25 Ways to Manage a Wedding in a Heatwave

25 Ways to Manage a Wedding in a Heatwave

Summers in Ireland and the UK tend to come with rain, rain and more rain. But if you’re expecting high temperatures on your big day, either because you’re having a destination wedding, or because you’re placing a lot of trust in the Child of Prague, it’s wise to be prepared. That’s why we’ve rounded up our top tips and ideas for managing a wedding in a heatwave. Oh, and if you clicked on this feature because you’re getting married this week and you’re looking for last-minute ways to keep yourself and your guests cool, we’ve got you covered!

How to Manage a Wedding in a Heatwave: Ideas for Keeping your Guests Cool

1. If it’s a scorcher, you don’t want your guests to be uncomfortable during the ceremony – especially if it’s outdoors. Parasols, sunglasses or hand fans will be massively appreciated. We have a feature on where to find cute parasols here and don’t forget to get a bridal parasol for yourself!

2. Quench your guests’ thirst with summer cocktails or signature summer drinks such as Pimm’s or Aperol Spritzes. White Oak Events have cute pop-up bas and trucks for this in Ireland. Make sure there’s plenty of water served too, so your guests remember to hydrate. You could also leave ice buckets out for your guests to cool their tipples.

3. Organise a retro ice cream van or an iced coffee truck for a post-ceremony treat, or as dessert after the main meal.

wedding in a heatwave ideas, iced coffee for weddings
Photo by Anna G via One Fab Day

4. As a cheaper alternative to the ice cream van, fill a large container (a milk churn, or metal ice bucket) with ice and then load it up with store-bought ice pops.

5. If your venue has a suitable outdoor space, set up outdoor games in the shade. This might include giant Jenga, boules, a ring toss, limbo or even something as simple as bubbles for kids – it’s a good way to encourage kids (and adults!) to stay out of the sun.

6. If you’re preparing bathroom baskets, make sure they’re stocked with sun cream and after-sun cream or aloe vera for your guests. Facial water mist sprays will go down a treat, too!

wedding in a heatwave ideas, hats for guests
Photo by Keisy and Rocky via One Fab Day

How to Manage a Wedding in a Heatwave: Style Ideas

7. If you’re planning a summer wedding, choose a wedding dress in a light material such as cotton, chiffon, crepe, or voile over silk. For suits, linen and cotton are the best choice. Make sure to buy a good quality, breathable shirt in a natural material, and have a second one close by to change into.

8. Keep blotting paper or a translucent powder in your clutch for top ups, and to help you avoid any shine in photos.

9. Use makeup with an added SPF, and apply a long-lasting SPF an hour before you get dressed or have your makeup done. Ultrasun do one that doesn’t photograph white, and we have a list of the best SPFs for brides and grooms here.

10. Use a good primer to keep makeup in place, a minimal, understated look will last longer and look best in the sun.

wedding in a heatwave ideas, flip flops for guests
Photo by Eden Photography via One Fab Day

11. Invest in a pair of flats or flip flops as high heels can get even more uncomfortable when temperatures rise and feet swell.

12. If your hair tends to misbehave in the heat, talk to your hair stylist about the best plan of action for the day, whether it’s wearing an undone upstyle or pinning some of it back with a hair accessory.

13. Make sure you have sunglasses that work well with your wedding day look, but don’t forget to take them off for at least some of the photographs. We have a list of great bridal sunglasses to shop here.

14. If you feel like you’re getting overwhelmed by the heat, dash to the bathroom and run cold water over your wrists – it’s a quick way to cool the body down.

15. Prepare for chafing! This goes for brides, grooms, wedding parties and guests. You don’t want you day ruined by chafed thighs or underarms, or if your outfit or shoes are rubbing. Prepare in advance with a chafing balm (Body Glide, Mega Babe and Lanacane are popular brands, available in sports shops or pharmacies) or invest in a pair of shorts or shapewear. It’ll make your day so much more comfortable. We have a list of the best anti-chafing sticks here.

wedding in a heatwave ideas
Photo by Chris Copeland via One Fab Day

How to Manage a Wedding in a Heatwave: Ideas for your Venue and Suppliers

16. If your summer wedding ceremony is outdoors, avoid metal chairs, or if you have metal chairs, provide a cushion or some sort of fabric cover. Likewise plastic chairs can bend in the heat so request that they’re not left out in the sun.

17. If your wedding is unexpectedly sunny, talk to your venue about moving some elements outside, whether it’s the drinks reception, the ceremony or, a chill out area. You could also speeches outside like real wedding couples Cat and Justin or Jill and Rafi.

18. For indoor ceremonies or receptions, request that the windows of the room are open and ask if the venue has any electric fans that they can set up, or whether it’s okay to bring your own.

wedding in a heatwave ideas, hydration station
Photo by The Lous via One Fab Day

19. For a marquee wedding, fans are also a good shout. If you’re in the early stages of planning, choose a tent that has the option of rolling up the sides if you need to create a breeze.

20. If your guests will be outside for several hours, have a gazebo set up or shady spot chosen for elderly guests, children or anyone who will need a break from the sun. Safety is your top priority for any wedding a heatwave.

21. Take summer décor inspiration from festivals and festival style weddings or have some fun with a tropical theme!

wedding in a heatwave ideas

22. Citronella candles are a handy cost-effective way to keep annoying flies and insects at bay – beeswax ones are most effective!

23. If your guests will be outside after dark, ensure outdoor spaces are lit with string lights or lanterns.

24. We’ve seen some wedding cake disasters in the heat! If your wedding is taking place on a hot day, talk to your baker about keeping your cake intact. They may ask the venue to store it in a cool spot in the kitchen until it’s time to cut it.

25. Ask your venue for water in a vase for your bouquet, and to keep an eye on floral decor that might wilt in the heat.

Check out our gorgeous real summer weddings for more ideas on your own bash in the sun! 

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