Although autumn is fast becoming the most popular time of year to get married, spring and summer are still front runners due to the warm weather and (mostly) predictable weather. But if there is one thing couples must think about when planning a summer wedding, and especially if it is outdoors, is keeping guests comfortable and cool.

If you’re an Austin local, you know how hot it can get during the summer season! But no matter where you live, it’s probably safe to say that if you’re having a wedding somewhere between May and August, you’ll encounter some sweaty weather with a side of sun blindness.

A photo of a group of people attending an outdoor wedding in Austin, Texas. Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

But no worries, sun lovers! You can still have an outdoor summer wedding that guests won’t melt during (or get eaten by bugs).

Related: The Pros and Cons of an Outdoor Sunset Ceremony

Keep reading for tips on how to make sure your wedding guests (and you!) stay as cool as the cucumbers in the dinner salad.

Provide Summer Essentials

Consider providing “summer essentials bags” as welcome favors or set up a table with free items guests can grab during the wedding. Include items like sunshades, sunscreen, aloe vera, bug spray, blotting papers, water, mini mister fans or bottles, paper fans, umbrellas, etc.

Photo of a jug of water on a table with glasses. Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

Stay Hydrated

There are many ways to keep your guests hydrated during an outdoor summer wedding. Fill a tub with ice cold water bottles, display water in a pretty dispenser on your dessert table (as well as other cool drinks like tea and lemonade), or hand out water bottles with custom labels for a personal touch. Water bottles can also be given as wedding favors!

If you want to add a zing to your hydration station, infuse ice cubes with fresh fruit. Not only do these pretty ice cubes make for great Instagram photos, but they add flavor to a glass of plain water.

We All Scream for Ice Cream

A sundae bar is a great way to please both the adult and kid wedding guests. This takes a bit of planning since you’ll need to set it up in such a way that keeps everything frozen, but it’s worth it. Provide a variety of ice cream flavors and all the toppings: sprinkles, chocolate, fudge, coconut shavings, cherries, graham crackers, gummies, nuts, crushed candies, and anything else you think guests would enjoy.

Photo by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen of bride and groom standing barefoot on a tree trunk with a beautiful wedding bouquet

Wear Comfortable Shoes

If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, give your guests a heads up with information about the venue in the invitation. Include an information card that lets them know the wedding will be held outside and that they should consider wearing lawn/beach-friendly shoes.

If you’re having a beach wedding, you might also consider providing a bin of various-sized flip-flops for guests to grab and wear or set up a “shoe valet” area where guests can store their shoes before heading to the ceremony space. Afterwards, offer them a towelette or rinsing station so that they can wipe their feet before slipping back into their formal shoes.

Consider Seating

If you plan on using metal or wooden chairs, either for your ceremony or reception, do yourself and your guests a favor by popping a fabric cushion on the seat. This will ensure a more comfortable sitting situation, as well as make it more difficult to burn buns or legs.

Now that you have some ideas on how to beat the heat, you can start planning an outdoor summer wedding that you and your guests will enjoy. Let the sun shine!

Related: How to Have an Unforgettable Wedding (for you and your guests!)

Having photographed many outdoor weddings in the Austin heat, I have a few tips and tricks up my sleeve that will ensure your guests leave your ceremony feeling comfortable and cool! Let's talk!

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