7 Ways to Stay Cool at a Summer Wedding

Summer has always been a favorite season of brides and grooms: sunny skies, warm temps, and no chance of guests getting stuck in the snow. But what happens if the summery weather gets a little too intense? The happy couple, the bridal party, and the guests all need to stay cool when the mercury rises like it has this summer. From menu items to transportation options, here are our best tips for beating the summer heat — taken from real New Hampshire weddings of Junes, Julys, and Augusts past.


1. Create your own fan club.

The paper fan may seem a relic of a bygone era these days, but those fan-wielding ladies of yesteryear knew what they were doing. Handheld fans add a touch of glamour to your day and keep your friends and family cool for very little money. Place one at each chair for your outdoor ceremony, or put baskets full of them at the bar or the card table inside your reception. Spring/Summer 2013 Real Wedding couple Sarah and Tobey had their fans ready for guests at the ceremony in greens and pinks to match their color scheme.


2. Make necessary items serve double duty as climate control.

Spring/Summer 2015 Real Wedding couple Nichole and Andy had the bright idea to not just give their guests fans, but to make them out of something their guests would already have at their seats: the ceremony program. Sneaking a cooling system into another item you'll have on hand is a great way to beat the heat without loading people down with extra things to carry around. Put your program on a stick to make an automatic fan, or create table centerpieces featuring vintage perfume bottles. Fill them with cold water guests can spritz with between dances, and the decorative has become functional. Favors are another good place to hide some handheld A/C: if it's going to be a real scorcher on your big day, hand out battery-powered mini fans rather than bags of sticky candy.


3. Bring a change of clothes.

Real Wedding bride Maria chose a slinkier number (and bare feet) to dance the night away at her June 2015 wedding.

Opt for a separate reception dress if your ceremony gown is too heavy to dance in on a 90-degree day. Lose some length, ditch some bulk, or trade your dress for a sleek jumpsuit a la Solange Knowles or Audrey Gelman. Grooms can get in on this dual-outfit action, too. He'll take his jacket off when it gets hot anyway, so why not plan ahead? Gents, trade your dress shirt and tie for a beachy linen button-down to match your bride's pared-back reception ensemble.


4. Summer-ize your dinner options.

When the heat index is in triple digits, the proper answer to "chicken or beef?" is simple: neither. A hot summer's day is the perfect time to trade a formal sit-down dinner for a lighter alternative. Experiment with unorthodox offerings like sushi stations or a food truck dishing up childhood summer favorites. Hot dogs and watermelon, anyone?

And, of course, you can get your desserts in on the summer fun, too. A sundae bar can be a great dessert option, but if you want to leave the scooping to the pros — and cut down on melting mess — try an ice cream catering service like Sub Zero. The liquid nitrogen-based ice creamery has an outlet in Nashua and is a favorite wedding caterer among New Hampshire couples for its tasty creations and its "oo" and "ah"-inducing serving process.


5. Don't forget the water.

A hot day two-for-one: paper fans and infused water

As you test the recipes for your signature cocktail and stock up on booze for the open bar, don't forget the H2O. Especially if they'll be drinking, it's important to keep your guests hydrated. Make your water less boring by passing out mini-bottles with custom labels or offering chic coolers of infused waters, like Amelia and Tate did at their 2013 real wedding at Canterbury Shaker Village.


6. Help with transportation.

If your wedding is slated for a sprawling outdoor estate, try to have transportation options available to help cut down on time spent walking from place to place. Talk with your venue to see if they have golf carts available so grandma doesn't have to walk from the car to the ceremony. Even better, they might have a ride for the whole group, like Real Wedding couple Sarah and Joshua found at their nuptials at Alyson's Orchard. If you can't find a vehicle to tote folks around, try having an extra usher act as a cooldown concierge to hand out water bottles or point parents to air-conditioned areas for their fussy little ones.


7. Take advantage of your surroundings.

photo by dreamlove wedding
Spring/Summer 2012 Real Wedding couple Cat and Ross took a cooldown break on Lake Winnipesaukee at their Wolfeboro wedding.

One of the best parts about a wedding in New Hampshire is that you're never far from cooler climes. Opt for a Seacoast wedding so you can dip your toes in the ocean when it gets hot, or have your wedding in the mountains to find chillier temps than you'll find at ground level. Pick your cooldown spot — and enjoy it!

Categories: Planning Tips & Advice