Weddings in a heatwave, how to cope with the heat

Wedding fan to keep cool

I’m sure our colleagues in Australia and the Caribbean will laugh at this article. But let me tell you, us Brits are just not designed to cope with the heat. So how do we manage with weddings in a heatwave? Many wedding venues will not even have air conditioning so just what can we do to keep cool at a wedding? I know we don’t have many scorching hot days but as we’re in the middle of a little heat wave I thought it was time to pass on some top tips on keeping you and your guests cool.

Cold Drinks

Don’t under estimate how many soft drinks will be drunk on a hot day, yes your guests will still want the champagne but they invariably will want a refreshing and cooling drink in between. Think about pink lemonade or cooling spritzers like Rhubarb, Orange & Ginger or Strawberry & Lime.

If you are having an outside ceremony have bottles of chilled water under guest seats, legally you cannot have anything alcoholic at this time (unless its a non legal ceremony).

If you’re a guest at a wedding it’s always a good idea to pre-hydrate. Make sure that you drink plenty of water or soft drinks before the wedding so that you’re already hydrated. This will help if you plan to drink alcohol at the drinks reception or if there aren’t many soft drinks available.
Men’s Jackets

Spare a thought for the male guests who invariably will be wearing a suit to a wedding. Let them know that after the ceremony, jackets can be removed , ties loosened and top button undone.

Ice Cream

One easy way to cool guests down is by offering them ice cream. This can either be at the welcome drinks or consider having it directly after the ceremony. Think ice cream trikes or even vintage ice cream vans.

Survival Kit

If it is predicted to be a very hot day with risk of burning, provide some sun cream in a basket for guests to use. Also provide some facial wipes in the rest rooms so guests can cool themselves down. And hairbands, a guest may have decided to have their hair down but no doubt the heat will make them reconsider!

Fans / Umbrellas

Think about buying some hand held fans for guests to use either during the ceremony or drinks reception. Leave them on guest chairs or in a basket for guests to help themselves. Try shops like etsy for white ones or coloured to suit your wedding theme. On the same theme if your ceremony is outside, consider white umbrellas to offer some shade.

As both a Celebrant and Toastmaster I always keep a hand held fan with me. Recently at a wedding in London, the bride did her entrance and told me she was going to faint with the heat. I asked my husband to get my fan from my bag and she used it throughout the day. Which leads me to now keeping 2 in my bag.
I also keep a pretty brolly in my car so that if needed I can use it to give both the couple and I shade although I have to get someone else to hold it as it’s difficult to conduct a ceremony holding it as I am only 4ft 9! Sonal, Sonal Dave Celebrant

Member Sonal Dave, photographed by

Flip Flops

There is nothing worse than wearing heels on a hot day so spare a thought for your guests feet. Consider purchasing some flip flops for when guests decide they must kick their heels off.

Shade is your friend

Think about what shade is available, if none then consider hiring a gazebo or a Chinese hat exactly for this purpose. Musicians will need shade when performing outside and some guests will appreciate not being in full sunlight.


Do not allow your florist to deliver and set up your flowers too early;  as they will not last in the heat.  Your buttonholes and bouquets should be delivered at the last possible moment  –  this can be an issue with your photographer who will want to take photos of these in advance of the ceremony,  but you need to ensure they are not going to wilt in the heat.  Similarly, for the flowers on your tables….  don’t assume they will last as long as usual if it is a very hot day… you want your guests to walk into the room when they are at their very best. Michelle , Elegante by Michelle J

Professional MemberWedding by Elegante by Michelle J, Photo by


Ensure whether the wedding breakfast is in a marquee or venue you will want ventilation. So open windows, doors and marquee sides, ideally you want to create a cross breeze. If in a marquee consider hiring the large air con units, your guests will thank you.


Further Reading

What is a multicultural ceremony

Planning an intimate, micro or elopement?

Should I hire a wedding day coordinator?


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