Summer Weddings: A Groom’s Guide to Keeping Yourself and Your Guests Cool

Summer can seem like the perfect time to have your wedding and, in many ways, it is! A picturesque summer day definitely sets a romantic vibe that you’ll remember forever. Plus, a summer wedding can be helpful logistically since many people have more freedom to travel.

However, to risk stating the obvious, any groom planning a summer wedding needs to remember that summer is hot — and it can be even hotter in formal clothing. Temperature can be a significant concern, especially if your wedding is outside, so it’s important to give it some thought when you’re choosing a venue, establishing a dress code and shopping for wedding suits.

Where and When Are You Getting Married?

First, let’s talk geography. A sweltering Southeastern summer is a lot different from a milder New England summer, so it’s always important to be aware of geographic differences. Think about potential heat when you’re choosing a venue and deciding how to structure the wedding.

Some summer weddings have the ceremony outside, but head inside for the reception. Others have both the ceremony and reception outside, and still others happen entirely indoors and only come outside for the photo shoot. For a lot of couples, the ideal option is to choose a venue that offers both an indoor and outdoor space so guests can choose between the fresh summer air and air-conditioned comfort.

Time of day is another important factor to think about. Many couples choose to have their summer weddings later in the day — or even during — to avoid the sweltering midday sun. If you do go for an earlier wedding, it’s preferable to have it in a shaded area.

What’s the Best Dress Code for a Summer Wedding?

The best dress code for a wedding is the one that gives your wedding a look and feel that you and your fiance love. In summer, however, you also need to think of your guests’ comfort, especially for weddings in hotter climates.

Black tie attire is generally not ideal for summer unless the wedding is mostly indoors and/or the climate is cool. Formal attire, because it requires suits for men and longer dresses for women, can also get pretty hot in the summer. Consider making it a “beach formal” or “outdoor formal” dress code — a slightly dressed-down version with an emphasis on breathable fabrics like linen suits.

Semi-formal, cocktail or casual attire can be more comfortable for your guests in the summer, although these dress codes have outdoor versions, too. Basically, the idea is to inform your guests beforehand if they should dress for the heat! If you go with a more casual dress code, such as beach casual, it’s a good idea to specify whether or not clothing like shorts, sneakers and sandals are acceptable.

Source: Irene Rios Photography/Shutterstock

How Should a Groom Dress for a Summer Wedding?

When it comes to your personal attire, it’s about finding something that allows you to look your best while staying cool all day. The materials in your suit will play a big role here, as will the way you wear it.

Fabrics like Merino wool, as well as other lightweight and blended wools, are clutch if you want a traditional suit or tuxedo that’s more breathable. Lightweight men’s vests are even available if you want the three-piece look. However, if you’re open to a slightly more casual wedding, consider going with a summer suit made from a lighter material such as linen. These suits look great without a tie, and they bring a perfect summery vibe to your ceremony when paired with summer dress shirts for men.

Keeping cool is also about more than just choosing the right suit. If you think sweat might be a problem for you, try applying some body powder to help your skin stay dry. Wearing a moisture wicking undershirt is also a good strategy for sweat control since it removes sweat from your skin and helps it evaporate. (Plus, it also conceals unsightly sweat stains that you don’t want on your shirt.) Consider wearing a gray or beige undershirt that stays invisible under your white or light colored dress shirts. Finally, at a more casual wedding, you can also potentially improve your air circulation by unbuttoning your collar and/or unbuttoning your cuffs.

How to Keep Your Guests Cool at a Summer Wedding

Nobody wants a wedding where the guests are too overheated to dance — or, worse yet, where somebody’s health could be in danger. Fortunately, there are plenty of common sense precautions you can take to cool things off on your big day:

  • Provide one or more self-serve water stations so guests can stay hydrated without having to get in line at the bar.
  • Offer mocktails or other non-alcoholic options for those who want to enjoy something tasty without the dehydrating effects of alcohol.
  • Have refreshments available during the ceremony itself, not just dinner and the reception.
  • Choose a venue with a sheltered, shaded area for guests to dance and socialize in, and ask the venue if there are fans and/or bug zappers available.
  • Serve frozen desserts and/or drinks to give your guests a refreshing treat.
  • Pass out fun things that guests can use to keep themselves cool, such as parasols, hand fans or even chilled towelettes.
  • Remember that a heavy meal in the heat can make people sleepy and bloated, so consider serving lighter entrees if you’ll be dining al fresco.
  • Keep sunscreen and bug spray on hand for any guests who need it.

Source: OlegBlokhin/Shutterstock

A summer wedding can be uniquely magical. If a summertime ceremony is in the cards for you, thinking about these essential factors will help make sure that you and everyone else remember this day for all the right reasons!