5 Ways to Keep Cool at Your Outdoor Summer Wedding

When a heat wave hits like how it is right now in the Bay Area, you know that it’s officially summer!  The sun is out and it is HOT.   And that means finding ways to stay cool, especially if you’re planning a wedding.

Summer is the most popular time of year to get married because the weather is great and everything is green.  You generally don’t have to worry about the rain which means you can have your outdoor wedding and not feel anxious.

But, let’s face it, it’s also fricken hot!  And you’re not getting married in shorts (although you could).  You’re getting married in a tux/suit or a wedding dress.  Which means you’re going to be sweating.  And your wedding guests?  They’ll be sweating too.  So, here are 5 ways to stay cool at your summer wedding.

5 Ways to Stay Cool at Your Outdoor Summer Wedding

#1 – Air conditioning (or shade) is your best friend

For an outdoor summer wedding, you want to maximize your air conditioning time before the wedding starts.  It’s inevitable that you’ll be sweating at some point, but you want to look your freshest at the start.  So, make sure where ever you’re getting ready has air con.  Then stay there or in the car for as long as possible before the ceremony starts.

Now once the wedding starts, shade is going to be your best friend.  Make sure you have umbrellas, parasols, or a tent so guests (and you) don’t have to be in direct sunlight all the time.  Otherwise, everyone will be melting.

Wedding reception set up at the Healdsburg Country Gardens planned by Destination wedding planner, Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: Deborah Laver)

#2 – The joy of misters

You know those giant misters they have at theme parks?  Where it blows cool mist on you?  It’s lovely, but you probably can’t have those unless you’ve got extra cash in your wedding budget.  And realistically, people don’t actually want to be wet.  They just want to feel cool.

Here to save the day are face misters! Before it was just really Evian that had a face mist, but now you can find tons of options in beauty stores.  They even make travel sized ones.  And while they aren’t technically cold when you mist your face, it does cool you down.  Buy a few for the bathrooms for guests to use or if you’ve got the budget, put one in everyone’s welcome bag.  And don’t forget to have one stashed for you as well.

Caudalie face mist for an outdoor summer wedding

#3 – Go old school with hankies

Ok, so hankies aren’t actually going to keep you cool at your outdoor summer wedding.  But it will help with the sweat factor.  Tissue doesn’t work as well because it leaves behind lint.  Going old school with hankies not only works better, but looks better too.

So, make sure you have some handy for the guys so they can stick it in their pocket and discreetly wipe their faces.  And then hand some out to your guests too.  A great time to do this is before the ceremony, then they can work for both tears and sweat.  And it’s a nice keepsake for you and for them.

Vintage hankies for a French chateau destination wedding by Destination wedding planner, Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: Julia Winkler)

#4 – Serve a plethora of light, cold drinks

There is nothing like drinking something cold when you’re hot.  It has an immediate effect and cools you right down.  So, first of all, you’re going to want to make sure you have lots of ice.  Then make sure you have lots of cold drinks available for your guests.

Start with a refreshing pre-ceremony drink then pass a few cold drinks after the ceremony.  Have a water station that people can access to easily hydrate themselves.  Then make sure your bar is stocked with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options.  The one key to remember is to try to pick light drinks (i.e. ones that don’t feel heavy) because that will help guests feel cool as well.  And don’t forget to hydrate yourself!

Champagne cocktail for a destination wedding by Destination Wedding Planner, Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: Kate Webber)

#5 – Give yourself lots of space

Imagine yourself in a crowded room like at a popular restaurant on Friday night or at a store during a sale.  The more people in the room, the hotter it is, right?  The same thing applies to your outdoor summer wedding.  The more people you try to cram into one space the hotter it will be.

So, space things out.  Make sure you space out your ceremony chairs to give people room to breathe.  Space out your reception tables so people don’t feel like they’re packed in.  And most importantly, space out the seats at each table.  I know it’s tempting to max out each table, but consider seating 8 instead of 10 or 10 instead of 12.  You’ll give everyone more room which will help keep them cool.

This same rule applies to your head table as well, give yourselves space.  You’ll naturally be the hottest ones with all the hugging and walking around you’ll be doing.  Give yourself room to breathe which will help you cool down too.

Wedding reception tent for a Hawaii wedding by Destination wedding planner, Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: Marina Miller)

Outdoor summer weddings are great!  They’re beautiful and tons of fun.  But, don’t forget about the heat!  Make sure your guests feel comfortable and taken care of.  And don’t forget about yourselves too!  It’s just as important that you don’t faint as it is that your guests don’t sweat to death.  Use these 5 ways to stay cool at your outdoor summer wedding and you’ll be so much happier for it.

Now I’d love to hear from you!  Which strategy are you going to use at your wedding?  Please let me know in a comment below.


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