How To Keep Your Summer Beach Wedding Cool

Congratulations, you’re having a beach wedding! Somewhere sunny on a sandy  stretch of beach with the waves gently lapping the shore while you say your vows sounds dreamy. 

Less dreamy, however, is the sunburn, heat rash, hives and sweat that inevitably comes with a day spent in the sun. The last thing you want is for your beach wedding to be remembered as a sweat fest, after all. Not to worry; here’s our top tips on how to keep your summer beach wedding cool. 

Dress For The Weather

When choosing the perfect beach wedding dresses, it’s imperative to choose a gown that is summer weather appropriate. Think light, loose and flowy fabrics that will keep you comfortable and cool. Silk slip dresses and lightweight strapless gowns are also a good choice for a beach wedding. Since, silk is a breathable fabric, it will keep you cooler if the weather gets too sticky. 

Steer clear of heavy fabrics such as satin or brocade. And while it’s best to avoid restrictive gowns that are heavy and tight, don’t let the hot weather stop you from buying your dream wedding dress. As our pals at Madame Bride tell us “wedding designers often devote entire lines to destination wedding dresses, featuring flowy and destination-friendly gowns with all the romantic details and delicate embellishments needed to make them unique and worthy of a bride”.

When it comes to the guests and dress code, do everyone a favour and encourage light linen clothes. It’s better to wear white linen on the beach during summer since white reflects heat from the surroundings and loose linen clothes provide comfort. Encourage your guests to bring hats with them too; we’re particular fans of scalloped hats with a wide brim, or a natural weave Panama hat for a beach wedding. 

Photo by Kyle Mills on Unsplash

Consider The Time Of Your Ceremony

The sun is at its most potent for a few hours around noon and less strong during the early morning and the late afternoon/evening. As such, consider having your ceremony in the late afternoon when things are starting to cool down.

You’ll also be able to take wedding photos during the golden hour – that coveted timeslot just before sunset when the sky is redder and softer than other times of the day. Your wedding photos will be bathed in a warm glow and you’ll escape the harshness of the midday sun, which can highlight imperfections.

Alternatively, get the proceedings going early with a morning ceremony followed by a wedding brunch wedding lunch. As half of the day’s total ultraviolet exposure occurs around noon, use the hours to eat and seek some shade. 

Beach Care Essentials 

A wedding in sunnier climes means one thing, your guests are going to get sticky and maybe even sunburnt. 

Preventing sunburn should be given top priority when holding a beach wedding. Consider investing in a sunscreen dispenser so you and your guests can top up when necessary. Handheld pretty parasols are great for creating shade and staying cool, too. Why not offer them to guests as a wedding favour?

Consider providing a sun care package for each of your guests. Here are some things to include:

  • Sunscreen lotion – Opt for good quality SPF protection of at least 30.
  • Sunglasses –  Look for lenses that are certified to block out 100% of harmful UVA and UVB rays, which is essential for proper protection but not always found in a cheap pair of high street sunnies. 
  • A mini portable fan – A battery powered and super lightweight fan that your guests can use as necessary will be greatly appreciated.
  • Mosquito repellent – Need we say more? 
  • Electrolytes – Consider adding a small bottle of coconut water or a sports drink.

If your budget doesn’t allow you to give each of your guests a sunny day care package, remember to send a note around to all your guests just before the big day reminding them to bring sunscreen, sunglasses and anything else they need to make their beach wedding comfortable. 

Read: How to throw the ultimate tropical summer wedding party.

Having a Heat-Proof Make-up

One of the best ways to keep your makeup from sliding right off your face on a hot, humid day is to hire a professional makeup artist. 

If your budget doesn’t allow that then remember to choose light foundation and water-proof cosmetics. The first, and most important, step in your beach wedding makeup routine should be applying SPF. A lot of moisturisers already have SPF in them, but you should still apply additional sunscreen under your makeup. You can never have too much!

Don’t forget to use an oil-absorbing foundation primer – this is going to keep your makeup from melting off of your face in the middle of the ceremony. Again, many primers already have SPF in them, so that’s always a good addition.

Don’t forget to use mist on a makeup setting spray – they’re the easiest way to ensure your flawlessly applied wedding makeup stays on all day. Ask your Maid of Honour and bridesmaids to carry some makeup blotting papers in your clutch so you can absorb any excess oil without removing your makeup.

Read:Top ten ideal summer wedding dos and don’ts

Summer Food 

Let’s be honest here; the food at a wedding is the thing people actually remember, and for many, it’s the defining part of the day.  When it comes to a beach wedding, a barbecue is often your best bet. However, keep the theme of the barbeque in line with the country you’re celebrating your wedding. If you’re in Jamaica, some jerk chicken, saltfish fritters and maybe even a shoulder of jerked goat. If you’re in Thailand, then you can’t go wrong with grilled fish, crab currys and sticks of chicken satay accompanied with a spicy som tam salad.  

If a barbeque isn’t your thing, just try to let the country of your destination shine through via the food. When in Rome and all of that. We recently went to a wedding in Turkey and feasted on meze sharing platters… It was sublime. 

Keep Your Guests Hydrated

Don’t let your guests get dehydrated. Be sure to choose summery drinks for your reception and ensure you offer a variety of non-alcoholic options in the heat such as virgin cocktails, old fashioned lemonade, cordials and of course water. Mojitos, a classic Pimms or the current trend for iced-tea cocktails will all help to keep your guests cool. 

Finally, consider serving up drinks with electrolytes like coconut water. Electrolytes play an important role in preventing dehydration and keeping normal body function ticking along.

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