With so many couples electing to have their weddings in the warmer months, it really is a gamble to get a day with comfortable temperatures for everyone and it’s the humidity that’s the killer. Without our inherent humidity, things wouldn’t be too bad even for the guys in their suits on the warmest of days. It is the humidity though that makes some days a real struggle – and the fact is, humid days are the norm in our region. So, how do you prepare for a stinker of a day?
Firstly, expect that if your wedding is planned for Summer it will be hot and start planning for a hot day. If the temps turn out to be more comfortable, that’s a bonus! Just the same as I recommend to all my clients that we have backup plans for wet weather – I’ve yet to see a bride unhappy that she couldn’t put into practice her wet weather alternative when the weather turns out to be perfect. If you are prepared for anything, nothing is a problem.
Ok, you’re expecting a hot day – here are my top 5 suggestions for dealing with and preparing for it.
Dress for hot weather
This is simple for most of the women but can get tricky for the bride and the guys (groomsmen and guests). I have seen some guys try and tough out some really horribly humid weather in full suit, vest, tie and they have really struggled. One wedding comes to mind where a group of guys in light tan suits had sweat appearing firstly on all the seams of their jackets which slowly spread outward as the ceremony continued while standing in front of a packed church!
When selecting attire for a summer wedding, at least consider open collar shirts and darker suits or possibly no jacket until the reception. Perspiration will be much more visible on light coloured jackets and these marks are very difficult (expensive) to remove with photoshop after the event.
You may have to consider the dress code of your wedding if you are planning an outdoor ceremony in the middle of the day during Summer or a non air-conditioned reception. Having suit and tie requests for a day like this is unrealistic and in all likely-hood, none of the guys will be wearing their jackets.
For the bride, if you are planning on wearing a veil down the aisle, it can be a good idea to have your father or husband to lift your veil once you arrive at the altar as a veil over your face will have you feeling awful unless your wedding is in an air-conditioned or well ventilated church. Outdoors is usually OK as long as there is a breeze. I have had one bride almost faint at the altar, insisting that the veil only be raised once pronounced husband and wife. She took the rest of the afternoon to recover and her makeup was not the same as when leaving for the church!
Make your preparations in air conditioned rooms/house/apartment etc
Too many times I have been to photograph the guys in a beautifully air-conditioned house, sipping beers in open collar shirts before heading over to the girls to find them in a stiflingly hot and humid house, crowded in with hairdressers, make up artists, kids, parents etc. If you are the bride – you should have the air-conditioned room!
It’s easy to get great shots of the guys in almost any location and they (appear) to be less stressed most of the time before the ceremony. The girls, however, have so much more going on and running make up, perspiration and stress are not conducive to great photos or a great day.
If you are planning to get ready in a house/apartment without air-conditioning, don’t do it. Get ready at a friends house, a friend of the family, a rented apartment or hotel room – it will be worth it.
Plan for a late afternoon Ceremony
This may not be an option but it is well worth considering, especially if you are planning an outdoor ceremony. Summer afternoons, especially near the coast are usually blessed with a nice breeze which will cool things down dramatically. With summer sunset times around 8pm, there will be plenty of time for photos but you will have to be mindful how late your meals at reception will be served.
If you are away from the coast and having an outdoor ceremony, look for shaded areas for you and your guests – they will love you for it.
Church or chapel ceremonies are usually cooler and some are now air-conditioned but with around a hundred family and friends in a small space, the air conditioners may struggle to cool things down. Again, a later start will usually see cooler temps.
Fans and Parasols
I have been to a few wedding where the women are handed a fan or parasol as they arrive at the ceremony and they have always been well received. Not only are they ideal for keeping your guests cool, they make for great photos and are an ideal bonbonniere .
If you don’t like the idea of supplying all your guests with either, consider fans or parasols for you and your bridesmaids as you will be out in the heat for photos following the ceremony when your guests seek the shade or air-conditioned reception room.
Your reception will make or break your day
A popular choice for many weddings on the Coast are the various surf clubs and for good reason, but be aware that many of them do not have air conditioning. Yes, there is ‘usually’ an afternoon or evening sea breeze but not always. I have photographed a few weddings where it was almost impossible to have a decent reception as no-one would come in from the balcony, trying to escape the inside heat. If planning a surf club reception, consider hiring a few industrial fans to circulate air from the outside in.
I have also been at a couple of weddings where the air con wasn’t working or couldn’t cope and with no air flow, these receptions were disastrous. Yes, this is difficult to check beforehand but if you stick with modern and professional venues everything should be fine.
When going over your plans and ideas with your Photographer, they should be able to guide and recommend you through the best options to have a successful day with great photos all of which will be dependent on you and your bridal party looking and feeling fantastic, no matter the weather.