Common Mistakes Couples Make with Summer Weddings

Photo by  Christina Karst

For many of you, the beginning of summer is more than just excitement over beach vacations and warm weather — it means that your long-awaited summer wedding is nearly here! However, there are some common misconceptions among couples that plan to get married in the summer, whether it’s dismissing the need for a weather plan or assuming that your Instagram-worthy dessert won’t melt in the heat. 

We asked wedding industry pros to chime in on some mistakes they often see couples make, and how you can prevent them from happening on your big day.

Summer Wedding Mistake #1: Not Planning for Weather Mishaps

This is painfully obvious, but you’d be surprised at how comfortable many couples are with the idea that nothing will go wrong on a beautiful summer day. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon that you may need to enact a backup plan in the event of a weather emergency.

Kevin Dennis of Fantasy Sound Event Services says, “Whether it’s wind and dust storms, freak rain/lightning storms, or 100+ degree days, you can’t expect to have a perfect wedding in the summer, which I think is a common misconception. Also, be sure to take your guests’ hydration needs into consideration. Too often I’m at ceremonies where the guests are sweating and there is no water or refreshments available to them until the cocktail hour. A water station could be a literal life saver!

If you’re planning a destination wedding, Jen Avey of Destination Weddings Travel Group advises to be especially mindful. “June marks the beginning of hurricane season in some spots, so be sure to double-check your destination’s weather patterns and prepare yourself accordingly.”

Summer weddings are generally synonymous with outdoor ceremonies, but Heather Rouffe of Atlas Event Rental notes, “Summer wedding season is technically year round for us here in Florida. However, heat is at its peak during the summer months in comparison to the rest of the year, so for us, it’s important to consider fans and tents to keep guests comfortable and block the sun.”

Summer Wedding Mistake #2: Dismissing Food and Beverage Concerns

Regardless of whether you’re hiring a full-service caterer or opting for buffet-style, your food and beverage can be at risk for certain health hazards when paired with sweltering heat. It’s important to safeguard yourself and your guests, even if you think your caterer may have everything under control.

Beyond that, Amber Anderson of Refine For Wedding Planners wants you to know that alcohol and heat are just as dangerous when combined. “Guests tend to drink more when they are hot, but alcohol and heat don’t actually go well together. Being mindful about the number of hours a bar is open and the type of alcohol that is served is the responsible choice for a summer wedding.”

When you’re holding an outdoor reception or dinner, Jamie Chang of Mango Muse Events says, “One of the most common mistakes I see is not thinking about the bugs. Bugs come in full force in the summer. You'll need to think about your food and be conscious of your decisions so you don't have bugs attacking your food. Buffets and bugs are not a good combo.”

Your wedding cake is another priority that should not be taken lightly, according to Heather Jones of Wente Vineyards. “The cake should be displayed for as little time as possible, then stored in refrigeration or served immediately. When discussing with your bakery, it’s important to strongly consider fondant over buttercream for the best appearance and presentation.”

Summer Wedding Mistake #3: Forgetting Summer Is Travel Season

As focused as you are on making sure that your wedding goes smoothly, remember that in nearly any location, you’ll experience higher traffic with tourists on vacation and perhaps even other couples having their own summer weddings. 

Kristen Gosselin, owner of KG Events and Design recommends that you pay close attention to hurdles that come with the busy travel season. “For many destination weddings, the population will swell to higher numbers, requiring additional logistics to consider and plan for. For example, transportation will need a little more cushion time, and parking spots will either have to be reserved in advance or a valet service hired.” This can mean a shift in your day-of timeline, which should be accounted for.

Guests also may have plans of their own that could conflict with your wedding date. Shannon Tarrant of Wedding Venue Map says, “Summer is a really busy time of year for trips, family vacations, and activities. A lot of couples choose to get married over a holiday weekend, but often times, this is when people take vacations. It can be challenging for guests to change their plans.” The best thing to do is give as much notice as possible, and if you think your day may prevent a lot of guests from attending, it couldn’t hurt to consider another date.

Summer Wedding Mistake #4: Forgetting That Heat Can Affect Everything

Beyond ruining a meal or posing a dehydration risk, heat can be extremely damaging in areas where you wouldn’t expect it to be. 

In the case of florals — whether you’re using them for arrangements, décor installations, or otherwise — Joan Wyndrum of Blooms By The Box notes, “When selecting flowers, some couples make the mistake of choosing flowers that are not in season or may not be good choices for warm weather. Couples may want to consult an expert when selecting wedding flowers rather than only getting your heart set on flowers you saw from Pinterest.”

And don’t forget to keep your flowers in water! Oleta Collins of Flourishing Art says, “Please consider doubling up on the groom’s boutonniere in case it gets wilted by the time for photos, and remember as a bride to place your bouquet back in water at any time that it isn’t being utilized for photos or during the ceremony.”

Keep in consideration that heat plays a huge factor in guest comfort, especially attire. “I've seen a lot of couples select the wrong type of attire for their guests for a summer wedding. Asking guests to wear black tie attire for a July wedding is not a nice thing to do, even if the wedding is taking place indoors,” says Leah Weinberg of Color Pop Events.

Just as is the case with fall and winter weddings, there are a number of specifics involved in planning a summer wedding that can make or break your experience. The best course of action is to plan for the worst, even if your worst-case scenario has a slim chance of happening. That way, you’re completely in the clear if anything goes south, and you can relax knowing your big day is taken care of!


MEGHAN ELY

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.