchers or dispenser of infused water on hand pre-ceremony.
At the reception, you can serve chilly treats, like mini milk shakes, smoothies, snow cones, fresh-fruit ice pops or anything that fits your menu and theme.
Sweat Survival Kits
For your bridal party or guests, make a kit filled with items like face blotters, sunscreen, a travel-size deodorant, and even body wipes. The groom can make one for the guys, too. Since they can’t carry this kit with them down the aisle, you can have the kits waiting for them post-wedding in the bridal suite or even have the bathrooms at the reception stocked with these items.
BONUS TIPS (you’re welcome!)
Save the Summertime Date! Summer is prime time for vacays, especially when it comes to families with school-age kids. Send out an announcement in advance to get your wedding marked on everyone’s calendar early.
Heavy food and heat don’t mix
Follow the farm-to-table trend and choose a seasonal menu that includes grilled entrees and local, fresh produce. Gazpacho shooters and grilled fruit skewers make tempting appetizers, and for dessert, consider fruit pies or tarts in lieu of cake. Frozen cocktails (mint, cucumber, or watermelon are popular flavors) or even Popsicles (use the sticks that catch drips) can be festive touches too.
Say No to Midday
With the sun at its strongest, overheated guests won’t be in a party mood. It can also be tricky to get folks to enjoy adult beverages and sit down to a big meal when they’re baking. Shoot for a late afternoon or early evening start time. The ideal plan: Schedule dinner for sunset (provided the sun isn’t setting too late on your date); then work the rest of the event around that timing.