6 Great Ideas on Keeping your Wedding Guests Cool in SWVA

During the summer months, it can be very hot outside in our part of Virginia and sadly it’s impossible to control the weather to make your wedding guests (and vendors) more comfortable during the day.  Thankfully, there are some great tips that I’ve come up with to help address the heat for you and your wedding guests, keeping them as cool as possible.

Use Fans When Possible

One of the best things that I’ve seen in my two decades as a wedding filmmaker is the use of old fashion hand fans. The best ones that I’ve personally seen (and used) are those cool fold-able ones that are made of various woods, from what I can remember, sandalwood seems to the be best type of hand fans to give out to wedding guests because they smell nice and they are pretty sturdy too.

In fact, I found a cool link on Amazon where you can buy them in bulk, try this link if you’re wanting to start shopping for them. I highly recommend them if your wedding venue is in direct sunlight or you think it’ll be hot during the ceremony.

Make Shaded Areas at the Reception

If you’re having the reception outdoors, consider having various areas that are covered from the sunlight and call them “lounge areas”.  Having small pop-up tents in a handful of places with chairs will help keep the guests cool along with those hand fans you provided them too.

In addition to having some “lounge areas”, with each one has an ice cooler with lots of ice water so your guests can stay hydrated.

Beverage at the Ceremony

One cool trend I’ve seen in recent years is couples having water, tea and lemonade stations at the ceremony itself. Allowing people to have a cool beverage during the ceremony will help keep their minds off being hot and allow them to focus on the vows and you getting married. The other thing to consider is those that are elderly, making sure they have plenty of water to drink is important so at a very minimum, provide them bottled ice water at the ceremony.

Don’t Do Umbrellas

I know, sounds dumb but here’s the thing, umbrellas will provide shade but the people behind them won’t be able to see the ceremony, as well as those people behind them and so forth. Also, your wedding photographer and videographer (achem) might have to move in order to capture the memories because of people with umbrella’s so I would not encourage that.

If umbrella’s are simply a must at the wedding day, consider having a dedicated area where some people can have them, allowing everyone else to have the view they came for, your ceremony!

Frozen Treats are Great!

From ice cream stations, to icey/slurpee’s and the like, try offering some great frozen desserts for your guests throughout the reception. I’ve seen great receptions where people have frozen, chocolate covered fruits on a stick, like banana’s, strawberries and mango. While simple to make, it helps keep the guest cold down on a hot summer day.

The Time of Day

One thing to highly think about during the summer months is your wedding start time. As a wedding filmmaker, I would recommend having your wedding ceremony start at 6 or 7 pm during the months of June, July and August if you’re having an almost complete outdoor wedding and reception. As the sun sets, it will make for better video (and images) with what is known as the “golden hour” later in the eve and as the sun diminished into the mountains, things will start to cool off and guests that are cooled down and hydrated will stay much longer than those that aren’t.

I highly suggest you consider having the wedding start time later into the eve rather than mid to late afternoon, trust me, not only will the guests be happier, but you will as well.

What to Look For when Picking a Venue

Now, some of the best venues around here will be indoor and outdoor and they’ll have many amenities to help address keeping people cool during the day. Some of the best venues around will have dedicated beverage stations that you can include in the venue for tea, water and perhaps lemonade.

If you’re looking for a wedding venue here in the Roanoke Valley then I’d consider these following things when looking around.

Shade (natural or man-made)

Make sure the venue has plenty of places to allow your wedding guests to spread out. From tall trees and wooded area with seating, to covered porches to buildings themselves, you’ll want to have a place where people can stay covered from the hot sun.

Ceremony Under Foliage

If the venue is outdoor, see if they have trees where you can have the ceremony. Not only does it keep you covered and helps minimize being hot, if it rains, it will also help keep the guests drier than if you’re just out in a field.  Something to consider with your primary and backup plan.

Fans and A/C

While many venues don’t have A/C many do have fans to allow air circulation to keep guests relaxed. There are a couple of venues in the area that also have reception tents and one of them that I know of is air conditioned. But at a minimum, fans are best.

Finally, with consideration of the guest and wedding party, also make sure your vendors have plenty of water or drinks, so they stay hydrated too. There have been many times over the years where us vendors didn’t have enough water and it takes a toll when your filming. I always try to carry a bottle of water with me or having to drink and stay hydrated during the day.

Well, there you have it friends, some great advice from one wedding vendor to you. I hope that you’re wedding planning is going great and if you have a wedding related question, just drop me a line and ask, I’m always happy to connect with couples, even if they don’t hire me for a wedding film.