Whilst we all dream of sunshine on our wedding day, the recent heatwave here in the UK has taken many by surprise, leaving those expecting the usual British rainy summer somewhat unprepared. Although the weather may be the one detail that you or your wedding planner cannot control, you can prepare for the scenario. Whether you’re planning a luxury UK or destination wedding, here are our top tips to help you be prepared and plan for a heatwave on your wedding day.
1) Working With Your Marquee or Wedding Venue
With many couples opting to get married in historic houses or venues, whilst they are beautiful they can often be very cold during winter but incredibly hot during summer, lacking the modern conveniences of more contemporary venues. Your wedding planner can work with your venue to ensure there is sufficient ventilation to ensure a comfortable temperature, opening the windows on arrival in the morning. One key thing to remember is your bridal suite – ensure the room is cool and ask for a fan if necessary.
Marquees are a whole different ball game entirely and can easily become very hot and stuffy, acting as essentially a giant greenhouse. Many luxury marquees can allow the sides to be rolled up, letting air in, but also consider investing in high quality fan systems (if these aren’t already included).
Whilst glorious sunshine is perfect for those couples opting for a luxury outdoor ceremony, bear in mind that with ceremonies often being conducted in the middle of the day. As this is when the sun is at its hottest, this means your guests may be exposed to the sun for quite some time even before your arrival. Try and allow some shade, wherever possible, especially for children or older relatives, and leave out some sun cream to avoid your guests getting burned.
2 ) Getting Ready – The All Important Bridal Prep!
It’s important to make sure your bridal suite, or wherever you are getting ready, is a comfortable temperature first thing. It can get very hot with you and your bridesmaids all getting prepped in one room, especially once your hair and makeup artist has the hairdryer, straighteners and curling tongs all going. This can add unnecessarily to stress levels!
Your makeup artist should be on the case already but ensure they’re planning to use a high quality primer to give you a good base to stop makeup slipping and use a high-end moisturiser or foundation with SPF to give you coverage throughout the day.
If it’s looking like it’s going to be particularly hot, consider asking your hair and makeup artist if they can stay for any touch-ups post ceremony (many luxury HMUAs offer this anyway). They can then help to get any last minute frizzy flyaways or shiny skin under control before your next round of photographs.
Don’t forget to entrust one of your bridesmaids with your emergency makeup kit, ensuring it’s packed with blotting papers, powder and perfume (as well as your trusty lipstick for any last-minute top-ups!). This will help you to combat any last-minute shine issues, and ensure your makeup is fresh and matte for your photos throughout the day.
Also – keep a pair of flats or flip flops handy for later in the day. Your heels can quickly become even more uncomfortable in hot weather as your feet become hot. Your wedding planner can help you on the day with a quick switch before you hit the dance floor!
3) Keeping Your Guests Happy
Ensuring your guests are comfortable is a key priority. If it’s looking like it’s going to be a scorcher, then consider supplying your guests with fans (especially if you’re holding an outdoors ceremony) – and don’t forget a supply of suncream. A popular choice with guests is also the provision of sunglasses – keeping them shaded yet stylish. These can be bought in a variety of colours and styles, or even branded to match your wedding. These are particularly popular for destination weddings!
It’s a good practice to anyway, but if you haven’t already done so, organise a box of toiletries within the guest toilets – consider adding deodorant and blotting papers (along with the usual stash of tissues, plasters, etc) to allow your guests to freshen up and feel comfortable. It’s the little details that can make all the difference!
If you’re planning on staying outside into the balmy summer’s evening, it might also be worth providing some insect repellent spray or citronella candles to keep the bugs at bay!
4) Ensure Everyone is Sufficiently Fed and Watered
Hot weather is perfect for offering a selection of delicious, chilled cocktails – whether a light and refreshing gin and elderflower concoction, or a classic Aperol Spritz.
Keep your guests hydrated, with plenty of water readily available throughout the day, which can be jazzed up with lemon, cucumber or mint for a cool yet refreshing alternative. Make sure your caterers have plenty of ice to hand – you could even consider adding flowers or herbs into the ice cubes to make the drinks even more visually appealing.
If it’s looking like it’s going to be a hot one, consider hiring an ice cream cart, or supplying ice lollies. These can make a great, fun ‘canapé’ during your drinks reception and keep your guests refreshed.
5 ) Keep Your Flowers Fresh and Impactful
Some flowers are more resilient than others and fare better in the heat, whilst others are quicker to wilt and droop. Your florist will be able to advise depending on your choice of flowers, but try to leave your bouquet in water until just before you leave for the ceremony, and be prepared to pop your bouquet into some water briefly throughout the day to avoid it wilting too soon – your wedding planner can assist with reminding you to do this, as time often flies by! Any floral installations may have to be done as last minute as possible to ensure their freshness, depending on what flowers you are using and where they are situated.
6) Avoid Any Cake Mishaps
A heatwave can be a cake makers worst nightmare, with many contemporary styles of wedding cake not coping all too well to heat. Fondant icing can be more reliable during hot weather, but if you’ve already opted for buttercream or fresh cream then work with your cake maker and venue to ensure there is sufficient refrigeration space, and that the cake is kept in the cool until the last possible moment. Whilst you of course want to make a feature of your cake, ensure the chosen spot is away from windows or direct sunlight to avoid any disasters! Your wedding planner and cake maker should be able to help advise on the best positioning and ensure a smooth and seamless transition.
7) Stylish Transport Options
If you’re planning for a summer wedding and the weather is looking promising, whilst you may not want to tempt fate, consider a classic convertible for your wedding car. Whilst traditional cars look impressive, many are hot and stuffy, and of course have no air con. Whilst you may not want the roof down to blow your hair about before your wedding, it can provide some much-needed air on your way back – as well as looking seriously stylish and the epitome of laidback luxury!
If you’re worried about a heatwave affecting your upcoming UK wedding, or are planning a destination wedding, feel free to get in touch and we’d be happy to help with any questions or contingency planning!
Image credits: Photography by Bea