Yes, it’s freezing outside- but after oozing over images from several of my summer and fall events this year- I’m thinking warm thoughts! On that note- a tip for all those couples and brides to be who are hosting outdoor wedding ceremonies in the summer. Lynn & Mick’s July 2010 nuptials on the bountiful Bolger Center grounds is a textbook case of how to treat your guests and ensure a enjoyable, smooth sailing,(heatstroke free) ceremony!
1. Timing is Everything!
If you have your mind set on a long ceremony with numerous readings, musical selections and homilies, perhaps an outdoor wedding with the hot sun glaring down on you and your guests is not the right choice. No matter how beautiful and lovely the ceremony is, guests, your bridal party, and possibly even you risk losing your cool, getting hot, uncomfortable and uneasy- which is certainly not what the focus should be on wedding day!
Yes, it was warm, but by keeping things on schedule, beginning on time, and in combination with a short, sweet ceremony that the couple envisioned, guests enjoyed the ceremony and were back inside sipping on cocktails and mingling before becoming overwhelmed by heat!
2. Guest seating
Careful attention was paid to the time of day, direction of the sun, and shade cover when we selected this spot for the ceremony. Not only did this tree provide a beautiful backdrop, it and the trees surrounding it provided shade and a respite from the direct heat of the July sun.
Given that the ceremony site was a decent walk from the lobby, an air-conditioned shuttle was made available to transport guests- closer to the site without the long walk- and maximizing each moment in the air conditioning!
3. Provide several aides to keep guests cool.
Immediately upon entering the ceremony area, guests were greeted by a “cooling station” with ice, water, and other beverages to enjoy and take to their seats. We had a friendly staff member from the Bolger Center staff the table and keep it replenished up until the ceremony began.
For these events, hand held fans are a must for each guest. We put one at each guests seat along with a program to ensure everyone had one available to them.
4. Be Prepared!
In addition to the “cooling station” at the entrance to the ceremony, extra water bottles were under the front rows of seating, and hidden behind the officiant and bridal party in case the bride, groom, officiant or bridal party needed a refreshment.