Just came in from outside. The thermometer is at about 95 degrees and, even with low humidity (a rarity in my corner of the country,) you can just stick an apple in my mouth and bake me. I sat down at my weddings-oriented writing space and knew I had to save this summer’s outdoor wedding guests from certain melting. So brides-to-be, here goes!

A quick bulletin: The sun radiates light to the earth, and part of that light consists of invisible ultraviolet (UV) rays. When these rays reach the skin, they cause tanning, burning, and other skin damage. Sunlight contains three types of ultraviolet rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC, but we only have to worry about UVA and UVB, because UVC rays–the most dangerous–are blocked by the ozone layer and never reach the earth. But there’s still plenty of reason to protect yourself, your wedding party and your wedding guests. UVA rays cause skin aging and wrinkling and contribute to skin cancer, such as melanoma. UVB rays cause sunburns, cataracts (clouding of the eye lens), and immune system damage.

All your wedding guests, local and from out of town, should receive a wedding welcome bag with an assortment of items: bottled water, sun block, a fan, snacks, maps, wedding timetable, city guide. Did I say bottled water and a fan or two? You should make chilled, bottled water readily available throughout the wedding weekend. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how important it is to keep your body hydrated. The human body is about 60% water. Your muscles and brain are about 75% water. Your blood–about 82% water. Bottom line, human bodies require water. Personalize your bottled water, and your guests will always remember it was you who hydrated them from arrival to departure.

Finally, don’t forget to throw a couple of fans in the welcome bag. Fans also make wonderful wedding favors, and your guests will be oh, so grateful! They’ll be more comfortable and more likely to make it through your ceremony and reception without fainting from the toasty weather. On the bright side (no pun intended,) it’s not raining–so be happy and have a fabulous affair!

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