Summer is just around the corner, and for those of us in the wedding business, that means the busy season. And why not; the weather is amazing, it’s the easiest time to travel, it’s one of the best times for people to take off work (they aren’t completely strapped for cash like they usually are during the holiday season), and hey, who doesn’t love an excuse to take a summer road trip?

However, summer weddings can also be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. After all, you want your guests to remember your wedding for all the fun they had, not for how long they made it before passing out from the heat. So as your plan, your perfect summer wedding and reception, keep these tips in mind:

1.) Shield guests from the weather. You might plan on only having a 10-minute ceremony, so you figure your guests can sit in the heat for that long and be perfectly fine. Fair enough, but 10 minutes often turns into 20 and 30, and Grandma Edna might start feeling it. Take it from me. As an extremely fair-skinned young lass, I appreciate a fair amount of warning if I’m going to be sitting in the sun for any extended period of time. Besides that, heat makes people sweaty, and no one likes getting dressed up, doing their hair and makeup, and then sweating it all away. So try to keep your guest’s involuntary sun exposure to a minimum.

2.) Wear the right dress. That breathtaking, heavy satin dress you have your eye on? Probably not your best option. You’ll want to wear something that can breathe and preferably has some movement. Light, gauzy fabrics are usually the best way for a summer wedding. Not to say you can’t wear that dress you’ve had your eye on. You just better prepare accordingly. Having your ceremony in a well-air-conditioned setting should be close to the top of your list of priorities.

3.) Be wary of bugs. When you’ve got a sugary cake sitting around outside, it will attract some uninvited guests. You might want to consider having mosquito netting around your venue tent (don’t worry, many options look like light, intricate lace) to keep the flying bugs out. And speak to your caterer or baker; surely, they’ve dealt with this issue many times before, so they probably have some valuable input of their own.

4.) Keep your guests refreshed. If two things don’t go together, it’s heat and hunger/thirst. A hot bridesmaid is one thing, but a hot, starving, and dangerously parched bridesmaid is a different animal altogether. Make sure there are snacks and drinks available at all times. Having some nuts in a bowl and a pitcher of water on each table will help tide sluggish or irritable guests before dinner time.

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