The Biggest Mistakes Couples Make When Planning A Summer Wedding
Soaring temperatures, pesky mosquitoes, high humidity—warm weather weddings are rife with potential pitfalls. To make the most of your summer wedding, we went to wedding experts based in high-heat states like Florida, California, and Tennessee, for tips on how to keep things cool when things heat up. Follow their advice and dodge the following wedding mistakes so you can stay chill on your big day.
Mistake: Assuming the Temperature is Going to Stay Warm Throughout the Evening
Mistake: Not Keeping Guests Hydrated
“Make sure guests have access to bottled water if you’re transporting them via a shuttle or bus, as there’s often a gap between the ceremony and when they get their hands on a cold drink at the reception. You don’t want to risk anyone fainting,” says Alison Rinderknecht. “Once at the reception, offer guests water in decanters so they can self-serve. Cucumber water looks pretty and is refreshing on a hot summer day, while orange water with mint is also lovely,” adds Courtney Spencer, owner of Merriment Events, Richmond, Virginia.
Mistake: Renting Clear Tents
“Translucent tents are popular because of their clean, architectural lines, but during summer weddings, the ceiling acts like a magnifying glass for overhead sun, trapping heat and humidity and making temperatures unbearable even on days that aren’t particularly hot,” says Allison Jackson, owner and event planner, Pineapple Productions in Washington, DC.
Mistake: Not Knowing the Location of the Sun
“Many ceremonies start mid-afternoon, when the sun is still high, which can blind the bride and groom or leave guests sweating without shade. Use an app like Sun Surveyor to figure out where the sun will be for the 30 minutes prior to your ceremony and all the way through,” suggests Jenna Lam, creative director of Jenna Lam Events in San Francisco, California.
Mistake: Heavy Food at the Cocktail Hour
Mistake: Using Scented Candles Around Food
Mistake: Forgetting to Apply SPF in the Morning
Mistake: Not Having a Backup Bouquet and Boutonniere
Mistake: Displaying the Wedding Cake
Mistake: Choosing Flowers That Wilt
Mistake: Waiting Too Long to Send Out Invites
Mistake: Sticking to an All-White Theme
“The summer season provides such a wonderful opportunity to work with soft pops of color. When building a palette, I ask my clients what summer means to them: I once drew inspiration from a client’s love of her grandmother’s rose garden and worked with a mix of pink, peach and brighter coral hues. Another client associated summer with travel to the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, so I built a bold palette around all the beautiful colors of bougainvillea—magenta, purple, orange, pink and yellow,” says Allison Jackson.
Mistake: Repurposing Flower Arrangement
Mistake: Turning Your Wedding Day Into a Fashion Show
“A lot of brides have their hearts set on several outfit changes throughout the course of the day and evening. While I'm a big fan of the bride changing into something fun and reflective of her personality for the after-party, I always remind them this is their one day to wear this amazing gown,” says Bryan Rafanelli, president and chief creative officer, Rafanelli Events in Palm Beach, New York City and Boston.
Mistake: Allowing for Dessert Meltdowns
“Ice cream and popsicles are popular dessert options at summer weddings, but they won’t cool down your guests if they’re melting and messy. Make sure you have a way to keep them frozen on site, like utilizing a freezer push cart,” says Jessica Sloane, owner of Jessica Sloane Event Styling + Design in Nashville, Tennessee. “Or opt instead for seasonal ingredients, like fresh berries, that are at their peak during this time of the year,” says Catherine Johnson, associate director of catering, The Beverly Hills Hotel in California.
Mistake: Forgetting to Do a Weather Check
“It might be hard to imagine, but some couples don’t do their homework when it comes to researching what the weather is like during the summer at their chosen venue. Before settling on a warm locale, do some Googling, like ‘average temperature in Charleston, South Carolina in August’ so there are no surprises,” suggests Teissia Treynet.
Mistake: Overdressing in the Heat
Mistake: Not Having Enough Bartenders
Mistake: Not Knowing This Little Secret About Hydrangeas
Mistake: A Heavy Veil
Mistake: Choosing Spring Flowers for a Summer Wedding
“Brides often forget many of their favorite springtime blooms—like peonies, ranunculus, anemones, and sweet pea—are not in season during the summer months. You’ll pay a hefty price to have these flowers on your summer wedding day,” says Amy Marella.
Mistake: Ignoring Bugs or Bee
“Keep mosquito spray and wipes on hand for guests and consider spritzing orange oil wherever guests will linger to keep mosquitos at bay. Yellow jackets love to be around protein-enriched foods like seafood, meat, and cheese. It might sound crazy, but if they’re a problem and you’re planning an outdoor reception, try placing raw meat on the perimeter of the property to draw them away from the crowds,” says Jenna Lam, creative director, Jenna Lam Events in San Francisco, California. “Displaying flowers that repel bugs like lavender, marigolds, and lemon balm, and incorporating chemical-free bug traps that use UV to attract bugs, are also good ideas,” notes Juan Rocha, president of Dynatrap.
Mistake: Serving Salad Green
“Heat will wilt greens. Instead, try a mixed bean or raw vegetable salad. Include a vinaigrette dressing which will ‘cook’ the vegetables and make them softer to the bite,” suggests Nancy Fuller, host of Food Network’s Farmhouse Rules.