In many places in the world, summer is the best season for a wedding. The days are longer, weather can be more mild, and many honeymoon destinations are in their prime season. In other places, like the Central Valley, summer weddings can bring high levels of heat and exhaustion. Additional planning is a must to prevent you and your guests form becoming hot, sweaty messes by the end of the day.
Another favorite is The Darling in Visalia, though the ceremony locations are still going to be outdoor options at this venue. Another option is to travel a bit further out from the Central Valley. Venues like The Pines in Bass Lake, Evergreen Lodge in Yosemite, and China Peak near Shaver Lake look so green and full of life in the summer, without getting too warm that everyone would want to leave early.
If you’ve already fallen in love with an outdoor wedding venue in the Central Valley, I can definitely understand why. We’re lucky to have such incredible venues run by amazing teams who want nothing more than to make your big day everything you could want it to be. They are likely very aware of the summer heat, and know the best times to have your ceremony so you and your guests won’t be pelted with those thick sunshine rays. Feel free to ask your coordinator or event planner when an ideal time for the ceremony would be.
The best time for your summer wedding ceremony is usually going to be just before sunset when the heat isn’t as intense. Note that if you choose to have your ceremony right before sunset, you’ll strongly want to consider doing a First Look beforehand. A First Look will allow you to take all your portraits before the ceremony, including your bride + groom portraits, so you won’t need to use flash.
Venues in the Central Valley fully understand the struggle of working against the summer heat. Most venues will have an indoor reception space equipped with AC, or give you the option of putting up a tent for your outdoor reception space. Many rental companies also give the option of renting portable AC units to use under your tent as well.
While not common, summer showers have happened before. A tent or indoor reception space will provide lots of coverage just in case it happens.
Providing a sunscreen and mosquito spray station can be helpful to help protect your guests. In my experience, weddings are so exciting that most people completely forget about the bugs and sun until both are in their faces. It also prevents a sea of red faces that can pop up during the reception if the ceremony was outdoors earlier in the day.
Most florists are incredible at their job and will know much more than I do on which flowers handle heat better than others. If you’re feeling unsure, check in with your florist to confirm that the ones you have chosen won’t immediately wilt in the sun.
Keeping your bouquets in water will go a long way in preserving them throughout the day. Whenever they aren’t in use, be sure to keep a vase close by.
Choose a lighter fabric for your wedding dress to keep yourself cooler through the day. Fabrics like cotton organdy, chiffon, crepe, or voile will feel much lighter than satin or silk. If you’re letting your bridesmaids pick their dresses, remind them to choose a lighter fabric as well.
We’ve all felt it before. You’re so hyped about your new shoes but after a night out, you’re regretting they were ever made. Be sure to pick shoes that feel comfortable, or switch into comfy shoes during your reception.
Keep in mind that thin heels will often sink into soft summertime grass. Thick heels or wedges should give you more protection from sinking into the grass.
Be sure to pack lots of blotting powder and paper in your emergency wedding kit. You just invested so much into getting your hair and makeup just right. The last thing you want is to immediately sweat it all away. Blotting powder and papers will help wipe away some of the swat without ruining your makeup.
There’s a reason the phrase “meat sweats” exists. Heavier foods like steak, roasts, or other red meat can make you feel warm and cozy in the winter, but a bit uncomfortable in the summer. Lighter foods like grilled vegetables, fresh fruits, and salads can feel more refreshing and energizing in the summer.
Frozen cocktails and slushes can be a find way to personalize your wedding and keep guests cool. I’ve seen couples choose to name their signature drinks after their pets and they are always such a hit!
Ready for more wedding tips? I’ve got a blog post just for you filled with my top wedding tips!