Checklist for a Successful Summer Wedding

By: Maggie Hartingay

To borrow an old saying, "when you're hot, you're hot." But getting hot and staying hot have their time and place - and those are definitely not at your wedding!

It's true that the months of June and July are some of the most popular times for weddings. Unfortunately, those months seem to get hotter every year. If you're planning an outdoor wedding or wedding reception, the hot temperatures can really take a toll on your comfort and the comfort of your guests. To say nothing of the chaos it can create with clothes, hairstyles and makeup!

Presented below are seven ways to cheat the summer heat, staying cool while staying lovely, and some smart-minded tips to provide relief for all your guests.

1. Relax And Put Your Hair Up. Everyone knows how summertime temperatures can ruin even the sturdiest hairstyles. If you're holding an outdoor ceremony, consider wearing your hair up and off the shoulders. You might adorn your hair with a lovely clip or barrette, or even a garland of flowers, to add a finishing touch of beauty to the simplicity of your penned-up 'do. Encourage your bridesmaids to do the same with their own hair.

2. Keep Your Dress Simple. You don't want to fight the heat while slogging down the aisle in a cumbersome wedding dress. Simple structured gowns and columnar sheath dresses are all the rage in bridal wear for 2008, so this is a great time to keep the dress cool and uncomplicated.

3. Make The Photo Op A Priority. You want to look your best for pictures, and you don't want to wilt under the hot sun. Arrange to have all the photographs taken first thing, even if it means assembling your wedding party at the ceremonial hall forty-five minutes early. If you're holding the ceremony outside, the pristine arrangements of flowers, chairs, and decorations will provide a charmingly naturalistic backdrop.

4. Create Tent Space For The Guests Who Need It. Maybe you can stand the heat, but there are bound to be some guests who can't. These might include grandparents, elderly uncles and aunts, and small children. Keep them sheltered by setting up a simple white awning or tent, or allow them to sit on the back porch of the wedding facility. You'll keep them comfortable and offer refuge to anyone who might need the shade as the ceremony progresses.

5. Repel the Bugs, Not the Guests. This advice is especially true for outdoor weddings in the Deep South, where the months between Memorial and Labor Days are usually open season for bugs hungry to snack on wedding guests. Create a defense perimeter around your wedding grounds using either citronella candles or ultrasonic "bug whackers." Both have their pros and cons, so neither one is necessarily better than the other. Ultrasonic bug killers are noisy but effective in disposing of most airborne pests. Citronella candles are quiet and atmospheric, but not as effective in repelling insects; their love-it-or-hate-it aroma also creates problems for atmosphere and setting once the ceremony begins. Research each one carefully, and see which one you prefer. Talk to your wedding facility, or someone at a hardware or lawn care retailer.

6. Remember the High Quality H2O. Health experts are unanimous in their belief that proper hydration is the key to beating the heat. You may choose to handles out bottles of ice cold water before the ceremony, personalized with your name and wedding date on the label. Guests can sip on them during the ceremony, use them to cool down after dancing at the reception, or take them home to keep or use later. You may also consider offering slices of fresh citrus fruit before the ceremony, to complement the outdoor setting and to give guests an opportunity to stock up on vitamins and minerals.

7. Make the Reception Casual. Invite your guests to unwind at the reception, shedding coats, ties and shoes in favor of a more laid-back atmosphere. (This is especially true of weddings on a beach or by a body of water.) Your menu can be unpretentious and loose, in keeping with the setting. Some recent beach-themed weddings held a barbecue for their reception dinner. Another dispensed with the food and served frozen drinks and served light refreshing snacks such as sorbet and lemon ices.

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