Those Sizzling Summertime Weddings… are you prepared?

Here in the Poconos we don’t expect it to be as hot and muggy as it’s been this summer –  it’s been quite the sizzler – just about the hottest summer we can recall.

After officiating several weddings in the blazing heat I thought I’d remind us all about how to deal with such extreme temperatures. I have some old tips and some new ones as well.

Its ok not to wear a jacket.

But before you even arrive at such a state of affairs, remember an overarching principle – that both the time of year and the time of day are very important when choosing a wedding date. You’ll be better prepared when you understand there is an important relationship between the calendar and the style you envision for your big day.  Just as a love of a roaring fire and candlelight means you’re a good fit for a late fall or winter wedding, conversely a casual, shirt-sleeves kind of wedding certainly feels like summer. A formal wedding (black tie) isn’t a good fit a mid-summer’s day.

I hope these tips will be helpful if you’re planning a summer celebration.

When scheduling outdoors be very mindful of the exact time of day. Note where the sun will be the sky, and where shade might be found! If a morning wedding doesn’t suit you, think: sunset! Those long shadows are heavenly.

Be aware of sun shining directly into guests’ eyes, or right at the couple and their attendants as well. Either way it’s not fun. When you are looking at the ceremony venue discuss with the staff where the sun will be for your date and time of day. They should know. Adjust the seating and altar area to compensate if necessary. If you can -move chairs – do it – even if your venue is a bit shocked by this change from their normal setup. You’ll be glad you did. Look around – is there a shadier spot than the one where they always set up? Just because ‘that’s how it’s done,’ doesn’t mean it can’t be done differently. ‘Think out of the box’ as they say!

Just the other day I created a lopsided set-up – with all the chairs together on the shady side of the ceremony site. It was really worthwhile.

Which side would you choose ?

If there’s no natural shade to be found, create some. Consider renting a tent. Umbrellas large or small will also really help, in fact, a few of those large patio umbrellas strategically placed, could look really cool. Find a way to provide your guests with shade any way you can.

Hand held fans are ok, but consider bringing large electric fans to create a big breeze.

I’ve seen many brides and grooms with sweat running down their faces during the ceremony, which is especially awkward during vows or anytime they may be holding hands. Have a hankie (who remembers hankies?) – a handkerchief – folded in your pocket or tucked into your dress. It’s perfectly fine to pull it out and wipe your brow or the brow of your partner. In fact, I find it quite charming when one partner dabs the other’s forehead.

Have a water station set up for easy access at your ceremony site, and make sure everyone, especially the bridal party, is properly hydrated. I’ve seen men and women faint during a ceremony. Usually it’s a combination of alcohol intake, lack of water, and that blazing sun.

Women – remember your hair – this is the perfect time for an ‘up-do’ or pony-tail. Guys, consider a look that doesn’t include a jacket. A suit can be tough in extreme heat. There’s nothing wrong with shirt and tie, especially if you dress it up with suspenders, perhaps hats, and bow ties are cool, especially if you’re going for a funkier look.

The sun is wonderful, just be prepared

Some of my favorite Pocono venues have wonderful shady locations, by the river, by a lake, and in wooded areas. Embrace those choices. Don’t be afraid of a summer wedding, just be prepared!



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