When you schedule an outdoor summer wedding in Virginia, you have to expect the temperature (and your guests!) to be hot and the humidity to be high enough to give new meaning to “sweating the details.”

No matter how hard you try, you simply can’t control the weather, especially in Virginia. But if you understand the limitations, you can cut down on your stress, help make sure your day goes as seamlessly and as temperature-controlled as possible, and that your guests won’t be roasting alive.

Quicker than you can say “heat stroke,” an outdoor summer wedding in Virginia can go from pleasant and balmy to blazing hot and scorching. Here a few ways to be ready and keep your guests from melting in the searing heat and mind-numbing humidity.

Have an inside space for guests

Look for venues which have a cool space or shady area – perhaps have a tent ready and waiting! Don’t force your guests, (or yourself!), to sit outside in the heat with no relief for 4+ hours!

Bridal party comfort is a must

If you’re tying the knot in Virginia in July or August, chances are your brides’ maids and groomsmen won’t appreciate being buried under layers of fabric and accessories. Consider shorter dresses or lighter fabrics.

Distribute personalized fans

Guests can stay a bit cooler throughout the day with a customized paper hand fan made for a keepsake guests could take home after the wedding. Other helpful keepsakes could be sunglasses or parasols.

Cool down your cocktail hour

Create a cocktail menu that features frozen drinks and original beverages which allow guests to take advantage of your venue’s stunning outdoor space while remaining cool. You may want to include refreshing icy drinks and bottles of water during the ceremony.

Select flowers which will hold up well

Since some flowers are more prone to wilting in the summer heat than others, be sure to double-check with your florist before committing to any one flower or greenery.

Pick a light, refreshing menu

Stick to lighter, more refreshing fare, like simple grilled fish or chicken, a fresh salad, and seasonal vegetables and fruits.

Provide sunscreen 

If guests will spend hours out in the sun, you’re a terrific host to set a spray bottle of high-SPF sunscreen at each table.

Stay away from liquid makeup

Go with powder-based makeup and you’ll avoid having to make frequent trips to the restroom to fix foundation and lipstick that’s probably dripping off your face. Even better, hire a professional to use airbrush makeup on your face, since it’s sweat-, water-, and even tear-proof.

Appreciate the advantages of a summer wedding in Virginia

  • Typically, gorgeous weather.
  • There are fewer holidays to work around. Plus, it’s widely considered PC to have an Independence Day or Labor Day weekend wedding.
  • The “Yes” RSVPs are more likely to roll in. Guests are often more willing and excited to take time off work and travel to a summer wedding in beautiful Virginia.

For more tips, check out our post on the best time to host a farm wedding in Winchester, Virginia.