summer wedding photograph with bride and groom in sunglasses

Hi, Tim Hensel here, a wedding photographer based in Kent. In this second post of my blog series on summer wedding ideas. I look at the task of how to prevent guests from overheating, melting or combusting during your upcoming summer wedding. Thanks to Sophie & Mark for their wonderful wedding in Sussex, and to Nadia & Jeremy for theirs in Kent, from which the photos below are taken.


Keeping Guests Cool at your Summer Wedding

There are a thousand and one things on the tick list when planning a summer wedding. Perhaps one of the less-obvious details is your guests’ temperature.

English heatwaves may be rare, but you can guarantee if they turn up, they will do so when least convenient. One may very well make an appearance at your summer wedding.

summer wedding photograph with bride and groom in sunglasses

Without some cooling mechanisms in place, your pristine guests may be donning sweat moustaches on your photos. Eeek.

If keeping your guests on ice until “I do” isn’t something you’ve considered, worry not. As an experienced wedding photographer in Kent, I can offer some tips for making sure your nearest and dearest don’t melt as you exchange your vows.

Create a Cold Welcome

Show your guests you’ve considered their comfort by getting creative on their arrival. Give them a cold welcome with aperitifs. Place small shots of iced tea at the door or a cool drink with stone/metal ice cubes.

Alternatively, roll up cloths in ice baths for them to take and refresh their hands with. This can be done at little or no extra cost. All depending, of course, on what you already have or what you can borrow from friends and family.

Summer wedding ideas keep guests cool Tim Hensel Kent wedding photographer

Get Shady with Decorative Props

If you have groomsmen volunteering to greet guests, combine this with some cooling props. Equip them with parasols and decorative fans.

If your wedding is outdoors, shade your guests with Japanese-style shōji screens featuring handmade paper, patterns or artwork. This could create a nice visual, as well as being practical.

A small word of advice; avoid building a full wind tunnel and blasting your guests into the next county. It would be a shame if I saw this happen again.

Summer wedding party at a golf course in kent

Do Guests a Summer Wedding Favour

Summer wedding favours are your opportunity to provide loved ones with heat-busting trinkets.

Make up small gift bags featuring mini tubes of sunblock or misting sprays. Leave ice lollies in champagne buckets on the tables. You could also use sunglasses as table placeholders.

Hand your guests paper fans that match your colour scheme. If you’re low on budget, go DIY and make them from decorative paper – it’s a breeze (sorry).

Summer wedding ideas keeping guests cool Tim Hensel wedding photographer in Kent

Loosen Up with a Cooler Dress Code

I’d never encourage wedding guests to remove their clothes. Again. I apologised for that incident and I’m assured it’s been forgotten. If you have a summer dress code or theme that could allow for clothing to be a little more casual, this could help keep your guests comfortable in the heat.

For example, the men in your party could substitute ties for open necked shirts, shawls and shrugs could be cancelled in favour of a different accessory and if your wedding is outdoors on grass, shoes may be swapped for more casual summer footwear. Not everyone’s cup of (iced) tea, but an option to keep the sweltering at bay.

That’s all from me for now. I know it’s difficult to picture the summer in late January. But, like your wedding, it is on the way and will bring a lot of warmth along with it. Happy planning!

summer evening wedding photograph in an orchard in kent