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Top 20 Summer Wedding Do’s and Don’ts
In some ways, a summer wedding is easier than a winter wedding. You don’t have to worry about how you’re going to stay warm, you aren’t forced to choose venues based on their indoor occupancy, and you don’t have to worry about snow. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of things that can go wrong!
If you’re planning a summer wedding, there are things you may not have thought of doing—or not doing—until it’s too late and it threatens to ruin your day. Our ultimate list of 20 summer wedding do’s and don’ts will help you escape disaster at your warm weather wedding.
Don't Forget to Send Save the Dates
Before sending out your summer wedding invitations, make sure you take the time to send out save the dates. Not only are they a fun way to notify guests of your upcoming nuptials, they are essential in the summer.
Schedules fill up fast with vacations, activities, and home improvement projects. Make sure your guests don’t say no to your wedding because that’s the week they booked a tropical vacay. Send save the dates at least six months in advance so guests can pencil your wedding into their calendar before it fills up.
Do Have a Backup Plan for Bad Weather
You may not have to worry about snow in the summer, but that doesn’t mean good weather is guaranteed. When searching for summer wedding venues, make sure you choose one that has a backup plan for bad weather.
Don’t forget about wind! If you’re dealing with winds in excess of 20 mph on your wedding day, you may want to set up an enclosed tent or bring your celebration inside, even if it is sunny.
Don't Pick a Complicated Updo
Even if it’s not windy or rainy, you will likely still have to contend with the heat on your wedding day. Do yourself a favor and choose summer wedding hairstyles for you and your bridesmaids carefully.
Complicated updos are a no-no, as they are more likely to wilt in the heat. Instead, opt for a more natural hairstyle that looks sexy, even if it’s windy or hot.
Do Go With Light Makeup
Not only do you want to choose your hairstyle carefully, you also have to choose your summer wedding makeup carefully. You don’t want to ruin your pictures because your foundation looks blotchy or your eyeliner is running down your face!
Choose a lighter makeup look that won’t be completely ruined by the sun and sweat, and opt for waterproof products when you can. It will ensure you look beautiful and natural, and it means you won’t have to run to the bathroom to fix your makeup all day.
Don't Shy Away From Offbeat Bridal Attire
Many brides have a bridal look they love, but that doesn’t mean it’s an appropriate summer wedding dress. Light, airy dresses are best for outdoor summer weddings, while big ball gowns are best left for cooler, indoor weddings.
Don’t be afraid to consider something a little different! Wear a summer wedding jumpsuit to avoid inner thigh chafe, or choose a strapless mini dress for your reception to stay cool.
Do Consider Making Hats Part of Your Wedding Day Look
Speaking of offbeat bridal attire, why not make summer wedding hats part of your day! The bride will look stunning in a wide brimmed hat, while groomsmen will love accessorizing with fedoras. Not only is this a stylish, unexpected option for the bride, groom, and the entire bridal party, but hats can prevent glare from the sun, they can prevent sunburn, and they can keep everyone a little cooler during a sweltering ceremony.
Don't Wear the Wrong Shoes
Steering clear of uncomfortable shoes is a good tip for any wedding, but choosing your summer wedding shoes carefully is even more important.
Sweaty feet not only smell, they slide, which can create pinched toes and blisters. Don’t think it’s just heels either. Flats can get just as sweaty!
Wear shoes that breathe, or wear your dream heels at your ceremony and change into more comfortable shoes for your reception. Come prepared with baby powder, blister prevention pads, and nonslip insoles.
Do Have a Plan for Battling Sweat
You can battle the effects of sweat by choosing your updo and makeup carefully, letting your groomsmen wear hats, and choosing the right shoes, but there’s more you should do to make sure sweat doesn’t ruin your day.
Keep guests cool by passing out hand fans at your ceremony, make sure you put heavy-duty deodorant in your bridal kit, and don’t shy away from using body powder that can soak up sweat in uncomfortable places.
Don't Pick Heavy, Long, and Hot Bridesmaid Dresses
Don’t let your love of long velvet dresses make you choose attire for your bridesmaids that they are going to hate. Although heavy, long dresses can look stunning at a fall or winter wedding, they don’t make good summer wedding bridesmaid dresses.
Instead, let your girls choose lighter attire. Cotton, silk, and chiffon are great for hot weather, while shorter lengths and slits will make sure your girls enjoy plenty of airflow all day and night long.
Do Make Sure You Keep Everyone Hydrated
It’s easy to get dehydrated when it’s hot and sunny, especially if libations are involved. Do yourself, your bridal party, and your guests a favor by planning ahead for ways to keep everyone hydrated.
That might mean asking one of your bridesmaids to keep your water bottle full, having buckets of custom water bottles available at the ceremony, and serving dinner with a glass of water. It might also mean choosing hors d'oeuvres made out of foods that have a high water content, like cucumber and yogurt.
Naked Cake Decorated With Flowers and Leaves: Elizabeth Anne Designs, Summer Bouquet Featuring Dahlias, Roses, and Calla Lilies: The Knot, Garland Reception Table Decoration: Elite Wedding & Event Planning
Don't Choose Flowers That Wilt in the Heat
Some flowers don’t do well in the heat. Blooms like gardenias and hydrangeas will wilt in a summer wedding bouquet. Instead, choose hardier flowers that don’t wilt in the heat. Consider roses, orchids, and calla lilies, as long as they're prepped appropriately ahead of time. Make sure your florist knows you’re worried about wilting blooms and they’ll help you choose the right flowers for your wedding day.
Of course, you could always go with silk flowers! This is an especially good idea for large floral arrangements, like flower walls.
Do Have a Morning or Evening Ceremony
The summer heat can be just as miserable as the coldest days of winter. Don’t subject your guests to sweltering temperatures and direct sunlight as they wait for you to walk down the aisle. Instead, plan a morning or evening ceremony. This enables you to avoid the hottest part of the day, keeping you and your guests more comfortable.
Don't Serve Heavy, Greasy Food
Heavy, hearty meals may be delicious, but they aren’t appropriate. Better summer wedding food ideas involve lighter fare. Think finger foods during cocktail hour that are made of refreshing fruit and vegetables, cold soup, and light proteins, like fish and shellfish. It will keep your guests full without dragging them down and potentially making them sick in the heat.
Do Choose a Cake That Can Take the Heat
Are you dreaming of a multi-tiered wedding cake covered in billowing puffs of frosting? Although beautiful, a cake like that won’t stay beautiful in the summer heat. Choose a cake that isn’t likely to melt instead. Fondant cakes are an option, but naked cakes are equally as beautiful. A cake with less frosting can keep bugs at bay too!
Choosing the right summer wedding cake flavors is also important. For example, not only can chocolate feel heavy on a hot day, it is also likely to melt. Instead, choose fresh flavors like strawberry, lemon, or caramel.
Don't Use Decorations That Are Easily Knocked Over
If you’re having your ceremony or reception outdoors, it’s important to choose your summer wedding decorations wisely. The last thing you want to do is run around picking up vases because you didn’t realize they would topple easily with the slightest breeze!
Choose sturdy, wide centerpieces and tie ceremony decorations down so they don’t fly away. A little double sided sticky tape isn’t a bad idea either!
Do Choose Any Summer Wedding Colors You Want
It’s true that there are some summer wedding colors that are more popular than others, but don’t feel like you have to stick to the latest trends! Peachy pinks may be timeless and retro green may be trendy, but you can incorporate darker shades, even if they are traditionally associated with fall and winter weddings. The trick is to combine darker colors, like navy, with lighter hues, like pink, to give your wedding a summery feel.
Don't Forget About Bugs
Battling wind, rain, heat, and sun all come with a summer wedding, but that’s not all. You have to plan ahead for bugs!
Look for bug spray ahead of your big day that doesn’t stink, and offer mini bottles of bug spray to guests before the ceremony. You can also use bug replant sticks and candles at your reception and pass out patches to kids to help keep the whole space as bug-free as possible.
Do Give Guests a Place to Cool Off
Even with plenty of water, hand fans, and ways to combat sweat, you and your guests are still going to want to get out of the sun. Provide guests with a place to cool off and everyone will be happier.
That might mean having a tented reception space with fans, having your cocktail hour indoors, or letting guests use indoor bathrooms instead of portable toilets. If you’re offering transportation to and from your ceremony or reception spaces, consider a mode of transportation with air conditioning to give your guests a break.
Don't Skip the Coat Check
You aren’t likely to see a coat check when searching for summer wedding ideas online. After all, who is going to bring a coat to a summer wedding? You would be surprised!
Men may choose to wear a suit and look for a place to hang their coats during the reception, some guests bring jackets as part of their look without really intending to wear them, and overzealous parents may need a place to keep their giant bag of baby supplies. Do everyone a favor and have a coat check at your summer wedding.
Do Make Time to Take Small Breaks
It’s a good idea to take breaks at any wedding so you can have specific memories of your day, but it’s especially important at a summer wedding. It’s easy to get dehydrated and light headed in the summer heat, especially if you got up early, you’ve been running around all day, and you’re constrained in a tight dress. Take a few minutes every hour or two to grab a drink, take a deep breath, go to the bathroom, or lie down. It will make sure you feel like the best version of yourself all day long.