Planning your summer Vancouver Island wedding likely hasn’t been tough. Summer is a popular time of year for weddings. The sun is out and light is abundant, trees and flowers are in full bloom, friends and family have vacation time off to attend and the air is warm. But with the summer can come some specific challenges for weddings. I’ve shot weddings in 42 degrees Celsius. I remember on one instance during a ceremony I would repeatedly walk by the buckets of water bottles and dip my arms in just to get some relief. Many couples plan their weddings in hot destinations not fully aware of how hot it can get, particularly if they visit their venue in a cooler season. As a Vancouver Island photographer, It’s imperative to me that my couples and their guests are comfortable and cool if we are trekking along from location to location in the sun working up a sweat. Below I’ve listed some tricks to staying cool in the summer during your wedding day to avoid heat exhaustion.
It can be hard to remember through all of the commotion of the day to drink plenty of water, but this is so so important! When you are wearing a big fluffy dress or a dark three piece suit standing in the sun for several hours it’s easy to become dehydrated and even suffer from heat stroke! Having someone designated like a member of the wedding party to be in charge of drinks and snacks for portraits will be a life saver. Bananas, granola bars and apples are great snacks to bring along as well to keep your energy levels high.
A little trick to keep cool during the ceremony and portraits is to bring ice packs or instant cold packs and tuck them in the back of your suit jacket. You can buy these at pharmacies or even on Amazon! Something I do for myself is buy athletic cooling towels. You get them wet and due to some magical ingredient they stay cool for 3-5 hours! I put them around the back of my neck. If you do opt for these, remember to take them off whenever photos are being taken as they aren’t very couture.
Fans can help circulate the air around you. You can go with battery operated fans like these fans from Amazon, or opt for something a little more aesthetic like decorative paper fans They make a small difference but are better than nothing on a hot day!
Parasols for guests and wedding party.
Parasols can add a little bit of shade when the sun is beating down. I would recommend parasols or umbrellas in a light color as black only attracts the heat and will create a mini-sauna underneath.
Ice cold water for guests.
Having an area where guests can grab a bottle of water prior to taking their seat at the outdoor reception will be a big hit. At this stop you can also put your fans or parasols.
I’m sure this goes without saying, having your makeup professionally done with the right products and finishing sprays to ensure that your makeup won’t be dripping off will save you! (And me in editing).
Deodorant is easily overlooked, and talcum powder is great for those parts of your skin that might be chaffing. Many makeup artists pass along a few blotting papers to the bride but it’s great to buy your own just in case. I usually carry band aids in case anyone gets a blister from sweaty feet rubbing in adorable heels but have a little first aid kit just in case!
For the guys, bring along a spare white undershirt in the likely scenario that you will sweat through yours!
Protect your skin!
The sun is beautiful, but like we all learn in elementary school, it can hurt. To avoid looking slightly lobster-ish upon entering your reception I recommend sunscreen! SPF 1,000,000 is ideal but it hasn’t been invented yet. NOTE: SPF is the amount of time the sunscreen will protect you. SPF will protect you for 90 minutes, so reapply for longer.
Protect from bugs.
In the Summer months some unfriendly creatures surround us. As the sun dips below the horizon mosquitoes come out in full force in areas near standing water. Ticks are very plentiful in areas with long grass. In order to protect yourself bring along an insect repellent like DEET, and after walking in these areas check your body and moist areas for ticks.
Stay in the shade.
You likely can’t avoid shade for your whole wedding. If you are hosting an outdoor wedding, it may be wise to rent a tent, or try to stay in the shade when you are able to. Often I will photograph couples in the sun, and then take a drink break in the shade when I can. If I am hot I can guarantee that my clients are 10x hotter in their dresses and suits and I try to be mindful of that.
Plan an off-season wedding.
You can always plan a wedding in one of the cooler months. You’ve got flowers blooming in spring, gorgeous orange and red tones in the trees during fall, blankets of white in the winter. Don’t forget the added bonus of greater availability for venues and vendors and some off-season rates!