Last week I photographed a wedding in Williamsburg, Virginia and followed ZERO of the tips I’m about to share with you. It’s July, and Williamsburg is notoriously miserable in mid-summer. Needless to say, I was probably on the verge of heat stroke had it not been for my second shooter. I’m sharing these summer wedding tips so you don’t experience the same during your special day.
Summer weddings are beautiful, but they are even more enjoyable in A/C. Some parts of the country are just dreadful in the summer, and we forget that sunny weather comes with extreme heat in some cases. Especially when you are wearing more layers than you ever have, beit a fluffy wedding dress or 3+ piece suit/tuxedo, heat can be very dangerous on a wedding day.
These summer wedding tips will not only make your wedding more enjoyable, but might save you from a disastrous and ill-timed hospital visit.
This is an obvious one. But so many people forget to do this. I did… just last week! I even packed a water bottle but left it in the car. Out of sight, out of mind. I never ended up using my water bottle. And I’m a wedding photographer; I was running around all morning and working up a sweat very quickly.
As the bride and groom, you have some down time early in the day to drink as much water as your bodies can hold. Drink more than you think you need, especially if you’re enjoying beer or mimosas with your bridal party. Alcohol strips hydration, so drink double the water.
Then, assign one person each in your bridal party to be keeper of the water. It’s their job to bring a cold water bottle everywhere they go so you have quick and easy access. It’s easy to put it down for a photo, so let them have the burden of always having it on hand. Ideally, this person doesn’t have too many other responsibilities on your wedding day. This ensures they are focused on keeping track of how much or how little water you’ve had.
Additionally, plan ahead! Set up water stations at every spot you’re going to be at your venue. A cooler of water should be available for you AND your guests at your bridal suite, ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, and prime photo spots if allowed. Early planning can really come in handy when you most need it and could prevent emergencies from happening.
Fruits and vegetables are an excellent and smart breakfast side. Make sure to eat some protein too so you fight off hunger during the part of the day you’re the busiest. But including foods like grapes, oranges, watermelon, and bell peppers is a smart move. These are easy to snack on during hair and makeup, too.
You need your body to be fueled, because the saying is quite true if you aren’t careful. “You won’t eat on your wedding day.” It doesn’t have to be true, but it is for so many because you get so distracted.
Fuel up early!
When you have down time, even if it’s 2 minutes, find a spot where you can take off your jacket or lift up your heavy wedding dress to let some air reach your body. Stay inside or in the shade as much as possible. Communicate with your photographer when you are feeling lightheaded or overheated.
If possible, maybe purchase a fan that plugs into an iPhone for one of your bridesmaids/groomsmen to carry. Or get one for each of your bridal party peeps. They can quickly plug it in and fan you off between photos and events.
Wedding days can feel like a rush. But if you hired a good photographer and wedding planner, they would have purposely padded your timeline so you had enough time to take mini breaks as needed. Like I said before, communicate when you feel overheated or need A/C or water. The worst you can do is pretend it’s ok and then risk passing out of heat or exhaustion. Nobody wants that for you! Safety and health are always a priority over anything else.
This tip is really only helpful if you’re still in early planning stages. But if you’re getting married in the months May through August, maybe even April or September in some areas of the country, consider having the majority of your wedding indoors.
Outdoor ceremonies will ALWAYS be my favorite for a lot of reasons. The scenery, the natural light, the flexibility, it’s all great. But indoors has its pros too. Indoor ceremonies not only give you access to comfortable temperatures, but it also can mean no hot sun spots on your skin in photos or no wind to deal with. The natural elements, while beautiful in some cases, can be a major challenge in others. So don’t knock indoor ceremonies! Your guests (and vendors) may thank you for opting inside.
Were these tips helpful? I really hope so! Whether you’re planning a summer wedding or attending one, these tips should keep you cool and calm to have the most enjoyable time possible. Best of luck at your wedding!!
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