It’s been extremely hot here in the Poconos for the last few weeks and I knew it was just a matter of time until it happened. Last week it did. One of the groomsmen in a wedding I was officiating fainted. Perhaps he was dehydrated, and of course wearing a full tux in the blazing sun didn’t help.
Here are a few tips for coping with the heat during your wedding.
If your outdoor ceremony is scheduled for July or August, consider in advance ordering parasols or fans for your guests.
Check the location of the sun for your exact ceremony time. Will you be in full sun? If so, can the chairs be relocated (and the position of the bridal party) to be in a shady spot? Remember you don’t want the sun shining directly in your eyes either.
Have your ushers, groomsmen or anyone welcoming guests let the male guests know that it’s perfectly acceptable to take of their jackets for the ceremony.
You might consider, if the men are wearing three piece tuxedos or suits, going to two-piece. Lose the vest, or if you’re really relaxed, lose the jacket! I’ve seen fairly formal weddings with groomsmen without jackets.
Stay hydrated, of course, and limit your alcohol intake – preferably none at all before the ceremony.
Set up a water station at the ceremony site – a bucket of ice with water bottles will do the trick! Pre-ceremony refreshments of all kinds will help as well.
You may want to skip a receiving line outdoors.
Be open to changes. When standing with a bridal party – is one side in the shade and the other in the sun? If so, there is no law prohibiting everyone from standing on the shady side. I could wind up looking really great, but most importantly, it will enhance the experience.
All these tips are for a good reason. Your ceremony is one of life’s most important milestones. Your guests are there to witness and support your wedding rituals rather than just struggling through the heat, waiting for it to end. I hope you will do all you can to make that happen for you and your guests.
(Thanks, as always, to photographer Michael Straub)