Summertime is a common time for weddings with easier breaks from work or school and warm weather.  Though a favorite wedding time, the hot weather can cause its own challenges. I’ve seen my fair share of sweaty grooms and melting brides. In fact, I was one myself.

I was one of those brides who had an outdoor reception in August. Some people like to remind me of that tragic fact, but I remember it as all sunshine, daisies, and happiness.

Summer wedding bouquet

Here are my best tips to a pleasant and prepared warm weather wedding.

Hydration.  Be sure that all members of the wedding party have enough water to drink.  It might be tempting to fill your cooler with beer, soda, or lemonade, but water is best. I’ve seen my fair share of events when the water ran out.

Bride and groom giving high five outside on a sunny, warm day

Air. Hand-held paper or electric fans are so valuable.  My favorite tip from when I worked for another photographer in college was to lay a fan on the ground under the bride’s skirt when she is standing still for a while (such as during family portraits).  If she has a lot of layers to her dress, it can be really hot.

Sweat is real, and so is the midwestern humidity. Menswear on a wedding day has a lot of layers and is often black.  The materials of women’s dresses are also delicate and show wetness easily.  Packing a stack of washcloths and hankies can be helpful to blot sweat and stay fresh. You can even freeze a few in a baggie and keep it in the cooler to help cool down fast.

Playful bridal party in sunglasses

Change of clothes.  I like to encourage summer brides and grooms to consider packing an extra set of undergarments for a midday change.  An extra undershirt, bra, or panties can go a long way to feeling like you can handle your reception with grace.  You’ll be hugging a lot of people on your wedding day and doing so in a sweat-soaked undershirt holds a lot less appeal than feeling fresh for the party.

Staying fresh- in your bag for the day along with lipstick and Advil, throw in your deodorant! Reapplying before the receiving line or the reception is probably a good idea.

Handsome groom in sun

As I plan the wedding day schedule with my couples, I make sure that weddings during hot weather seasons don’t have long stretches outside.  Consider multiple, short stops so there are breaks in the car or party bus to cool off, or stick to your venue and step inside to cool off as needed. Coordinate with your photographer to make sure your schedule is appropriate for the weather.

Smiling summer bridal couple

Check out what I keep in my wedding day emergency kit for my wedding couples.